AtlantaFalcons.com managing editor Jay Adams will be live blogging throughout tonight's Friday Night Lights event at North Gwinnett High School.
6:32 p.m.: The crowd is really starting to file in. People are excited to be here, the field looks great and the kickers are warming up on the field. Football is here! Now heading down to the field to mingle. Be back soon.
7:05 p.m.: Players are warming up. Some fans down near the field have cardboard cutouts of spoons for — guess who — Sean Weatherspoon. The rookie has certainly made an impression on everyone he has come across this camp.
7:28 p.m.: Horn just sounded and Coach Smith sent players to opposite sidelines. We're getting ready to get started!
7:30 p.m.: Beautiful anthem sung by a North Gwinnett student. One item of note: Defensive tackle Thomas Johnson is not dressed and will not play. Offense has the ball.
7:32 p.m.: Just heard the scoring system. Offense: Six points for a TD. Three points if the offense penetrates the 25-yard line of the defense. Two points for a first down. One point for a play of 20 yards or more. Defense: Three points for a takeaway. Two points for a 3-and-out. One point each for a sack or stopping a drive.
7:36 p.m.: First offensive possession is done. Michael Turner looks GOOD! Couple of big runs from him. Eric Weems had a nice catch, and John Abraham was credited with a sack. Drive ended when Michael Jenkins dropped a long pass over the middle.
7:40 p.m.: Second offense in. TE Michael Palmer with one heck of a catch on the right side. Stephen Nicholas comes up with a sack. John Parker Wilson in the game after Chris Redman takes a few snaps. On third-and-10, fifth-round draft pick Kerry Meier comes up with a huge catch to get the first down and much more. WR Andy Strickland makes an equally big catch for another first down. Offense driving.
7:45 p.m.: Couple of penalties on the drive. Holding and illegal hands to the face, as well as a false start on offense. Corey Peters comes up with a sack, which is nice to see. The penalties put the offense in a huge hole as it tried to overcome a third-and-about-30. Screen pass to Antone Smith picks up yardage, but not enough. Drive ends. Defense leads the game 8-5.
7:50 p.m.: Ryan opens up the offense with a deep pass to Jenkins, who had a defender beat by at least 4 yards. The ball was underthrown and incomplete. Meier again comes up with a great catch and huge pickup. Really, really impressed with this kid. Chauncey Davis gets a sack with good coverage down the field. Nice one-handed catch by RB Dimitri Nance! First down.
7:53 p.m.: RB Jason Snelling with a carry, big pickup but fumbles and LB Bear Woods recovers. Play comes back on a holding penalty. Defense up 13-8 now.
7:56 p.m.: Strickland with a great sideline catch. Corey Peters has another great tackle, wrangling Nance to the ground. Brandyn Harvey gets into the action with a 10-yard completion. Robert James has been all over the field this drive. Harvey gets about 7 yards on a slant route where CB Dominique Franks makes the tackle. John Parker Wilson gets flushed out of the pocket and gets a great pickup. Another holding call brings it back. That stuff is going to be common in this game. Gotta shake the rust off.
8:00 p.m.: Ryan Wolfe comes up with a nice catch for a first down. Trey Lewis blows up a running play in the backfield with a huge tackle on Nance. Next play, Antone Smith takes a screen pass from JPW 30 yards for the first touchdown of the scrimmage. Offense up 17-15.
8:07 p.m.: Halftime is here already. Offense still up 17-15. Some thoughts: The penalties are alarming, but you have to expect some mental lapses when there's so much to remember this early in the preseason. The defense has really looked good. Peters is looking to be all that he was advertised to be. Weatherspoon has been quiet so far, but Stephen Nicholas and Robert James have been everywhere. That's gotta be a product of experience. Offensively, things started off slow and picked up more toward the end of the half. There were some dropped passes, but also some really big catches. Listen to me on this: Kerry Meier is the real deal. Great field presence, nice routes from what I can see up here and awesome running ability after the catch. He's young and openly admits he needs to gain experience, but he's looking really good tonight.
8:15 p.m.: Second half starts. Palmer gets another big catch on the drive. What a great target he makes at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. Dominique Franks with a pass breakup on an underthrown pass by Ryan. Ryan then threads the needle and hits Weems in great coverage by Franks to get to the 5-yard line going in. Snelling powers in for the 5-yard touchdown. Offense up 27-15.
8:25 p.m.: Correction on the score. The TD put the offense up 26-15. False start penalty on the third play of this drive. Curtis "The Police" Lofton puts a nice hit on Antone Smith. Chevis Jackson comes off the end for a sack that ends the drive. Offense up 26-16.
8:28 p.m.: Official attendance is 12,200. Great turnout! Falcons are practicing TV timeouts. Coach Smith talked this morning about practicing the timing of certain things, like these timeouts. The mock game tomorrow at Flowery Branch will actually have a national anthem. Nance starts the drive with a really nice run. Gotta run down to the field so I can get players after the scrimmage. Check back later for stories!