August 23 scrimmage blog

Coach Jeff Monken was very unhappy with his top teams’ play in a two-hour situational scrimmage Saturday morning.

Monken said, “there’s a lot of concern” on offense, defense and special teams.

“We weren’t ready to play,” Monken said. “We didn’t play with passion. We had busted assignments, missed tackles and missed blocks, ran the wrong routes and didn’t line up where we were supposed to.”

Monken took the blame for all of the above. He said he has to do a better job of getting his team ready to practice.

For most of the scrimmage, the first and second-team Army offense went up against the scout-team defense and the first and second-team defense tried to stop the scout-team offense.

Senior quarterback Angel Santiago led the first-team offense on its opening drive inside the scout-team 5-yard line. Senior running back Terry Baggett was stopped for no gain on 3rd-and-goal from the 1.  Army sent on the kicking team and junior Dan Grochowski made a 19-yard field goal.

The scout-team offense started inside Army’s 20-yard line during the scrimmage. Sophomore quarterback Matt Kaufmann hit freshman running back Rhyan England with a short pass. England picked up 10 yards after the catch for a 16-yard play. Freshman running back Nehemiah Brown scored from 1-yard out.

Junior quarterback A.J. Schurr took snaps with the second team. Schurr didn’t get much blocking up front on his first series. Sophomore defensive end Robert Jenkins tackled Schurr for a one-yard loss on his first play. Schurr was sacked by freshmen Justin Byers and Jake Vaughn on third down.

The scrimmage was a good test for Schurr, who started taking live reps near the end of the week.  Schurr, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury, looked good rolling out and throwing as the scrimmage went on. He completed two passes to sophomore wide receiver Edgar Poe. When the defense had the pass covered, Schurr picked up and ran for a 7-yard touchdown.

“It felt good,” Schurr said. “We can grow didn’t come out with the fire that we needed. We realize that as a team and it’s just got to get better. We can’t come out like we did today next week or the week after otherwise we are going to have a tough time in two Saturdays (Army’s opening against Buffalo on Sept. 6).”

On the injury front: Several starters and potential starters did not participate in the scrimmage. Army was down to its fourth fullback, sophomore PaulAndrew Rhoden. Fullbacks Larry Dixon, Matt Giachinta and Aaron Kemper all sat out…Junior center Matt Hugenberg was the only first-team offensive linemen, who played. Left tackle Drew Hennessy, left guard Steve Shumaker, right guard Stefan Moreau and right tackle Todd McDonald watched from the sideline along with sophomore guard Lofi Tamasese. Senior running back Tony Giovannelli, senior nose guard Richard Glover and senior linebacker James Kelly also were out.

First-team offense: QB Angel Santiago; FB PaulAndrew Rhoden; RB Terry Baggett; RB Joe Walker; WR Xavier Moss; WR Edgar Poe; LT Brett Toth (freshman); LG Jaryn Villegas (freshman); C Matt Hugenberg; RG Colby Enegren; RT Corey Hobbs.

First-team defense: DE Joe Drummond; NG T.J. Atimalala; DE Mike Ugenyi; LB Steve Ricciardi; LB Andrew King; LB Jeremy Timpf; LB John Voit (freshman); CB Josh Jenkins; CB Chris Carnegie; SS Hayden Pierce; FS Geoff Bacon.

Special teams: Jeremy Timpf blocked scout-team punter Tim Garner’s punt in the end zone and freshman Alex Aukerman recovered the block. Junior kicker Dan Grochowski also made a 20-yard field goal. Junior Cale Brewer missed a 20-yard field goal. Brewer’s line drive hit the cross bar. One of Brewer’s kickoffs went two yards deep in the end zone. Sophomore Mitchell Howard missed a 26-yard field goal wide left. Sophomore cornerback Josh Jenkins had a few long returns (35-50 yards) on kickoffs. Twice, freshman kicker Blake Wilson made the tackle on scout-team kickoff.  Senior Addison Holstein made a tackle on a punt.

Two-minute drill: The two offensive teams finished with two-minute drills against the top defenses. Angel Santiago  drove the offense inside the defense’s 35 on a run with less than 10 seconds left. Santiago was late in trying to spike the ball to set up a field-goal attempt and the snap was fumbled…Schurr had a 33-yard pass to freshman running back Egbezien Obiomon called back due to a formation penalty.

Sights and sounds: Col. Greg Gadson, a former Army linebacker, attended the scrimmage and spoke to the team after action was completed…Senior running back Raymond Maples, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury, played with the second-team offense. Maples caught a 13-yard pass from Angel Santiago. He was held to 2 yards on two carries…Senior defensive end Mike Ugenyi sacked Matt Kaufmann… Kaufmann threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Jake Owens…Sophomore cornerback Tevin Long continued his hard hitting. A big thud was heard when Long dropped quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw for a 5-yard loss…Freshman defensive lineman Jason Nix recorded a tackle for a loss on Bradshaw…Sophomore cornerback John Barnett broke up a deep pass intended for DeAndre Bell…After the punt block in the end zone, Monken stopped practice and showed each player on the scout team their blocking responsibilities…Monken sent one scout-team defensive player to the locker room after he committed his second 15-yard penalty about midway through the scrimmage. He had talked to the player about giving up important field position following his first penalty.

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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