JSU Red vs. White Spring Game kicks off 2022 season for the Gamecocks

Photo courtesy of Justin Travis

Justin Travis, Correspondent

Many JSU students, staff, alumni, fans and community members came out to support the Gamecocks in Rich Rodriguez’s first spring game with the Gamecocks.

“The defense was playing like they wanted to be out here, with physicality and high competition,” Rodriguez said. 

He also noted the crowd that was giving off energy for the whole game and how the team needs to “feed off of it and each other, but also know when to shut it out.”

The spring game is very similar to that of a practice scrimmage with the white team being the full offensive unit, and the red team being the defensive unit. The first five drives would take place from the away thirty yard line, and after that a few possessions form the away one yard line. They would then move the ball all the way up to the home 25-yard line to get some red zone plays in, and finish with two-point conversion attempts.

The game started off with an early interception returned for a touchdown by  returning cornerback George Steele off of a Zion Webb pass. The next possession of the game saw JSU put in redshirt-freshman QB Matthew Caldwell. That possession ended with a 4th down stop by the tenacious JSU defense.

Rodriguez would be rotating QBs, and other players, possession by possession, and the next possession led by Zion Webb concluded with a long 46-yard field goal made by transfer kicker Brenton King. 

Zion Webb mentioned in his postgame interview that this coaching staff focuses on being present with players. 

“Take it one day at a time, and make the most out of it,” Webb said. “We are about the hard-edge, the coaches are too. It’s what we are about and how we carry ourselves.”

The next possession saw JSU establish their best offensive possession of the first few drives, highlighted by a huge splash play that saw Caldwell complete a big 40-yard pass down the left sideline to a heavily contested sophomore Isaiah Montgomery. Montgomery, along with sophomore receiver PJ Wells, have been standouts in practice this offseason. However, that possession for the offensive unit still ended with no points as the red team stood stout at the goaline.

The very next possession saw Chance Newman come in for the first time, and he was able to complete a pass which led to a thirty yard pickup from hometown kid Ron Wiggins. The defense continued to come up big with two safeties from the one-yard line, and another interception from another hometown kid, sophomore Luke Jackson. 

The first offensive touchdown came off of a beautiful Zion Webb deep ball that traveled 35-yards to the right pylon. The ball is hauled in by a great fingertips catch from ,possible breakout player for JSU, Ahmad Edwards. The fourth, and final QB, senior Hunter Raquet made his 2022 Spring Game debut and led the offense to a 32-yard field goal from Allen Karajic. Two more field goals came in the far redzone from 39 yards out, from both kickers. The highlight of the red zone work as they finished out was a fifty yard field goal made by Brenton King.

Kicker Brenton King noted how Rodriguez values competition, even in practice and scrimmages. 

“It is needed, if we don’t compete with each other, we won’t compete even harder against other teams,” King said.

The Gamecocks will kick off their 2022 football season in Montgomery, Alabama as they take on Stephen F. Austin in the Crampton Bowl on Aug. 27. Jacksonville State will play their first game at Burgess-Snow that following week on Saturday, Sept. 3 against Davidson.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "JSU Red vs. White Spring Game kicks off 2022 season for the Gamecocks"

Leave a Reply