The Rattlers hosted their annual spring game on Saturday ending the spring football session.
The orange team (offense) competed against the green team (defense). The defense scored its points by turnovers, sacks, and three-and-outs.
Redshirt junior quarterback Carson Royal led the offense, throwing a pair of touchdowns for 215 yards to redshirt juniors Montavious Williams and Jairockeis Jones. Williams put the first points on the board catching a 70-yard bomb right behind the defense to go up 7-0.
Redshirt sophomore Victor Love also caught a 10-yard touchdown in the red zone from junior quarterback Devonte Austin. Love made the initial catch around the 3-yard line, but from the help of his teammates, he gained a large enough push to penetrate the end zone for the second score.
Running back Ronald Ricci also sneaked in a 2-yard run to give the offense 21 points.
There were an abundance of plays made between the offense and defense. Junior wide receiver Tra’Von Holmes proved that he could catch the ball and make positive yards on consistent bases with 5 for 78 yards receiving. Redshirt junior defensive back Braxton Brown had the hit of the game, sending a message to the running back.
The orange team’s last points took place just outside the red zone. Royal danced around from the defense before throwing a 28-yard dart to Jones between two defenders.
The offense remained on top, defeating the defense 28-22.
Head Coach Alex Wood said that it was a good day, and that the team was able to create game-like situations and circumstances.
“We were able to get in about 120 plays, which were good. We got some special teams work,” Wood said. “We got some special situational work, which is always important to put ourselves in difficult and advantageous situations to see how well we will respond offensively and defensively. That was the objective today.”
Wood said that the team is not complete yet, but they do not have to be because they still have time to prepare.
Redshirt senior Kashawn Butler and sophomore running back Gerald Hearns also shared their insight of the spring game.
“Today’s game was good. Me and my brothers went out there and set a platform to where we know where we want to be in the season,” Butler said. “We’re ready to compete and ready to get back to work. We’re ready to learn from our mistakes and move on from there.”
“It was a great opportunity to be able to come out and perfect the plays that our coaches put us through,” Hearns said. “We’re looking forward to staying focused, executing over the summer, and making great things happen this season.”
Heavy rain as a forecast can often kill the excitement for players and fans in a football game. Coach Wood explained how he thought the level of excitement was good despite the rain.
“There was good enthusiasm,” Wood explained. “It wasn’t at a fever pitch today, but I think that we’ll get there once the game happens.”
The Rattlers head into the offseason in preparation for the season opener Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. The
Rattlers will face off against the University of South Florida Bulls at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.