Receiver Greg Herd has big day as Eagles hold final scrimmage of spring practices
The game wasn’t much of a game as three different quarterbacks directed touchdown drives to help the Red shut-out the White 20-0 in the annual Red-White Game Saturday (April 24) at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.
The Red had a 276-157 advantage in total offense and also recorded nine quick-whistle sacks as the Eagles concluded their third week of spring practices. Eastern still has three more practice days to go, but Saturday’s game was a competitive switch from recent Red-White games which have essentially been controlled scrimmages.
“We had a little fun with it,” explained head coach Beau Baldwin. “I split up the coaching staff and then went back and forth picking by positions. There was some strategy -- it wasn’t just random.”
“I worried about some of the sloppiness whenever you break-up units,” he explained. “Early on there was a little bit of that. But on the positive side, what we got out of it was a competitiveness that we haven’t had here with the spring game. When you just play offense versus defense it feels like a glorified practice. But since Wednesday, when we announced the teams, they were excited and jacked-up to play a game. That part of it I love.”
The Red opened the scrimmage with a 61-yard pass play from junior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to sophomore receiver Greg Herd. Mitchell capped the three-play, 70-yard drive with an 8-yard scoring run.
Herd had a hand in both of the Red’s other two touchdowns, catching a 26-yard touchdown pass from junior Greg Panelli to cap a nine-play, 90-yad drive, and then throwing a 20-yard TD to Zack Gehring late in the game. The quarterback on that drive was directed by Scott Burgett, who led the team on the 11-play, 75-yard drive.
In all, EWU’s five quarterbacks were a combined 18-of-37 for 259 yards as EWU seeks to replace two-time Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year Matt Nichols. Mitchell, who finished 3-of-7 for a game-high 78 yards, came to Eastern this spring from Southern Methodist University where he started all 19 of the games he played.
“We still have three more days of spring practice, but if we were to play tomorrow, Bo would be our starter,” Baldwin said. “We’ll let the last three practices play themselves out. But we definitely plan in going into the off-season with a starter named. Bo already has been playing with the ones (starters) during every practice.”
Four returning starters from EWU’s 2009 team sat out the scrimmage, including 1,000-yard All-America running back Taiwan Jones. In his place, the White’s Darriell Beaumonte rushed for 80 yards on 11 carries and Chase King and Daniel Johnson combined for 83 yards for the Red.
Converted running back Tyler Hart led all receivers with four catches for 53 yards for the Red squad. Three players combined for the nine sacks recorded by the Red, including 2 1/2 by Charles Moetului, two by Jerry Ceja and 1 1/2 by Levi Reynolds. John Roberts had an interception, and Artise Gauldin and Paul Ena each broke-up a pass. Ena led the White with nine tackles, and Moetului finished with seven for the Red.
Baldwin looks forward to letting younger players get the majority of snaps in this week’s practices, scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4 p.m.
“Sometimes you run the risk of not being able to get them fired up for three more practices, but we’ll be able to play a lot of the young guys,” said Baldwin. “We can get them a few more reps and the older guys that have gotten a lot of reps already can stay healthy.”
Bo Levi Mitchell 8 run (Mike Jarrett kick)
Greg Herd 26 pass from Greg Panelli (kick failed)
Zack Gehring 20 pass from Greg Herd (Mike Jarrett kick)
Rushing -- RED: Chase King 13-43, Daniel Johnson 8-40, Bo Levi Mitchell 1-8, Scott Burgett 1-2, Greg Panelli 1-0, Team 1-minus-2, Totals 25-91. WHITE: Darriell Beaumonte 11-80, Derek Talley 2-3, Nick Gauthier 3-1, Anthony Vitto 8-minus-21, Totals 24-63.
Passing -- RED: Bo Levi Mitchell 3-7-78, Greg Panelli 4-6-52, Scott Burgett 3-3-35, Greg Herd 1-1-20, Totals 11-17-185. WHITE: Nick Gauthier 3-9-56, Anthony Vitto 5-11-38, Team 0-1-0, Totals 8-21-94.
Receiving -- RED: Tyler Hart 4-53, Greg Herd 2-87, Matt Martin 2-15, Zack Gehring 1-20, Chase King 1-9, Alante Wright 1-1, Totals 11-185. WHITE: Nicholas Edwards 3-40, Ashton Clark 2-25, Brandon Kaufman 2-21, Darriell Beaumonte 1-8, Totals 8-94.
Interceptions -- RED: John Roberts. WHITE: None.
Passes Broken Up -- RED: Artise Gauldin. WHITE: Paul Ena.
Sacks -- RED: Charles Moetului 2 1/2, Jerry Ceja 2, Levi Reynolds 1 1/2, David Miles 1, Erich Armstrong 1, Tyler Washburn 1. WHITE: None.
Fumble Recoveries -- RED: Chase King 1. WHITE: None.
Forced Fumbles -- RED: None. WHITE: Spencer Hessler 1.
Leading Tacklers: RED: Charles Moetului 7, Erich Armstrong 5, Grant Williams 5, Tyler Washburn 4, John Roberts 4, Jerry Ceja 3, David Miles 3. WHITE: Paul Ena 9, Bobby Gentry 7, J.C. Agen 6, Jeff Minnerly 3, Jesse Hoffman 3, Fialele Coffin 3, Nick Stewart 3, Spencer Hessler 3, Renard Williams 3.
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 27 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 28 - Practice, 4 p.m.
April 29 - Practice, 4 p.m.