Friday Practice Report

Friday's practice session, although conducted in shells, produced some big hits and spirited contact as the team prepared for the first scrimmage of the spring.

Under cloudy and threatening skies, the Mountaineer football team completed the first third of of spring drills with their fifth practice overall. The Mountaineers began the session with work on punt protection and kickoff returns. The punt team worked on their protection schemes, while the kickoff return team concentrated on first level blocking assignments. Among those returning kickoffs were Cassell Smith, Jason Colson, Bryan Wright and Adam Jones. Travis Garvin again drew punt return duties.

A great deal of practice was devoted to the passing game, with every receiving position getting plenty of work. Running backs, tight ends and wide receivers worked on their routes both individually, in team drills, and against eight defenders. Rayshawn Bolden again had a couple of nice catches, and Miquelle Henderson showed some excellent moves on runs after catching the ball.

Travis Garvin also continued to run sharp routes and catch the ball well. Transfer Milo Austin also got a great deal of work at wide receiver after switching over from the defenisve back position he played at Salisbury State.

In the big hit department, running back Hikee Johnson had a great block on defensive lineman Fred Blueford, and wide receiver Nathan Forse cleaned up Mo Howard to spring Travis Garvin for a big gain on a reverse.

Rasheed Marshall looked sharp during the majority of the passing drills, as he continues to maintain a strnaglehold on the number one quarterback position. Brian King had a pass breakup and Lance Frazier an interception during a brief 11 on 11 session at the end of practice.

The offensive line continued to work on their individual techniques, and are using weighted bags in one drill to help with their "punch" or initial hits. The line now holds the weighted bags in both hands while working on their punch motion.

The offense worked on short yardage plays, and Quicny Wilson was again the star, scoring a couple of touchdowns on powerful runs and nifty cutbacks.

Practice concluded with the offense working on the two minute drill. The defense came out on top on several series, but Brad Cooper kicked a field goal to cap off one successful drive.

On the injury front, Aaron Neal and John Scott again missed practice. Neal has an ankle injury and Scott is battling a balky hamstring. On a positive note, the results of offensive guard Jeff Berk's MRI were negative. Berk's knee injury was diagnosed as a sprain, and although eh has some fluid on the knee he could return to practice in 1-2 weeks.


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