At spring practice Wednesday, quarterback Carlton Hill completed most of his passes during the offense’s seven-on-seven drills, but he wasn’t perfect. Junior Mike Jenkins, who wears the same No. 4 as Hill, picked off a pass, and junior Trae Williams broke up a pass intended for junior Jackie Chambers.
“I thought he did some good things,” coach Jim Leavitt said about the new first-string quarterback. “He’s just got to keep his focus.”
However, there was some trouble with pitches. Running back Ricky Ponton missed one of Hill’s pitch attempts and bobbled another.
Hill started the scrimmage with a 14-yard run for a first down, but two plays later he dropped the snap and was sacked for a loss of about eight yards. On the next play, Hill appeared to be sacked again but was able to scramble close to the line of scrimmage.
A defensive day: The defense made key plays during the end-of-practice scrimmage with several sacks on both Hill and Matt Grothe. Pat Julmiste didn’t take any snaps during the scrimmage.
“The defense really dominated the offense today,” Leavitt said.
Grothe had a hard time finding his rhythm during the scrimmage. His first pass was intercepted by Jenkins. On his second snap, Grothe fumbled the ball in the backfield after getting hit hard by linebacker Brouce Mompremier. Nose tackle Woody George picked up the lose ball and ran the other way.
“He’ll always hit you,” Leavitt said about Mompremier. “Our boys aren’t afraid to hit anybody.”
Special teams show: Kickers Mike Benzer and Justin Teachey put on quite a show at the end of practice. After starting at the 37-yard line and making most of their kicks, Teachey made a 57-yarder and a 62-yarder, both of which got the attention of the rest of the team.
“Teachey has got a leg,” Leavitt said. “(But) you still have to do it when it counts.”
– Kevin Smetana