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Jeff Monken pulled out a card from his pocket and started reading off the mistakes that he had observed and written down during Army’s second and final scrimmage on preseason camp.
Monken had just finished listing the areas that stood out and needed improvement – “missed assignments, penalties, missed tackles, dropped balls.”
He added, referring to his card, “side blocks below the waist, which are against the rules. We had three delay-of-game penalties, one where we had the full 25 seconds to go out there and run the play. We can’t stop the scout team from running the ball on the edge. We can’t contain them on the edge. I don’t even know where to start.”
Army’s second preseason scrimmage didn’t go smoothly as the Black Knights broke camp and turned the focus to their season opener against Rice on August 30 at Michie Stadium.
“It’s a good thing that we didn’t play today,” Monken said in opening post-scrimmage statement. “We didn’t practice very well. I’m glad we still have two more weeks to prepare.
“We clearly came out here with a lackadaisical mindset assuming that the scout (teams) would just roll over or not be able to execute after four days and we found out we were wrong,” Monken said.
When the topic of Army and preseason Top 25 polls came up, Monken said, “If you get the film out from today, they’ll have time to change their vote.”
Senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, who didn’t participate in last week’s scrimmage, started the first series in a one-minute drill. Hopkins connected with junior wide receiver Cam Harrison on a 12-yard touchdown pass. Another touchdown pass to Chris Gregg was wiped out when officials ruled Hopkins was touched/sacked by Nate Jones.
Monken said junior center Peyton Reeder, who was also participating in his first scrimmage of the preseason, looked, “a little rusty. Reeder didn’t practice fully early in preseason camp while on the mend from a shoulder injury.
“He’s kind of getting back into the groove,” Monken said. “He snapped the ball early on a snap count and that was one of our false starts. He’s a tough kid, a really tough kid. He’s played a lot. I have enough confidence in him. I think in the next two weeks, he’ll pick it up and be ready.”
Reeder said he has stayed after practice working on snaps with Army’s top quarterbacks as he prepares to potentially take over for three-year starter Bryce Holland.
Sophomore quarterback Jabari Laws, who ran with the second-team offense, continued toimpress Monken. Laws, who had a long touchdown run called back, followedfreshman fullback JaKobi Buchanan into the end zone for an 8-yard TD.
“He had some nice runs,” Monken said of Laws. “He’s a real jitterbug in there and just seems to find a way to get to the other side of the line of scrimmage. That’s certainly encouraging.”
The following players were among a group that was held out of the scrimmage: FB Connor Slomka, FB Anthony Adkins, FB Cade Barnard, WR Kjetil Cline, TE Zach Saum, CB Elijah Riley, DL Edriece Patterson, S Cedrick Cunningham
The first-team offense from my observations was: QB Kelvin Hopkins, FB Sandon McCoy, SB Kell Walker, SB Dom Distefano, WR Cam Harrison, WR Mike Roberts, LT Alex Herndon, LG Jaxson Deaton, C Jack Sides/Peyton Reeder, RG Dean Powell, RT Luke McCleery
The second-team offense was: QB Jabari Laws, FB Rashaad Bolton, SB AJ Howard, SB Brandon Walters, WR Christian Hayes, WR Chris Gregg, LT Mike Johnson, LG Noah Utley, C Noah Knapp, RG Jake Baumert, RT JB Hunter
The first-team defense was: DL Jacob Covington, DL Kwabena Bonsu, LB Amadeo West, LB Jeremiah Lowery, LB Cole Christiansen, LB Arik Smith, CB Javhari Bourdeau, CB Malkelm Morrison, CB Jabari Moore, S Jaylon McClinton, S Ryan Velez
The second-team defense was: DL Jake Ellington, DL Rod Stoddard, DL Ryan Duran, LB Donavan Lynch, LB Jack King, LB Ryan Parker, LB Kemonte Yow, CB Caleb John, CB Akyah Miranda/Dean Ngendakuriyo, S Chris Skyers, S Marquel Broughton.
Observations: Senior David Cooper made a 39-yard field goal…Senior fullback Rashaad Bolton converted a 4th-and-2…Junior linebackerJon Rhattigan made a hustle tackle on special teams…Monken said freshman fullback Anthony Adkins, a direct admit, is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds…Freshman Fabrice Voyne was moved from safety to inside linebacker during camp and was running with the third-team defense…Freshman Maurice Bellan moved the chains with a 15-yard pass to tight end Ben Koch while running the scout team…Monken praised the scout team, which was guided by student coach Cooper Simpson and graduate assistant Andy Davidson. Coaching is in Simpson’s family. His father, Jess, is the defensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons.
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