Golden Bear Defense Shines in Saturday Scrimmage

April 7, 2007

BERKELEY - The California football team concluded its third week of spring drills with a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday. In the Golden Bears' last scrimmage, the offense looked crisp and moved the ball effectively. But the defense stepped up on Saturday, producing a host of big plays while holding the offense scoreless for much of the afternoon.

The scrimmage featured 60 plays from a variety of field positions, after about one hour of regular practice situations. After practicing drives from the 30-yard line, the team moved back to the five-yard line for long drives before practicing red-zone situations from the 11-yard line.

Defensively, junior end Rulon Davis recorded a pair of sacks, including one vicious hit for an 11-yard loss. Senior Thomas DeCoud, sophomore Syd'Quan Thompson and freshmen Michael Mohamed and Darian Hagan all registered interceptions. Freshman Derrick Hill tallied seven tackles and forced one fumble, while senior linebacker Justin Moye had six takedowns.

After struggling to manufacture points through the early going, the offense broke through with a pair of one-yard touchdown runs by Justin Forsett and James Montgomery. Forsett's score was set up by back-to-back 21-yard completions by junior Nate Longshore - one to senior Lavelle Hawkins and one to senior Sam DeSa, who made the catch before evading multiple tackles and diving to the one-yard line. Longshore also connected with Hawkins for a seven-yard score in the red-zone situations.

Longshore finished the afternoon by completing five of his last six passes, including the delivery to Hawkins. Sophomore Kyle Reed was five-of-eight on the day, including four completions to junior LaReylle Cunningham (49 yards). Junior Bryan Van Meter also saw action at quarterback, while freshman Kevin Riley sat the day out.

Hawkins opened the scrimmage session with an impressive 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

The next practice is scheduled for Monday afternoon, another full pads session. Next Saturday (Apr. 14) is the final spring practice, which is open to the practice and will feature another controlled scrimmage.

As a reminder, all California football practices are CLOSED to the public.

The Bears open the 2007 season on Sept. 1, hosting Tennessee at Memorial Stadium. Season tickets are available by visiting www.CalBears.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.

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