VMI football holds first spring scrimmage under Wachenheim

vmi footballHigh intensity and tempo was the tone set in VMI’s first spring football scrimmage held under ideal weather conditions Saturday afternoon at Foster Stadium.

“I’m very impressed with the attitude and effort of the football team right now,” said Wachenheim, VMI’s first year coach. “I’m very happy we are to get able to get every phase of the kicking game in and we got 30 snaps in on offense and defense with the 1’s and the 2’s. I thought it was a great day and full of high energy, limited mistakes, and good plays on both sides.”

An uptempo presence was evident from the first series when the #1 offense roared down the field moving 70 yards in eight no-huddle snaps and scoring on a seven-yard touchdown rush by running back Derrick Ziglar. All but one play was on the ground.

“We think that #KeydetFast is a great hashtag and we want to follow through on that,” said Wachenheim. “A lot of teams are playing that way and we need to get our defense ready for that. And it’s always easy to slow it down once you get going.  We have the ability to play fast or slow as the game dictates we’ll adjust our tempo appropriately.”

The defensive units recovered after the opening burst from the offense and held the upper hand the next five series including a 3-and-out that featured pass break-ups by defensive back Alijah Robinson, a tackle-for-loss for three yards by linebacker Caleb Lindsey, and another break-up by outside linebacker Ryan Francis.

The offense generated some points again when kicker Dillion Christopher pegged a 29-yard field goal. The drive was keyed by quarterback Al Cobb connecting on passes of 15 yards to Taylor Stout and 11 yards to Darrian Johnson.

Christopher later converted a 46-yard field goal and finished the day 2 of 3 with his only miss coming from 53 yards.

The offense generated its final touchdown on a 14-yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jade Maher to Johnson. Maher completed three passes for 33 yards on the drive.

Cornerback Alex James capped the scrimmage with an interception on the last snap of the workout which added to a pass breakup earlier in the day. Other defensive highlights included a sack by outside linebacker Chris Copeland for six yards.

Punter Hayden Alford boomed a 54-yarder on his first attempt and punter Bill Hogan also had a 50-yarder later in the scrimmage.

“We’re way ahead of where I expected to be on practice eight,” said Wachenheim. “Especially with the condensed time frame we’ve had to do it in. I’m very pleased with the effort and attitude of the players.”

VMI resumes spring practice Tuesday, April 21 at 4:30 and will hold another scrimmage on Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 at Foster Stadium.

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