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April 10, 2009

Tech offense rolls in first spring scrimmage

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech football team held its first spring scrimmage in Tucker Stadium Thursday, and head coach Watson Brown was pleased with what he saw, which was good effort, hard hits, and room for improvement.

“Our playmakers made big plays out there today, and that is what you like to see,” Brown said. “The downside was not getting stops on defense, and I don’t think we had that many illegal procedure all season last year.”
All of the Tech players who were dressed saw action on the field, including four quarterbacks, Lee Sweeney, Tre Lamb, Cass Barnes and Jeremy Woods.

Sweeney, a three-year veteran, got the start with the first unit, and completed 9-of-12 passes for 101 yards. Lamb went 7-for-13 for 93 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Barnes completed 3-of-5 passes for 20 yards and had 32 more yards on three rushes, and Woods finished 2-of-5 for 19 yards.

“All four quarterbacks made some real nice plays out there,” Brown said. “The kids are working really hard.”

Lamb, a freshman who took a redshirt season in the fall, said he was happy with the start he got off to, after connecting on a 39-yard touchdown pass to Alden Olverson on his second throw.

“It was a good day, I tried to get off to a good start, and A.O. made a big play for me with a huge run-after catch,” the 5-foot 9-inch quarterback said.

“I’ve been one of the shorter guys on the field for my whole life, so it’s a challenge, but it’s nothing new,” Lamb said. ““As a quarterback you’re vision is through the line, not over it, you have to trust your receivers just like any quarterback does.”

The majority of Tech’s receptions came out of the backfield, as Tremaine Hudson led the Golden Eagles with four catches for 40 yards, and Donte Gay and Joe Grimes each had three receptions out of the backfield. Olverson, Tim Benfrod, and Justin Vann each added a pair of receptions.

Gay and Hudson also each had 10 carries out of the backfield. Hudson finished with 81 yards, and Gay tallied 42. Vann carried the ball five times for 39 yards and Grimes had four carries for 22 yards.

Taron Ryce led the way defensively, finishing with seven tackles, and an acrobatic interception in the endzone. Blake Adams had two sacks for the Golden Eagles, and Josh Paz, Howard Griffin, Corey Watson and Marcus Edwards each had five stops. Kelvin Quarles came up with the second turnover forced by the Tech defense, recovering a fumble in the backfield.

The Golden Eagles continue their spring session with three practices next week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m., before their next scrimmage on Saturday April 18 at 10:30 a.m. in Tucker Stadium.

“We’re going to keep working on putting more of our offense and defense in, it’s been very basic so far,” Brown said. “We’re going to keep working on the fundamentals, and pay attention to who plays well at what position.”