But that was just fine with coach Danny Cronic, because it meant the defense was doing its job. In a previous scrimmage, the offense ran the show and Cronic said that maybe served as motivation for the defense.
“We dropped the ball a little bit,” he said. “I don’t know. We just weren’t as sharp, maybe because the defense was sharper. The defense had a real good week of practice. Maybe last Saturday encouraged them greatly. Maybe this will encourage the offense.”
Reinhardt held its first public scrimmage a week ago, but Saturday’s Blue-White game was a dry run for the regular season. Rosters were provided at the gate, the concession stand was open, there was an announcer in the press box and plenty of fans were in the stands.
The Eagles will practice in shells Tuesday and be in full pads Thursday to wrap the spring practice period.
Cronic said that he’s encouraged to see the improvements players have made, but he knows it will be a completely different team on campus in the fall.
“I am encouraged about a lot of things with these guys just having been with us for one year, and they are all freshmen,” he said. “We have a good recruiting class. The team will look a lot different in the fall because there will be some different folks in there.”
Reinhardt struggled on special teams, which seems to be a work in progress. While punter Blayton Bethune has been a part of the team through the spring, the Eagles won’t have a kicker until the freshmen arrive in the fall. Likewise, there aren’t any long snappers on the current roster.
An area where the offense found success and the defense struggled Saturday was in goal-line situations. Nearly every time the ball was snapped inside the 10-yard line, the offense scored by making use of speedy running backs on end routes.
In Saturday’s scrimmage, quarterbacks Johnathon Chamblee and Ryan Thompson continued to share snaps. Another quarterback, Cherokee High School product Dylan Haynes, was unable to participate for the second straight week because of a shoulder injury.
Among the running backs making an impression were L.J. Stegall, Carl Edouard and P.J. Green. Tight end Shane McCleskey, a product of Woodstock High School, made a key play as did T.C. Carter, who recovered a fumble and carried it more than 50 yards for a touchdown. Wide receiver Elliot Clark made a couple nice grabs.
On defense, linebacker Jarred Johnson came up with a big sack, and Tyler Martin broke up a pass. Lineman Shaq Walker provided great pressure to the quarterback, while Etowah High School product Vashaun Washington made several solid tackles.