Balanced Griz Take Field for Opening Scrimmage of Spring

By ERIC TABER

When the first scrimmage of spring football rolls around, fans usually come away thinking one side of the ball “won” the scrimmage.

Not the case for Montana this year, however, as the Grizzlies came up with big plays on both offense and defense in a balanced scrimmage that capped the second week of the spring season on a picture-perfect afternoon in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Montana offense put three touchdowns on the board (two on the ground and one in the air), and Brandon Purdy slotted a 39-yard field goal as the Griz moved the ball effectively.

The defense was also productive, with Josh Egbo forcing a fumble (recovered by Robby Hauck), Kadeem Hemphill intercepting a Cam Humphry pass, and Kobey Eaton picking-off a tipped Wheeler Harris pass.

Photo courtesy of Montana SportsInformation

The half-practice, half-scrimmage session consisted of the usual practice drills, followed by the first, second, and third teams rotating through different down and distance situations in various areas of the field.

With an emphasis on effort and execution, head coach Bobby Hauck came away from the scrimmage feeling good about his team’s output.

“I thought the competition was good. I liked the way we responded to the situations we were working in, particularly the veteran guys. They looked like they knew what they were doing,” said Hauck. “It was good. We’ve had a good first couple of weeks.”

Incumbent starting quarterback Dalton Sneed completed eight passes for roughly 96 yards and a touchdown. He looked every bit the starter again, leading the first offense on multiple productive drives.

Now in his second full season under Hauck, the senior says, like any scrimmage, the first hit-out was a mixed bag with all three teams sharing reps.

“A lot of good things, a lot of bad things, as expected. A lot of valuable film we got from today though, so we’ll evaluate over spring break, have a good, needed break, and come back ready to work on Monday,” said Sneed.

“I think we had a lot of good situations, a lot of good exposure for young guys to get out and finally go live at the goal line or red zone or what not.”

LET’S GO TO THE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The day started with individual periods, followed by special teams and seven-on-seven periods as well before getting into live action.
  • The Grizzlies opened the scrimmage by working on fourth-and-short situations. Freshman running back Drew Turner picked up a gain of 15 and Sneed found tight end Colin Bingham for a gain of about 20 to get the ball moving.
  • Transfer running back Marcus Knight later put the first points of the scrimmage on the board for the Griz diving in from five out for a touchdown off the right guard, which kicker Brandon Purdy converted.
  • Sneed later connected with sophomore Mitch Roberts, who made an athletic grab in the corner of the end zone for the second TD of the afternoon. The score was one of a couple of nice catches for Roberts on the day, who finished with three for 39 yards.
  • The offense found the end zone for a third time later in the scrimmage when Turner broke through from three-yards out for the score.
  • Freshman QB Garrett Graves had his black shirt removed for a stretch of 10 plays to see what the physical runner could do during live action. He didn’t disappoint, either, taking off for a 22-yard rush and hurtling over defenders in the process.
  • Samori Toure, who finished with five catches for 36 yards, hauled in a nice pass from Cam Humphrey after it bounced off his hands and he regained control going down Gabe Sulser, and Samuel Akem each caught passes for 34 yards as well.

UP NEXT: Montana now takes a week off for spring break and will return to the practice field on Monday, April 1 for practice number nine. The Griz will scrimmage again the following Friday, April 5 before heading to Kalispell for the annual Spring Game on April 13.

Unofficial Stats

Scoring Plays
Marcus Knight: 5-yard rush, Dalton Sneed: 15-yard pass to Mitch RobertsBrandon Purdy: 39-yard field goal, Drew Turner: 3-yard rush

Turnover
Josh Egbo: forced fumble by Marcus Knight (Hauck recovered), Garrett Graves: Intercepted by Kadeem HemphillWheeler Harrisintercepted by Kobey Eaton (returned 17 yards)

Offense

Passing
Dalton Sneed: 8-17 96Y, Cam Humphrey: 10-12 87Y, Garrett Graves: 2-9 6Y, Wheeler Harris: 0-2

Rushing
Cam Humphrey: 4 – 32Y (sacked 4x), Garrett Graves: 7 – 31Y (sacked 2x), Dalton Sneed: 3 – 4Y, Ryan Arntson: 4 – 9Y, Wheeler Harris: 1 – 7Y, Marcus Knight: 10 – 16Y, 1TD, Adam Eastwood: 2 – -1Y, Drew Turner: 5 – 7Y, 1 TD, Levi Janacaro: 3 – 4Y

Receiving
Gabe Sulser: 3-34Y, Jerry Louie-McGee: 1-4Y, Samuel Akem: 2-34Y, Malik Flowers: 2 – 12Y, Marcus Knight: 1 – 5Y, Drew Turner: 1 – -6Y, Mitch Roberts: 3 – 39Y, 1 TD, Samouri Toure: 5 – 36Y, Nick Germer: 1 – 18Y, Colin Bingham: 1 -11Y

Defense

Nash Fouch: 2.5 tackles, Garrett Graves: 1 tackle, Dareon Nash: .5 tackle, Josh Sandry: 1 tackle, 2 PBUs, Michael McGinnis: 2.5 tackles, 1 TFL (-9), Robby Hauck: 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, Jace Schneider: .5 tackle, Gavin Crow: .5 tackle, Marcus Knight: 1 tackle, Josh Egbo: 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble, Kadeem Hemphill: 2 tackles, Nick Fouch: .5 tackle, Dante Olson: 5 tackles, Jace Lewis: 1.5 tackles, Jesse Sims: 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, Caleb Mitchell: 1 PBU, Cole Grossman: 1 tackle, 1 QB hit, Randy Rodriguez: 1.5 tackles, Vika Fa’atuiese: 1 tackle, 1 sack, Cole Rosling: 1.5 tackles, Michael Matthews: 1 tackle, Tyler Flink: 1 tackle, Marcus Welnel: 2 tackles, Patrick O’Connell: 2 tackle, 2 sacks, 1 PBU, Eli Alford: 2.5 tackles, 2 sacks, Braydon Deming: 1 tackle, 1 QB Hit

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