Eastern concludes its third week of practices with the Red-White Game as part of Killin Weekend at EWU
It’s the Red-White Game, but the blue-jerseyed quarterbacks will get a lot of the attention this Saturday (April 24).
Eastern Washington University concludes its third week of spring practices with the annual Red-White Game at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash., starting at 2 p.m. The scrimmage is free and open to the public as Eastern once again puts on display its five quarterbacks vying for the starting and backup jobs.
Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin and his coaching staff are hoping to split up teams into “Red” and “White” squads this week, and assign quarterbacks to each team. The quarterbacks will probably be wearing blue jerseys as they always do in practice to avoid excessive contact and the risk of injury.
Thus far, Southern Methodist University transfer Bo Levi Mitchell has stood out as the front-runner for the starting position, with junior Nick Gauthier and freshman redshirt Anthony Vitto splitting the remainder of snaps. They appear to be battling for the backup jobs on the depth chart along with the other two quarterbacks -- junior college transfer Greg Panelli and sophomore Scott Burgett.
In two spring scrimmages thus far, Mitchell has completed 21-of-29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns -- all to sophomore Nicholas Edwards -- with just one interception. Gauthier is 15-of-28 for 121 yards, Vitto is 10-of-14 for 152 yards, Panelli is 3-of-4 for 30 yards and Burgett has yet to play in a scrimmage. Besides Mitchell, no quarterback has thrown a touchdown pass and Gauthier and Vitto each have an interception.
Eastern’s offense has had 897 yards of offense in 136 plays, an average of 6.6 yards per play. Eastern has passed for 597 and rushed for 300, with junior Darriell Beaumonte rushing for 156 yards on just 11 carries (14.2 per carry). Junior Taiwan Jones, an All-American and 1,000-yard rusher a year ago, didn’t play in either scrimmage.
The quarterbacks have completed passes to plenty of targets, including wide receivers Brandon Kaufman (7 catches for 80 yards), Greg Herd (5-100), Ashton Clark (5-63), Tyler Hart (5-48) and Edwards (4-58).
The offensive outbursts have come at the expense of a fairly inexperienced defense missing several starters because of injuries or for precautionary reasons. Included in the players sitting out scrimmages thus far is All-America linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision a year ago with a season total of 170 tackles.
Interceptions have been recorded by Evan Cook, Paul Ena, J.C. Agen, and Shane Stagg, and Erich Armstrong has had two passes broken up thus far. Sacks have been credited to Jerry Ceja (two), Agen (two), Levi Reynolds and Will Katoa.
The defense’s leading tacklers through two scrimmages have been linebackers J.C. Agen with 15, Tyler Washburn with 11 and Paul Ena with nine. Chandler Gayton and Fialele Coffin have forced fumbles, and Bobby Gentry has a fumble recovery.
Returning kicker Michael Jarrett has booted five field goals, with a long of 40.
Remaining Practices: Practices take place various days through April 29. Most practices are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. (media interviews at approximately 3:45 p.m. or after practice at about 6 p.m.). All practices take place on the EWU Sports and Recreation Center practice fields.
April 20 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 21 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 24 - Red-White Spring Game, 2 p.m., Woodward Field
April 27 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 28 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 29 - Practice, 4 p.m.
Scrimmages: The annual Red-White Game will take place on Saturday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash., in conjunction with Killin Weekend at EWU.
Killin Dinner/Dance/Auction: Orland Killin Weekend, which is presented by the Michael Roos Foundation, includes the Coaches Golf Tournament on April 23 and the annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction following the Red-White Game on April 24. Besides the presence of former Eagle and Tennessee Titan Michael Roos, this year’s event features host Colin Cowherd, who is a former EWU student and is current an ESPN radio and TV personality. More information on Killin Weekend is available at: http://goeags.com/trads/ewas-killin.html and http://goeags.com/genrel/releases/10atFeb11ColinCowherd.