CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Austin Hensley threw effectively, Zach Pate bounced around Laidley Field like a pinball and Hurricane's starters outscored Woodrow Wilson by 12 in one half of play at the MSAC Grid-O-Rama on Saturday before the Redskins finished off a 27-15 win.
What emerged from the final preseason scrimmage for the 'Skins wasn't a sense of affirmation that they have the best pocket passer in the state - an opinion often given of Hensley. It wasn't even an affirmation that Pate looked every bit of the all-purpose star that he is.
In the grand scheme of Hurricane's 2013 playoff drive, a much more important impression was presented to on-lookers: Hurricane has a solid defense.
"We're almost there. What helps us is our depth right now and a lot of those defensive players - well, none of them go both ways," Hurricane second-year Coach Jeremy Taylor said. "We didn't have our weak tackle playing today and our starting Mike linebacker wasn't out there today either.
"But defensively, we've come a long way. Our linebackers, they've got a chance to be really special."
Woodrow's only score against Hurricane's starting defense came on a slip-screen that saw Donte Nabors race 48 yards for a touchdown after Hurricane had established a 12-0 lead in the second quarter. Otherwise, Woodrow's offense was largely held in check until backups entered the game.
Hurricane led 19-7 at the half.
"That's something that we've really missed in years past," Taylor said. "When we have great teams we're able to run the ball and really good defense. At the end of last year I thought our defense played a lot better. We shut down Logan for the most part, and the Cabell Midland game was a good game for the most part until they got a field goal right before the half and it kind of changed things.
"I just think our defensive staff and defensive players are doing so much better. What's helping now is that they're able to spend 90 minutes a day with the defense."
Hurricane is utilizing a two-platoon system in 2013 in hopes of maximized the on-field time of players on each side of the ball.
"They're not having to go over and play offense or go play scout team," Taylor said. "They're just there to do defense."
The Redskins open the regular season at home Friday night against Huntington.
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WINFIELD DODGED a bullet when x-rays on the left shoulder of senior wide receiver Chris Turner came back negative Saturday evening. Turner was injured while catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from senior Toby Show in the Generals' 21-9 win over Riverside.
"There's a ligament there that has a little sprain in it but there wasn't any fracture," Winfield Coach Craig Snyder said.
Winfield's starters outscored Riverside 21-7 in one half of play.
Turner, a 6-3 senior who caught 48 passes for 656 yards and six touchdowns in 2012, came out of the game midway through the second quarter and spent the rest of the scrimmage getting iced down and examined by team trainers.
His availability this week could be key in the Generals' attempts to maintain their preseason momentum Friday in their regular season opener against Woodrow Wilson.