VMI offense steps up in second fall camp scrimmage

vmi footballQuarterback Reece Udinski completed nine of 13 passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns as VMI conducted its second controlled scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon.

Moved to the turf Fiorini Field practice facility because of wet conditions at Foster Stadium, Saturday’s scrimmage lasted an hour and 15 minutes and 86 plays were run.

The offense set the tone early when Udinski reeled of six consecutive completions in his first six attempts including a 26-yard scoring strike to junior wideout Javeon Lara to cap the first drive.

“I thought the first drive of the day was a thing of beauty led by Reece Udinski down the field, but what impressed me most about the scrimmage was the give and take on both sides and the ‘next play is ours’ mentality,” said Wachenheim after the scrimmage. “Our offense would make a big play and the defense would rally and it sounded like a Southern Conference scrimmage – the pads popping, running after the ball, getting after it. It was two sides of the ball really striving to get better today.”

Udinski later threw a pair of 12-yard touchdowns to sophomore Devone Humphrey and senior Mason Dermott, who made a sliding grab in the end zone between defenders to convert a fourth down and 11 scenario.”

The VMI receivers were active throughout the afternoon as a dozen wideouts caught as least one pass among  four VMI quarterbacks.

The defense also stepped up to make plays as freshman defensive tackle  Warren Dabney pounced on a fumbled ball to abruptly halt the ninth scrimmage possession. Sophomore Chris Ferrill broke up a pass in the right corner of the endzone to end another scoring threat and safety A.J. Smith delivered key hits throughout the afternoon. Linebackers Tyren Cloyd (2 TFL, 1 Sack) and Liam Kauthen (2 TFL) also had active scrimmages.

Other offensive highlights included freshman quarterback Chance Neuman threading a 12-yard TD pass to redshirt junior Jake Paladino midway through the workout and redshirt sophomore running back Alex Ramsey carrying five times for 27 yards including a scrimmage long 15-yarder.

The Keydets worked a number of situations typical of preseason scrimmages to sharpen execution on both sides of the ball.

“That’s the design,” said Wachenheim of the scrimmage format. You’re able to at this point two weeks from the season to want to do redzone offense, redzone defense, and today we were working on four-minute offense and defense as well as base down football and third down football. I think when you come out and scrimmage especially with a young team like we have, it’s important to make it as game-like as possible.”

The Keydets will conduct Sunday meetings but take a break from drills before resuming practice Monday at 9:15 am at Fiorini Field.

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