The West Carolina football team held its first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday at EJ Whitmire/Bob Waters Field.
The offense scored eight touchdowns in the 17 series combined, including five through the air and three on the ground.
The defensive unit recorded nine total saves and created takeaways on a Cameron McCutcheon interception and a fumble recovered by Brandon Smiley in the end zone for a touchdown. The defense scored a trio of three outs, forced two punts and a missed field goal, and twice interrupted practices on fourth down saves.
“I think I used that word a lot this pre-season, but a lot of energy in our first scrum.” said coach Kerwin Bell. “We had guys who flew, played passionately and were intense. We just need to improve in our overall execution, but I like our effort. Both sides of the ball played extremely hard.
Six quarterbacks split the reps with Carlos Davis leading six total series, including five of the first seven drives. Freshmen Cole Gonzales and Samuel Cornett both had three sets, with redshirt freshmen Kason Lincke, Brody Palhegyi and Parish Metzger sharing five records.
Davis completed eight of 13 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. Cornett passed five of eight for 55 yards and two touchdowns, followed by Gonzales who was five of 10 for 88 yards.
WCU had 17 catch passes from players, with none having more than three catches in total. Freshman Jaylin Terzado was the leading receiver with 104 yards on three receptions.
Five running backs carried the ball, with Corey Reddick reaching a team-high 12 times for 33 yards. Jalynn Williams led in yardage with 56 in nine attempts.
The defense had seven tackles for a loss, including two sacks. Freshman safety Ja’Morri Downing led the way with six saves. The record sacks were lineman Marlon Alexander and defensive back Jhamari Pierre-Louis during a blitz.
Brandon Dickerson kicked five times and averaged 43.2 yards.
Richard McCollum made all eight extra point attempts but missed a 47-yard field goal.
“We have to keep growing this week of practice, from this Saturday to next in our execution, but I like how strong we are playing,” Bell said. “If we can keep doing that then we have a chance to be a very good football team.”
The next scrum is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Catamounts open the season Sept. 3 with a noon game at Charleston Southern.