By: Santeria Evans | Sports Editor
Photo by: Michael Dunn
The University of South Alabama football team held their annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 17, at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
With the Jaguar offense facing third-and-seven, junior Jalen Wayne stretched on the sideline while keeping one foot inbounds for a 12-yard catch to keep the drive alive.
Junior Quentin Wilfawn ended the other drive during that stretch after intercepting a pass with the offense facing third-and-three-just shy of midfield.
The Jaguar offense averaged more than five-and-a-half yards per play after totaling 205 yards on 37 snaps. Four of the five tackles behind the line recorded by South’s defense — which forced a three-and-out on three of the first four possessions of the day — were sacks.
Freshman Keaton Halfacre’s score was set up by a 50-yard pass from junior Tylan Morton to freshman Christian Wortham, making it the longest play of the game.
Passing: Morton 1-of-2, 50 yds; senior Jake Bentley 5-of-11, 27 yds; freshman Eli Gainey 2-of-4, 23 yds; freshman Tanner McGee 2-of-4, 22 yds; sophomore Desmond Trotter 2-of-5, 7 yds.
Rushing: Halfacre 5-22, 1 TD; junior Bryan Hill 5-21; sophomore Jared Wilson 1-17; junior Terrion Avery 4-10.
Receiving: Wortham 2-70; Wayne 2-18; Avery 2-7.
Defense: junior Nick Mobley 2-2—4 TT, 1 TFL, 1 sack; sophomore Zivaiishe Smith 2-2—4 TT, 1 TFL, 1 sack; Wilfawn 2-2—4 TT, 1 INT; sophomore Jaden Voisin 1-3—4 TT; freshman Yam Banks 1-2—3 TT, 1 TFL, 1 sack; freshman Wy’Kevious Thomas 0-3—3 TT.
Head Coach Wommack said, “I’m really pleased with all the things we’ve accomplished over the spring, we would’ve loved to have gotten more reps, but we wanted to make sure we had a good, clean scrimmage. We wanted our players to show out in front of our fans and have a great time and enjoy themselves, but I feel great about where we are at this point.
The game was cut short after 35 minutes of play after a lightning strike in the area. The cancellation of the contest came before any special teams periods could be completed.
Following the game, Coach Wommack announced that junior A.J. DeShazor would be the first player to wear the No. 5 jersey in the 2021 season to honor former running back Anthony Mostella.
DeShazor stated, “Coach [Wommack] touched on Anthony and what he means and what he brought, this is a big deal wearing the No. 5 jersey just from a leadership standpoint and how you carry yourself on and off the field representing what being a Jaguar is all about. It’s a huge honor.”
Wommack on bringing back the tradition of the No. 5 jersey: “Anthony Mostella’s jersey was very special to our program when I was here before as defensive coordinator. He was the first team captain and had the first-ever tackle on special teams even though he was a running back,” he said. “When I think about A.J. DeShazor, who I was able to recruit when I was here four years ago, to see him grow to this point where he is now on the back end of his career, and the things that he has done is something truly special. We’re going to have a different player wear the No. 5 jersey each week moving forward, but I can’t think of a better person that I would rather walk out there with on Sept. 4.”
The Jaguars will host their opening game of the 2021 season against Southern Mississippi at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4.