Offense Wins Spring Finale Over Defense

A.J. Schurr

A.J. Schurr

March 8, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The offense scored on all four of its “green zone” possessions and went on to a 40-18 win in the final scrimmage of the Black Knights’ spring preparations. The session put the offense and defense in nine different situations with scoring based on the scenario.

Both the offense and defense were split into Black and Gold groups with the Black being the first unit. The first offense featured A.J. Schurr at quarterback, Larry Dixon and Hayden Tippett rotating at fullback, and Terry Baggett, Stephen Fraser and Trenton Turrentine alternating at running back. The Black offensive front was made up of Nick Benett at left tackle, Stephen Shumaker at left guard, Todd McDonald at center, Matt Hugenberg at right guard and Justin Gilbert at right tackle. John Szott also took reps at left guard.

Ryan Alexander, James Kelly and Jarrett Mackey rotated at both at both defensive end spots for the Black defense. The rest of the front included Dalton Mendenhall, T. J. Atimalala and Robert Kough. Colby Miller and Tyler McLees worked at mike linebacker, while the secondary was comprised of Shaquille Tolbert (sam), Thomas Holloway (rover), Chris Carnegie (boundary corner), Lamar Johnson-Harris (field corner) and Geoffery Bacon (free safety).

Angel Santiago began the day quarterbacking the Gold squad, but after a long run, was replaced by Cody Jackson. Santiago suffered a hamstring injury on Tuesday and was limited on Thursday.

The scrimmage began after a 30-minute warm-up and period of drills. The following is a breakdown of each individual scenario the Black Knights utilized on Friday.

1st-and-10 on the offense’s 5-yard line
1st down = 1 pt. for offense | Stop = 1 pt. for defense

  • The Black offense picked up a first down versus the Black defense.
  • The Gold defense earned a point versus the Gold defense.

1st-and-10 on the defense’s 45-yard line
TD or FG = 1 pt. for offense | Stop = 1 pt. for defense

  • Cale Brewer’s 32-yard field goal gave the Black offense its point versus the Black defense.
  • Angel Santiago’s 43-yard touchdown run for the Gold offense was called back because of an illegal formation penalty. The defense earned the point.

1st-and-10 on the offense’s 35-yard line
One play run from each spot on field (left hash, right hash, middle)
4+-yard gain = 1 pt. for offense | <4 yards="1" pt="" for="" defense="" em="">

  • The Black defense won all three points versus the Black defense.
  • The Gold offense took two of three points versu the Gold defense. Gino DeBartolo recorded a sack from the mike linebacker spot.

3rd-and-6 from offense’s 35-yard line
One play run from each spot on field (left hash, right hash, middle)
1st down = 1 pt. for offense | Stop = 1 pt. for defense

  • The Black defense scored two of three points. The offense’s lone conversion came on a long gain by Anthony Stephens on an end-around.
  • The Gold defense also scored two points, highlighted by DeBartolo’s forced fumble.

1st-and-10 from defense’s 19-yard line
Play until offense scores or defense gets a stop
Offense gets all points scored | FGA = 4 pts. for defense | Takeaway or stop = 8 pts. for defense

  • The Black offense scored a touchdown versus the Black defense on a seven-yard run by A.J. Schurr. Grochowksi added the extra point.
  • The Gold offense scored against the Gold defense on a nine-yard run by Julian Crockett. Billy Fisher kicked the extra point.
  • The Black offense scored on its first play against the Gold defense when Schurr hit Chevaughn Lawrence for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was not converted.
  • Cody Jackson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Deandre Bell for the Gold offense’s score against the Black defense. The defense jumped offside, so the offense snapped the ball for a free play, and Bell made the catch on a fade route. The PAT was missed.

4th-and-2 from the defense’s 37-yard line
One play run from each spot on field (left hash, right hash, middle)
1st down = 1 pt. for offense | Stop = 1 pt. for defense

  • The Black offense earned two points against the Gold defense. Schurr picked up a first down on a keeper and hit Ejay Tucker for a gain of more than 20 yards. Mitch McKearn made a stop on Stephen Fraser for the Gold’s only point.
  • The Black defense stopped the Gold offense all three plays. A fumble that was recovered by the offense halted one play, and James Kelly’s stop at the line earned another.

3 plays from the defense’s 3-yard line
Score = 1 pt. for offense | Stop = 1 pt. for defense

  • The Black Offense scored twice against the Gold defense. Trenton Turrentine ran up the middle for one score, and Schurr hit Tucker for the other conversion.
  • The Black Defense stopped the Gold offense on two of three plays. The Gold’s conversion came on a pass from Cody Jackson to fullback Matt Giachinta.

1st-and-10 from the offense’s 35-yard line; 1:42 on the clock; 1 time outs
TD or FG = 1 pt. for offense | Stop or time running out = 1 pt. for defense

  • The Black offense earned the point against the Gold defense when Billy Fisher hit a field goal as time expired. The offense converted two third downs and one fourth down to keep the drive alive.
  • Larry Dixon made the initial first down, while Schurr connected with Lawrence on fourth down to move the ball to the defense’s 30-yard line. Trenton Turrentine set up the field goal with a run to the defense’s 9-yard line. Stephen Fraser ran the ball to the 3-yard line where the offense called time out to bring on the field goal unit.
  • The Gold defense scored a point when Cale Brewer’s field goal try went wide on the final play. Jackson completed two passes and ran for six yards on the drive. Ross McDonald made a nice catch on a pass that was deflected by Robert Kough at the line of scrimmage. Julian Crockett also ran for a first down.

1st-and-10 at the offense’s 35-yard line; 3:30 on the clock; 0 time outs
Run the clock out = 1 pt. for the offense; Force a punt = 1 pt. for the defense

  • The Black offense was able to run out the clock on the Gold defense. A long run by Terry Baggett in which he shed three would-be tacklers highlighted the possession.
  • The Gold offense ran out the clock on the Black defense. Jay Tully’s run up the middle set up the offense’s kneel downs.

The scrimmage ended with a “field goal derby.” In order to add intrigue and pressure to the situation, two points were added to the defense’s total for each made kick. The offense was allowed to use nearly any means necessary to distract the kickers. Dan Grochowski, Cale Brewer  and Billy Fisher combined to make 12 of their 18 kicks.

Army opens the 2013 season on Aug. 31 when it hosts Morgan State at Michie Stadium. Army also welcomes Stanford (Sept. 14), Wake Forest (Sept. 21), Eastern Michigan (Oct. 12) and Western Kentucky (Nov. 9) to West Point in 2013. All Army home games will kick off at either 12 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. Exact times will be announced no later than May 1.

Season ticket packages start as low as $105 for the "Spirit Zone" section located in the northwest and southwest corners of Michie Stadium.  A sideline season ticket is priced at $170.  

Group tickets are also available for all five of the 2013 home games.  In addition to a discount for purchasing 20-or-more tickets, Army also offers a sales representative for the seamless organization of group outings. With plenty of tailgating opportunities and a full day of events unlike any other sporting event in the country, a visit to West Point is about more than just the game. Contact an Army group sales representative at 845-446-2375 or beginning Wednesday morning to book a day on the banks of the Hudson and experience the West Point tradition.

Senior DE Jarrett Mackey
(Ref.: the defense’s performance on Friday)
“We didn’t do so well in the green zone, but the guys were fighting and scrapping. We made some sacks and tackles for loss. Guys were flying around. The coaches really harped that when we have our backs to the wall, we can’t let the offense do that. We started out practice hot, we were beating up on the offensive line on our pass rush, but the next thing you know we looked at the scoreboard and it was 40-18. That was disappointing, but beside the score today, we had a great spring ball.”

Senior LB Colby Miller
(Ref.:  his performance on Friday)
“I was just out there trying to have a good time. That’s what football is. We get to go out there to represent the Academy and go out and do what we love.”

(Ref.: getting his chance to work with the first team)
“I want to be an inspiration to all the young guys and show them that you can make it off the B-Squad. You can make a name for yourself if you keep your head down, keep working hard and do what the coaches ask.”

Sophomore QB A.J. Schurr
(Ref.: the offense’s green zone effort)
“The defense got a couple of wins in the open field, but in the green zone we got the best of them. With the competition we have out here, some days that give it to us and some days we take it. Today, we got the best of them. In a game it’s really important to capitalize in that area of the field every time. Field goals are okay, but you want touchdowns. If we can capitalize down there, that’s going to be big for us.”

(Ref.: his performance this spring)
“They way our team was set up, where no one had a guaranteed spot, was awesome for us. Everybody had to come out every day and work their butt off. It only made everyone better. If the guy behind you is pushing you, you can’t take a day off. He’s going to get better by trying to beat you out. Going live against each other for a good amount of the spring was good. The upperclassmen said it was the most live reps we had since they’d been here. Coach Ellerson said it was the best spring ball he’s seen in 30 years. It was definitely a great experience, and I know it’s going to carry over into the offseason.”

Head Coach Rich Ellerson
(Ref.: Friday’s performance)
“Our offense was able to dominate the scrimmage because they played so well in those situations where we put them inside the 20-yard line. That’s where the game is decided. We spent an awful lot of time practicing in that environment. It was a great lesson for the football team today to see how productive you can be on one side of the ball and how much you can struggle on one side of the ball depending on how you play in that part of the field. That was instructive.”

(Ref.: the quarterback play)
“We were a little bit in fits and spurts there today. Angel did a nice job. One of the best plays in the beginning of the scrimmage was his long run, but he was nursing a hamstring coming in so that kind of ended his day. Both Angel and A.J. had tremendous springs. They both made tremendous strides, as have a lot of people on this football team. From a coach’s perspective, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a team with so many guys make that much progress in two or three weeks. That’s especially true for those quarterbacks. We’re throwing the ball well, and we’re taking care of the ball. We’re operating.”

(Ref.: the spring in general)
“I’m really pleased with the progress we made. It was very combative. We were a little limited in what we could do today because we had a lot of guys dinged up. The good news is we’re done early so they have lots of time to heal, and hopefully they’re ready to get back in the weight room after spring break. We made some tremendous gains physically, and learned an awful lot about our young personnel. It’s a win.”

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