Jags Look Good In First Scrimmage Of Spring Practice
Saturday morning the Jaguar football team held their first scrimmage of spring practice. Highlighting the scrimmage was Brandon Bridge with three touchdown passes and Xavier Johnson rushing for three more as well.
Bridge was 7-of-15 for 135 yards and also added 37 yards on the ground, including a four-yard touchdown run on his final carry of the scrimmage to total 172 yards of total offense.
Bridge found Shavarez Smith for a 40-yard touchdown about midway through the scrimmage. His final two completions of the scrimmage both went for touchdowns with a 23 yard pass to Braedon Bowman and a 22 yard pass to Smith again.
Johnson rushed 11 times for 44 yards to share the team lead for the Jaguars. He scored from distances of 2, 15 and 1 yard out. Berren Tyson also rushed for 44 yards on nine carries including a three yard touchdown on the final snap of the scrimmage. Terrance Timmons rushed for 38 yards on seven carries, Martavious Stewart added 37, Trey Fetner added 33 and Grant Powell added 28 on the day. Kendall Houston scored the first touchdown of the scrimmage on a two-yard run.
Fetner went 6-of-9 passing for 123 yards while Powell completed 5-of-8 passes for 52 yards.
Smith led the receivers with 62 yards receiving. Johnson added a catch for 40 yards and Jereme Jones caught a pass for 22 yards. Caleb Hayman also had a catch for 41 yards as well.
The Jaguar offense averaged nearly six yards per play and gained a total of 624 yards on the day.
The Jaguar defense held strong early and did not allow any points in the first seven drives until Aleem Sunanon hit a 35-yard field goal to end the shutout. The first-team defense was led by the trio of Terrell Brigham, Antonio Carter and Desmond LaVelle who each had five tackles. Carter intercepted a deflected pass which ended the offense’s opening possession. Theo Rich had two of the six sacks on the day.
On the second team defense, Raheem Robinson led with seven tackles while Nigel Green and Josh Carroll both had interceptions.
Zac Henry hit a 40-yard field goal during the scrimmage.
“Brandon made some big plays and he ran the ball well, he didn’t make many mistakes,” head coach Joey Jones said after the scrimmage. “I think he can make some better choices where he is throwing the ball at times, but overall I thought he had a good day.”
“Our defensive front is playing extremely well, especially our ones,” Jones continued. “When our twos get in you can definitely see a difference, so we have to develop some depth there. But our ones on defense look pretty good, they are flying to the football and having a good time.”
“I thought it was good, our guys have improved,” Jones stated. “We’ve gotten better over the last two weeks and eight practices, but if we don’t improve over the next two weeks we’re going to waste time. We’ve got to get better while we have pads on because in football the only time you can really improve is by being out there in full gear tackling.”
“If we can continue to get better it will be a good spring, but we have to finish strong.”
After a day off the Jaguars returned to the practice field on Monday with a practice lasting over two hours to begin the third week of spring drills.
The Jags used 45-minutes to work on fundamentals with the rest of practice devoted to mostly offense versus defense work. A 15-minute session of 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills occured before the final 40 minutes of practice beign devoted to team drills.
The first period of team drills worked on defensive blitzes and the second period focused on red zone drills. The final 32 plays of the practice were situational drills where the offense started at their own 20 yard line. Earlier in the practice, the offense practiced a situational drill facing 2nd-and-long, needing seven yards for the first.
As is a bit of the norm for the team, they open practice with some special teams work and end it with some special teams work. Likewise, they began with punting and ended with punt return.
“There was great energy today, sometimes you have a little lull when you come back from a scrimmage after that second week of practice of the spring but I thought it was great,” Jones said after the practice. “They brought it today and I am real proud of them. Offensively I thought Brandon had a great day throwing the ball, our receivers caught the ball well and ran real sharp routes. One thing we are struggling with a little bit is our snaps, they are all over the place at times, we have to fix that.”
“We could see we have a few guys who are starting to step up in a role where they can play,” Jones said concerning the film study after the first scrimmage. “Offensively we improved from week one, Clay Machen had a real good day and the line blocked well overall. Our ones played really, really well on defense, but we have to find some more depth.”
The team will have Tuesday off before returning to the practice fields on Wednesday. The annual spring game is slated for Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium beginning at 11am.