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Offense shows promise during final scrimmage in Ruidoso


RUIDOSO, N.M.— While the first scrimmage was dominated by the defense on Aug. 9, the second scrimmage for the Miners’ football team featured more positive play on the offensive side on Sunday, Aug. 14. The squad wrapped up their summer camp in Ruidoso, N.M., and the team will travel back to El Paso to start two-a-days in preparation for their season opener versus New Mexico State on Sept. 3.


Charged by offensive coordinator and play caller Brent Pease, the offense shed light on the field that broadcasted resounding energy.


“I thought (the scrimmage) went really well,” head coach Sean Kugler said. “Defense did win the first scrimmage and offense won this scrimmage. You love when your team has good give-and-take because that means they’re competing.”


The success on offense sprung from the gunslingers. The three different quarterbacks, Zack Greenlee, Ryan Metz, and Kavika Johnson, who are all vying for the starting job, opened the scrimmage completing 12-of-14 passes for 100 yards. All three posted touchdowns for their respective packages.


Greenlee opened the side with a quick touchdown drive. He went 3-for-3 and had a rushing touchdown to cap the drive off. Through the scrimmage, Greenlee finished with a perfect day of 7-for-7 with 82 yards and a touchdown.


Following Greenlee came Johnson, who completed 8-for-10 for 71 yards, and Metz, throwing 5-of-9 for 39 yards. Although the numbers look close, Greenlee looks to be emerging as the starting option for the offense’s answer to the quarterback position.


“We’re still evaluating the guys, but we still have one more week of camp before we prepare for New Mexico State,” Kugler said. “It’s still up in the air, but I think (Zack) did some great things. All of these guys have a competitive nature, so I think it will go down to the wire.”


Contrary to how they have started in past scrimmages, the defense had a slow start through the first half of the day. Under new defensive coordinator Tom Mason, the switched 3-4 defense had trouble adjusting to the balanced attack the offense was laying out.


After the scrimmage, the defense picked up tempo in the drill portion of the scrimmage. The red zone defense stopped the offense three of four attempts.


While the coaches decided to sit out key players, such as Nick Usher and Alvin Jones, the defense relied on defensive backs Dashone Smith and Kalon Beverly to front the stops. Smith led the team with six tackles, while Beverly totaled four tackles.


“We started off slow, but picked it up as the scrimmage went on,” Smith said. “Coach got on to us and we had to come together and play as one. We had to move fast.”


Wide Receiver core heats up


Wideouts Tyler Batson and Eddie Sinegal stole the show for the receiving core with four catches for 40 yards apiece. Not far behind from the two was tight end Hayden Plinke who caught two passes for 38 yards.


“I felt like this was the best day of all of camp,” Batson said. “It feels like game day, so we’re going to come out and compete every time we have a chance.”


Although he did not get the reps to attract the top stats, a notable receiver-to-quarterback connection that was evident was Greenlee to senior receiver Cole Freytag. Greenlee looked towards Freytag’s way on most of his pass attempts and they showed a potentially growing connection. Not only the connection, but also Freytag’s overall play during camp attracted the eyes of Kugler.


“Cole Freytag had one of the best camps of this year,” Kugler said. “I hope we still see this connection. Day in and day out he played well.”


Backing up Aaron Jones


Standout running back Aaron Jones was inactive for Sunday’s practice for precautionary measures; however, all eyes were on the three different running backs who are striving to be his backup—Quadraiz Wadley, Kevin Dove and Orion Prescott.


After Treyvon Hughes, the anticipated backup for Jones, was ruled out for the season due to a torn meniscus, the spot for the no. 2 position was available. True freshman Wadley rose to the occasion during the scrimmage. The 6-foot-0 tailback out of Kennedale, TX, was explosive on each play from scrimmage. He showed glimpses of exceptional speed by bouncing off tacklers, and he gained significant yardage for the team. From 10 carries, Wadley led the rushing core with 63 yards.


“I think I made some pretty good strides and my teammates have been starting to like me a lot more,” Wadley said.

Another exceptional performance of the day was 250-pound rusher Dove. As his teammates characterized him from the sideline as a “truck” or a “fridge,” Dove emerged as a power-back for the group. He finished the day with 62 yards.


Prescott, another freshman in the running back mix, contributed with two touchdowns for the offense.
Although they are young, Kugler believes the three might see the field sooner, rather than later.


“We have three talented freshman, and I’m not afraid to put talent on the field,” Kugler said.

Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected].



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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Offense shows promise during final scrimmage in Ruidoso