While the QBs and WRs worked on route combinations, the defense battled the scout team. Jeremiah Allison had an interception early on, albeit on throw from scout receiver Erik Anderson. However, that was just the beginning. Logan Tago split through the O-line twice to get tackles for loss. Also, per the usual, Shalom Luani (pictured above) had a big hit on a receiver.
“Tago is exciting to watch, he’s a little raw, but he sees the ball and goes. There isn’t a lot of indecision on his part,” coach Roy Manning said. I couldn’t find Isaac Dotson during Wednesday’s practice, so Parker Henry filled the nickel spot on most snaps. Tago also received a sizable number of snaps with the first team defense. Marcellus Pippins and Charleston White split reps with the 1s, and Darrien Molton took all the reps opposite those two. Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan also split reps, but Palacio appeared to get more reps with the 1s. “Both [Palacio and McLennan] give us a lot of speed, which is very important when playing these running teams,” Manning said. “They’re both seniors, I expect both guys to have their best years.”
Once the scout defense joined the offense, there weren’t a lot of highlights (in the beginning) for the offense. The scout D did have a nice highlight when Skyler Cracraft picked off Luke Falk.
Later, the team split back up into offense and defense. The scout O struggled, but against the Cougar D that isn’t too surprising. White, Pippins and Luani each had an interception. Pat Porter had two interceptions, one that just floated to him, but the second one he really attacked. Pippins’ interception was one of the most incredible plays I’ve ever seen. Luani was helping on the coverage and missed the interception, and somehow Pippins found the ball just as it passed his helmet. For the offense, Falk did a great job reading the defense; he was patient and took what the defense was giving him. He recovered well after throwing the INT to Cracraft.
To end practice, the Cougars had team time. The second team offense and the defense battled for a handful of reps. Peyton Bender looked a lot better than past practices. He was patient, confident and hit Keith Harrington and Tavares Martin Jr. for big gains. Also, Peyton Pelluer laid a huge hit on Jamal Morrow that made him drop the ball.
Then it was scouts vs. the 1s. For the offense, Falk had a two nice touchdown throws to John Thompson and River Cracraft, but he did throw another interception as Taylor Comfort stepped in front of the pass. Bender also saw some reps with the first team offense.
The defense continued their turnover bonanza as Taylor Taliulu and White had interceptions. On the plays he was at nickel back, Henry played well and had a nice tackle for loss. Darius Lemora saw a few snaps with Dotson out, and Tago also got some reps in. Treshon Broughton even saw a handful of snaps at nickel back.
“We have confidence in all our guys. We don’t have any ones, whoever is in there, the expectation is they do their job,” Manning said. “I can throw just about any of our guys out there, and I know that they’ll get the job done.” The Cougars will have their final full practice with Thursday Night Football. The team has their normal walk-through Friday.
QB: Luke Falk
RB: Gerard Wicks
LT: Joe Dahl
LG: Gunnar Eklund
C: Riley Sorenson
RG: Eduardo Middleton
RT: Cole Madison
X: Dom Williams
Y: River Cracraft
Z: Gabe Marks
H: Robert Lewis
DE: Darryl Paulo
NT: Robert Barber
DT: Destiny Vaeao
Rush LB –Ivan McLennan
WIL LB – Jeremiah Allison
MIKE LB – Peyton Pelluer
NICKEL CB: Parker Henry / Logan Tago
CB: Darrien Molton
CB: Charleston White / Marcellus Pippins
SS: Taylor Taliulu
FS: Shalom Luani