Scrimmage Report

Saturday's scrimmage could be termed as bittersweet for the entire team. One unit saw some very good things while the other unit didn't have their best day, and a potentially devastating injury transpired to the single defensive player the team could least afford to lose.

During the first set of reps during Saturday's full-contact scrimmage, defensive tackle Russell Tialavea limped off the field, and it got worse from there as he spent the rest of the day with his knee heavily wrapped while defensive teammates went up to him offering encouragement.

"He'll be further evaluated, but it doesn't look good," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "We're thin at the defensive line already, especially at the nose tackle position."

First Drive

The first drive saw the offense come out strong. Max Hall led the first team offense the length of the field as he went 5-for-5 for 32 yards. Run-blocking and the running of Harvey Unga, Joe Semanoff and Manase Tonga were the main features of the drive, which Semanoff capped off with a 7-yard run into the endzone.

"We came out real strong," said Tonga. "We wanted to come out strong and we did. The offensive line, man, they're getting it done and making it easy for all of us."

Unga had the best run of the day, bouncing a run off-tackle for 29 yards as Dallas Reynolds sealed off the left side very effectively, leading to the big gain.

"I just follow those big guys up front and I know I'll make yards," said Unga. "We have a lot of great running backs on this team and I'm just fortunate to get my shot. It's all about the offensive line though. They're the reason for the success we had today."

Second Drive

The second set saw James Lark leading the offense against the 2nd team defense. Lark completed his first pass for 7 yards, before a sack by linebacker Chris Bolden and an incompletion ended the set.

Third Drive

The defense continued the good pressure during the next set, as David Nixon and Jan Jorgensen both recorded sacks. Hall completed his only pass to Austin Collie for 6 yards.

Fourth Drive

Jason Munns then threw two incompletions on the next set. The set saw J.J. DiLuigi run the ball for an impressive 7-yard run.

Fifth Drive

The next set had Max Hall take the offense to the field again, where he got the offense into the endzone with three plays.

Manase Tonga had a 7-yard run, while Hall went 1-for-2 for 61 yards. The touchdown came on a 61-yard pass to Harvey Unga, in which Unga caught the ball over the middle, broke a tackle in the flat and outran cornerback Kayle Buchanan to the endzone for the score.

"I didn't know if I should have tried to overpower him or outrun him," said Unga about encountering Buchanan downfield. "So I just took off and fortunately I got in because he was closing on me fast."

On the play the defense blitzed, rushing seven players, but the offensive line picked up the blitz effectively, allowing for Unga to clear across the middle.

"The offensive line is making it so much easier for me and the entire offense," said Hall. "They're giving me so much time and picking up everything. They really got it done today and we just fed off what they were able to do up front."

Sixth Drive

The next set had Lark go 1-for-2 for 5 yards on a pass to Parker Mangum. Isaac Taylor had a run for negative yardage on the set.

Seventh Drive

Hall went 3-for-5 for 27 yards during the next set, which included two passes to Tonga and another completion to Matt Allen. Nose Tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna ended the set with a sack, in which he beat both Sete Aulai and Ray Feinga to get to the quarterback.

Eighth Drive

DiLuigi was featured on the eighth set, running the ball six straight times for a combined 33 yards on runs primarily up the middle. DiLuigi showed great instincts and movement through the middle, indicating promising things in the future.

"J.J. can play, no question," said Unga. "He's confident, active and really smart. He's going to be great and he only adds to the strength we have at the running back position."

Ninth Drive

The final set of the day ended well for the offense, as Hall hit Collie from 49 yards out for the touchdown. Hall went 2-for-2 on the set for 54 yards.

"We were humming today," said Hall. "We obviously have things we need to work on, but before seeing the film we're very happy about how we did today. We accomplished what we needed to. We got it into the endzone and it's really all about the offensive line. I can't stress how well those guys are doing up front. Everything works so well when the offensive line is dominating."


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