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Offense leads the way in spring game

By Staff Report
On April 23, 2017

Northern Colorado Football hosted its annual Blue vs. Gold Spring Game on Saturday. After the defense put on a show in scrimmage two, it was the offense’s turn, as they came out on top with a 68-52 victory.

“We got a chance to give a lot of different guys some work today. We had almost 60 plays in the first half,” said head coach Earnest Collins Jr.  “The game is mainly for the fans, but it also provides us with some good film to go over to show us what we already know and what we don’t know.”




The offense was good for 320 total yards (269 passing, 151 rush), four touchdowns (three passing, one rush) and two field goals in an afternoon that gave the newcomers the majority of the snaps.

Quarterback, Jacob Knipp was handed just two series out of the 18 on the day, but got the ball moving, finishing the day 8-of-10 for 77 yards. In his first drive, Knipp diced his way down the field completing five out of his first six attempts, leading the offense 42 yards, before a flea flicker play resulted in wide out, Frank Stephens throwing an interception.

The veteran’s second drive resulted in a touchdown, 10 plays and 75 yards later as junior running back, Anthony Davis bolted to the end zone on a 37-yard scamper, the lone rushing TD of the game.

Davis had a productive stat line in a pass-dominant game, rushing for 61 yards on 10 attempts and a touchdown.  The other back to get the bulk of the carries was Zachary Lindsay. Lindsay ended the game with 55 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

The surprise of the game came from transfer QB, Conor Regan. Regan had a day, going 11-of-19 for 186 yards and three touchdown passes.

The newcomer put together drives of 56, 63 and 75 yards in his first spring game. The beneficiaries of Regan’s arm was wide out, F. Stephens and tight end, Theron Verna. Stephens hauled in just two receptions from Regan, but that was more than enough as it resulted in 117 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Verna had the best showing out of the tight ends, hauling in four passes for 51 yards and a TD.

In total, five of the six scoring drives that offense had were with Regan under center.

For the first time since I’ve been here there will be about 10 guys that won’t be here in the fall,” Collins said. “That’s just kind of where we are as a program. We’ve got to the point to where we have 33 guys coming in the fall and we already have 85 on campus and we’re only allotted 99, so I feel the competition has increased and made us better as a program.”




Besides the handful of explosive plays the offense had, the defense was rock solid. In 18 series, the white jerseys forced 10 punts and one turnover on downs.

Linebacker, James Riddle seemed like he was everywhere throughout the scrimmage, finishing with a game-high eight tackles, along with a PBU and a TFL.

The defense also racked up six sacks from six different players and four tackles for a loss.

The lone turnover for the D came from safety, Sherand Boyd Jr. He picked off the flea flicker play in the opening series of the game and returned it 63 yards the other way.

For the second scrimmage in a row, the defensive line was a problem for the offense all afternoon. The d-line accounted for 4.5 of the six sacks, with defensive ends, Nick Johnson and Isaiah Williams leading the charge.

Newcomer and defensive end, Dominik Romero was the surprise player of the game for the defense. He racked up three tackles on the day with a sack and a TFL.

Punter and safety, Keifer Glau also stood out for his aggressiveness on the field. Glau totaled three tackles, along with a sack and a PBU.



Kicker Marques Combs continued his streak of made field goals. Combs was two-for-two, cashing in from 33 and 35 yards out, along with four PATs.  Glau, who wasn’t used much in the second spring scrimmage had his work cut out for him on Saturday. He tallied 10 punts and ended with over a 40-yard average, with his longest punt going 63 yards.

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