"Pretty soon all this two-hand touch, 7-on-7 stuff is going to come to an end, and we've got to get physical up front. We didn't do a real good job. We kind of stood around flat footed today. We've got to get better there," Ryan said as the Mustangs walked off the field. "Young or not young, we've got to get better, and we've got to get more physical if we want to have a chance of even coming close to being able to compete in the region we are in."
With a 50-minute running clock counting down the time, the Mustangs found very little time to get anything going offensively while putting the ball on the ground five times against the Beavers.
"We turned the ball over way too many times. We put the ball on the ground way too much. We've got to do a better job there. We had a couple of mental mistakes where we jumped offsides," said Ryan.
"We can't make mistakes. We have to be very disciplined. We have to be a blue collar team that comes out. We are not going to be flashy. We're not going to have a bunch of big, huge plays. We've got to be able to grind and not stop ourselves with mental mistakes."
Against the Wildcats, Walker Valley looked better on defense but continued to struggle to find itself offensively. The Mustangs significantly cut down on fumbles with only one, but errors with fundamentals persisted in the second 50 minutes.
"We did a little bit better (defensively). Offensively, we had our opportunities, but we fumbled a ball and had a bad snap on a play and our quarterback made a bad decision on a play. Things like that are just drive killers. We'd get something going and then we'd do something silly and kill the drive," Ryan said.
"The defense did step it up much better against Hixson. We did have a big breakdown on a third-and-16 for a touchdown. Those are the things we have to get better at."
The lone touchdown by the Wildcats sent for 65 yards with just over four minutes left in the session.
"We got a good couple hours work in against two different teams and got to see some different things. We definitely showed we have areas to work on still. That's the thing we've been talking to our kids about and emphasizing the last couple of weeks," said the Mustangs coach.
The Mustangs will get back to work Monday focusing on improving on both sides of the ball. Walker Valley will wrap up its scrimmage schedule at Maryville Heritage Aug. 9.
"We've got a lot of work to do these next couple of weeks to get ready. We definitely saw where we've got to make some improvements and we saw some kids do some good things and step up. That is a good thing," said Ryan.
"We've just got to keep getting better at the things we did well today and correct the things we didn't do well. That's why we practice and why we have things like this, to find out just where we are and what we've still got to work on. Obviously, we've got a lot of work to do."