By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 11, 2015) — Offense ruled the day Saturday when Tarleton State held a public scrimmage as part of its ongoing spring football practices. The annual Purple vs. White spring game is set for next Saturday, April 18.
Four players combined for six touchdowns in the seven-possession scrimmage that pitted offense versus defense. Four of the scores came through the air, with likely starter Zed Woerner firing TDs to Le’Nard Meyers and Glenn Roberts and upstart young quarterback Derek Kiser reaching the end zone on throws to Meyers and Stephenville product Alex Sanchez.
Roberts also rushed for a touchdown, as did redshirt freshman DJ McCants.
“He runs a 10.15 in the 100 (meter),” said Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler of McCants after the speedster found a big hole and left everyone in his dust for a 60-yard scoring burst. “Our offensive line is playing so well right now, and when you give a guy like that room to run, he’s going to break a few and nobody’s going to catch him.”
If there was a standout on the defensive side it was EJ Speed, who was recruited as an athlete figuring to play quarterback or wide receiver but has made the transition to defensive end after gaining 40 pounds or more during his redshirt season and off-season.
Speed made plays in the backfield and also showed the ability to cover the flats when necessary, covering a lot of ground to make a tackle for loss near the sideline on a swing pass.
Stephenville product Chase Varnado has also shined at defensive end this spring, but was out on Saturday. Fowler said it was nothing alarming, he had just “tweaked” a knee.
“If this were a game, Chase would have been out there,” Fowler said. “There’s just no reason to push a player like him who’s hurting for a spring scrimmage.”
Fowler said Varnado is a big part of his defensive plans, possibly even as a starter on the opposite side of Speed.
“When you put both those guys out there, it’s trouble for an offense,” said Fowler. “But we have some other guys competing for time there, too. That’s a strong position for us.”
All in all, it was about offense Saturday. The white-clad offensive units amassed about 440 yards on seven possessions.
“We have some great players on that side of the ball, but we have some great players on defense, too,” said Fowler. “We have a lot of work to do, but I like where we’re at.”