UMass plays spring game under lights at McGuirk
The event was split into two competitions: a combined intersquad scrimmage and an offense vs. defense session. The Maroon team won both portions 33-12 and 27-2, respectively.
“I thought it was a great night, a lot of great energy out there,” UMass coach Kevin Morris said. “I have been very pleased [with the game]. There are a lot of guys who need a lot of good reps and I think we got that done.”
The scrimmages were highlighted by the running back and quarterback play. Junior Octavious Hawkins led the way in the air, throwing for 156 yards on 8-of-15 passing with one touchdown and one interception. On the ground, senior John Griffin scampered in for two touchdowns and freshman Jamar Smith led the game with 59 rushing yards.
Three quarterbacks rotated under center, each taking a substantial number of snaps. Senior Kyle Havens went 8-of-14 for 98 yards, throwing three touchdowns and one interception. The senior connected with running back Jonathon Hernandez for a 25-yard score and again with wide receiver Tom Gilson from 19 yards out.
Wide receiver Woody Carter IV looked sharp in catching two balls for 80 yards. On one drive, the junior ran a hook route, finding space to gain 26 yards and a first down. Two plays later, he evaded defenders sprinting down the sideline for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Freshman quarterback Jesse Hunt delivered both passes to Carter IV. He threw nine times, completing six for 140 yards and a score.
First-year running back Jamar Smith played patiently for the Maroon team, following his blockers and finding the edge for a touchdown.
The senior Griffin will look to lead a deep running core this season.
“There’s definitely a lot of good competition at running back, but I think I can add a different edge,” Griffin said. “Everyone’s got something different to bring to the table. I think we have a really good running back core.”
Junior Jonathan Hernandez ran five times on the night, scoring one touchdown and gaining 35 yards. Jesse Julmiste ran once for 11 yards, also catching two passes for 83 yards and one score.
The evening’s action began with a bang, as a flea-flicker play from the White team led to a Maroon touchdown on the first snap of the game. Wide receiver Julian Talley completed a pass to Hawkins when All-American candidate Tyler Holmes laid a hard hit which forced a fumble and 68 yard return by Ke’Mon Bailey.
Dan Gigliotti can be reached at email@example.com.