Wildcats Open Final Week of Training Camp with Saturday Scrimmage

Aug. 16, 2003

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TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona football team put on the pads for an 80-play scrimmage in front of a crowd of 4,100 Saturday evening in Arizona Stadium. Under head coach John Mackovic's direction, the Wildcat offense produced three touchdowns on the ground, and the defense tallied four sacks and two interceptions during the two-hour workout.

'Overall, we had a very nice workout, and I saw a lot of good things on both sides,' said head coach John Mackovic.

In the race at quarterback, sophomore Nic Costa completed 4-of-7 passes for 69 yards, had one interception and rushed two yards for a touchdown near the end of the scrimmage. Redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara completed 3-of-6 passes for 57 yards and led two drives that resulted in rushing touchdowns. True freshman Kris Heavner completed 4-of-5 attempts for 43 yards and had one pass intercepted, while fellow freshman Richard Kovalcheck was perfect for the evening, completing all five of his passes for 32 yards.

O'Hara completed the longest pass play of the day, with a 30-yard throw to senior wide receiver Lance Relford. Costa's longest pass play was a 26-yard toss to sophomore fullback Sean Jones, which help set up Costa's 2-yard touchdown run.

'I really liked the way the quarterbacks scrambled and made a number of plays. I am very happy with the way they were able to get out. In practice, we really don't get to see how they will react in that situation. Their ability to scramble really adds a new dimension to our offense,' Mackovic said.

Arizona's quarterbacks worked to spread the wealth by throwing to 10 different receivers during the scrimmage.

Senior Lance Relford led the receiving corps with three catches for 65 yards. Redshirt freshman tight end Matt Padron had two receptions for 35 yards, and freshman walk-on Ryan Eidson had two catches for 13 yards. Junior Ricky Williams caught one pass for 20 yards, and Jones had one catch for 26 yards. True freshman Anthony Johnson ended the scrimmage with one catch for 11 yards, while walk-on junior transfer Brian Panique came up with two catches for 14 yards.

Sophomore running back Mike Bell helped lead the ground attack with three carries for 67 yards and a 56-yard touchdown run. Senior halfback Clarence Farmer finished with nine carries for 25 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run. True freshman Brent Bolden added 31 yards on seven carries.

'We have some guys who can run the ball. Mike Bell, Clarence Farmer and Chris Henry looked very good. We also need to find a way to get our fullbacks, Gilbert Harris and Sean Jones, more involved. We really need that group to do good things for us this season,' Mackovic said.

Overall, the Arizona offense rushed for 165 yards on 42 carries, and the receivers tallied 16 receptions for 201 yards.

On the other side of the ball, the defensive units tallied four sacks and six tackles for a loss of 23 yards on the night. Sophomore Lamon Means led the defensive charge with seven tackles and one interception. Junior cornerback Zeonte Sherman had five tackles, while senior linebacker Joe Siofele added four tackles. Junior linebacker Marquell Stinson, redshirt freshman safety Gary Shepard, junior safety Tony Wingate and senior linebacker Matt Molina each contributed four tackles, respectively.

Junior cornerback Luis Nunez had three tackles, including one for a 4-yard loss, and senior cornerback Gary Love had three tackles and broke up one pass. Redshirt freshman linebacker John McKinney had three tackles, and junior linebacker Pat Howard contributed two tackles. True freshman linebacker Dane Krogstad also contributed two tackles, including one for a loss. Junior Justin Stewart had an interception, while senior safety Clay Hardt had one tackle and broke up a pass. Junior linebacker Andre Torrey added two sacks, and freshman linebacker Lionel Dotson and freshman defensive tackle Clifton Stanford each had a sack.

'Except for a big run at the beginning, the defense did not give up too many runs,' Mackovic said. 'It was good to see the defense around the football in the passing game.'

The coaching staff also had the opportunity to evaluate two punters during the scrimmage. Sophomore Danny Baugher had four punts for an average of 44.5 yards per punt. Senior James Molina also had four punts for an average of 44.8 yards per punt. Baugher's longest punt was 50 yards, while Molina's longest punt was 53 yards.

'The punters did really well kicking under pressure,' Mackovic added.

Senior place kicker Bobby Gill missed his only field goal attempt from 42 yards. Redshirt freshman Nicholas Folk made a 27-yard field goal, but he missed from 46 yards. Gill's field goal miss hit the upright, and Folk's miss was wide to the right. Gill converted on both of his point-after-touchdown attempts, and Folk made his single PAT of the night.

UA's offensive and defensive units combined for 11 penalties. The offense had eight for 50 yards, while the defense had three for 15 yards.

Arizona has one more week of training camp remaining before game-week preparations begin for the Wildcats' season opener versus UTEP at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Wildcats will hold double sessions on Monday, August 18, at 7:05 a.m. and 7:05 p.m., with both practices to be held at the Rincon Vista facility.

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