Photo courtesy of ULM Athletics
Football season is upon us once again here at ULM as the Warhawks held their annual Maroon and Gold spring game.
The defense started the game off strong against the offense by pressuring the quarterback and causing miscues. Defensive back Juwan Offray picked off quarterback Will Collins on a screen play and took it to the house for a 55-yard touchdown.
The offense began to show some promise when a fresh quarterback, Caleb Evans, threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Brian Williams off of a busted coverage from the defense.
The defense stepped up again with two more turnovers by causing the offense to fumble on multiple possessions. The first half ended on a high note for the defense as they controlled most of the game.
The linebacker group played well for the defense. They ran sideline to sideline to make some key stops on third down. Linebacker David Griffith played well on defense by disrupting the backfield and providing some great energy for the team. Griffith talked about the outcome of the spring game.
“I think that both sides of the ball played well. We struggle, but you can see the growth from where we once [were],” Griffith said. “There is no drop off from any of [the] linebacking core. We all have different attributes that can contribute to the team.”
In the second half, the offense got off to a great start by moving the ball down the field and converting some big plays earlier in the series. Evans completed his second touchdown again to wide receiver Williams who caught his second touchdown. Williams, a senior, finished with six catches on the day for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
The offense put a great drive together as Evans threw a 50 yard strike to wide receiver Marcus Green. Running back Austin Vaughn also had some huge carries, dragging defenders as he proved to be a problem for the defense. He finished the day with 45 yards rushing on seven carries.
Vaughn talked about the team’s offensive performance. “We played great. [I’m] just trying to hit the hole and run behind my blocks,” Vaughn said. “The offensive line did a great job of blocking. We do have a lot of young guys, but we will improve throughout the summer.”
Evans finished the day with eight complete passes on 14 attempts for 120 yards and three touchdowns. Will Davis also had a solid outing completing seven passes on 10 attempts for 76 yards.
Coach Viator gave his thoughts on the game. “We had some turnovers on offense which can’t happen, but that is good for our defense. I think our guys are comfortable with the system we put in place,” Viator said. “There is definitely going to be a quarterback battle between the three that we have.”
The spring game ended with some positive signs coming from the Warhawk football team. The team is growing as a whole, and they look to have a successful 2017 season.
The Warhawks will report to summer camp at the beginning of August.
The first game begins Aug. 31 against Memphis.