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Mitchell comes up big again in EWU scrimmage

Eastern Washington University staged is second scrimmage of spring football practice at Woodward Field on Saturday, and Bo Levi Mitchell seemed to further solidify his case for becoming the Eagles' next starting quarterback.

You can read an unedited version of the scrimmage story that will appear in Sunday morning's S-R below, and you can check out what EWU's sports information department has to say about the scrimmage here.


As a young man who has spent the better part of the last two seasons as a starting quarterback at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision school, Bo Levi Mitchell understands the fine line between confidence and brashness.



And Eastern Washington University’s talented, and tactful, first-year transfer from Southern Methodist University artfully walked that fine line again on Saturday after another splendid performance in the Eagles’ second scrimmage of spring drills.



Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior-to-be and one of five candidates still hoping to step in and replace former four-year starter Matt Nichols as EWU’s starting quarterback next fall, completed 15 of 22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Eagles’ No. 1 offensive unit to a dominant performance over the shorthanded No. 1 defense at Woodward Field. 



But after the scrimmage, he passed on the chance to declare himself the starter – or even the leading candidate, for that matter.



“I’m not going to say it’s going to be me,” Mitchell stated. “But I am going to say that I’m going to get out there and do everything I can to try to make it be me.  I want to make in known – not just to the coaches, but the players and everybody – that I can be that No. 1 guys, and that I can lead them to where they want to be.



“We all know there are big shoes to fill with Matt leaving, but I think I can come in and fill his shoes just fine and really carry this team to that next level … and show that we can compete, not just in the Big Sky (Conference), but at the national level, as well. And that’s what I want to help us do.”



Eastern’s third-year head coach Beau Baldwin, also stopped short of declaring Mitchell his starter.



But he made in clear he has been immensely impressed with the progress he has made since arriving in Cheney.



“He definitely played really well again,” Baldwin said of Mitchell, who threw touchdown passes of 27 and 16 yards to redshirt freshman wide receiver Nicholas Edwards, “especially for a guy who’s only been here nine practices.



“Everyone sees the physical tools. He can fling the ball around, and not only that, but he can touch the ball and put it in spots.  There were a few mental mistakes, but not as many as you would usually get from someone who just got here, and that’s what impressed me the most about him.”



There were also several other outstanding individual performances on Saturday, including that of Edwards, a rangy 6-3, 200-pounder, whose first touchdown reception came on an acrobatic catch in the back right corner of the end zone.



Sophomore running back Darriell Beaumonte ran for 58 yards on just five carries, and the other two leading starting quarterback prospects – sophomore Nick Gauthier and freshman Anthony Vitto – combined to complete 19 of 29 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown while sharing reps with the No. 2 and No. 3 offense.



The Eagles’ offense amassed 533 yards during the scrimmage, but was working against a defense unit that missing several projected starters – including linebacker J.C. Sherritt, who led the nation in tackles as a junior last fall with 170.



Sherritt, like several other defensive standouts from last season, has seen only limited action this spring while recovering from minor injuries. But he should be ready for next Saturday’s 2 p.m. Red-White Game at Woodward Field that will once again cap spring drills.



“We’re still a little shorthanded on defense,” Baldwin admitted, “but not nearly as shorthanded as last spring when we only had 20 or so healthy guys at one point.



“Still, I liked the way we were flying around and making plays.”



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