Saturday, March 25, 2006
Hard Rain: The South Valley Scrimmage
It was wet and cold down in Visalia. The rain never let up and if effected the performance on the field. There were very few offensive highlights, the defense dominated the scrimmage. Tom Brandstater, Sean Norton and Ryan Colburn shared snaps, but neither looked impressive in the wet weather. Norton, however, ran a few option plays, including one where he reversed field and ran away from the defense.
The rain was the main reason for the quarterbacks' average performance. The field conditions favored the defense, and hindered the offense's speed advantage. Dwayne Wright ran the first couple of plays from scrimmage and looked good. He did not have any breakaway runs, but was still the offense's best player. Andrew Jones surprised me with his speed, and Rich Owens held his own with a couple of good runs. Shannon Dorsey had an average day, again the weather could be attributed for the many lackluster performances.
Jason Crawley has been showing flashes of brillance all spring, and just might be the most gifted wide receiver on the team. Not to take anything away from the "freak" Paul Williams, but Crawley made a "freakish" catch over the middle before getting creamed by Dwayne Andrews. The PA announcer called out for Pat Hill to call the trainer, but Crawley got up and shook it off.
The rain eliminated the long ball, but Bear Pascoe showed great hands in the short passing game. Pascoe has distanced himself from Drew Lubinsky and Isaac Kinter in the underrated tight end race.
Defensively, Tyler Clutts has gotten quicker, evident by his ability to corral Norton. Jason Shirley and Andrews continue to make the middle of the defense tough to run against. Louis Leonard missed today's scrimmage, but along with Shirley there is not a better pair of defensive tackles in the WAC. Vincent Mays showed why he was a four star recruit out of high school. His interception near the goal line was amazing display of talent.
Seyi Ajirotutu got injured in a routine pile up, but was able to walk it off. His status was unknown, but it looks serious enough that if might keep him out of the rest of spring ball. Linebacker Ryan McKinely didn't participate in the scrimmage while nursing an injury.
The elements might have put a damper on the heated quarterback battle, but it will pick up at the Spring Game April 1 at Bulldog Stadium.
Offensive MVP- Bear Pascoe and Dwayne Wright
Defensive MVP- Vincent Mays