Cats conclude two-a-days

The last day of two-a-days saw two distinctly different practices. In the morning session it was all defense, but the evening belonged to the offense. The offense concluded the final night at "Camp Rincon" with an impressive showing in goal line drills.

The final night of training camp saw the offense have its first successful trip into the heart of the "scoring zone". The Cats ran 10 plays from inside the 10 and scored on seven. One failed attempt came on a dropped pass and another on a false start penalty.

Nic Costa took the first three snaps and tossed a touchdown pass on all three. Three times he went play action and showed why he can be dangerous on the move. On his first and second attempt Costa faked a handoff up the middle and rolled to his left, finding a tight end in the corner of the endzone. Matt Padron and Steve Fleming each hauled in the scoring strikes.

Costa's final td pass came on a pass to Pedro Limon in the flat. The 240-pound fullback took the swing pass and rumbled to the goal line where he bowled over three waiting defensive backs.

Next it was O'Hara's turn. A scrambling O'Hara found Fleming on first down. Then ran the exact same play action bootleg that Costa had success on and hit Clarence McRae in the exact corner the other two tight ends caught balls.

After that they placed the ball on the 1-yard line and it was here that the offense finally came up short. First Peter Graniello jumped for a false start. Instead of moving the offense back, the coaches kept the ball at the one, but declared that it was fourth down. O'Hara faked to the halfback who jumped into the line, drawing most of the defense. The only defender not to completely buy the fake was Tony Wingate who pursued O'Hara but the young quarterback hid the ball on his hip and when the safety did not see the pigskin Wingate turned his attention to the pile. O'Hara kept the ball on his hip for a few seconds before throwing an awkward pass to a wide-open Padron. The pass was ugly, but close, and went off Padron's outstretched hands.

Then, the offense kept the ball on the ground. On first down Greg Tate rumbled for a yard. On the next play Limon plowed through the line for his second score. The very next play Clarence Farmer squirted up the middle for a two-yard score.

The morning session was not so kind to the offense. They concluded the a.m. session with two-minute drills and although the offense moved the ball, the defense did not allow a score.

O'Hara had the first crack at the hurry-up offense. His first pass was a 25-yard strike to Biren Ealy. His next two passes went incomplete before he hit Ealy again for a first down. His next pass was a 25-yard scoring strike to Ealy, but the play was called back due to an illegal formation.

O'Hara's next try was dropped by Mike Bell, before fiding freshman Anthony Johnson on a crossing pattern for a 20-yard pick-up. After an incompletion, O'Hara looked to Johnson again but the freshman dropped the ball. Time was running out and O'Hara's final shot at the endzone was picked off by Michael Jolivette in the endzone.

Costa was up next. His first crack at it saw his first two passes for six and four yards for a first down. Three of his next four passes were dropped, including a long pass that should have been a score for Johnson, but the youngster failed to reel in the pass behind a diving safety.

Despite turning it over on downs, the coaches gave Costa one more try, this time with just 1:00 on the clock. After an incompletion Costa found walk-on Matt Sheehan for 10 yards, spiked the ball to stop the clock and he hit Johnson for 20. After another incompletion, Costa had just a few seconds left on the clock. The swift sophomore scrambled to avoid the rush, but his desperation heave into the endzone fell harmlessly to the ground.

Over both session, Costa was 10-14 in "skellies" and 8-17 in 11-on-11's. In the morning 7-on-7's Costa was 8-9 and in the evening 11-on-11's he was 2-2, while he was 3-3 in the evening goal line work.

O'Hara was 3-8 in morning 7-on-7's, but 4-5 in the evening. Not including goal line work, where he was 2-3, O'Hara was just 4-18 in 11-on-11 drills.


*The morning practice was moved from "Camp Rincon" to the McKale field because a sprinkler was left on flooding half the practice facility. Kudos to the trainers who had the entire field set up, then had to break it down in five minutes before setting up the second field.

*Due to nagging injuries to contributors, Mackovic hinted that a lot of back-up players could see work in the Thursday scrimmage.

*Thursday night's scrimmage is closed to the public.

*Lance Relford had a collision with Lamon Means and hurt his shoulder. He is expected to be fine, but may be limited until next week.

*Mike Bell is the only halfback not to miss time. Clarence Farmer, Chris Henry and Brent Bolden all missed time with injuries. Gainus Scott has not practiced due to an undisclosed injury and Beau Carr has not been cleared academically.

*Pedro Limon is the only healthy scholarship fullback. Gilbert Harris and Sean Jones have been limited, so walk-ons Greg Tate and Tim Taylor have assumed their reps.

*OL Tom Rodgers returned to practice, but wore a yellow non-contact jersey.

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