(Story by Griz Communications)
MISSOULA – When the first scrimmage of spring football rolls around, fans usually come away thinking one side of the ball “won” the scrimmage.
Not the case for Montana this year, however, as the Grizzlies came up with big plays on both offense and defense in a balanced scrimmage that capped the second week of the spring season on a picture-perfect afternoon in Washington-Grizzly Stadium.
The Montana offense put three touchdowns on the board (two on the ground and one in the air), and Brandon Purdy slotted a 39-yard field goal as the Griz moved the ball effectively.
The defense was also productive, with Josh Egbo forcing a fumble (recovered by Robby Hauck), Kadeem Hemphill intercepting a Cam Humphry pass, and Kobey Eaton picking-off a tipped Wheeler Harris pass.
The half-practice, half-scrimmage session consisted of the usual practice drills, followed by the first, second, and third teams rotating through different down and distance situations in various areas of the field.
With an emphasis on effort and execution, head coach Bobby Hauck came away from the scrimmage feeling good about his team’s output.
“I thought the competition was good. I liked the way we responded to the situations we were working in, particularly the veteran guys. They looked like they knew what they were doing,” said Hauck. “It was good. We’ve had a good first couple of weeks.”
Incumbent starting quarterback Dalton Sneed completed eight passes for roughly 96 yards and a touchdown. He looked every bit the starter again, leading the first offense on multiple productive drives.
Now in his second full season under Hauck, the senior says, like any scrimmage, the first hit-out was a mixed bag with all three teams sharing reps.
“A lot of good things, a lot of bad things, as expected. A lot of valuable film we got from today though, so we’ll evaluate over spring break, have a good, needed break, and come back ready to work on Monday,” said Sneed.
“I think we had a lot of good situations, a lot of good exposure for young guys to get out and finally go live at the goal line or red zone or what not.”