Red team rolls in UWA spring scrimmage
LIVINGSTON – The West Alabama Red Team rang up 420 yards of total offense, including 281 combined receiving yards by Chad Toocheck and Malik Lofton, on the way to a 28-10 victory over the White Team as the defending Gulf South Conference champions conducted their annual spring game Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
“Hopefully we are going to be more explosive offensively, not quite as much ground and pound,” head coach Will Hall said. “You saw us putting the ball in the air more today. We are really trying to improve our passing game after leading the GSC in rushing the last two years.”
Toocheck caught seven passes for 147 yards, including a 64-yard scoring toss from junior quarterback Kyle Caldwell on the first play of the second half. Lofton had six receptions for 134 yards that included a 40-yard scoring hookup from Caldwell.
Caldwell finished the day 14-for-22 for 262 yards while taking snaps for both teams. Mid-year junior college transfer Clint Hatten also took snaps with both teams, completing 9-of-15 for 178 yards. Jeremiah Chandler was the only other quarterback to see action, completing 1-of-6 for five yards.
Sophomore running back Javae Swindle rounded out Red Team scoring with runs of 2 and 1 yard, carrying 12 times for 38 yards in the game. Hatten slipped into the end zone from 1 yard out and Mark Grant connected on a 23-yard field goal to account for the White Team scoring.
“I feel good about where we are, but I was not pleased with our kicking game,” Hall said. “Our kickers have been really good all spring, but you get out here today with people in the stands and a little pressure and we missed some.”
Jordan Ikner missed a 47-yard field goal attempt and Grant hit the right upright from 28 yards.
The Red Team defense, composed of more front line Tiger defenders, limited the White Team to just 201 yards total offense and 2-of-11 on third down conversions. Frank Richardson intercepted a pass and Dereck Jordan picked up a fumble and rambled 18 yards.
“We are going to be good on defense like we are every year,” Hall said. “We are coming off a year when we led the league in virtually every category and with (defensive coordinator) Coach (Robert) Henry leading the charge, I see no reason why we won’t be just as good or better on that side of the ball.”
There was only one penalty called in the game, a pass interference infraction on the first play of the 120-play scrimmage.
“We have over 20 seniors and some guys who have been in our program a long time. They have embraced the way we do things and that AIE (Attitude is Everything) mentality,” Hall said. “Every day when you wake up you get to choose if you are going to be successful or not. That’s what we preach here.”
The Tigers will continue spring drills for another week, finishing up with another controlled scrimmage next Saturday morning at Tiger Stadium. UWA football practices are open to the public.