Cowboys hold first scrimmage

Apr 7, 2013 From staff reports

The Wyoming Cowboys concluded their second week of spring football on Friday devoting the last hour of practice to scrimmaging for the first time this spring. The offense enjoyed a big day, winning 73 to 23. The Cowboys got in right at 100 plays during the one-hour scrimmage, with the offense generating 559 yards passing and 120 rushing for 679 yards of total offense. The offense did not commit any turnovers on the day.

"I was pleased today," said fifth-year head coach Dave Christensen. "I thought we were a much better football team than we were Wednesday, and that's our goal is to come out each and every day and get better. I thought we made plays today, but nine penalties in a half scrimmage -- that's too many penalties. We have to eliminate those penalties and become more disciplined. We had some guys who got tired, but we can't make mistakes when we're tired. We have to fight through fatigue. We're going to continue to push the pace and the tempo, and we'll get these guys in great shape on both sides of the ball.

"Overall I liked the way our kids went out and competed. The enthusiasm level was great, the competition was great. We're getting better as a football team.

"As a football team its our goal is to get an `A' grade on Aug. 31. It's early in the semester for us as a football team right now. We have a lot of assignments to get down before we get a final grade."

Each of Wyoming's four quarterbacks threw a touchdown pass in the scrimmage. Junior Brett Smith led the No. 1 offense on two scoring drives against the No. 1 defense. The first scoring drive was a six-play, 51-yard drive that ended with Smith scoring on a four-yard TD run. He also led the No. 1 unit on a seven-play, 66-yard drive during a two-minute offensive drill that saw Smith connect with senior wide receiver Robert Herron on a six-yard TD pass. Smith concluded the day completing 11 of 16 passes (68.7 percent) for 110 yards.

Sophomore quaterback Jason Thompson had one of his best days as a Cowboy, leading the No. 2 offense on three scoring drives against the No. 2 defense. On Thompson's first drive of the day, he guided his No. 2 unit on a four-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Eric Nzeocha. Later in the scrimmage, Thompson drove the Pokes 49 yards in seven plays as sophomore running back D.J. May capped off the drive with a five-yard TD run. During a two-minute drill, Thompson led his squad on a 66-yard drive in 11 plays, culminating in a three-yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Shaun Wick. Thompson was given his opportunity to run one series with the No. 1 offense versus the No. 1 defense. He drove the Cowboys down to the four-yard line, but following three penalties against the offense the drive ended with a 29-yard field goal by junior place-kicker Stuart Williams. Thompson completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 percent) for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard was a perfect 4 of 4 passing on the day for 107 yards, and he connected on one touchdown pass -- a 66-yarder to redshirt freshman wide receiver Nico Brown. Freshman QB Tommy Thornton was also very effective, completing 8 of 11 passes (72.7 percent) for 95 yards, and he threw a three-yard TD pass to Brown.

Leading the receivers in Friday's scrimmage were: junior Keenan Montgomery (8 receptions for 117 yards); redshirt freshman Nico Brown (7 catches for 137 yards and 2 TDs); redshirt freshman Tanner Simpson (6 receptions for 82 yards); junior Dominic Rufran (6 catches for 49 yards); senior Robert Herron (4 receptions for 50 yards and 1 TD); junior Jalen Claiborne (3 catches for 26 yards); and juniors Justin Berger and Josh Smith (who each had 2 catches for 20 yards each).

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