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Live Blog: Kia Motors Friday Night Lights


Welcome to the seventh annual Kia Motors Friday Night Lights here at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Ga. Follow along all night as practice kicks off at 6:45 p.m. and ends with a modified scrimmage.

9:19 p.m. — That's the end of Friday Night Lights here at Archer High School and it ends on a high note for the offense as wide receiver Tramaine Thompson showed off some nifty moves and speed to take an out pass the distance for the lone touchdown. The offense earned the 15-5 win in Mike Smith's modified scoring system.

The standouts during the live hitting scrimmage begin and end with linebacker Prince Shembo, who recorded five tackles by my count and was everywhere on the field. As someone who hasn't played inside linebacker since he was in ninth grade, the Notre Dame product looked comfortable in his first live action at the spot.

Antone Smith spent much of the early time at running back and had a couple of nice runs, but his best play was a 10-yard catch over the middle as he showed off his versatility at the position.

Stansly Maponga had the only simulated sack of the night as he came off the edge cleanly on Ryan Schraeder.

The Falcons will be back on the field in Flowery Branch for another camp practice open to the public. Gates open at 2:30 and practice starts at 3:30 p.m. That'll do it for Friday Night Lights. Thanks for following along!

8:53 p.m. — It's halftime here at Archer, which concludes the practice portion of tonight's Friday Night Lights event. Up next will be the scrimmage, which will feature live hitting and a modified scoring system that only head coach Mike Smith truly understands.

8:44 p.m. — Gorgeous sunset here at Archer High School as the Falcons are working on the final plays of their team period before a brief halftime, where the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders will perform, and the live scrimmage to end the evening.

A really cool site tonight. #FNL14 — Morgan (@FalconsMorgan) August 2, 2014

8:25 p.m. — During team situational work, Dwight Lowery came in on a blitz and was met by running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who put the full force of his body into trying to block Lowery. Lowery went down and stayed there as the Athletic Performance staff ran out to attend to him. Moments later, Lowery walked off the field under his own power but was taken to the locker room. We'll have an update whenever we receive it.

8:05 p.m. — What a 1-on-1 period! Wow, the wide receivers and DBs really had a nice battle out there. The stars of the session might surprise you, but for me, they were Bernard Reedy, Jabin Sambrano and Jeremy Ebert. Reedy was stopped by no one as the cornerbacks had a difficult time staying up on him. The session ended when Ryan hit Reedy for a 40-yard touchdown with Javier Arenas in coverage. Reedy had a couple nice catches earlier in the session against Josh Wilson and Ricardo Allen. Sambrano had one of those "how did he catch that?" moments against Desmond Trufant. The coverage was there, but Sambrano reached his long arms out and made the snag. Near the start of the session, Ebert got Trufant to bite on a double move and blew right by him down the field for an easy TD.

7:55 p.m. — The Falcons just finished a short team period that started with Matt Ryan hitting Harry Douglas for a 20-yard pickup over the middle. In plays that followed, Paul Worrilow and Prince Shembo each recorded simulated sacks on blitzes up the middle. QBs TJ Yates and Sean Renfree had some solid passes to end the series. The team is into 9-on-7s in the run game now on one side of the field and one-on-ones in the passing game on the other.

7:46 p.m. — The American flag drops into the stadium here at Archer from the sky and we're set to go on a team period with the first-team offense facing the first-team defense.

Skydivers landing on the field before the scrimmage. #FNL14 — AtlantaFalcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 1, 2014

7:31 p.m. — The team is currently in individual groups around the field, working on position specific movements. WRs are running routes and catching passes from the QBs, DLs are working against each other, OLs are doing the same.

7:21 p.m. — An officiating crew from the league under Barry Anderson is here for tonight's practice. One of the refs on the crew? Former Falcon Fred McCrary, famous for the "Freddie Mac Show."

7:10 p.m. — Punt work is ongoing now and Matt Bosher's longest registered so far is 58 yards. Rookie Sergio Castillo has been working with Bosher at punter, which is something I haven't witnessed at any camp practices. That's not to say it hasn't happened; I just haven't seen it.

On the sideline as spectators tonight are Julio Jones, who is on an off-day per his day-on, day-off schedule for camp, and Steven Jackson, whose hamstring injury will keep him out most of the preseason.

6:59 p.m. — The field goal session ends with Bryant missing one and Castillo nailing all of his attempts. Bryant hit a long of 54 yards and cleared the crossbar easily. Castillo only went out to 45 yards, but made it without an issue. We've now moved into punt team work with the non-special teams players doing drills at various points around the field.

For those of you with a thirst for black jerseys, the QBs are donning some tonight:

QBs wearing black jerseys tonight. #FNL14 #RiseUp — AtlantaFalcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 1, 2014

6:53 p.m. — Initial stretches are over and we're about to get into some more special teams work, starting with field goals. Matt Bryant and Sergio Castillo will kick field goals, starting from the 20, and work their way back to their max distances.

Fans joined the Falcons at Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., Friday night for the Falcons' annual Kia Motors Friday Night Lights practice.

6:46 p.m. — We are officially underway here at Archer High School. The Falcons have begun their early stretches on my far left side. Interesting note is that rookie safety Dezmen Southward, who was announced as being out of practice for a week on Thursday with a knee injury, is participating in this portion of the practice. Will keep an eye on how much he's able to do. Head coach Mike Smith already noted that Southward will be able to participate in some of the walkthrough portions.

6:43 p.m. — From's Reid Ferrin, here's a look at the players entering the field.

Falcons players coming onto the field. #fnl14 #RiseUp — Reid Ferrin (@FalconsRFerrin) August 1, 2014

6:37 p.m. — Players are hitting the field for special teams work. Returners are working with the Jugs machine while the rest of the team is scattered along the sideline waiting for the official start of practice, which is just minutes away.

6:29 p.m. — Practicing at a high school always brings back fond memories for a lot of Falcons. For defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, Archer truly does that. He played not far from tonight's Friday Night Lights location, at Central Gwinnett. He tweeted this shortly before hitting the field:

Just passed the street I grew up on Headed to Archer high school for Friday Night Lights Time FLYs All Good Things Happen In Due time — jonathan massaquoi (@JohnnyMass94) August 1, 2014

6:18 p.m. — The Falcons have arrived!

Players have arrived! #FNL14 — AtlantaFalcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 1, 2014

6:12 p.m. — The Falcons are moments away from arriving here at Archer High School, but the specialists Matt Bryant, Matt Bosher, Josh Harris and Sergio Castillo all rode over from Flowery Branch with special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. They're all getting some early work done on the field as I write this. More updates to come here from Archer High School!

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