Defense Dominates Scrimmage

The Wildcats defense dominated the first scrimmage of spring practice Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium.

Coach Rich Brooks thought the scrimmage went about the way he thought it would. "The first(-team) defense did a good job. The first defense dominated until the goal-line part of the scrimmage," Coach Rich Brooks said. "I really think that the defensive front is controlling the tempo. The defensive front should be, and is, ahead of the offensive front."

The first-team defense played seven series against the first and second team offenses and pretty much shut them down. The first team defense also caused a couple of turnovers with an interception by newly converted wide receiver Karl Booker on an Andre Woodson pass and a fumble that was caused by walk-on linebacker Dennis Johnson.

The second-team defense started off well against the second-team offense by shutting them down but it was a different story when the first team offense was pitted against them. They stopped the offense on their first possession but the first team offense, led by Shane Boyd, then drove 55 yards which set up a 28 yard field goal by Clint Ruth.

On the next series with the ball placed on the 35 yard line, Keenan Burton took a pitchout and went around end and raced 65 yards for a touchdown, breaking several tackles along the way. The next series was placed at the 35 yard line as well and this time Boyd hit Glenn Holt on a slant pattern and broke a tackle to take it all the way for a touchdown. He was flagged for celebrating after giving back grief to the defensive backs for being taunted the whole game for being shut down.

Brooks seemed to like some of the stuff the offense showed. "We have some big-play capability on offense but have to be more consistent," Brooks said. "The quarterbacks have thrown more accurately in practices than they did today in the scrimmage. We need to get past that."

Brooks had mixed emotions about the offensive line. "The offensive line is not protecting (the quarterback) and not coming off the ball as well as we need to," Brooks said. "The line has made progress but still has a long way to go. We're taking a good look at Huff at guard to see if that's a viable option. We're trying to see how we can put our best combination together."

The third-team offensive and defensive units played seven series against each other. Five different quarterbacks worked with the third team. Senior Trey Barclay led a 52 yard march that ended with a Taylor Begley 31 yard field goal. To set up the field goal, Andrew Hopewell had a 36 yard run. B. Jay Parsons was the spark for the defense. The junior college transfer had a fumble recovery, pass break-up and had three tackles for loss.

The offense really came to life at the end of the scrimmage when the team worked on goal line situations. The first team offense scored all four possessions against the first team defense, including three touchdown by Alexis Bwenge and one touchdown by Draak Davis. J. J. Bennett also had a touchdown when the second team offense took on the second defense.

Sevin Sucurovic saw all the action at punter because of the calf injury to Anthony Thornton. Sucurovic punted six times for a 44.2 yard average. Begley made three out of four and Clint Ruth made two of three on field goals.

Scrimmage Statistics (Includes everything but goal-line work):

Rushing Burton 1-65 1 TD, D. Davis 6-56, Hopewell 2-38, Boyd 6-25, Bwenge 4-20, Bennett 3-11, King 3-10, Sprowles 3-7, Napier 2-2, Lewis 2-2, Johnson 1-0, Maragas 3-0, Barclay 1-(-4), Woodson 8-(-6), Logan 1-(-12). Note: rushing totals include one quarterback sack of Boyd and Maragas and two sacks of Woodson.

Passing Boyd 8-14-0, 140 yards, one TD; Woodson 3-10-1 42 yards; Landry 1-2-0, 8 yards; Barclay 1-3-0, 6 yards; Hamilton 0-2-0 0 yards; Maragas 1-2-0, -1 yard.

Receiving Holt 2-75 1 TD, Bwenge 2-12, Bennett 2-5, D. Davis 2-(-7), Burton 1-41, Parker 1-24, Mitchell 1-18, Hopewell 1-13, King 1-8, Drobney 1-6.

Punting Sucurovic 6-44.2 avg.

Field goals Begley 3 of 4 (31, 33, 40 good; 33 no good); Ruth 2 of 3 (28, 36 good; 40 no good)

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