5 Takeaways From Lamar’s Spring Football Game

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After three weeks of spring camp, Lamar’s soccer team played their red and white game in front of fans at Provost Umphrey Stadium on Saturday.

A decent crowd showed up at the stadium on a hot, windy day for a quick glimpse of the Cardinals.

Head football coach Blane Morgan was more than ready to start, but above all happy to have been able to experience a normal spring camp.

“It’s like a breath of fresh air. You can finally breathe a little,” Morgan said. “The spring ball is just a different feeling. You’re not playing against an opponent, so all the work is really about getting better.”

Here are five takeaways from Lamar’s spring game:


NEIGHBORHOOD QUARTET

It’s still too early to tell who will be the Cardinals’ starting quarterback to open the 2022 fall season. In Saturday’s scrimmage, the four quarterbacks on the roster each received a fair share of reps.

Mike Chandler was the first quarterback to enter the field with the red team and Jakolby Longino was the first quarterback for the white team. Chandler and Longino took all the shots during the first half of the scrimmage.

Chandler connected on a short-range touchdown pass, and Longino made a long pass to a tight end running up the seam. However, Lamar didn’t show much of his passing game.

“I thought we left a couple of them frankly,” Morgan said. “I thought we had a few shots that we probably could have made.”

Longino had another series in the second half, but then it was Daelyn Williams and Dane Jentsch’s turn to show what they could do.

Quick whistles cut short many of Williams’ scrambles, but he was an elusive runner when he escaped the pocket.

Jentsch was able to show his arm with a long touchdown pass.

Nothing was decided in the spring game, but the scripted game plan at least showed who is competing for the job.

“We won’t be naming a starter until fall camp starts,” Morgan said.

GREAT RACES

While the passing game kept things fairly subdued, the Cardinals’ running game had several explosive plays.

Damashja Harris was the first to go on a huge run, sprinting down the nearly untouched field for the first touchdown of the day for the red team. Khalan Griffin also escaped on the home sideline for a long touchdown run.

“I thought we had some explosive runs and explosive throwing,” Morgan said. “You like it offensively. You don’t like it defensively.”

Offensively, the running game looked in good shape for a spring scrum. Even without the big wins, the offense was able to effectively move the ball on the ground as the scrum progressed. The Cardinals were also able to convert their red zone situations from close range.

PHYSICAL GAME

The Cardinals were ready to strike from the first whistle. There weren’t many missed tackles and several shots could be heard even over the music from the stadium speakers.

In the trenches, the offensive line showed they could move the ball forward in short-range situations. But the defensive front also had its fair share of sacks and tackles for the losses.

“I think on our attacking front we’re starting to have a bit of a mentality and I like that,” Morgan added. “We’re going to try to be physical. We’re going to try to run the game and be physical up front. I like the progress we’re starting to make.”

STILL IN DEVELOPMENT

Although it was an exciting day to host a live football match, Morgan stressed that the team still had a lot of development to do. The Cardinals will once again be a young team in 2022. Despite flashes from some position groups, Morgan acknowledged the team still has a lot to prepare for in the coming months.

“I think physically we still have a long way to go,” Morgan said. “We’ve only been in the weight room for about four weeks, and we still have a lot of physical maturity and growth to do.

“I like what I saw from the receiving group and the corner posting group,” he added. “All of these guys still have a lot of room to grow. I also like the direction we’re taking at quarterback.”

CARDINAL FANS

For an intersquad scrimmage the first week of March, the Cardinal football program drew a decent crowd at Provost Umphrey Stadium.

The event was free and the team hosted a barbecue after the scrimmage, but Morgan was thrilled to see early fan support.

“Guys always play better when they have people watching them,” he said. “So that was fun.”

No strategic takeaways here, but it was an encouraging sight to see Lamar fans come out and support their team.

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