CAMP NOTEBOOK: Final scrimmage caps largely successful Gathering of Eagles
Aug 17, 2013
By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator Scroll to the bottom to view a video on Saturday's
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – It was a jam-packed Saturday for
Tennessee Tech football fans at the annual Gathering of Eagles.
Golden Eagle fans enjoyed a surplus sale, kid's zone, women's
clinic, picnic, and football scrimmage prior to getting the chance
to meet the members of the Tennessee Tech football team.
The entire day was a resounding success as much of the t-shirts
and Tech memorabilia at the surplus sales quickly disappeared as
Golden Eagle fans showed their support. The kid's zone was wildy
popular as children of all ages enjoyed bouncy slides, moonwalks,
face painting, and a balloon booth while hanging out with the
Golden Eagle cheer squad.
For the first time in Tech athletics history, head coach Watson
Brown led a women's clinic for women wanting to learn more about
the sport of football. The event was an instant hit with over 50
fans in attendance to learn from one of the most experienced
coaches in NCAA football.
As always the picnic was enjoyed by all in attendance as
Tennessee Tech fans were provided free hot dogs, chips, cookies,
and Pepsi products while enjoying music provided by 98.5 Kiss FM.
The Golden Eagle volleyball team was also in attendance, signing
autographs for Tech fans while handing out posters with schedules
for many of the fall events.
Head Coach Watson
Brown addresses the attendees of the first-ever Golden Eagle Football Women's Clinic.
Oh, and there was some football too.
The Tennessee Tech football team held its final scrimmage of the
year, providing Golden Eagle fans with a sense of what to expect in
the coming weeks when the team takes the field for real. The team
didn't disappoint either as the offense really clicked on its way
to five touchdowns and three field goals.
"I thought we were better today than we were last week," said
Brown. "I thought the scrimmage was much better. We had way fewer
penalties, maybe four on the whole day. And that's with two team's
going. That's a very good improvement."
Leading the offensive charge on the day were the quarterbacks
and receivers, accounting for 376 of the team's 544 total yards and
three touchdowns. Freshman Brock McCoin led all
signal callers with a perfect day through the air. The Livingston,
Tenn. native finished 3-of-3 for 107 yards, including an impressive
61 yard strike to freshman tight end Dametris
Another freshman quarterback, Charlie High, built
some buzz by completing seven passes for 97 yards and touchdown.
The 12-yard pass was a beautiful ball to freshman tight end Hayden Freels
in the corner of the end zone. Freshman Trent Thompson and
junior Darian Stone
also threw touchdown passes on the day with Stone connecting on a
20-yard sting to sophomore receiver Krys Cates. Stone
finished 4-of-7 with a TD pass while racking up 31 yards on the
ground on just two carries. Freshman Jared Davis
completed 8-of-11 tosses for 81 yards on the day as well.
The receiving core was very well spread out on the day as 14
different receivers caught passes on Saturday. Sophomore Neil Gannaway
led the way with four receptions, totaling 58 yards. Watson racked
up the most yards with his lone catch of the day, totaling 61 yards
of offense. Junior tight end DaJuan Brown caught
two passes for 40 yards and freshman athlete Jerquin Vines added
three catches for 31 yards and touchdown.
Sophomore Steve Wilson
made three big grabs, finishing with 48 yards receiving and junior
Matthews made the most of his limited action with two snags for
29 yards. Also topping the 30-yard plateau was sophomore receiver
Josh Smith who
caught three balls for 39 yards.
"You got a taste of this receiving core and what they can do,"
said Brown. "There are a lot of guys who catch the ball and make
plays and a lot of them did today. It really wasn't just one guy
here or there, it was a total team effort. That looked good to
Redshirt freshman running back Isaiah McKinney
led all rushers with 44 yards on 12 carries and a score. Senior
Golden added the other rushing touchdown for the Golden Eagle
offense while carrying the ball six times to a tune of 33 yards.
Twelve different Tech players rushed at least once on the day,
piling up 168 yards and two scores on the ground.
The kickers were in great form as well. Sophomore Chris Harris
finished 3-of-3 on extra points while adding a 27-yard field goal.
Freshman Jonathan King and
Sharp each tallied an extra point with Sharp booting a huge
52-yard field goal that really got the crowd going. While the kick
was not official, it finished just one yard shy of the school
record of 53 yards for longest field goal.
"This is a very young team," said Brown. "There is experience
after the debacle of last year with all the injuries where a lot of
people had to play. But it's a young team. You're going to see a
lot of these faces for awhile."
Following the scrimmage, the Tech football team hung around to
sign autographs and interact with the fans.
The Golden Eagles open the schedule on Thursday, Aug. 29, when
they host Cumberland University at 7 p.m. The Kiss 98.5 FM Tailgate
Park will open at 4 p.m.
Photos by Thomas Cohern, Jim Dillon, Jocelyn VerVelde, Matt
Wagner, and Mike Lehman