Offense thrives under the lights in Elizabethton
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (March 31, 2016) – After having the defensive unit set the tone in the first two scrimmages, the Buccaneer offense stole the headlines on Thursday night. The ETSU football team wrapped up its third week of spring practice under the lights, as the Blue and Gold made the 20-minute trek to Elizabethton for the Appalachian Orthopaedics Spring Scrimmage at Citizens Bank Stadium.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- The Bucs put together a well-balanced attack as ETSU combined for 556 yards on 72 plays (7.7 yards per play) … ETSU racked up 209 yards on the ground (39 carries), while completing 22 of its 32 passes for 347 yards … The offensive unit both registered three rushing touchdowns and three passing scores.
- Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) combined to go 19-for-26 with 324 passing yards and three touchdowns … Sexton finished 10-for-13 for 145 yards and one touchdown, while Herink went 9-for-13 for 179 yards and two touchdowns … Sexton also rushed for 23 yards and Herink recorded 10 yards on the ground.
- Herink and Sexton spread the wealth through the air as 11 different players caught a pass on Thursday night … Wide receiver Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.) led all players with five catches (77 yards), while Old Dominion transfer Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va.) finished with four receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns … Sexton connected on a pass to running back Matt Thompson (Morristown, Tenn.) and The Citadel transfer had an easy path to the end zone for a 64-yard score … Hunter Wike (Canton, N.C.), Malik Styles (Dandridge, Tenn.) and Cory Colder (Ashburn, N.C.) all had two catches on the night.
- Eleven different Bucs accounted for the 209 rushing yards with Jajuan Lankford (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) pacing the backs with 69 yards on seven carries … Tony Drew (Nashville, Tenn.) found the end zone twice to go with his 42 yards on the ground and Colder scored on a 26-yard run.
- Defensively, the Blue and Gold finished with 72 tackles (seven tackles for loss), two sacks, one forced fumble and five pass breakups.
- Linebacker Kahlil Mitchell (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) led the defensive with five tackles and 1.5 sacks.
- Joining Mitchell with five tackles were River Boruff (Sparta, Tenn.), Paul Hunter (Denton, Texas), Dylan Weigel (Pickerington, Ohio), Austin Gatewood (Ooltewah, Tenn.), Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.), and Jackson Trawick (Suwanee, Ga.).
- Gatewood also had a tackle for loss, along with Weigel, while Trawick forced the fumble.
- Defensive lineman Joe Pittman (Pell City, Ala.) totaled two tackles, while accounting for the half sack and broke up a pass.
- Freshmen kickers Landon Kunak (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Marion Watson (Waxhaw, N.C.) split the duties on Thursday night as they both made three extra points, while Kunak connected a 42-yard field goal and Watson made a 38-yarder.
Below are comments from head coach Carl Torbush following Thursday's scrimmage in Elizabethton.
THOUGHTS ON THE SCRIMMAGE
I’m pleased with what we are doing right now. On offense, we are miles and miles ahead of where we were last year. Defensively, we are making some plays, but not enough key plays on third and fourth down. We will get better with that. Right now we are concerned with getting the right players on the field at each position, so we can build a solid two-deep as we head into the fall.
ON SCRIMMAGING AT CITIZENS BANK STADIUM
I want to thank everyone at Elizabethton for allowing us to come over here and scrimmage tonight. They have a great facility and they ought to be proud of it. They have a lot of fan support and some of our players played at Elizabethton, so it was fun to come up here. We were glad the weather held off and I was pleased with the turnout. We have been fortunate to scrimmage in several places throughout the area and I am glad we were given the opportunity to scrimmage here in Elizabethton. Hopefully the fans were pleased with what they saw and will continue to show their support throughout the season.
REMAINING SPRING SCHEDULE
- Monday, April 4 – Practice #12
- Tuesday, April 5 – Practice #13
- Thursday, April 7 – Practice #14
- Friday, April 8 – Lettermen Golf Tournament (1 p.m. at Pine Oaks Golf Club)
- Saturday, April 9
-- Appalachian Orthopaedics Women’s Football Clinic (8 a.m. – Noon inside the Dome)
-- MSHA Spring Scrimmage (1 p.m. at Kermit Tipton Stadium)
-- Appalachian Orthopaedics Youth Clinic (Following the Spring Scrimmage)
Please note, practices and scrimmages are open to the general public
For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.