Spring Game Notebook
No. 1 choice
The original plan was for the coaches to hold a player draft and select the teams. That was eliminated because of several injuries in the final week of play. But both coaches, Angie Gallagher and Meredith Poland, were set on their No. 1 pick – wide receiver Tres Houston.
“I didn’t even really know that,’’ said Houston, who scored the first touchdown on a 65-yard pass from Cameron Birse. “That’s big time. I appreciate both of them having me as their first pick. I can’t do nothing but appreciate that.”
Who was there?
Four of the Red Wolves’ class of 2015 were in attendance. Offensive lineman Dalton Ford from Webb City, Mo., was there as was running back Jamal Jones of Memphis, athlete Avery Johnson of Highland and linebacker Justin Clifton of Tupelo, Miss. Also two committed walk-ons, Zach Morris of Wynne and Kellen Blanchett of Forrest City were present.
There were also around 20 2016 prospects in the house, including running back Jerod Alton of Kirkwood, Mo., who has offers from Syracuse and Illinois, offensive lineman Trystan Castillo of Webb City, Mo., who picked up an offer from Mizzou on Saturday and committed to the Tigers on Sunday, speedy receiver Brandon Bowling of McKinney (Texas) Boyd and kicker Jake Reynolds of Westwood (Mo.) Lafayette.
Luke Ferguson, who at times handled all of the Red Wolves’ kicking chores last season, suffered a broken toe in a home accident Thursday night and was in a cast at the game.
Transfer Drew White from East Mississippi Community College handled the place kicking in the scrimmage and was perfect on six extra points. Stephen Shirley, a redshirt freshman from Boone, N.C., kicked the final extra point.
Perhaps the best play of the night was a reverse pass from Tyler Trosin to Cameron Birse that gained 24 yards and was ruled down at the 3.
“Goodness gracious did I not get in there?,” said Birse. “How many hands did that guy have? He had one hand … you know.. trick play. We had (Tyler) Trosin, you have a lateral there and then he threw it back to me and the offensive line did a good job setting up and getting some blocks. I thought that was a score in my personal opinion.
“That is all part of the spring game. Being able to trick them a little bit. To keep the honest. Tricks plays are a part of our offense. Every week we have a few trick plays in because our offense is so simple. We have to keep the opposing defenses at bay as well. Trosin threw a really good ball. That is really tough. He had his gloves on and everything. Throwing that thing 50 yards across the field. Really tough on him and he did a great job. I was looking at it and saying do not drop this, do not drop this. That is all you got to do is get north.”
Logan Moragne, a redshirt freshman running back from Little Rock Central, had 81 yards on 6 carries, including a 60-yard touchdown run. Michael Gordon had 64 yards on 3 carries and a 62-yard TD run. Sterling Stowers, a walk-on receiver from Highland, caught 5 passes for 42 yards and had 1 rush for 10 yards. Tyler Trosin had 4 catches for 31 yards, one pass completion for 24 yards and 1 rush for 7 yards. Tres Houston caught 3 for 103 yards.
Birse completed 11 of 21 passes with an interception (Rocky Hayes) and a touchdown while James Tabary was 15 of 21 for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Good numbers or a concern?
The defense turned in 7 sacks – led by Chase Robinson with 2 – and 14 tackles for loss that resulted in negative 60 yards.
Austin Copeland led the tackle chart with 9. Charles Grant had 7 and Xavier Woodson and Khari Laine had 6 each.
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