On Saturday evening, the Wofford College football team completed the second scrimmage of the preseason. During the two-hour scrimmage, both the offense and defense came up with big plays as over 100 plays total were run.
“It was a really spirited scrimmage and I saw a lot of good things,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “Of course there were some bad things that went with it. I saw a lot of intensity and saw a lot of young kids show some stuff. The good thing about it was neither side dominated. We had big plays offensively and big plays defensively. I think we are getting better and we are getting more consistent and bottom line that is what we need. We have good players and they want to play hard and they are going to do the best they can do for us. I am pleased, but we still have a long ways to go. In the kicking game there are some phases that we need to iron out. It is a positive step forward and hopefully we can continue to make those steps forward.”
On the first drive led by Mitch Allen, Eric Breitenstein had a first down run to start things off. After a pass break-up by Mike McCrimon, Allen had a 20-yard run and a 13-yard touchdown run. All three kickers made two PATs each after the touchdown.
Allen began the second drive as well, but the defense came up with an interception of a halfback pass by Andrew Gehring. Donovan Johnson came up with a 35-yard run for a first down and added a 16-yard gain. After a first down run by Bryan Youman, James Zotto forced a fumble in the backfield.
Brian Kass was under center for the third series of plays and broke down the sideline with a 45-yard run. Willie Favors came into the game with the offense in the red zone, but the defense held and kickers Christian Reed, Landon Bennett and Kasey Redfern each hit 37-yard field goals.
The fourth series continued with Favors at quarterback and Alex Dunmire ran for a 25-yard gain. Ryan Petrea added a first down reception, but the defense then stopped a halfback pass play. Anthony Carden added a sack of Chris White for the defense, setting up more field goals. All three kickers were good from 32 and 42 yards, while Reed was the only one to hit from 37-yards.
After work on kickoffs, Chris White was at quarterback for the fifth series. Clark Gaston made two big first down runs, however Blake Wyllie intercepted a pitch and ran it back 40-yards for the touchdown. The offense responded as White found Brenton Bersin in the endzone for a spectacular 30-yard touchdown reception.
During the sixth series, Lavadrick Farrar and Arsenio Parks picked up first downs with Chris White under center. Brian Kass took over and Bryan Youman had a 15-yard run which was followed by a 26-yard reception by Brenton Bersin on the near sideline. Donovan Johnson added two more first down runs before the defense stopped the offense on fourth-and-goal with Mitch Allen at quarterback.
During the final series of the night, Willie Favors was under center and Andrew Young caught a first down pass. Blake Wyllie had a tackle for loss and James Zotto grabbed a deflected pass for an interception.
“It was really back and forth and it was interesting how they responded,” said Ayers. “The defense would make a play and then the offense would respond with a drive and score some points. The defense was opportunistic – any ball that went up in the air and was deflected they were around it and making plays. I am really pleased with some of the young kids, whether receivers, tight ends, fullback, quarterbacks, we have some young kids like James Zotto who made a big play and showed his athleticism. We are excited about the group. The biggest thing that excites me is the attitude of the kids and the way they come to work. They want to be good and what we have to do is do a great job of coaching them and giving them every opportunity to be successful.”
Overall, approximately twelve players did not participate in the full contact scrimmage due to injury. During play, tight end Mike Crawford suffered a knee injury and quarterback Brian Kass left the field with a cut chin following a hit.
The team will take Sunday off and return to the field for two practices on Monday. The 2010 season begins with a road trip on September 4 to face Ohio University.