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First Monmouth Scrimmage In The Books
Balanced offense shines in first intrasquad scrimmage
An efficient and balanced offensive performance highlighted the Monmouth University football team’s first intrasquad scrimmage of the 2010 preseason on Saturday afternoon at Kessler Field.
“I was really happy how clean it was. Our efficiency all over the field was pretty good,” said head coach Kevin Callahan. “We played without many penalties, which is something we are always concerned about in the first scrimmage with referees. The offense had several extended play drives, we were able to move the ball and anytime you can win the ball possession battle you have a chance to win.”
The offense, which did not commit a turnover in the game, scored three touchdowns and converted a pair of long field goals in the scrimmage. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Kyle Frazier (Gaithersburg, Md. /Damascus) went 11-for-15 passing for 104 yards, including a perfect 4-for-4 on the first drive of the game, highlighted by a 17-yard pass to tight end Tyler George (Berkley Heights, N.J. /Governor Livingston). Freshman wide receiver Mitchell Pollard (Silver Spring, Md. /Springbrook) ended the initial drive in style, scoring on a run from 10 yards out on the next play to cap a nine-play, 68-yard drive jaunt. On the drive, the offense gained 35 passing yards and 33 rushing yards.
“Mitchell is doing a terrific job. His ability to pick up the offense in a short period of time has impressed us,” said Callahan. “He has the athletic ability to make big plays, he is someone who is going to play a lot of football for us this year.”
Running back Balial Sloan El (Pennsauken, N.J. /Roman Catholic (Pa.)), who had four carries for 23 yards on the first drive, led the offense with 12 runs for 52 yards. Sloan El was the only Hawk running back who is game tested, as Bobby Giles and L.J. Caprio were held out with precautionary injuries.
“As a whole I think everyone did really well today. We moved the ball and scored some touchdowns,” said Frazier. “The offensive line played really well, giving the QBs time and making holes for the running backs. That opening drive was huge because it set the tone for the whole scrimmage. Balial ran the ball real well and the o-line gave me time to hit the receivers for some big plays.”
Quarterback Andrew Mandeville (Hazlet, N.J. /Raritan) completed three passes to Darvin Henderson (Ewing, N.J. /Ewing) on his first drive, but the defense held and kicker Jarrod Goodarz (Hamilton, N.J. /Steinert) drilled a 44-yard field goal for the offense.
On the third drive the defense, which was without many key players due to minor injuries, held the offense to a three-and-out. On the next drive, Frazier found Pollard on a third-and-five for a 34-yard completion down the middle of the field. A diving catch by receiver Matt Plautz (Harmony, Pa. /Seneca) then set up a first-and-goal from the nine-yard line. However, the defense held and stopped the offense on a fourth-and-goal from the one as Dave Ogden (Wayne, N.J. /Wayne Hills) and Don Brooks (Newark, Del. /Caravel Academy) made their way through the line and brought down the ball carrier.
Other highlights include freshman kicker Eric Spillane (Howell, N.J. /Colts Neck) connected on a 37-yard field goal and senior punter Jack Daniels (Franklin Lakes, N.J. /Don Bosco Prep), who had a great afternoon averaging 45 yards per kick, sent a 39-yard punt to the four-yard line.
Mandeville, who ran for 40 yards on four carries, had a 21-yard quarterback keeper. Later on that same drive, Mandeville linked up with Pollard for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Mandeville, who was 8-for-11 passing for 89 yards, also found Ryan Folsom (Somerdale, N.J. /Triton Regional) for 32 yards down the right sideline.
Quarterback Craig Peterson (Manalapan, N.J. /Manalapan) had a 17-yard quarterback scramble and then on the same drive, Peterson found Henderson in the corner of the end zone for the score.
Near the end of the scrimmage, Pollard caught a six-yard pass over the middle, and hung on after getting drilled by Kendall Haley (Olney, Md. /Good Counsel). Then on the next play, the All-NEC preseason safety selection blasted Tyler Verga, forcing a fourth down.
“It felt good to get on the field after missing all of spring ball so getting back in there today was exciting,” said Haley. “I was definitely pumped up. I thought the defense played decent, we started a little slow and gave up two touchdowns on big plays early. We need to come out next week and next scrimmage, wrap up on tackles and hit our assignments and we should be good.”
Pollard led the receiving corps with four grabs for 72 yards and a score. Freshman Lamar Davenport (Asbury Park, N.J. /Asbury Park Press) had four catches for 39 yards while Folson hauled in three passes for 41 yards. Henderson had three catches for 28 yards and a score, while fifth-year senior Chris Hogan (Wyckoff, N.J. /Ramapo [Penn State]) had three grabs for 20 yards.
“I’d say our defensive play was fair, we’ve had some better days throughout preseason camp,” said Callahan. “We didn’t play with the same energy as we have on other days and that is something we just can’t have. We need to do a better job of tackling and putting pressure on the quarterback.”
Brooks the defense with six stops, while John Lockwood (Springfield, Va. /West Springfield), Dan Sullivan (Manasquan, N.J. /Manasquan) and Mike Upham (Clifton, Va. /Centreville) each contributed five tackles apiece.
The Hawks wrap-up the 2010 preseason with their final intrasquad scrimmage on Friday at 3:00 pm at Kessler Field. MU begins the 2010 regular season on Saturday, September 4 at Colgate at 6:00 pm.
By Monmouth University Sports Information