Courtesy of Weber State Athletics
Weber Stateâ€™s annual Purple and White Intra-Squad game ended up being more of a â€œBlack and Blueâ€ scrimmage, Saturday afternoon in Stewart Stadium.
Missing three starters on the offensive line, and with only five available offensive linemen for the entire game, the Wildcats struggled at times to move the ball against a defense which had a few MIAâ€™s of its own, but in the end each side has some solid performances.
Veteran quarterback Cameron Higgins (6-2, 215 Sr 0 Hawaiâ€™i Kai, Hawaiâ€™i.) got enough protection to complete 9-16 passes for 102 yards but did not have a touchdown pass. Backups Mike Hoke (6-2, 215 Soph. - Kailua, Hawaiâ€™i), Jordan Adamczyk (6-2, 210 RsFr.) - Canyon Country, California) and Spencer Young (6-2, 205 Fr. - Salt Lake City, Utah)) were a combined 4-13 passing.
Young, a former Olympus High star who walked on this Spring after returning from an LDS Church mission, marched the Wildcats 65 yards in 10 plays for the first offensive score of the afternoon. Trent Thornley (5-11, 205 Soph. RB) a walk-on from West Side High in Dayton, Idaho, scored on a two-yard run.
The other touchdown came on a 45-yard jaunt from red-shirt freshman running back Josh Booker (6-0, 200 -Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). Booker ended the afternoon with 11 carries for 103 yards.
â€œThe quarterbacks played well but we had way too many easy dropped balls from our receivers,â€ said WSU head coach, Ron McBride who is entering his sixth season for the Wildcats. â€œI did like Joel Hancock (6-4, 205 Soph. - Ogden, Utah) He made a couple of nice catches and is making a great strides. Itâ€™s not often you move a quarterback to wide receiver but heâ€™s done a nice job.â€
Hancock had two catches for 16 yards, but both resulted in first downs for the offense. Jordan Clemente (6-4, 215 RsFr. - Tooele, Utah) was the leading receiver with three catches for 33 yards.
Defensively, the Purple team stopped the offense, twice, inside the red-zone. The first came on an interception by Blake Keller (6-2, 210 Jr. - Salt Lake City, Utah) in the end zone of a Cameron Higgins pass. The second time Tony Epperson (6-4, 215 RsFr. - Park Cityl Utah) pounced on a fumbled snap to stop the drive inside the 15-yard line.
â€œDefensively we have had a bunch of our red-shirt freshmen and new players step up and become contenders,â€ said McBride. â€œI thought Anthony Morales (6-0, 225 RsFr. - Edmond, Oklahoma) played well and Mo Neal (6-2, 235 Jr. - Oakland, California), a transfer from Utah is a special cat. He knows how to hit and drive players backwards. Trevor Percher (6-2, 240 Soph. - Edmond, Oklahoma) also gave us a boost along the defensive line today as well.â€
The offense played without starting guards Tim Farabee (6-5, 290 Jr.-St. George, Utah), J.C. Oram (6-4, 300 Jr. - Slaterville, Utah) and starting left tackle Caleb Turner (6-4, 280 Jr. - Redlands, California). Farabee and Turner had off-season shoulder surgery while Oram is concentrating on his academics during Spring semester.
â€œThose three will obviously make a big difference in our protection next Fall,â€ said McBride. â€œWe didnâ€™t have Mike Phillips, Joe Collins, Quaid Morris, Matt Miller and Kaman Kaimikaua as receivers either today because of injuries. I wish we could have had them playing, but on the other hand our younger players have had a great opportunity this Spring to get valuable repetitions which will help our depth next Fall.â€
Weber State football starts back up on Thursday, August 5th with MEDIA / PICTURE DAY. The season opener is set for Saturday, September 4 at Boston College.