Chanticleers show promise at spring football game

ccufoot-30The Coastal Carolina University football program concluded the spring practice season with its annual Spring Game at Brooks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Reigning two-time national coach of the year finalist Joe Moglia opened the day addressing the crowd to explain the game’s format. In addition, Moglia gave the 556 fans in attendance an introduction to new assistant coaches Bill Durkin and Ryan Goodman, as well as explained the why the players were in teal, white and black jerseys.

“When you look at our spring in its entirety, I feel we had a strong spring and we got in a lot of snaps,” said Moglia. “The guys that had good seasons a year focused on one or two things to improve upon. The guys that played, but were not quite ready to compete on the national level, worked hard on their overall development. I felt like we accomplished a lot of our goals and the Spring Game was a culmination of all our work over the course of the previous 14 practices.”

Following 20 minutes of warm-ups and individual position drills the team came together to start the scrimmage. The kickoff unit was the first to take the field. Alex Catron sent the ball to the end zone where it was returned out to the 25-yard line by Devin Brown. Alex Ross led the first team offense onto the field against Quinn Backus and the first team defense. De’Angelo Henderson took the first play from scrimmage seven yards. Ross then connected with Bruce Mapp for four yards and a first down. The offense would only gain six more yards on the possession before the defense stood strong and forced a punt.

Michael Church then led the second offensive unit onto the field against the second defense with the ball on the offense’s 10-yard line. The defense forced a quick three and out.

Following a punt, Ross again took the field to quarterback the first unit offense. The opening two plays of the drive were runs inside the tackles by Henderson that resulted in a first down. Following a three-yard loss, Ross was sacked by Backus for a six-yard loss. Facing the third and long, Ross found Mapp on the sideline for 15 yards, setting up Zach Silverberg’s first-down plunge up the middle. After Imir Sanders knocked away a pass on first down, Ross hooked up with Tyrell Blanks to move the chains. A defensive pass interference call on the ensuing play moved the ball to the two-yard line. Silverberg did the rest as he followed his blockers up the middle to find paydirt. The point after attempt was blocked by Leroy Cummings.

The “twos” then returned to the field and the defense again asserted itself, forcing a punt after just three plays.

The “ones” took the field for the final time after the punt with Ross directing the offense from the 50-yard line. After a false start moved the ball back five yards, Henderson carried for five yards on first down. Another false start again put the offense behind the chains. Ross completed a five-yard pass to Blanks and followed on the next play with an eight-yard completion to John Israel. Silverberg again surged up the middle for the fourth down conversion.

Church replaced Ross for the remainder of the series, completing three passes for 24 total yards. The drive stalled on the 33-yard line as Tyler Watkins dropped David Gaydosz in the backfield for a four-yard loss on fourth down.

Taylor Keane, a product of Myrtle Beach High School, made the pass of the day to open the next series, connecting with Chris Jones on a fly route down the middle of the field for a 50-yard touchdown.

The event closed with the “threes” and “fours” on the field for a final 12 plays.

– Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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