Cole Mabry ran stride for stride with a tight end on a seam route as the pass fell incomplete.
Mabry was also in the right place at the right time Saturday, scooping up a fumble and returning it for the scrimmage’s first touchdown. The senior is picking up inside linebacker quickly. The position is Mabry’s third in his college career.
Army recruited Mabry to play safety out of West Senior High School in Iowa City, Iowa. Mabry was switched to the hybrid apache (outside linebacker) his sophomore year. He was moved inside this spring.
“You have a different view of the game,” Mabry said of playing inside linebacker. “You are seeing things from the inside as opposed to the outside. So getting used to that has taken a little bit. But, coach (Cortney Braswell) has done a great job with helping me along and getting me caught up to speed as well as my teammates, going that has played the position for a while, Leo (Lowin), Peyton (Hampton), Kalvyn (Crummie), Spencer (Jones).”
Competition for Army’s two starting inside linebacker spots has come down to the wire of preseason camp and the season opener one week away at Coastal Carolina. Crummie, a sophomore, and Lowin, a junior, appeared to be running with the first team Saturday. Mabry and Hampton, both seniors, paired on the second team with Jones also receiving snaps.
“We tried to treat it (the scrimmage) as much like we will that game next Saturday, our preparation and how we came out and played,” Mabry said. “Extreme attention to detail was big in the scrimmage and making sure our assignments were right. We played fast and we have one more week to get better before we head down to South Carolina.”
Saturday was Army’s last “dress rehearsal” before the season opener. The scrimmage was competed under controlled conditions with no tackling to the ground. The offense struggled a bit with formations and scoring to start, but again, the scrimmage wasn’t completely live as plays were blown dead as soon as ball carrier was touched.
“I’m glad that we have another week left,” Monken said during his post-scrimmage press conference. “I thought our performance today was substandard. If we play next weekend like we played today collectively as a travel unit, the guys wearing the black and white jerseys, we will get our asses kicked. That’s about how I feel right now. We’ll see what happens this week. Hopefully, we will get better.”
Some regular starters appeared to be held out as a precaution. So, keep that in mind as we provide Army’s first teams from our observations (WRs rotated in):
Offense: QB Tyhier Tyler; FB Hayden Reed, SB Tyrell Robinson, SB Ay’Jaun Marshall; WR Ryan Jackovic; WR Cole Caterbone; LT Simon Dellinger; LG Jackson Filipowicz; C Connor Bishop; RG Connor Finucane; RT Shayne Buckingham
Defense: DE Kwabena Bonsu; NT Tyler Komorowski; DE Nate Smith; LB Andre Carter; LB Kalvyn Crummie; LB Leo Lowin; Apache Jimmy Ciarlo; CB Bo Nicolas-Paul; CB Donavan Platt; S Marquel Broughton; S Quindrelin Hammonds
Depth chart: Monken confirmed that junior apache Jimmy Ciarlo and sophomore linebacker Kalvyn Crummie are at the top of the chart. Crummie is taking over the middle linebacker spot left by the graduation of three-year starter Arik Smith…Sophomore Blane Cleaver is the No. 2 tight end behind Josh Lingenfelter, Monken said. Cleaver moved from linebacker to tight end in the spring.
Scrimmage observations/highlights: Freshman defensive lineman Joey Knight should earn one of the scout team players of week for his play. Knight, who also recovered a fumble, picked off fake pass attempt by holder Billy Boehlke in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. Pretty sure that was a scrimmage first.
Ballard receive snaps in the first half behind Tyler. Quarterbacks Jemel Jones and Bryson Daily played in the second half.
Bo Nicolas-Paul recovered a muffed fumble by the scout team on a punt. Cade Ballard connected with Cole Caterbone for a 19-yard TD on the next play. Freshman linebacker Eric Ford picked off a pass from scout team. Trey Sofia blocked a short field goal attempt by Cole Talley. Quinn Maretzki made a 42-yard field goal. Scout team quarterback Ahlon Mitchell connected on a nice pass over the middle to Freshman safety Gavin Shields had an interception for the scout team. Scout team and freshman Anderson Britton made a 33-yard field goal.