Sunday, September 06, 2009

Yale scrimmage wrap

With a Yale/Quinnipiac men's soccer game to run out to Saturday evening, I wasn't able to put together a recap of the Yale/Union scrimmage.

So file this under the "better late than never" department.

Patrick Witt started at quarterback and played five of the seven first-half drives. Witt seems comfortable in Yale's West Coast offense. His two touchdowns (a 54-yarder to Alex Thomas and 16-yarder to Peter Balsam) probably traveled about five yards combined. Thomas ran the wrong route but made up for his miscue by slicing through the Union defense for a TD while Balsam made an impressive grab on Witt's swing pass just after crossing the line of scrimmage and took care of the rest. The passing game didn't take a ton of chances down the field but it's hard to argue with a 20 of 30 for 320 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in Yale's 36-14 win.

My unofficial stats had Witt 8 of 9 for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brook Hart was 4 of 9 for 59 yards. It was a two-quarterback show until the fourth quarter when Rich Scudellari (4 of 8, 48 yards) and Bryan Farris (4 of 4 for 47 yards) got some work.

Jordan Farrell started at tailback and turned a busted play into a 36-yard touchdown run on his first carry and had a 25-yard run on his second rush. He finished with 71 yards on five carries. Freshman Mordecai Cargill was up next and ran nine times for 33 yards and also had a 24-yard reception. Thomas also saw plenty of action, scoring on a 2-yard run as well as the aforementioned screen pass. Rodney Reynolds and Brandon Scott (the top two tailbacks coming out of spring ball) and Ricky Galvez saw some time in the second half. Balsam, Thomas, Chris Smith and tight ends Chris Blohm (2 catches for 45 yards) and Jordan Jefferson (3 catches, 54 yards) had multiple receptions.

I have seen different variations of the offensive line with center Jake Koury and tackle Cory Palmer the only constants. But the starting unit was the same one which I saw working together in Thursday's practice with Jon Charest playing the other tackle and Nate Blair and Jeff Marrs (the only freshman to start on either offense or defense) manning the guard positions. It was a mixed bag as there were very few hits behind the line of scrimmage by Union but there were six penalties for either holding or illegal blocks.

Defensively, I was little surprised to see Joe Young and Pat Moran lining up side by side on the line along with Sean Williams and Tom McCarthy. Although I had Young and Moran for three tackles combined, they helped bottle up Union's running game. Bedford Booth got the start at free safety and looked pretty comfortable while Tim Handlon and Jordan Haynes saw plenty of time at linebacker, playing alongside Paul Rice and Travis Henry.

Larry Abare and Drew Baldwin, half of Yale's starting secondary, had interceptions as did John Pagliaro while linebacker Dan Walsh continues to make plays.

On special teams, Tom Mante did miss an extra point and field goal but did have a 57-yard punt. Gio Christodoulou was his normal electrifying self on returns while freshman John Powers, who starred at Hopkins, was a special-teams terror.

It was a pretty good day for the freshmen. Not only did Marrs start and Cargill have his moments, Jefferson looks like he will be forcing his way into the rotation even with John Sheffield, Haase and Chris Blohm all returning at tight end for the Bulldogs. My stats had Powers and fellow freshman safety Ryan Falbo tying for the team lead with three tackles with Walsh and Haynes. Freshman receiver Chris Smith made a highlight-variety catch in the end zone for an 18-yard scoring grab. Fullback Jordan Capellino had a 23-yard catch. Of the 15 players with receptions, seven were freshmen.

The only injury I noticed was to fullback Josh Kozel, who twisted an ankle.

Hopefully, the depth chart will be available to me in the next couple of days.

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