Offense claims spring game

Zach Martin

Before the Bruce Craddock Memorial spring game kicked off at Hanson Field, it already turned into a night to remember.

Former Leatherneck football players lined up to shake hands with current players for the first time ever.

“I thought the Leatherneck handshake was a great bridge from the past to the present,” said first-year head coach Charlie Fisher. “We always want to embrace our former players.”

The game itself, turned intoa nail-biter.

In a fantasy football type-scoring format, third-string quarterback Craig Slowik completed a first-down pass to Jaelon Acklin that gained Western a point and since it was over 20 yards, it counted as an explosive play for an additional two points to give the Purple team a 49-47 lead that they would hold on for a 52-47 win over the White team.

“We took a step tonight,” Fisher said. “I thought we threw the ball consistently, I thought our defense flew around.”

For the first time this spring, Fisher’s new offense was seen to the public and saw a surprising face getting the starting nod.

True sophomore quarterback Sean McGuire started things off as he played six of the games first nine drives, throwing a touchdown pass to Adam Conrady on the fifth drive, seven plays after he threw his first interception of the evening, for the first touchdown of the contest.

“It’s all been coming together,” said McGuire, who was also voted a team captain by his teammates. “We’ve tightened the screws and we’ve got the basic stuff down.”

Conrady, who was named one of the most improved players on offense during spring camp, said he likes the fact that the tight ends are a prominent part of
Fisher’s offense.

“Tight ends are utilized more and we run a lot more routes,” Conrady said. “Anytime you’re the first or second option, it feels great.”

Fisher likes where the offense is at, saying he felt they took another step forward Friday. McGuire echoed that statement.

“We took a lot of strides forward,” McGuire said. “It’s been interesting to come out and put it all into work into a live situation.”

On the defensive side of the ball, a new system is in place and it showed signs of promise.

Josh Smith intercepted two of the four passes the White team had on both McGuire and Trenton Norvell.

“We still run nickel,” Smith said. “It’s a lot more quarter defense.”

Brett Taylor, who was named the other captain, said he felt they also took a step in the right direction.

“We learned how to play together,” he said. “I look forward to see what’s ahead of us.”

All in all, Fisher called this an exciting and fun spring football game.

“It was fun,” Fisher said. “We were basic plus a little bit more, we tried to keep it simple.”