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April 14, 2012

Runningbacks winding up as Spring Drills wind down

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- With only a few weeks left in the spring semester, head coach Watson Brown and his staff put the Golden Eagle football team through a short, but effective, scrimmage on Saturday at Tucker Stadium.

Brown hopes the limited plays will make his players realize the importance of summer workouts when the time comes.

"We've got so many two to three week injuries that we just need to cut back on our reps," Brown said. "But 60 plays is enough, it shows the guys what summer running does. They realize that they have to be able to make 18-play drives, not just a few plays and then take a break."

As several players battle through the offseason for a starting nod on the 2012 squad, one position stood out on Saturday as the most competitive: running back.

"The best thing all day was the runningbacks," Brown said. "We've got some good backs."

The offense rushed for 251 yards on the day, led by Bud Golden who tallied 96 yards including one rush for 53 yards and a touchdown. Walk-on Taylor Fletcher (pictured) also made his name known, carrying the ball for 56 yards and a touchdown on the day.

Coach Brown acknowledged Fletcher's efforts and made some comparisons to last year's leading rusher, Dontey Gay.

"I think [Fletcher] earned his spot today and a chance to hang around here and help us out," Brown said. "He's just that one guy who will run you over. We need a guy like that on the chart."

The Golden Eagles also utilized three quarterbacks in the scrimmage and were led by the always-consistent Tre Lamb and Darian Stone. Lamb threw for 39 yards and picked up 37 yards on the ground including a 14-yard scramble for a touchdown.

Stone aired out a team-high 51 yards and threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Tevin McDermott.

"Darian's got a chance to be a really special player for us," Brown said. "We've got probably the best quarterback in the league right now [in Tre Lamb] and the guy behind him [Darian] is just waiting his turn. I was very proud of him today."

The special teams also had an impressive outing, relying on the legs of kicker Zach Sharp and punter Chad Zinchini. Sharp was a perfect 4-for-4 on extra points and kicked a 19-yard field goal.

Zinchini booted six punts for 282 yards, an average of 47 yards per punt. The Hendersonville, Tenn., native landed all six inside the 23-yard line and had his longest punt of the day sail 58 yards.

Defensively, the Golden Eagles racked up three sacks and one interception. Zach Bush and Tommie Mcbride each picked up solo sacks while Jordan Johnson and Tra'Darius Goff combined for one.

The lone interception was picked off by James Huguely, a six-foot defensive back from Atlanta.

Tech hosts its annual Spring Purple-Gold Game on Saturday, April 21, at 11 a.m. Fans are invited to watch. Admission is free.