Alcorn hosts spring game
lorman — Alcorn State fans got their first glimpse of the 2011 Braves football team Saturday afternoon at Jack Spinks Stadium.
The Braves showed off a high-powered offensive passing attack, behind quarterback Brandon Bridge, with the offense scoring 35 points against the defense in a four-quarter scrimmage.
“(The spring game) was very exciting, we had a good time,” head coach Melvin Spears said. “We were looking to see whether or not they were going to play our tempo and do the things we’ve been working on in practice.”
Before the scrimmage head coach Melvin Spears said the scrimmage was more for the fans, and the team opened up the attack and passed more than he anticipates during the season.
“(The spring game) is kind of a dog and pony show, we’re not going to have a real game, we just want to come out here and show the fans what we got,” Spears said.
Bridge threw for 205 yards on 10 for 23 passing and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 40 yards and one touchdown.
His main targets were Donta Parker, who caught 4 balls for 118 yards, and Terrence Lewis, who caught four passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Jacques Caldwell also had two touchdown receptions for the offense.
“We wanted to open it up (with the) passing game to find out whether Brandon can make all the throws, just to see him in a game situation and he passed the test,” Spears said.
The Braves offense put up 446 total yards, 312 of which came through the air.
As in any scrimmage, when one side looks good the other suffers, and the Braves defense had some issues against their offensive counterparts.
“Defensively, we knew where we were (coming in),” Spears said. “We lost 19 players off our defense, but at the end of the day they played fast and aggressive and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re going to have to be stingy on defense.”
Spears said that although his team threw a lot in the scrimmage he knows the running game will have to be a factor next season to take some pressure off of Bridge.
Anthony Cain drew praise from Spears after his 80-yard rushing performance on eight carries.
Spears said he was using the scrimmage to evaluate his players in a game situation.
“The spring gave (us a chance to) identify guys that are going to make plays during game time situations,” Spears said. “It tells you whether or not they are going to perform at a high level. We saw some guys do some outstanding things.”
Overall, Spears was happy with his team’s performance, he said.
“It was (my) first spring game (at Alcorn), and I’m happy about it,” Spears said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board, and we’ve got time (to improve).”
Alcorn State will open its season Sept. 3 in Shreveport, La., against Grambling State.