Defense, kickers dominate Spring Game
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Certainly, the place kickers had their fun in a 12-3 victory for the Black team over the Gold in front of an estimated 3,500 fans at Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday. Neither offenses from the Black or the Gold teams could score a touchdown against two defenses that at times bent, but never let an offense into the end zone.
Then again, the way the teams were divided made that difficult. Both offenses were a mix of starters and backups, which made it difficult for either to find much rhythm.
And it didn't help that starting quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson did not play because of an injury he's recovering from that he suffered during the 2012 season.
"We were going to split into teams and have fun with it and I think they did," Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield said. "Now, we're looking forward to the summer. We can't spend very much time with them per NCAA, but our strength staff is going to be with them and our seniors, we've got to lean on those guys."
Even with the lack of touchdowns, there were some bright spots for both offenses. Logan Hallock, who will probably go into fall workouts as the No. 3 quarterback, completed 22-of-32 passes for 209 yards. Hallock, who quarterbacked the Black team, tossed two interceptions and his longest completion went for 24 yards to Simms McElfresh, who led all receivers with eight catches for 84 yards.
Kalik Barnes, who quarterbacked the Gold team, completed 19-of-28 passes for 154 yards. His longest pass was 16 yards to Andrew Peacock, who led the Gold with five catches for 51 yards.
Black team running back Paul Magloire, who was converted from quarterback, led all rushers with 57 yards on 15 carries. Tysean Holloway carried the ball 10 times for 34 yards for the Black.
Ricky Fergerson gained 53 yards on 12 carries for the Gold.
"I'm tickled to death about Ricky and Paul," Satterfield said. "They've done an awesome job for us."
The Gold struck first with a 44-yard field goal from Drew Stewart, but the Black struck back with a 22-yard Mark Powell field goal.
Zach Matics connected on field goals of 48, 27 and 31 yards in the second half to lift the Black over the Gold. The Black nearly scored a defensive touchdown late in the first half when an Austin Chambers interception was blown dead. Black's Stephen Machanic got credit for a sack of Barnes by touching the quarterback as he released the ball, which nullified the interception.
The Black also moved the ball down to Gold's 13-yard line in the second half, but two penalties combined with a Ronald Blair sack pushed the ball back to the 32-yard line. Matics' 48-yarder put the Black in front 6-3.
Matics had the biggest day of any special team player with his three field goals and his 42.2 yards per punt average on four kicks. His longest went for 49 yards, and he dropped three punts inside the 20-yard line.
"To me, Zach Matics has had a really good spring," Satterfield said. "The first week, not as good, but the last 10 practices, Zach has solidified himself as our guy right now."
The Black also drove to the Gold's 10-yard line and to the Gold's 13-yard line after two catches for 21 yards by redshirt freshman receiver Austin Fowler. Both times, Gold's defense made key plays to stop the Black's drives and force them to settle for field goals.
Former Watauga linebacker Cody McKinney, a walk-on, led the Black team with eight tackles.