A-Day Light on Injuries, White Wins

The most important thing that happened in Saturday's A-Day scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium is something that didn't happen – injuries. There were no awkward dread-filled silences followed by polite applause as a player was helped off the field, and that was much more important than the ‘White' squad's come-from-behind win.

There was a slight turn of the ankle for Aaron Johns that kept him out for most of the day, but nothing more serious to note. And the battle damage assessment from Tide Head Coach Mike Shula was positive.

"I don't think there were any major injuries today," he said.

When the clock hit 0:00 at the end of the fourth quarter the white team was declared the winner, 20-18 over the Crimson squad. It was a score rendered somewhat meaningless by the fact that some participants and observers were unsure which team was which.

The game was mostly a continuation of the coaching staff's attempt to identify playmakers. The offensive package was limited and the defensive schemes were "about as simple as you can get" according to defensive coordinator Joe Kines.

The squad quarterbacked by John Parker Wilson was dubbed the "Crimson" team and the Marc Guillon quarterbacked second offensive unit was called "White" on the scoreboard. On the field the defense wore white, the offense wore crimson and the two quarterbacks wore yellow.

Guillon threw the game-winning touchdown with just under four minutes to play hitting Zeke Knight on a 28-yard deep pass. After taking over 45 yards from the end zone, Guillon handed to Rashad Johnson for a six-yard run and completed a swing pass to back-up fullback/halfback Mookie Chaney for 11 yards to set up the 28-yard strike to Knight.

Guillon finished the game13-for-26 passing with one interception and two touchdowns. Knight was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 55 yards and one touchdown. The 28-yard Guillon-to-Knight touchdown was the day's long.

Guillon was impressive in connecting with some of the Tide's back-up receivers. Senior Matt Miller had two fantastic catches for 32 yards including a 32-yard long and Marcus McKnight caught three passes for 51 yards with a 20-yard long.

Wilson, who was named the scrimmage's Dixie Howell Most Outstanding Player, began the scrimmage with a pass to Rashad Johnson for 15 yards and capped the opening drive by hitting Nick Walker over the middle for 27 yards and a touchdown. He completed 14-of-31 passes for 168 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions on the day.

Walker finished the day with a very impressive three catches for 59 yards.

"We came out and drove it right down the field," Wilson said. "I think it went pretty well. I can't say enough about our offensive line, receivers and our running backs that were making plays. Everyone was on the field making plays," Wilson said.

Wilson threw two interceptions and was sacked three times, although one of the interceptions was redirected back onto the field of play after the pass to the sideline bounced off the helmet of intended receiver Brandon Brooks and into the arms of linebacker Demarcus Waldrop.

Johnson, a 6-3, 183-pound freshman from Sulligent, was the leading rusher with 48 yards including a 23-yard long and a one-yard touchdown run. Johnson also had four receptions for 28 yards and a 15-yard long. Johnson has had a quiet but very impressive spring.

C.J. Rhody was good on two 41-yard field goal attempts, but missed a 49 yarder as time in the game expired. Rhody also missed two extra points. Ryan Saxby hit from 27 and 29 yards and connected on one extra point attempt. Jason Grammer also hit an extra point.

Freddie Roach and DeMeco Ryans were held out of the scrimmage. Roach had been nursing a slight groin pull and Ryans had no known injury. He was held out to give younger players a longer look, Kines said.

Others not participating in the scrimmage were Eric Gray (hamstring), Dominic Lee (foot), Jeremy Clark (knee), Jamie Christianson (groin) and Will Oakley (hamstring).

Brodie Croyle did not scrimmage but took part in the 7-on-7 work before the scrimmage began.

Offensive lineman B.J. Stabler has been limited with a knee injury, but worked with the second-unit offensive line during the scrimmage.

A-DAY STATISTICS

Passing (comp-att-yds): John Parker Wilson (14-31-168, TD, 2 INT); Marc Guillon (13-26-157, TD, INT); Adam Thrash (1-3-9); Total (28-60-234, 2 TD, 3 INT)

Rushing (att-yds): Rashad Johnson (12-48, TD); Trevino Pope (8-30); Theo Townsend (5-6); Le'Ron McClain (3-6); Mookie Chaney (2-22); Keith Brown (1-20); Will Denniston (1-7); Kyle Bennett (1-1, TD); John Parker Wilson (4-minus 18); Marc Guillon (1-minus 2); Adam Thrash (1-minus 6); Total (39-114, 2 TD)

Receiving (rec-yds): Zeke Knight (4-55, TD); Rashad Johnson (4-28); Marcus McKnight (3-51); Nick Walker (3-59, TD); Matt Miller (2-32); Mookie Chaney (2-21); Will Denniston (2-13); Kyle Bennett (2-10); Keith Brown (1-24); Matt Caddell (1-15); Brandon Brooks (1-10); Tanner Wickham (1-9); Aaron Johns (1-8); Trevino Pope (1-minus 1); Total (28-234, 2 TD)

Defensive Leaders: Ramzee Robinson (3 tackles, INT); Simeon Castille (5 tackles, TFL); Travis Robinson (3 tackles, INT, 2 PBU); Kenneth Vandervoort (4 tackles); Roman Harper (3 tackles); Jeffrey Dukes (3 tackles, 2 PBU); Mark Anderson (5 tackles, sack); Keith Saunders (3 tackles, 2 sacks), Rudy Griffin (2 tackles, sack); J.P. Adams (2 tackles, 2 TFL)


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