Western Carolina held its first preseason football scrimmage Saturday at E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field.
“I thought that both sides had their moments, Coach Mark Speir said. “We’ve just got to go watch the film and correct some things. I thought at times, we really ran the football well. I felt that Tyrie (Adams) threw the ball well. And over on the defense, there were some licks laid. Some of the big plays, the big runs came from one guy being out of his gap or missing an assignment, but I don’t remember many missed tackles.”
The offense found the end zone seven times, with three rushing and four passing touchdowns. The Catamounts had four scoring drives of three or fewer plays.
The defense was credited with 20 total stops with roughly 10 three-and-out situations. Reggie Jones intercepted a pass, and Devlin Olawumi scored a safety on a tackle for loss.
Linebacker Ty Harris had a team-high eight tackles, including a pair of sacks, with Darrius Smith tallying seven tackles, with two for loss, including a sack.
Adams and Will Jones saw the most action as four quarterbacks split the reps. Adams, who was recently named third team preseason All-American by Phil Steele and DraftScout.com, completed 16 of 24 passes for 262 yards and four TDs. The All-American honor was his third of the preseason.
Wide receiver Nate Mullen and tight end Owen Cosenke both had five catches. Cosenke had two TD receptions and 110 receiving yards.
The running game compiled 205 yards. Donnavan Spencer led the way with 91 yards on 10 carries, including a 60-yard TD run.
Will Horton and Richard McCollum both kicked 27-yard field goals, and Julian Pletz connected from 39 yards.
Darrius Bell blocked an extra point attempt, and Ronald Kent blocked a field goal.
Punters Jacob Enns and Brandon Dickerson both saw action, with Dickerson averaging 40 yards.
“I’ve been proud of our energy level, our effort, and our leadership,” Speir said. “We don’t just have one guy. We’ve got a group of guys that have taken on the leadership of this football team, and that’s been positive. Our guys have really stressed the effort and the strain at which we play. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with where our football team is.”
Another scrimmage is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Both single-game and season tickets for all six home dates are on sale through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Ramsey Center. Call 800-34-GOWCU or 227-2401. Season tickets may also be purchased online at catamountsports.com.
The season will open with a 6 p.m. Southern Conference game against Mercer on Aug. 29. It will be a “Purple Out” that includes postgame fireworks.