April 1, 2006
FRESNO, Calif. - After a week of wet weather in the Valley, including heavy rains that persisted until early Saturday morning, the Bulldog football team was treated to a gloriously sun-drenched day at Bulldog Stadium for their scrimmage.
The scrimmage had a game day atmosphere with pre-game tailgating, games for children and food aplenty and was the showcase for the Bulldogs during spring ball. Over 3,300 fans attended the scrimmage, which despite soggy field conditions, was held in Bulldog Stadium.
"It was a great day," said head coach Pat Hill. "We were able to work on a lot of things. It was in intense and physical scrimmage, the crowd was great, and the weather was perfect. The field was a little wet, but sometimes it's good to practice in that because we will have some bad weather games in the fall."
Saturday's scrimmage featured an emphasis on third down situations, a red zone session, plus general scrimmage situations. The three quarterbacks, Tom Brandstater, Ryan Colburn and Sean Norton, who are competing for the starting spot all received equal work during the scrimmage.
Senior receiver Paul Williams, a first-team All-WAC selection in 2005, had the biggest offensive plays y with three receptions for 141 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown from Norton. Williams averaged nearly 18 yards per reception last season, which led the WAC.
Brandstater started slow, completing just one of his first seven pass attempts, but finished the scrimmage with a hot hand, connecting on seven of his final 10 pass attempts for 121 yards, including a 52-yard bomb to Williams. He connected with tight end Bear Pascoe on a two-point conversion on the final play of the scrimmage. He did throw one interception.
Norton was steady throughout, completing 7-of-13 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown. Colburn was 4-for-15 for 48 yards with two interceptions. Receiver Chastin West showed his athletic ability as he caught a 32 yard pass from Colburn and threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Marlin Moore. Moore finished the day with three receptions for 41 yards. Pascoe had three receptions for 34 yards. Sophomore Kevin Ciccone had two receptions for 25 yards and senior Jaron Fairman had two for 20 yards.
`The quarterbacks and the offense in general was not nearly as sharp as I would have liked," said Hill. "The defense is always at an advantage in the spring and that showed today. I thought Dwayne Andrews and Tyler Clutts played very well. Vincent Mays continues to have a good spring."
Mays had his second interception in as many scrimmages. Senior safety Josh Sherley had a good scrimmage including an interception. Clutts batted down two passes and had one tackle for a loss. Jon Monga and Jason Shirley had quarterback sacks.
Junior Dwayne Wright, junior Shannon Dorsey and redshirt freshman Rich Owens got the bulk of the carries at tailback. Wright had seven carries for 46 yards, including a 32 yard run on his first attempt. Owens had eight carries for 27 yards and Dorsey added eight carries for 12 yards. Andrew Jones had four carries for 17 yards.
"We competed at a good pace today and kept the penalties to a minimum (five)," said Hill. "Those are thing we are working on and I was pleased with the way we handled it today."
The Bulldogs wrap-up spring drills next week with three more practices, including the final scrimmage on Friday afternoon at 3:30 in Bulldog Stadium.
Season ticket information for the 2006 season are available from the Bulldog Ticket Office at (559) 278-DOGS or online at www.gobulldogs.com.
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