Spring Game gives ACU chance to see QBs
Clark Harrell and Mitchell Gale got a chance to show off at the Abilene Christian football team's annual Purple and White Spring Game.
Harrell, who'll be a junior in the fall, completed 7-of-15 passes for 76 yards and one interception. Gale, a redshirt freshman in the fall, completed 10-of-22 passes for 124 yards, including the only two touchdowns of Saturday's controlled scrimmage at Shotwell Stadium.
"All spring, I was proud of the quarterbacks," ACU coach Chris Thomsen said. "They've made a lot of progress. Clark and Mitchell both have come a long way in their development."
Both quarterbacks are competing for the starting job after the departure of Billy Malone. Malone, the Lone Star Conference's all-time leading passer, started all four years for the Wildcats. Cooper graduate Zach Stewart would appear to have a leg up on the starting job, after starting and winning two games last season as a freshman while Malone nursed an injured thumb. Stewart had an impressive 350-yard, three-touchdown performance against Texas A&M-Kingsville to clinch the LSC South title.
But Stewart underwent shoulder surgery on his throwing arm after the season, and Thomsen said the starting job was wide open.
The Wildcats also are e without running back Bernard Scott, named the best player in Division II as a senior and the team's all-time leading rusher. Kyle Fox and Reggie Brown should bolster the running game, along with returnee Patrick Washington. Fox hasn't played since his freshman year at Angelo State because of grades. Brown led the Southwest Junior College Football Conference last year with 1,278 yards and 10 touchdowns playing for Blinn College.
The Wildcats also have several big holes to fill at receiver, with the loss of five seniors, including standouts Johnny Knox and Jonathan Ferguson. Edmund Gates, who had a big season last fall, should be a steady, reliable returnee, but the rest of the spots appear to be up for grabs.
"We've got some inexperience there, just because we had five seniors graduate," Thomsen said. "It's not anything I was displeased with, but that's an area that's got to come along quickly from an experience standpoint."
Wind ends up winning WT spring game
West Texas A&M and coach Don Carthel have spent the past three years building the reputation of owning one of Division II's most prolific offenses.
Mother Nature changed all that Saturday morning.
Defense - and wind only a kite could love - stole the show during WT's Maroon-White spring game as the Maroon scored on two interception returns for touchdowns winning 14-7 before about 500 devoted fans sitting in brutal wind conditions at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.
"Days like this are when the defense needs to step up and make some plays," said WT defensive coordinator Colby Carthel. "The Maroon defense did just that."
Junior quarterback Taylor Harris has been projected as the starter for next fall. Harris played in only the first quarter completing 7-of-15 passes for 68 yards. He was involved in a 16-play drive. WT offensive coordinator Scott Parr said since Harris has been with the Buffs for three years he "has taken plenty of snaps and we are confident in him. It's difficult to assess your offense during a spring scrimmage because your (starting) unit is divided into two teams. Taylor is ready to lead this ballclub."
Eskridge tosses four TDs in Maroon-Gold Game
If Saturday’s performance by Gold quarterback Zack Eskridge was any indication of what Midwestern State fans will see in the future, expect some big things from the junior-to-be and the Mustangs in the fall.
Eskridge completed 16 of 20 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns as the Gold came away with a 33-21 win in the annual Maroon-Gold game at the MSU practice field.
The intrasquad game marks the end of the Mustangs’ spring practice.
MSU head coach Bill Maskill liked most of what he saw on the afternoon.
“The energy was there. The enthusiasm was there. And that was from both teams,” he said. “The Gold was a little more consistent (offensively), while the Maroon used a few more big plays. The only thing I didn’t like was the penalties. It went pretty much the way I thought it would go. This has been a good 15 days of practice.
“We were probably shy getting the red team (Maroon) as many snaps as the other team, but we still came pretty close to our goal of 120 snaps (105). Now we’ll look at it on tape tomorrow, evaluate it and see where we are.”
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