Eastern Washington University quarterbacks combined for four touchdown passes to highlight the first football scrimmage of spring practice for the Eagles Saturday morning (April 12) at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
Sophomore Jordan West, a backup behind All-America starter Vernon Adams, connected with sophomore Kendrick Bourne on a TD pass, and Adams connected with Bourne once and Cooper Kupp twice for scores.
Both quarterbacks directed EWU on 65-yard scoring drives as the Eastern offense finished with 242 yards through the air and another 59 on the ground. The Eagles ran a total of 47 plays on a picture-perfect day at “The Inferno.”
“We don’t get caught up in whether the offense or defense wins the scrimmage,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “We have seen both perform to an extreme level at times, but what we want to do is not to focus on the end result. I told the players to take it play by play and grade themselves. It doesn’t matter if it was a touchdown or if it was a tackle for loss in the backfield, there still might be two or three players on the same side of the ball that had a good end result. But as a team we’re still finding ways to get better on a specific play.”
Adams finished 10-of-12 for 139 yards, including a 65-yard strike to Kupp. West was 6-of-8 for 99 yards, and Conner Richardson completed one pass for four yards. Kupp was the leading receiver with five catches for 105 yards, and Bourne caught three for 45.
“We think we can see explosive plays like that and explosive plays from other players on our depth chart,” said Baldwin. “I think the offense is in a different place with Vernon coming back after last year. He has a full season under his belt, compared to last spring when he was coming off splitting a lot of time in 2012. The receiving corp, even with a couple of players not participating, still has a couple veterans out there. That’s one thing that was different than it was last year. And I think that carried over to the first scrimmage.”
Walk-on running back Reece Mahaffy from Coeur d’Alene was the leading rusher with 39 yards on six carries.
Freshman Moe Roberts returned an interception 75 yards for a score for the defense, and Chandler Reed had a sack for the defense.
“On defense you are seeing veterans up front that are able to get the calls and get us aligned correctly,” Baldwin added. “And then we have young players making explosive plays in the secondary. We know there were some big plays on offense, but there were also some big plays the other way. We had nice break-up in the end zone and obviously, a pick six near the tail end of the scrimmage. There were nice, big explosive plays on both sides of the ball.”
Eastern opened its 14-session spring practice schedule on April 4 and will continue to practice Tuesdays and Thursdays, and have its next scrimmage on Saturday, April 19 (10:30 a.m.). The annual Red-White Game takes place on Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. at Roos Field, but the Eagles will follow that with one more week of practice before wrapping up on May 1.