Baldwin is hopeful that there will be enough healthy players at all positions to split Eagles into two equal teams
If all goes well this week, Saturday’s (April 30) Red-White Game will be just that -- a game.
The Eastern Washington University football team will conclude its final week of spring practices with what Eagle head coach Beau Baldwin hopes will be a competitive game. But injuries at various positions makes progress this week -- particularly in the EWU athletic training room -- important to be able to have enough depth to split teams equally.
“We want to be healthy enough to have a solid, Red-White Game,” explained Baldwin. “We want to split up our offense and defense and make it a good, competitive contest between two teams. The only way we can do that is to get in the training room and get healthy. We want to have one last solid scrimmage, even if we are breaking up all the units.”
Baldwin hopes to have a game consisting of four 10-minute quarters, with kickoff set for 2:05 p.m. Pacific time at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. The game will be televised live regionally by SWX (SWX Digital 6.2 in Spokane, 25.3 in the Tri-Cities & 23.3 in the Yakima area; Comcast 115; Time Warner 306; Charter 287).
Following the Red-White Game is the 30th Annual Orland Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction, as part of the annual Killin Weekend at EWU. The weekend begins on Friday, April 29, with the already sold-out Coaches Golf Tournament at noon at the Fairways Golf Course near Cheney. The 40th Annual Pelluer Invitational Track and Field Meet will also take place on Friday, with field events starting at noon and running events beginning at 4 p.m.
The following day features an EWU volleyball scrimmage at 11 a.m. and a soccer scrimmage at noon. There is no admission charged for the track meet or the scrimmages, but cost for the dinner is $75 per individual or $500 for a table of eight. The event starts with a social hour and auction at 4:30 p.m., followed by the dinner (6:15 p.m.), program/presentations/live auction (7:15 p.m.) and dancing (8 p.m.). Besides online at www.goeags.com, tickets may also be obtained by calling 509-359-2463 or 1-800-648-7697.
In preparation for Saturday’s Red-White Game, the Eagles will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week trying to fine-tune its performances from three previous scrimmages. Plus, Baldwin hopes to add a few more wrinkles.
“There are a lot of little things we want to get to as an offense and force our defense to see,” he explained. “Certain formations, shifts and motions are things we definitely want to hit before we close spring ball. Those are things we do during the season that you don’t necessarily get to do in the first week or two of spring practices.”
“And we still need to clean-up some things in terms of substitutions and the pace we are playing,” he added. “At certain times when we play our no-huddle offense, we want to play at a faster pace than we’ve ever played at since I’ve been here. That’s something I want to improve upon in our final week.”
With 15 starters returning from last year’s squad, battles this spring for starting positions have been minimal -- with the exception of cornerback where both starters were seniors in 2010. Competitions for backup positions are probably most fierce, but Baldwin doesn’t see any battles as being 100 percent in concrete when spring practices conclude this week.
“We’ll tell players where they are,” he said, “but by no means will we tell a player who has moved into a starter role or backup role that they were fighting for, that it’s theirs to keep. In May, June and July there is going to be a lot to do to keep that spot, obviously, a lot on their own and with our strength coach. A lot can change come August.”
Statistics From First Three Scrimmages
Rushing: Demitrius Bronson 20-86 1TD, Mario Brown 14-69 1TD, Darriell Beaumonte 13-35, Tyler Hart 1-7, Marquise Moses 3-5, Nick Washburn 6-0, Trenton Pinson 1-minus-4, Nick Gauthier 3-19 1TD, Bo Levi Mitchell 5-11, Greg Panelli 2-minus-2, Anthony Vitto 9-minus-25, Team 1-minus-3, Totals 78-198 (includes seven sacks for minus 43 yards) 3TD.
Passing: Bo Levi Mitchell 13-24-0 175 3TD, Anthony Vitto 16-25-0 220 3TD, Greg Panelli 11-21-2 99, Nick Gauthier 16-18-1 142 2TD, Totals 56-88-3 636 8TD.
Receiving: Cory Mitchell 13-221 3TD, Ashton Clark 9-125 1TD, Alante Wright 8-58 1TD, Greg Herd 6-60 1TD, Tyler Hart 6-47 1TD, Nicholas Edwards 3-29, Zack Gehring 2-29, Daniel Johnson 2-28, David Miles 1-10 1TD, Marquise Moses 1-9, Darriell Beaumonte 1-9, Patrick Mealey 1-6, Dalton Puyear 1-4, Nick Washburn 1-2, Demitrius Bronson 1-minus-1, Totals 56-636.
Leading Tacklers: Rusty Haehl 8, John Goldwire 8, Paul Ena 7, Charles Moetului 7, J.C. Agen 7, Grant Williams 7, Paul Ena 7, Ronald Baines 7, David Gaylord 6, T.J. Lee 6, Alden Gibbs 6, Bobby Gentry 5, Billy Lechtenberg 5, Chandler Gayton 5, Allen Brown 5, Jerry Ceja 4, Jarred Walker 4, Jakob Pugsley 4, Jeff Minnerly 3, Zach Johnson 3, Jeremy Chaten 3, Scott Burgett 3, Trenton Pinson 3.
Interceptions: Chandler Gayton 1. Alden Gibbs 1, Ronald Baines 1, Totals 3.
Passes Broken Up: Alden Gibbs 3, Chandler Gayton 1, Jeremy Chaten 1, Scott Burgett 1, Renard Williams 1, Dylan Zylstra 1, Shane Stagg 1, Jerry Ceja 1, Totals 10.
Sacks: Paul Ena 2, Jerry Ceja 2, David Gaylord 1, Renard Williams 1, Zach Johnson 1, Totals 7.
Field Goals: Mike Jarrett 2-4 (makes of 30, 37; misses of 42, 32).