Eagles Pass for 303 Yards and Three Touchdowns in Scrimmage

Aug. 17, 2006

Passing for 303 yards and rushing for another 106, Eastern Washington University wrapped up its first week of pre-season football practices with a 79-play scrimmage Thursday (Aug. 17) at Woodward Field in Cheney, Wash.

About half the scrimmage was situational with no movement of chains. The Eagles passed 39 times for 303 yards and rushed another 40 times for 104 yards.

"It was a solid scrimmage for our 13th practice," said Eagle head coach Paul Wulff. "I think there were some good things done on both sides of the ball. But obviously we are not where we want to be yet."

When scoring was allowed, redshirt freshman Matt Nichols had a pair of touchdown passes to go along with his 209 yards of passing. Reserve Alex Smart also had a scoring toss.

"Half of it was scripted so our quarterbacks weren't allowed to throw the ball down the field," Wulff explained. "So we just wanted to get some situational things done. There was a little sluggishness especially early in our passing game and once we kind of got going you could see it picked up a little bit."

The team's final scrimmage is on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 9 a.m., and is free and open to the public. EWU's season-opener is at Oregon State on Thursday, Aug. 31 in a game televised live regionally on Fox Sports Net. Eastern follows that game by playing at West Virginia on Sept. 9 and the team's home opener is versus Central Washington on Sept. 16 at 6:05 p.m. Pacific time.

Nichols and starter Chris Peerboom both had long touchdown passes called back because of probable sacks. Each also had an interception.

Nichols was 12-of-19, and had touchdown passes of 9 yards to Tyler Coleman and 35 to Nicholas Ramos. He also had a 75-yarder to Shane Eller called back.

Peerboom completed 5-of-12 passes for 41 yards, but had two sure completions dropped and had a 68-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Boyce called back. Smart's touchdown was an 18-yard completion to true freshman Jeffrey Solomon, who finished with three catches for 42 yards.

"I think there is a flow and a natural feel of moving the ball and moving the chains," said Wulff. "Again, I think on defense we made some nice plays in the secondary and offensively our timing is just not there yet. I think the combination of the two does make results show -- we didn't throw the ball as well as we usually do but we will."

Redshirt freshman Tony Davis was the leading receiver with four grabs for 56 yards. True freshman Jesse Hoffman had an impressive Eagle debut as the combination running back/wide receiver rushed eight times for a team-high 32 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards.

"Jesse Hoffman had an opportunity to play some running back today and he made some plays," said Wulff.

Defensively, interceptions were recorded by linebacker Shea Emry and Anthony Dotson. Local product Brett Igbinoba from Cheney, Wash., High School had a team-high seven tackles and also broke-up a pass. Also finishing with six tackles each were Emry, Marcus Walker, Brandon Keeler and Brady Smith.

Registering quick-whistle sacks were Greg Peach, Keith Grennan, Jacob Kragt, Lance Witherspoon and Aaron Cartright. Grennan also blocked a field goal attempt and Peach batted down two passes.

Makai Borden added two passes broken up and five tackles. Also breaking up passes were Kevin Hatch and Robert Pearson.

"It was nice to see the defense tackle fairly well and on offense there were some plays made," praised Wulff. "But we are still struggling with the timing of our receivers and quarterbacks, so the only way we are going to get that is by practicing. There are flashes but we just need to become a heck of a lot more consistent."

"For a first scrimmage I think it was pretty good," he added. "The blocking was fairly solid and I thought the tackling was pretty darn solid. Again it is not where we need to be but I do think it is something we can definitely build from. And if we can build from this, I am going to be pretty happy when we get going."

Touchdowns:
Tyler Coleman 9 pass from Matt Nichols
Jeffrey Solomon 18 pass from Alex Smart
Nicholas Ramos 35 pass from Matt Nichols
Field Goals:
Sheldon Weddle - 37/Good, 36-No Good, 31-Good
Brett Bergstrom - 37/Blocked, 36-Good, 31-Good
Rushing: Jesse Hoffman 8-32, A.J. Jimmerson 7-31, Ryan Cole 4-21, Dale Morris 5-13, Toke Kefu 8-10, Dezmon Cole 5-0, Chris Peerboom 2-0, Matt Nichols 1-minus-3, Total 40-104.
Passing: Matt Nichols 12-19-1-209, Chris Peerboom 5-12-1-41, Alex Smart 4-5-0-41, Keith Green 1-1-0-12, Jason Harris 0-2-0-0, Totals 22-39-2-303.
Receiving: Tony Davis 4-56, Jeffrey Solomon 3-42, Brynsen Brown 2-38, Tom McAndrews 2-28, Shane Eller 2-24, Jesse Hoffman 2-20, Branden Nicholson 2-12, Nicholas Ramos 1-35, Toke Kefu 1-18, Trevor Gunderson 1-11, Charles Searcy 1-10, Tyler Coleman 1-9, Total 22-303.
Interceptions: Anthony Dotson, Shea Emry.
Leading Tacklers: Brett Igbinoba 7, Shea Emry 6, Brady Smith 6, Marcus Walker 6,
Brandon Keeler 6, DeNique Ford 5, Makai Borden 5.
Sacks: Aaron Cartwright 1, Greg Peach, Keith Grennan, Jacob Kragt, Lance Witherspoon.
Passes Broken Up: Greg Peach 2, Makai Borden 2, Kevin Hatch, Robert Pearson, Brett Igbinoba.

Remaining Practice/Scrimmage Schedule:

Friday, Aug. 18 - Off
Saturday, Aug. 19 - Practice 9-11 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 20 - Practice 9-11 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 21 - Practice 9-11 a.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 22 - Practice 9-11 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 23 - Scrimmage 9 a.m.
Thursday, Aug 24 - Off
Friday, Aug. 25 - Practice 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 26 - Practice 3-5 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 27 - Practice 3-5 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 28 - Practice 3-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 29 - Practice 3-5 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 30 - Depart for Corvallis, Ore.
Thursday, Aug 31 - EWU versus Oregon State, 7 p.m. Pacific time
(Televised Live on Fox Sports Net)
Also, the 2006 Eagle Football Season Preview Show is being broadcast
evenings from approximately 7-8:20 p.m. on Comcast TV Channel 16 in
Spokane. The half-hour preview show features highlights from 2005 and
previews the 2006 season. Hosted by Paul Seebeck and produced by Davin
Perry, the show includes interviews with head coach Paul Wulff,
offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin and defensive coordinator Jody Sears.

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