March 22, 2014
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University`s football team worked through nearly 100 plays Saturday afternoon giving the Owls' new coaching staff a measuring stick for the team's spring progress.
"In the first and second quarters, I thought we were hitting it on all cylinders, in some ways," said Charlie Partridge, FAU's head football coach. "I thought both sides of the ball made some plays. We got into the third quarter and there was a little dirtiness there with pre-snap issues, but I feel like we got it cleaned up and there were some big plays on offense. There were some TFL (tackles for loss) and sacks on defense so if we can be consistent with those, I think we have a chance to keep getting better."
The scrimmage featured officials and the Owls worked in a controlled format with no tackling. The team's starters faced each other as did the backups. All three units were given snaps at the minus 25, the minus 40, the plus 40 and the plus 20. The majority of the day was scripted.
Each of the three quarterbacks led drives and each had big plays. The day's first scoring drive was led by Greg Hankerson who found junior Derek Moise down field. Senior Martese Jackson then carried the ball in from 20 yards out. Jaquez Johnson found William Dukes, who hauled in an 80 yard-scoring pass. While the familiar faces continued to shine on both sides of the ball, emerging stars Lucky Whitehead and DJ Juste were both elusive, broke tackles and both found the end zone. Junior tight end Michael Harropalso had a big day collecting passes from both Hankerson and Johnson.
Defensively, the returners continued to perform at the level that saw them earn a No. 11 national rank by the end of 2013. Trey Hendrickson applied the pressure at defensive end and batted down a pass attempt during the fourth. Hendrickson, a rising sophomore, is stepping up on a line that lost three senior starters and who set an FAU record for single-season sacks. His efforts along with Shalom Ogbonda, returner Trevon Coley and newcomer Haiden Nagelset the tone of the defense.
FAU will return to the practice field 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of next week and is scheduled to host the REDBLUE 2014 Spring Game at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 5th at the FAU Stadium, 777 Glades Road. Both events and the scrimmage are free and open to the public.
Football season tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1-866-FAU-Owls. FAU will open the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the University of Nebraska.