Scrimmage concludes fall camp

The problem with intersquad scrimmages is that you never know who to root for. You want both sides of the ball to be good, but at the same time you hate to see the other side of the ball fail to execute.

It was a good scrimmage in the fact that both sides of the ball made plays. The offense scored five touchdowns while the defense forced three turnovers.

Early on the offense was not in synch. The timing was off, they played sloppy and the defense seemed to have the edge. The familiarity had to be an issue, as was the stripped down playbook. With nearly 7,500 fans in the stands the offense did not want to show too much.

The first few drives were rough on the offense, but soon Kris Heavner was moving the offense. A long completion to B.J. Dennard got the Cats into the defense's territory but the drive ended two plays later when Xavier Smith fumbled the ball and freshman D'Aundre Reed found it in the bottom of a pile.

Willie Tuitama led the offense to their first score on one play. Anthony Johnson got behind the defense and Tuitama found him. The senior wide out raced 75 yards for an easy score.

The defense would get their revenge. Cam Nelson picked off Tuitama and raced deep into the offense's territory before being knocked out of bounds.

The second scoring drive was almost all Chris Jennings. The senior running back got the offense into the defense's territory on a long gain from a shovel pass. He'd then show great balance when a quick pass to him was sniffed out by a DB who attempted to hit him low. Jennings kept his balance and went for nearly 10 more yards.

A third pass, this time a swing pass got Jennings into the open field, but his diving attempt at the endzone came up just short. It wouldn't take him long to score as the line opened up a big hole and Jennings scored the easy one-yard touch down.

Jennings rushed for just 42 yards on nine carries, but had a team high 93 yards receiving on nine catches.

Terry Longbons was the next to score. He kept the drive alive with a tough run on fourth down. After a third and 12 conversion to David Roberts, Kris Heavner found William Wright for an 11-yard gain to get the team to the five. Longbons first two attempts were stuffed near the line of scrimmage, but on third and goal from the three he got a nice hole and easily scooted into the endzone.

Xavier Smith sparked the next drive. He ran tough up the middle, taking a pile of defenders with him on a five yard gain, but drew a 15-yard facemask penalty while battling for yardage. Mike Thomas gained 17 on a quick pass and Smith added an eight yard run to get the ball to the defense's 10.

Smith rushed for the first down on the next play, then got around the left end and dove to the endzone. He was marked down inside the one. On the next play he avoided defensive penetration in the backfield and found a hole for the touchdown.

The final scoring drive was an odd one. Both Tyler Lyon and Bryson Beirne took snaps. Lyon was shaky early, but found Veal on a key third down conversion. Beirne took over and converted on third and 15. Avory Battle capped the scoring with a short touchdown run.

Notes:

*A handful of players were held out due to injury. Nate Ness, Mana Mikaele and Nicolas Grigsby were among the players nursing minor injuries. All will be back over the next few days.

* Mike Turner was not at the scrimmage. He was excused to attend his brother's wedding.

*Adrian McCovy had the second interception.


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