April 30, 2010

Spring Practice Over, But Now the Individual Work Begins

Burgett throws pair of TD passes as Eastern finishes spring practice with a spirited week and Friday’s 41-play scrimmage

Spring practice may be over, but the work is just beginning for the Eastern Washington University football team.

Quarterback Scott Burgett tossed a pair of touchdown passes as the Eagles concluded its 15th and final spring practice with a 41-play scrimmage Friday (April 30) at the EWU Sports and Recreation Center practice fields.

Before Eastern can set its sights on its opener at Nevada on Sept. 2, head coach Beau Baldwin knows that significant individual improvement must take place before EWU resumes practices in August.

“We have 29 practices left, but they have a lot of work to do on their own before we get to that,” he said after Friday’s scrimmage, which including 178 yards passing and another 46 rushing by EWU’s offensive units.

Most starters sat out -- including newly-crowned starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. However, that allowed Burgett to take center stage and direct the offense to its only scores on drives of 70 (nine plays) and 30 yards (three plays). The sophomore responded with a 7-of-10 performance for 105 yards and touchdown passes of 10 yards to senior Jason Harris and 8 yards to sophomore Greg Herd.

It was the first scrimmage of the spring for Harris, who came to Eastern as a quarterback, switched to linebacker in spring 2008 and moved to tight end this spring. The State 4A Player of the Year as a high school senior in 2005 at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash., Harris caught four passes for 43 yards in Friday’s scrimmage.

“He stood out and made some plays,” praised Baldwin. “And all the quarterbacks came out and operated well in some situations. That was really good to see -- it’s exciting.”

Besides Burgett, junior Nick Gauthier completed 5-of-7 passes for 47 yards as the four quarterbacks were a collective 15-of-24 for 178 yards. Gauthier also had a 25-yard scamper.

Parker Flynn, a 2008 graduate of Spokane’s West Valley High School, caught three passes for 65 yards. He and Burgett hooked-up for completions of 35 and 22 yards.

On defense, Shane Stagg had an interception and Rusty Haehl and Derek Robinson each broke-up passes. Charles Moetului had a pair of sacks, David Miles had one and Will Katoa and Levi Reynolds combined on a fourth. Linebacker Grant Williams had six total tackles.

Baldwin came away impressed this week, despite the fact Eastern played its annual Red-White Game last Saturday and then gave the players two days off.

“We worried about that first practice coming off our spring game and a couple of days off, but I felt like our Tuesday practice was spirited and high energy,” Baldwin said. “We got a lot done Tuesday and Wednesday, and we got some work done today. We had a lot of younger guys playing, but they were out there hitting and making plays on both sides of the ball. I was happy with the way we finished.”

 

SCORING PLAYS

Jason Harris 10 pass from Scott Burgett (Mike Jarrett kick)

Greg Herd 8 pass from Scott Burgett (Mike Jarrett kick)

 

STATISTICS

Rushing -- Nick Gauthier 3-25, Chase King 5-15, Derek Talley 3-8, Anthony Vitto 2-2, Greg Panelli 3-0, Ashton Clark 1-minus-4, Totals 17-46.

Passing -- Scott Burgett 7-10-105, Nick Gauthier 5-7-47, Anthony Vitto 2-4-17, Greg Panelli 1-3-9, Totals 15-24-178.

Receiving -- Jason Harris 4-43, Parker Flynn 3-65, Greg Herd 2-18, Ashton Clark 2-18, Zack Gehring 1-13, Sean Burr 1-12, Alante Wright 1-9, Chase King 1-0, Totals 15-178.

Interceptions -- Shane Stagg.

Passes Broken Up --Rusty Haehl, Derek Robinson.

Sacks -- Charles Moetului 2, David Miles 1, Levi Reynolds 1/2, Will Katoa 1/2.

Fumble Recoveries -- RED: Chase King 1. WHITE: None.

Forced Fumbles -- None.

Leading Tacklers: Grant Williams 6, Bobby Gentry 4, Charles Moetului 4, Erich Armstrong 4, Will Katoa 4, Jeff Minnerly 3.

 

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