Saturday scrimmage recap

The Trojans held their final spring ball practice session for 2007 and they left fans with plenty of good feelings thanks to a solid scrimmage that featured several big plays on the offensive side of the ball.

John David Booty saw limited action and Mark Sanchez took advantage of his extended opportunity with a pair of touchdown throws. The leading ground-gainer was Stanley Havili with over 100 rushing yards, including a touchdown, while Travon Patterson had over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns (one pass reception, one punt return).

On the defensive side of the ball, Thomas Williams led the way with four tackles and an interception. David Buehler made all five extra point attempts but missed a long field goal attempt.

The scrimmage started with the first offense going against the first defense:

O – Booty, Washington, Turner, Patterson, Davis, Miller, Baker, Malu, Howell, Rachal, Radovich

D – Jackson, Parsons, Ellis, Moore, T Williams, Maualuga, Rivers, C Harris, Wright, McWhorter, Mays

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the first drive, Chauncey Washington wasted no time in setting the tone on a hard run up the middle where he ran over Chase McWhorter on a tackle attempt, 12 yard gain. The defense had a sack. Booty threw to Turner on the sideline with Shareece Wright coming up to make a solid tackle. One sideline observer commented "How come whenever Wright makes a tackle it's always a big hit?" On 3rd and short, Booty went behind Malu on a sneak for the first down. Parsons tackled Hershel Dennis at the line of scrimmage, no gain. A Chauncey run was stopped by Maualuga and Mays. Cary Harris dropped what should have been a pick while his high school coach Kevin Rooney watched from the sidelines.

On the first play of his series, Sanchez rolled right and tried to throw but Gerald Washington got a paw up and tipped the ball in the air before it landed in the arms of Thomas Williams.

On the first play, Booty hit Fred Davis down the middle for a 21 yard touchdown.

Dennis got things going on the next series when he headed left, put a juke move on Jim Abbott, and ran for 24 yards before being knocked to the ground. Chauncey took a handoff to the right and after three yards he was met head up by Thomas Williams in one of the more physical mano-a-mano hits you will see, Williams impressively wrestled Chauncey to the ground as his defensive teammates arrived to finish off the play. Chauncey then came back on the next play and showed some nimble footwork as he did a little shake and bake to lose Alex Morrow before gaining eight yards and a first down. Sanchez threw a quick pass to Hershel who raced down the left sideline before being taken out of bounds on a hard hit from Abbott after a 14 yard gain. Hershel came up with a slight limp and did not return for the rest of the day but he was walking around after the scrimmage with no limp and he said he was fine. Sanchez missed Ausberry deep on the next play and he had time to throw thanks to a nice blitz pick-up by Chauncey on Alfred Rowe. With the ball inside the ten, Chauncey ran to the left on back to back carries and he scored on the second effort.

Turner provided a highlight play on the first play of the following series when he took a quick hitch from Booty and began sprinting down the sideline with an element of speed that caught many sideline watchers by surprise, Maualuga tracked Patrick down after 52 yards. Booty was under pressure and threw an awkward pass into the flat for Patterson that was knocked away by Cary Harris. Chauncey scored on the second drive in a row when he took a handoff and weaved 16 yards into the end zone.

Sanchez came in and hit Dale Thompson in the right flat for a short gain with Rowe coming up to make the tackle. Sanchez rolled left and had Jimmy Miller open but he overthrew him. Drew Radovich was getting a look at center during this series. Sanchez hit Brad Walker with a 21 yard pass and then he hit Ausberry on a slant where David was able to break the tackle attempt from Omari Crittenden and go for 17 yards. Sanchez completed a short pass to Havili but on the next play Havili fumbled on a carry with the ball being recovered by Nick Garratt.

Kyle Moore had a sack. Sanchez threw a short pass to Havili that went for six yards before a Kaluka Maiava tackle. Sanchez threw a pass on a slant to Patterson that was dropped, Alfred Rowe was right there to lay a big hit as soon as the ball was missed and Thomas Williams did a nice dance in celebration of the Rowe pop.

Sanchez opened the next series by hitting Fred Davis for a 15 yard gain. The next play was impressive for both Travon and Taylor Mays, Sanchez hit Travon with a short pass and Travon was able to use his burst of speed to get into the secondary where it looked like he was going to race for a 75 yard score but Mays was able to catch him from behind and make the tackle at the 13 yard line and hold it to a 62 yard gain. For those who have seen the size of Mays lately, it's easy to understand how amazing it was to see him in pursuit of the speedy Patterson and to eventually track him down. Sanchez rolled right and threw a great pass in traffic to Turner who made the touchdown grab.

Havili took a handoff for eight yards. Booty tried to hit Travon on an out pattern but the ball was dropped and Thomas Williams was there to verbally remind Travon that he is on the team to catch the ball. After the series stalled, the punt team came on and Travon reminded Williams of another reason he is on the team when he returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown.

Sanchez marched the team down the field in two plays with a pair of real good throws to Travon Patterson. On the first play he had a long time to stand in the pocket before calmly firing down the middle for Patterson inside the 20 with a tackle by Mays after a 35 yard pick-up. With the ball at the 17, Sanchez looked again for #17 Patterson on the next play and Mark threw an absolute rope to get it between the defenders and Travon made the catch for the touchdown.

Garrett Green got the final series started by hitting Ausberry with a pass play that gained extra yardage thanks to a huge block by Sean Calcagnie on Brent Yoshida. A Havili run went for eight yards and then Green missed Calcagnie deep on a pass. Havili had perhaps the play of the day when he took a handoff and ran through many tackle attempts in the middle of the defense before finally being dragged down by four defenders after a 40 yard gain. It was the kind of run that brought genuine applause from the sidelines. Duron Sylvester came in at quarterback and immediately tried to hit Ausberry deep but the ball was overthrown. As if Havili hadn't shown enough just two plays earlier, he took a handoff to the right and got past the line of scrimmage before hurdling would-be tackler Yoshida and gaining eight yards. Today was a great opportunity to Havili to shine and show the coaches how far he has come and he took full advantage. On the next play Stanley ran three yards into the end zone and that was the final play of the 2007 spring ball session for the Trojans.

Among those in attendance were Kris O'Dowd, Maurice Simmons, LB Brendan Beal, WR Brice Butler and DE Ethan Johnson.

Don't forget the Trojan Rewind show this week on FSN Prime Ticket featuring highlights from the Trojan Huddle scrimmage. Here are the air dates:

Tuesday 4/17 10:00pm
Wednesday 4/18 10:00pm
Sunday 4/22 4:00pm
Thursday 4/26 2:30pm
Saturday 4/28 4:00pm & 10:30pm
Monday 4/30 4:00pm


USCFootball.com Top Stories