Quarterbacks shine at first scrimmage of the spring

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Junior Darian Stone and freshmen Jared Davis and Trent Thompson combined to throw 30-for-36 with 318 yards and a score in Tennessee Tech's first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday at Tucker Stadium. 

Stone threw just one incompletion, going 13-of-14 for 134 yards on the day. The Clinton, Tenn. native connected with junior Cody Matthews for a 63-yard pass for the longest play of the scrimmage. Fellow junior Jamal Cook made the touchdown-saving tackle at the five-yard line. Sophomore running back Radir Annoor scored from there on a handoff on his first touch of the game. 

"Darian had a really solid day," head coach Watson Brown said. 'The only time the first-team offense got stopped on the whole day was when they stopped themselves on a penalty."

Davis had the most passing attempts, throwing 11-of-15 for 129 yards and the only touchdown through the air, a 35-yard score to junior Brannon McCoin. Fellow freshman Thompson passed for 55 yards, going 6-of-7 on the day.

"The two young ones looked young today," Brown said. "They didn't run the team as well as Darian did today, so we just have to let them keep getting reps." 

On the ground, Tech was led by Cody Forbes who rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Forbes broke off a 25-yard run for his second score, his longest carry of the scrimmage.

"Cody had shoulder surgery and has come back stronger, bigger and more mature," Brown said. "We have four guys in our backfield that we believe could play right now. It's one of the best positions on our team."

Sophomore LaDarrius Vanlier sparked the scoring, breaking off a 35-yard touchdown run on his second touch of the day. Vanlier wrapped up the scrimmage with 49 yards on four carries.

Special teams had an impressive day as well, led by junior Zach Sharp. The Maryville High School graduate booted five field goals of 42, 42, 29, 22, and 21 yards. Sophomore Chris Harris also made a 42-yarder.

The only turnover of the day came on the final play of the scrimmage as senior Blake Adams forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow senior Cory McDonald. Stephon Boyd, Jerry King and K.J. Carter picked up sacks. Junior James Huguely broke up a Jared Davis pass in the endzone to save a touchdown on one of the final drives of the scrimmage.

The annual Purple/Gold Scrimmage is set for Saturday, April 20, one day before the team’s annual awards dinner on Sunday, April 21. The final scrimmage will take place Friday, April 26, to close the books on spring drills.