Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2007
Green squad dominates final Concordia spring scrimmage By George L. Jones
The Selma Times-Journal
Things started a little slowly Saturday in Concordia’s annual Green and White football scrimmage.
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But when the ball got rolling, the Green squad was the beneficiary of the momentum. Loaded with several second- and third-year players, the Green team took a 36-14 win.
The Hornets’ first offense scored 30 unanswered points, including a pair of touchdowns in its final two first-half series that put it ahead 19-14.
Receiver John Halman’s first catch of the day was a 14-yard slant pattern that went into the end zone to cut the White team’s lead to 14-12. The play was set up by a 41-yard pass Ken Johnson made to Derek Wilson after Johnson scrambled out of trouble.
Johnson and Demorris Kilow later put Green ahead by hooking up on a 29-yard touchdown pass with a minute and a half left in the second quarter.
From there it was all Green. The team pitched a shutout in the second half and forced five turnovers.
White committed 11 penalties for 107 yards. At times it was hard to tell if the miscues were a result of defensive pressure or offensive inefficiency.
“It was a little of both,” defensive coordinator Corrie Dawson said. “Some of the younger guys are learning the system better than last year. It helps that the young guys are getting better. Those are the guys that are growing up, and most of them were on the Green team.”
One pleasant surprise on defense was cornerback Michael Cooper, the point guard for the school’s basketball team who picked off two passes in the end zone.
“I was real proud today watching Michael Cooper,” Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes said. “We gave him an opportunity, and he’s shown up to play every day.”
Brandon Skanes, Cortez Stubbs and Jerrelle Elsberry also intercepted passes, all of them in the second half.
An interception by Undra Rush and fumble recovery by Mario Johnson were the only turnovers the White team forced.
The main battle all spring has been at the backup quarterback position, where Anthony Gibson and Timothy King are the top contenders. But that spot is no closer to being settled after each quarterback threw two interceptions and a touchdown. King was 9-for-17 with 96 yards, and Gibson was 5-for-15 with 92 yards.
Johnson passed for 144 yards on 12-of-18 attempts (14 of them in the first half) with three touchdowns and an interception. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 44 yards on four carries.
“The quarterback position is a big concern because we’ve got to start preparing for life without Ken Johnson,” Shepherd Skanes said. “This is his last spring, and we’re looking for some positives out of our backups. (Gibson and King) are still fighting the battle, and we hope it’ll be resolved by the end of the fall.”
DeAngelo Surls, the team’s feature tailback going into the season, totaled 13 yards on three carries. He didn’t get a lot of touches because the passing game was so efficient.
The White team began the game with a bang when Mario Johnson sacked Ken Johnson on the first play.
Anthony Kimbrough and Frank Anthony combined on a sack and fumble recovery on the White team’s second series. The Green team capitalized when Wilson punched in a 3-yard touchdown for a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point by David Martires.
A 38-yard TD pass from King to Frank Goode and then a 48-yard pass from Gibson to Eric Taylor put White back ahead 14-6.
Ken Johnson got Green’s first score of the second half when he hit Calvin Cornish for a 21-yard touchdown and a 26-14 lead. Kilow broke arm tackles and took a carry for a 34-yard touchdown on his first touch of the second half. The score put Green ahead 33-14 with 10:57 left in the third quarter. Halman added a 28-yard field goal for a 36-14 lead with 7:05 left in the third.
Halman hit 1-of-2 field goal attempts and was 3-for-3 attempting extra points. Martires hit 2-of-3 extra points.
Skanes couldn’t help but be pleased with the effort of his team all spring and the outcome of the game.
“This went real well. I’m petty happy with what I saw today,” he said.