Surprise overtime caps Weber State football spring game | News, Sports, Jobs


Weber State cornerback Kamden Garrett (18) celebrates his interception with Purple teammates Shad Pulsipher (44) and Maxwell Anderson (21) during the spring football game Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

ROBERT CASEY, Weber State Athletics


Weber State running back Steven Shoats-Thomas (22) tries to escape the grab of linebacker Garrett Beck (54) during the team’s spring game on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

ROBERT CASEY, Weber State Athletics


Weber State quarterback Bronson Barron (10) throws the ball as Steven Shoats-Thomas (22) blocks a pursuing Raoul Johnson (15) during the team’s spring game Saturday, April 16, 2022, at Stewart Stadium in Ogden.

FREDDIE LACEY, for Weber State Athletics

OGDEN – With a running clock in the second half, Weber State football’s Purple team didn’t stand much of a chance trying to mount a one-minute drive at the end of the fourth quarter with the game tied 7-7.

But as both teams filtered onto the field Saturday at what looked like the end of WSU’s game to cap the spring practice period, head coach Jay Hill gathered the referees, then sent both teams back to the sidelines.

“The losing team was going to have to come and do yard work at the stadium on Monday. So I had to have a winner, ”Hill explained with a smile.

The Purple team took the ball first with third-string quarterback Creyton Cooper at the helm. On third-and-11 from the 26th, Cooper roped a brisk ball to the sideline for sophomore receiver Abraham Williams – the former West High quarterback who switched to offense from cornerback this camp – at the 3-yard line.

Williams tip-toed the sideline and found the end zone for what proved to be the winning score as Purple defeated Black 13-7 at Stewart Stadium.

Fourth-stringer Brian Harper helmed the Black squad for two downs of its overtime possession before presumed first-string thrower Bronson Barron re-entered. A 16-yard completion to sophomore Colby Samuels got Black into scoring position but, on fourth-and-5 from the 7, sophomore linebacker Nuu Sellesin got into the backfield and recorded a touch sack on Barron to end the game.

The Purple team stormed the field and rounded past the Black sideline with some playful celebration.

“I do like the energy and passion these guys play with. They play the game the right way, ”Hill said. “We can build on that.”

Both regulation-time touchdowns came in the first half. Though quarters were just 12 minutes and the clock never stopped in the second half, it was as close to real-game, team-versus-team spring contest Weber State has staged in many years under Hill.

Barron threw a 72-yard completion to sophomore running back Damon Bankston in the first quarter after Bankston got behind the secondary as Barron rolled out to the sidline. That set up a 9-yard touchdown throw to junior receiver Haze Hadley. It was a back-shoulder-type throw into a small window that required Hadley to quickly stab the catch as it was mostly to him by the time he turned his head.

Purple answered with Kylan Weisser at quarterback. Weisser dropped a nice ball over the middle to sophomore receiver Hudson Schenck, who added 20 yards on the ground after about 30 yards in the air for a 50-yard completion. Sophomore running back Dontae McMillan dashed in from 23 yards out on the next play to make it 7-7 in the first quarter.

A string of interceptions followed to end the first half.

Junior quarterback Harper was intercepted by junior cornerback Kam Garrett. Senior safety Jemaurri Bailey picked off Weisser in the end zone. Cooper was intercepted at the goal line, a deflection that ended up in senior linebacker Simote Lokotui’s hands. Senior cornerback Marque Collins made a high-flying interception of Weisser at the sideline. And topping it off, Harper was intercepted by freshman camp invite Noah Nahas out of Juan Diego High School.

Hill admitted the offense needs to play cleaner with less turnovers, but also pulled back the curtain on what it takes to install a new offense. Mickey Mental was hired to lead the offense and some of its concepts are different than what has been run the last two seasons.

So, part of it, Hill said, was mixing and matching offensive personnel groups in a way that wouldn’t be done during fall games due to the number of players being held out Saturday.

Another was the proverbial drinking from a firehose, playbook-wise.

“There’s too much in right now, and we would never go into a game with this many plays and with this much new stuff ever,” Hill said. “We’ve got to get better at knowing the entire offense. But as coaches, we knew what we were doing putting it all in. So now we’ve got to do our job as coaches to streamline exactly what these plays look like as we go into the first game.

“I want them to know it all,” he continued. “We didn’t want to have half the offense in now and then we’ve got to put in the other half in for fall camp. It could have been cleaner this spring that way, but now it can be clean come fall camp. We wanted to get it all in. It’s a lot, and it always is when you’re installing a new offense. But we’ll start streamlining it, hone in on exactly how personnel fits into everything, and the plays that most fit the quarterbacks and the strength of our personnel. ”

Weisser was 12 of 19 for 137 yards with his two interceptions. Barron threw 14 of 31 for 150 yards and one touchdown. McMillan ran nine times for 58 yards.

Perhaps the top standout of the afternoon was sophomore running back Steven Shoats-Thomas, a 5-foot-10 sophomore from Las Vegas. Shoats-Thomas most consistently ran downhill, hit the right holes and every carry but one was a positive play. He rushed 13 times for 82 yards.

“It’s a new offense. We’ve put in a lot of plays. We weren’t really scheming against anything other than trying to get it all in, ”Hill said. “We’ve got to get way more efficient and proficient on offense as we move forward into fall camp. But if we give these guys a couple more months to learn the offense and get it down this summer, I suspect we’ll hit the ground running come fall camp. ”

The interceptions also highlighted Weber State’s expected strength, defensively: being led by a slew of experienced defensive backs.

“I feel good about us. The spring was a great indicator of what we’re capable of, ”Collins said. “The corner group, we’ve come a long way. Going into the fall, I feel like we’re in a perfect spot as a defense, as a group. So we’ll keep building off the spring and we’ll hit our peak soon. ”

Next up is the summer, which is typically weight room- and playbook-heavy. With the season opener slated for Sept. 1 against Western Oregon, WSU will open fall camp just as the calendar turns to August.


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