College Football

Plenty of Highlights in First Spring Scrimmage


ATLANTA — A 69-yd touchdown jaunt by running back Taz Bateman was one of the offensive highlights in Georgia State’s first spring scrimmage Saturday morning at the GSU Practice Complex.

Saturday’s workout was Day 7 of spring practice, which continues through the April 16 Spring Game at Panthersville.

The Panthers ran over 100 plays in the situational scrimmage as the coaching staff continues to evaluate quarterback candidates Emiere Scaife, Aaron Winchester and Conner Manning.

“I saw a lot of good things,” head coach Trent Miles said. “A lot of correctable things, too, but the energy was there. The quarterback competition looked pretty good, and I saw some good things by all of them.”

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Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of Georgia State Athletics

Each quarterback had some highlights. Perhaps the best pass play of the day was Manning’s 31-yard completion over the middle to tight end Ari Werts down to the 1-yard line. That set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Kyler Neal and capped a 76-yard drive led by the graduate transfer.

Scaife, the sophomore left-hander, then led a 74-yard scoring drive on which the first play was a 26-yard completion to Mattavius Scott. On first down at the 20, Neal had runs of six and 11 yards, and then Demarcus Kirk finished it with a 3-yard TD run.

On a later drive, Scaife converted a fourth-and-long with a 12-yard pass to Werts.

Winchester displayed his running skills, including scrambles of nine and 17 yards.

And it was Winchester who made an inside handoff to Bateman, who broke through the middle of the line and then outran the defense for his 69-yard touchdown.

“Our backs ran the ball effectively,” Miles said. “They set up their blocks and hit the holes effectively.
I thought Kyler Neal ran really hard.”

Defensively, Michael Shaw had two sacks, and Mackendy Cheridor and Will Cunningham had one each. Tevin Jones caused a fumble on handoff, and safety Trent Hill grabbed the only interception.

“Our kids flew around on the defensive side,” Miles said, “but I reserve the right to watch the film and make sure guys were in the right places.

“We’ve got a lot to work on, but we’re heading in the right direction and we’ve got eight practices left.”

The Panthers return to the practice field Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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