Hornets buzz in spring game

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

If a season synopsis could be based on a spring game, Concordia is either going to be the best defensive team or the worst offensive team in the nation.

A Thursday night contest highlighted by some spectacular defensive plays – and some rather unsightly offensive ones – ended up in the hands of the side that featured the team’s top healthy quarterbacks.

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Two second-half touchdowns were all the scoring in the Green team’s 14-0 win over the White at Memorial Stadium.

“We’ve got an offense that throws the ball all over the field, but I’m a defensive-minded coach first,” Shepherd Skanes said. “Defense wins championships, but offense sells tickets. We didn’t light up the scoreboard, but we got a lot of guys playing time. That’s the first time I did that here. We saw some guys get quality time at different positions, and now we’ll be able to evaluate.”

Cruz Forbes had an interception that led to the first touchdown of the game. Justin Hudson, Ronnie Hall and Deontae Davison had picks, as well.

Lewis Brown recorded two quarterback sacks. De’Angelo Surls, Jamie Happney, Shawntez Leonard, Gregory Butler, Marvin Law and Tracy Baker also were in on sacks.

Running back Louis Manning made a name for himself as the team’s No. 2 tailback after racking up 104 yards of total offense, including 63 rushing yards on 10 carries. Running back A.J. Ward, the team’s leading rusher last season, was held out because he is playing baseball.

“I was impressed with Louis Manning,” Skanes said. “He put on a show out here today. He had a beautiful ball game.”

The team also seems to have a clear backup quarterback. Skanes said after the game he is very high on freshman Dustin Ward, who went 4-for-11 with 68 yards. He left the game in the first half after suffering a severe cut to his left, non-throwing hand.

“He’s going to be pretty decent,” Skanes said. “He’s mobile, but I was holding him back.”

Starting quarterback Ken Johnson has been participating in 7-on-7 drills and is nearing a full recovery after season-ending knee ligament injury last September.

Jeffrey Johnson led the Green team to both of its touchdowns. His first drive under center, he was 5-for-6 for 51 yards and hit Morris Benton for a 13-yard score with 7:20 left in the third quarter. After the Green team recovered a fumble early in the fourth, Johnson’s first pass attempt was a 6-yard slant route to Chris Gooden in the end zone.

Johnson finished the game with 74 passing yards on 7-of-8 attempts.

Benton bounced back from two dropped passes to finish with three catches for 38 yards and a score.