April 25, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 1

Big defensive plays dominate EWU scrimmage

There were big plays all around for the Eagle defense, and a whole lot of tackles by senior All-America linebacker Ronnie Hamlin.

Hamlin had 11 tackles, a sack and returned an interception for a touchdown to set the tone early for the Eastern Washington University football team last Saturday in an 88-play scrimmage at Roos Field.

The Eagles marked the mid-point of spring practice with the situational scrimmage, which has become a spring staple of the Eagles and head coach Beau Baldwin. Baldwin wasn’t overly concerned about the outcome, but knows his offensive squad has a lot of work ahead to improve upon an outing that included four turnovers and several other unforced errors.

 “I have been coaching long enough to know scrimmages will go however they go,” he explained. “That is not an excuse (for the offense). We need to figure out how to get better.”

The offensive players will get their chance at the team’s annual Red-White Game on April 27 at 2 p.m. at Roos Field. The Red-White Game is part of “Eagle Week” at EWU, featuring the 32nd Annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction starting at 4:30 p.m. April 27.

The defense finished with three interceptions, three sacks and had seven passes broken up on another blustery day at The Inferno. The offense finished with 44 rushing attempts and 44 passing attempts, but managed only 3.7 yards per play. They had 122 yards rushing and 201 passing on the day.

All three of the offensive scores came in red zone possessions. At one point, the offensive units managed just one first down in eight consecutive possessions from either their own 30 or own 35 yard line.

Eagle fans were able to see an impressive debut by UCLA transfer Tevin McDonald on Saturday. He practiced for the first time in pads on Tuesday, and has been making steady progress familiarizing himself with the Eagle program.

The junior safety finished with five tackles, broke-up a sure touchdown pass and had an interception on a pass that was broken up by running back-turned-linebacker Jordan Talley. Talley also had a forced a fumble.

Starting quarterback Vernon Adams completed 14 of 24 passes for 144 yards and added 13 yards on the ground. But he had all three of the interceptions for the offense, which also had a lost fumble that was forced by Talley and recovered by McDonald.

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