CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College football team played a spirited Spring Game that featured big plays from both the offense and defense on Saturday at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
“After three weeks of practice, I think the guys came out with good energy and competed against one another,” said head coach Harold Nichols. “We made some plays on both sides of the ball and did some things we can build on and continue to improve as a football team. I think we got everything we wanted to get accomplished out of spring and we’re getting there, making good progress. Now we turn our focus to these last couple weeks of exams to finish the academic semester strong.”
Quarterback Kaleb Griffin (Florence, S.C.) completed several long touchdown passes, including a beauty to Tobi Antigha (Tampa, Fla.) to cap the game’s first series. Jordan Bianchi (Greer, S.C.) also found himself on the end of a Griffin score as the redshirt sophomore hauled in a 45-yard throw early.
The offense didn’t have all the fun, however, as the defense delivered a strong effort. The blue side frequently stuffed the running attack as the play moved off-tackle and forced several turnovers. LJ Perry (Augusta, Ga.) picked off a pass deep in the red zone to snuff out a drive and Isaiah Lynn (Fort Lawn, S.C.) burst through the line and blew up running back Blake Roberts (Cumming, Ga.) in the backfield for a loss.
“For me, as a head coach, you don’t want your offense or defense to be too much ahead of either one and I think there was a lot of give and take today,” said Nichols. “There was a bit of the good, the bad and the ugly, but that’s okay. That’s to be expected this time of year. The biggest thing is the kids really competed against one another and I was really excited about that.”
All four quarterbacks saw time during the scrimmage and the running game saw flashes of brilliance from its corps as well. Newcomer LaQua Mayes (Rose Hill, Kan.) broke off a deep run through the middle and offered glimpses of his speed. Roberts saw a healthy amount of quality snaps, as did veteran Demarcus Rouse (North Augusta, S.C.).
PC's wide receivers also shined. In addition to Antigha’s and Bianchi’s big plays, Jeremiah McKie (Simpsonville, S.C.) broke out late in the day. The junior grabbed a 23-yard touchdown pass shortly before reeling a highlight-reel score with one hand. Acey Palmer (Atlanta, Ga.) finished off a 35-yard touchdown pass from Tamyn Garrick (Williston, S.C.) and Antigha completed a touchdown play primarily with his legs, catching a pass before spinning and speeding 30 yards to paydirt.
On defense, DaRon Dickey (Greenville, S.C.) intercepted a batted ball out of the air and Ugonnah Akoh (Athens, Ga.) also grabbed an errant pass that deflected off of Perry’s hands. Nick Newton (Clearwater, Fla.) delivered a “sack” (no-contact) in the backfield and Mitchell Anderson (Tucker, Ga.) made a solid play from the defensive line by working free from a block and bringing down the running back. The defense held strong on a couple of goal-line stands as well and continuously swarmed the ball.
Stephen Doar (Landrum, S.C.) saw no punting work in the game but was perfect on the place-kicking side. Doar converted all of his extra point attempts and knocked through a short field goal early.
PC’s 100th year of football begins on Thursday, August 29 at Wake Forest.