By: Santeria Evans | Sports Editor
The University of South Alabama football team held their first fall scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 14, at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
This was the first of two scheduled scrimmages for the fall.
The 106-play scrimmage lasted nearly two hours, with the offense accumulating 326 yards of its 469 total yards through the air. The offensive unit recorded five scores on the day with four of those coming on the ground from senior Kareem Walker, redshirt sophomore John Tank Miller, redshirt freshman AJ Phillips and sophomore Jared Wilson.
Sophomore Jaden Voisin’s 45-yard interception return highlighted a day in which the defensive unit was credited for 11 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and a pair of interceptions.
South’s quarterbacks combined for 32 pass completions to 15 different receivers with eight recording multiple catches led by four apiece from graduate transfer Allen Dailey Jr., and freshman wide-out Christian Wortham.
Wortham’s 41-yard reception was also the longest play of the scrimmage while Walker’s 26-yard carry was the longest run.
Walker recorded 75 yards of total offense as he rushed for 59 yards and a score on five attempts and caught three passes for 16 yards out of the backfield.
Senior outside linebacker Chris Henderson finished with three tackles, 1 ½ behind the line of scrimmage including a sack and nearly recorded an interception as he broke up a pass.
10 different players recorded a sack, with sophomore CJ Rais being the lone individual to be credited with multiple, ending the day with two.
Passing: Jake Bentley 13-of-19, 147 yds, 1 TD; Desmond Trotter 9-of-12, 87 yds; Eli Gainey 6-of-13, 73 yards, 2 INTs; Tanner McGee 4-of-9, 26 yds
Rushing: Kareem Walker 5-59, 1 TD; Terrion Avery 8-28; AJ Phillips 8-11, 1 TD; Jared Wilson 5-5, 1 TD
Receiving: Christian Wortham 4-67; Allen Dailey Jr. 4-29; Jalen Tolbert 3-50, 1 TD; Brandon Crum 3-43; Jalen Wayne 3-27; Kareem Walker 3-14
Defense: Jamie Sherriff 3-4—7 TT, 1 sack; Keith Gallmon 5-1—6 TT, 1 PB, ½ TFL; Shawn Jennings 4-2—6 TT; Shawn Steele II 1-5—6 TT, 1 TFL; A.J. DeShazor 4-1—5 TT, 1 sack; Ke’Shun Brown 2-3—5; Christian Bell 1-3—4 TT, 1 TFL; Brock Higdon 1-3—4 TT, 1 sack; Chris Henderson 3-0—3 TT, 1 sack, 1 ½ TFL, 1 PB; Jaden Voisin 0-2—2 TT, 1 INT (touchdown); CJ Rais 2-0—2 TT, 2 sacks
Special teams: Noah Karwacki 3-3 FGs, 50 long; Frankie Onate 2-3 FGs, 32 long; Diego Guajardo 1-2 FGs, 48 long; Jack Brooks 5-34.6 avg punting, 40 long; Jack Martin 3-30.7 avg punting, 34 long
Head Coach Wommack said, “That ability to stare adversity in the face and then respond, we talk about it all the time not being a reactionary team but a responsive team. We talk about Murphy’s Law, `anything that can go wrong will go wrong,’ it’s going to show up in a football game all the time and are you ready to respond through that adversity and I thought our guys did that.”
“It was good on both sides of the ball, we came out here and had a physical scrimmage,” Tolbert said. “Both sides of the ball showed flashes of what we are capable of doing.”
“I’m really pleased about where we are in year one,” said Wommack. “We are probably a little further ahead than where I thought we would be. I like what I see at this point. From a schematic standpoint and a fundamental standpoint and certainly a team culture standpoint, we are further ahead.”
South Alabama will take Sunday off before returning to the practice field Monday.