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EWU spring football: Vernon Adams & Co. pick apart young secondary

Eastern Washington University logo (Courtesy)

Offense rules in Eastern’s first spring scrimmage

It wasn’t fair.

Looking as crisp as the morning weather, the Eastern Washington offense was almost in midseason form as it took advantage of a young Eagles secondary in Saturday’s scrimmage at Roos Field.

Quarterback Vernon Adams looked every bit the All-American he was last year, completing 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Jordan West was 6 for 8 for 99 yards and another score in the first scrimmage of spring ball.

The highlight of the day was Adams’ pass over the top to wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who went 65 yards for his second score of the morning.

Kupp took that one in stride, much like the Eastern defensive backs did after the 47-play scrimmage.

“I thought we all came out to compete, but they were throwing dimes,” said cornerback Frank Cange, who is competing for one of the spots left behind by T.J. Lee III and Ronald Baines.

“He (Adams) was throwing lasers out there, as opposed to the other quarterbacks in our league,” Cange said.

The offense didn’t have everything its way: Corner Moe Roberts had a pick-6 and the Eagles running game was held to 59 yards on 20 carries, but the first-string offense was in fine form.

“It sure feels good,” an Eastern offensive lineman said to his teammates as they walked off the field.

Perhaps he was remembering some one-sided scrimmages that went the other way, as coach Beau Baldwin as much as pointed out.

“We don’t get caught up in whether the offense or defense wins the scrimmage,” Baldwin said. “We have seen both perform to an extreme level at times, but what we want to do is not to focus on the end result.

“I told the players to take it play by play and grade themselves,” said Baldwin, whose club has nine more practice sessions this spring, including the Red-White game on April 26.

Adams presumably will grade well once the film is reviewed. The redshirt junior-to-be added 10 pounds during the offseason and now weighs about 205 – “hopefully without losing my athleticism,” Adams said.

His speed wasn’t tested Saturday, but Adams showed complete command of the offense in three offensive series.

“I think the offense is in a different place with Vernon coming back after last year,” Baldwin said. “He has a full season under his belt, compared to last spring when he was coming off splitting a lot of time (with Kyle Padron) in 2012.”

Meanwhile, Kupp caught five balls for 105 yards, while true sophomore Kendrick Bourne had three catches for 45 yards and two scores.

Redshirt freshman Reece Mahaffy, a walk-on from Coeur d’Alene, led the ground game with 39 yards on six carries. Safety Miles Weatheroy had five tackles.

“I thought we came out hard and aggressive, but we’ve got to make sure we’re locking down,” said cornerback D’londo Tucker, who gave up a 31-yard gain the Austin Ehlo.

“We’re pretty young, but that doesn’t mean we’re not ready,” Tucker said.


The Eagles will resume practice on Tuesday at 4 p.m., the first of four sessions that will include another scrimmage on Saturday.