Back-ups get their reps in final scrimmage
EWU's Jake Gall picks up a tipped ball in last Saturday's final football scrimmage at Roos Field and turned that into a defensive touchdown. The pass, intended for Larren Wright Jr. (29 foreground) but was intially tipped by defender Jake Hoffman, who is defending Wright.
Beau Baldwin dug out his insurance policy last Saturday and got a good look at its coverage.
For his football team that is.
In the Eagles final scrimmage at Roos Field, the Eastern Washington head football coach put the players to work who would be his insurance should something happen to starters. He seemed to like what he saw as backup quarterback Jordan West helped the offensive side of the ball roll up seven scores and 472 yards.
"I was generally pleased with the big plays - there were some on both sides," Baldwin said. "We made some good plays in finishing in the red zone, and we came back from negative plays to pick up first downs and continue drives."
No. 1 ranked Eastern kicks off the football season Saturday, Aug. 23 in the FCS Showdown against No. 17 Sam Houston State University in a 12:30 p.m. game at sold-out Roos field. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Last Saturday, the offense ran for 123 yards on the ground. Four quarterbacks, all vying for their place on the depth chart combined to complete 21 of 27 passes. Eastern's starter, All-American Vernon Adams Jr., was on the sidelines in uniform, but not pads, and just observed.
West, a sophomore, completed 8 of 10 passes for 175 yards and a 67-yard touchdown pass to junior Shaq Hill on the second play of the scrimmage. He also directed scoring drives of 65 and 49 yards.
Hill caught three passes for 88 yards. True freshmen Terence Grady led all receivers with five catches for 107 yards and a 22-yard TD pass from freshman Gage Gubrud on the final play of the scrimmage. Gubrud was 5 of 7 for 57 yards. True freshman Reilly Hennessey completed all six of his passes for 78 yards and rushed for a TD.
Sophomore running back Jalen Moore rushed seven times for 56 yards.
"We still wanted to see some of our players in the top two spots on our depth chart," Baldwin said. "Some, like Shaq, have been injured in camp and haven't seen as many reps."
On the defensive side, redshirt freshman Jake Gall had four tackles and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Four players had five tackles each, including redshirt freshman Moe Roberts and true freshmen Nzuzi Webster, Kurt Calhoun and Marcus Saugen. Jonah Jordan forced a fumble recovered by Patiole Pesefea. Both are true freshmen.
"Terence was making plays, and Nzuzi had a lot of tackles on defense," Baldwin said. "And we still consider Jordan West a young player, and he was a big part of this scrimmage too."
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.