Backups takeover final spring scrimmage

Joe Harrington

Tight end Jonathan Simpson is taken down near the 10 yard line during Saturday’s spring game. ABIGAIL S. FISHER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

The Kent State football team finished spring practice Saturday at Dix Stadium with the goal of improving its depth and moving forward into the 2008 season. The Flashes held many veteran players from the scrimmage, while younger players, such as sophomore running back Andre Flowers, saw lots of playing time in the final spring event.

Flowers scored the only touchdowns of the scrimmage after the defense held the offense scoreless for the first hour and a half. Flowers finished the day with 13 rushes for 59 yards with touchdowns of 18 and 19 yards.

“It was very frustrating at first, but for the most part, we came together and happened to punch a couple (touchdowns) in,” Flowers said.

Despite five penalties called on the offensive line, the unit allowed just two sacks on the day, a week after allowing 11 in the previous scrimmage.

Junior Anthony Magazu, sophomore Giorgio Morgan and senior Jon Brown all played with the first-team offense at the quarterback position. Morgan completed 14-of-23 passes for 100 yards with one interception and rushed for 37 yards on nine carries. Brown had the biggest play of the scrimmage, completing a 56-yard pass to sophomore tight end Jon Simpson in the middle of the field.

“I was really pleased with the offense, in terms of taking care of the football,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said. “If they will take care of the football like that, move it that consistently, we’ll win the field position game.”

After appearing to win the first two scrimmages of the spring, the defense forced just one turnover, an interception by senior cornerback Rico Murray in the end zone. The first-team defense held the offense to two of junior kicker Nate Reed’s field goals and recorded two sacks.

Coaches opted to sit many players while backups, sophomores and freshmen received lots of playing time.

This could be a good sign, considering the many questions that the Flashes needed to answer this spring. Senior quarterback Julian Edelman may have sat out on Saturday, but the two-year starter showed Martin enough to remain the starter for the summer.

The Flashes also know what they need to work on, such as consistency at the wide receiver position and more stability in the defensive backfield. But Martin was pleased at his team’s final performance of the spring.

“For as many young kids as we were playing in that scrimmage it was really good,” Martin said. “Our backup kids got a lot better today.”

Contact assistant sports editor Joe Harrington at [email protected].