Day 5 - morning practice

The Trojans practiced in shorts and shoulder pads in anticipation of the scrimmage tomorrow which will be held in front of Trojan Football Alumni who have been invited by Pete Carroll to watch practice and attend a BBQ afterwards.

A drill on Brian Kennedy Field got started with Matt Cassel hitting Gregg Guenther and he got extra yardage when Doyal Butler put a crushing block on Mike Ross. Hershel Dennis took a screen from Matt Leinart for 3 yards and then Sultan McCullough went up the middle and took a solid hit from Lee Webb for no gain. Dennis showed his patented cutback moves when he headed on a sweep and then cut inside a perfect hole formed between Matua and Eaves for a 12 yard gain, when Hershel got back to the huddle Kennedy Pola was there to meet him with several hand slaps. Darryl Poston followed with some nifty running of his own and his scissor moves are as good as any back we have. Dennis then took a handoff headed up the middle with Jay Bottom right in front of him but Hershel stopped on a dime and put a spin move that left Bottom grasping for air and he gained 3 yards. It was move that drew oohs and aahs from the crowd.

Brandon Hance was doing some light throwing early in the practice, the first time we've seen him throw the football since his shoulder surgery.

An 11 on 11 drill on Howard Jones Field began with Carson hitting Kareem on a slant against Rideaux for eight yards. The good news for Trojan fans is that Bernard Riley and Melvin Simmons both got extended action today, it was particularly good to see Bernard moving so well but you can be sure the coaches are going to proceed with caution over the next few weeks and not overwork him. Carson hit Hancock who got 3 yards before an Arbet tackle drove him out of bounds. Carson then eluded Arbet on a blitz and dumped a pass to Sunny Byrd before a Simmons tackle. Carson then dropped back with good time and showed terrific touch as he waited for Hancock to get past Aaron Graham in the flat and CP lofted a perfect pass for a 27 yard pick-up. Cassel came in and hit Sunny Byrd for 5 yards against Graham. Cassel then threw perhaps his best ball of the day with a pass that flew 50 yards in the air and landed in the arms of Colbert but Ronald Nunn was able to strip the ball as Keary was trying to put it away. The next play was a tough one for Justin Fargas as Carson dropped back to pass and Justin went to pick up Arbet on a blitz but the collision with Arbet sent him back a little and Grootegoed was coming from the other side in pursuit of Carson and just ran smack into Justin knocking him flat on his back. Carson tried to hit Kareem but Kelly slipped and fell as the ball was in the air. Matt Leinart stepped in at QB and threw low to Guenther but the big tight end went to the ground to make the play, he had open field and could've went for good yardage but got six on the play. Leinart had plenty of time to hit Mattos for eight yards thanks to a good job by Poston of picking up the blitzing Ross. Leinart dropped back and again had a nice pocket with a good block by Matua on Mike Patterson and the pass was completed to Jason Mitchell for good yardage, including a terrific cut move by Mitchell in the secondary. Leinart then had to scramble and went out of bounds even though Hershel Dennis put a good block on Anthony Daye in the backfield that put Daye on his butt. The team then took a water break.

Carson tried to hit Mitchell but Arbet almost got the pick. Carson completed a screen to Sunny Byrd with Simmons getting the tackle after 3 yards. Carson rolled and rolled until he ran out of time and Kenechi Udeze was able to get the sack. Cassel threw another beautiful long pass to Colbert but the official ruled that Keary landed out of bounds with the pass. Riley came in for a sack on Cassel. Palmer completed a screen to Fargas who waited for the Norm Katnik block and rambled for 17 yards. Malaefou took a snap but Shaun Cody was there to meet him right away for the one yard loss. Sultan was on the training table getting ice for his left hamstring and he will be taking steps to see a hamstring specialist this weekend. Carson completed a pass to Kareem for 10 yards. Fargas went up the middle but Cody was right there for no gain. Carson went on a QB bootleg and was able to get outside Grootegoed and turn the corner, Carroll had a talk with Groots after the play to discuss his assignment. Carson's pass to Mike Williams was incomplete. David Davis came on and hit a 35 yard field goal. Carson threw to Poston quickly over the middle and he was met by a sandwich tackle between Bernard Riley and Mike Patterson. Cassel completed a short pass to Kelly against Wyatt before another incomplete pass forced a Davis field goal attempt from 40 yards which was wide left.

Hershel took a handoff to the right but Spencer Torgan beat Kyle Williams to force the play inside where Jay Bottom quickly made the tackle. Leinart hit Alex Holmes who turned up field and bounced off a tackle attempt by Sandy Fletcher for 15 yards. Dennis took a handoff and was driven out of bounds by Oscar Lua. Poston took a handoff and was tackled by Lua. Leinart then took off on a scramble to the left, came back to the right and then tried to throw behind his body over the middle. It was an ill-advised pass that should've been picked by #44 on defense (not sure which walk-on that is). David Davis hit a 25 yard field goal. Carson thew to Hancock in the flat and he did a terrific job of catching the ball out in front with his hands before shaking a tackle from Groots for a short gain. Carson dropped back and got a good block from Malaefou on Kenechi Udeze which gave CP time to hit Hancock again, this time for 7 yards and a first down. Fargas took a handoff but was hit right away by Riley for a one yard loss. Omar Nazel got the sack on Palmer and then Carson came right back with a screen to Fargas who got a terrific open field block from Matua on his way to a touchdown run. Cassel came in and scrambled before sliding under the tackle of Webb. Poston was brought down by Sartz after a one yard run and then Cassel missed on a deep slant to Williams. David Davis missed a 38 yard field goal and then made his 2nd attempt to end the day.

Trojan verbal Rob Lewis from Montclair Prep was at practice. There were also 15 Long Beach Poly players in attendance today including DL Kevin Brown, LB Mark Washington, junior WR Derrick Jones, OL Hercules Satele, OL Charles Owens, RB Lorenzo Bursey and freshman WR Terrance Austin. Terrance will be the first freshman ever to begin the season on the Poly varsity team and he is a terrific athlete who took 3rd place in the Junior Olympics for the decathlon.


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