By: Santeria Evans | Sports Editor
Photo by: Michael Dunn | Staff Photographer
The University of South Alabama football team held their second fall scrimmage on Saturday, August 21, at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
This was the last of two scheduled scrimmages for the fall.
South will begin preparations for its season-opening match-up against Southern Mississippi with a practice on Monday morning.
The play of the day included the Jaguar offense facing third-and-goal from the defense’s six-yard line during red zone drills, sophomore Atanza Vongor made a leaping, one-handed interception in the end zone to end the threat.
The Jaguar defense was credited with 13 tackles for loss — including seven sacks — three takeaways and five passes broken up while allowing less than 4 yards per play.
Head coach Kane Wommack stated, “There’s plenty to clean up. When you get into a scrimmage like this one with Sun Belt officials, you see there are more penalties on both sides of the ball, but there weren’t too many offsides or false starts, which was good.”
The Jaguar’s offense posted 399 of its 444 yards through the air while running a total of 112 plays in the scrimmage, with four of the unit’s five scoring drives coming after the initial break of the morning.
The defense forced six three-and-outs [after starting an offensive possession, executes three plays, fails to get a first down, and then punts] on drives that began on the offensive half of the field.
Senior Tré Young intercepted a pass, while freshman Jason Brooks forced a fumble that sophomore Jaden Voisin recovered to account for the other two takeaways by the South defense.
Junior Jalen Tolbert’s 85 yards receiving were the most recorded by a Jaguar in either of the team’s two scrimmages this month.
After accounting for USA’s only score through the air, Freshman Christian Wortham — who had two catches for a total of 56 yards on the day — finished with 50-plus yards in both scrimmages.
It was the second straight week that Junior Jalen Wayne and senior Kareem Walker caught at least three passes, also reaching the end zone on the ground in both scrimmages after scoring the final touchdown of the day.
Senior Jake Bentley completed 9 of his first 11 pass attempts while throwing for over 50 yards more than he did in the team’s previous scrimmage.
Some key statistics of Saturday’s scrimmage include:
Passing: Jake Bentley 21-of-29, 198 yds, 1 INT; Desmond Trotter 14-of-24, 107 yds, 1 INT; Eli Gainey 3-of-5, 68 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: John Tank Miller 5-18; AJ Phillips 4-16; Kareem Walker 9-11, 1 TD
Receiving: Jalen Tolbert 7-85; Devin Voisin 4-42; Jamel Thomas 4-34; Kareem Walker 4-33; Jalen Wayne 3-31; Caullin Lacy 3-20
Defense: Atanza Vongor 4-3—7 TT, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU; Davyn Flenord 4-2—6 TT; Jamal Brooks 2-4—6 TT, 1 TFL, 1 sack; CJ Thompson 2-4—6 TT; Shawn Jennings 1-5—6 TT, ½ TFL; Yam Banks 5-0—5 TT, 2 TFL, 1 PBU; Keith Gallmon 4-1—5 TT; Christian Bell 3-2—5 TT, 2 TFL, 2 sacks; Zeke Chapman 0-5—5 TT
Special teams: Diego Guajardo 5-5 FG, 52 long; Barret Pickering 3-5 FG, 35 long; Jack Brooks 6-37.5 avg punting, 2 I20
Senior Jamal Brooks said, “I feel like we started off pretty fast,” Brooks said. “We took some coaching from this past week and coaching from this morning and put it on the field today.”
“I thought we started off slow the first few drives,” Bentley said. “After those first few drives I thought we did a much better job of moving the ball, executing, and communicating..”
South will host a mock game on Saturday, August 28 at 7pm.