Blue team beats Silver 14-0 at Mackay Stadium
RENO — Friday’s Blue and Silver scrimmage did its best to represent real college football. Five minutes into the game, the more than 200 fans, as well as the players and coaches on both teams, weren’t fooled.
Both teams combined for four fumbles in the first eight snaps of the game and there were more penalty flags thrown than points on the scoreboard most of the game. The Blue team, though, led by quarterback Jeff Rowe, bounced back from the rocky start to pull out a 14-0 in the annual intrasquad game at Mackay Stadium.
“A lot of laundry, a lot of mistakes here today,” said coach Chris Tormey. “An awful lot of problems that we’ll have to clean up before the first game.”
There were 16 penalties in the game, including 10 committed by the Silver team, which was comprised of the second and third string offense and defense. Rowe completed 7-of-10 passes for 76 yards and one touchdown. His 26-yard TD pass to Anthony Pudewell with 4:51 left in the first half was the game’s first score. The offensive highlight of the game was Rowe’s 48-yard strike to sophomore Nichiren Flowers, which set up a 32 yard field goal attempt by Damon Fine. His kick, though, missed wide right. Several drives before that, Fine missed wide left on a 35-yard attempt.
“Not a good day for golfers or kickers,” said Tormey, who acknowledged the blustery conditions yesterday afternoon. “Offensively, we’re not where we need to be. We’ll have to run the ball better than we did today.”
The Blue team’s Matt Milton rushed for 76 yards on 16 carries. Combined, though, the two teams only rushed for 86 yards on 37 carries. B.J. Mitchell led the Silver team with 25 yards rushing. Andy Heiser, the Silver team’s starting quarterback, completed 9-of-15 passes for 60 yards. Heiser will go into fall camp as Rowe’s backup.
“We were a little sloppy, we had a few penalties,” Rowe said. “I think we’ll be ready to go in the fall. I missed a few short ones. I got some work to do. I think we’re at a point right now where the offense almost clicking. We just need one more practice.”
That practice will have to wait until August, when the team begins training for the 2003 season. One thing everybody is curious to see is how Chance Kretschmer will recover from the his torn ACL. The Tonopah native, who was injured in the second game of the 2002 season, should give Nevada’s running game a boost. Kretschmer, who didn’t play Friday but should be in pads when practice begins in the fall, led the nation in rushing as a freshman in 2001.
“He’s doing fine,” Tormey said. “In fact, he’s ahead of schedule. I expect him to be 100 percent in the fall. We lost Cody Johnson at center. I think Kyle Gosselin did some good things this spring. Once we get Alan Parker and Chance (Kretschmer) back, we should be fairly solid on the offensive line.”
Maurice Mann caught three passes from Heiser for 27 yards and Tim Fleming caught three passes from Rowe for 26 yards to lead the wide receivers in catches.
Notes…At halftime of Friday’s game, awards were given out to the spring’s most improved players. Kyle Gosselin was voted most improved offensive lineman, Jeff Rowe most improved offensive back and Anthony Pudewell most improved tight end/receiver. Defensively, Nick Hawthrone was voted most improved defensive back, Brenton Kendrick most improved linebacker and Charles Wilson most improved defensive lineman. Damon Fine was voted most improved kicker. Backup quarterback Andy Heiser was voted the 2002-2003 Strength and Conditioning Football Player of the Year.