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QBs on display for Eagles’ Red-White game

EWU quarterbacks, left to right, Reilly Hennessey, Andrew Zimmerman and Jordan West throw during the first day of spring practice on Roos Field, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
EWU quarterbacks, left to right, Reilly Hennessey, Andrew Zimmerman and Jordan West throw during the first day of spring practice on Roos Field, Thursday, March 31, 2016. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Technically it’s only a scrimmage, but the Eastern Washington quarterbacks are sure to feel game-like pressure in the Red-White Spring Game.

Coach Beau Baldwin wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We want them to get in a flow,” Baldwin said this week as the Eagles prepared for Saturday’s event at Roos Field.

For the most part, that will mean putting the ball down at the 20-yard line and letting Jordan West, Reilly Hennessey and Gage Gubrud move the ball against the Eastern defense.

All figure to get some reps with the first-team offense – and against the top EWU defenders.

“That’s football – it’s not just our quarterbacks competing for positions,” Baldwin said. “They are all pushing each other and there is a reason there are tough decisions, but in a positive way.”

That decision won’t de determined solely by Saturday’s game, Baldwin cautioned.

“At some point you make decisions, but to make decisions this early is not realistic in terms of giving us our best chance at evaluating their progress. It does become a challenge, but that’s part of the competitive part of any aspect of position battles,” Baldwin said.

The scrimmage will consist of two or three possessions per quarter, with quarterbacks rotating possessions.

In two spring scrimmages, West has completed 14 of 26 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown after spending most of the 2015 season as the starter.

But highlighting a sensational spring for several sophomores, Gubrud has completed 20 of 26 passes for 311 yards and three TDs, and Hennessey has added 114 yards on 13-of-24 passing with a TD.

Other rising sophmores expected to play are running backs Ashanti Kindle and Sam McPherson; receivers Zach Eagle and Simba Webster; linebackers Ketner Kupp and Kurt Calhoun; defensive linemen Jim Townsend and Kaleb Levao; and defensive backs Cole Karstetter and Mitch Fettig.

The Eagles will conclude spring camp with two practices next week. EWU opens the season Sept. 3 at Washington State.

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