Local talent shines in ETSU Football Spring Scrimmage #1

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 23, 2017) – The ETSU football team wrapped up its second week of spring practice by holding its first scrimmage of the season on Thursday afternoon outside on the practice fields, adjacent the Basler Center for Physical Activity.


The Bucs – who gave their fans a two-hour scrimmage – had plenty of highlights on both sides of the ball on Thursday. Below are the stats from the offense, defense and special teams.



Five Buccaneer quarterbacks passed for over 330 yards and five touchdowns … Nick Sexton (Seymour, Tenn.) went 11-for-21 for 175 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while Dylan Wieger (Kingsport, Tenn.) threw for two touchdowns … Austin Herink (Cleveland, Tenn.) completed four of his five passes for 38 yards and one touchdown, while D.J. Vanderwerf (Sweetwater, Tenn.) hit on a 28-yard touchdown pass … Luke Manning (Sevierville, Tenn.) finished 3-for-4 for 20 yards.


ETSU’s quarterbacks completed passes to 11 different Buccaneer receivers as Braxton Richburg (Hoschton, Ga.) and Quan Harrison (Greeneville, Tenn.) combined for nine receptions on 155 yards and four touchdowns.


Richburg paced the receivers with five receptions, while Harrison hauled in four passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns … Wieger found Harrison for a 46-yard score and Vanderwerf hit him for a 35-yard touchdown … Richburg scored on an eight-yard strike from Herink and Sexton found the Hoschton, Ga. native for a 40-yard touchdown.


Hunter Wike (Canton, N.C.) pulled in the Bucs’ other touchdown as he scored on a six-yard reception from Wieger.


Kobe Kelley (Knoxville, Tenn.) registered the longest reception of the afternoon as he hauled in a 55-yard catch, while Drake Powell (Clinton, Tenn.) had one catch for 39 yards and newcomer Evan Wick (Hallettsville, Texas) had a nine-yard reception.


The Buccaneer running backs totaled 177 yards on 35 attempts as Blake Rodgers (Kingsport, Tenn.) leading the charge with 71 yards on 13 carries … James Gowen III (Charlotte, N.C.) totaled 11 carries for 59 yards and Dontavius Monroe (Delray Beach, Fla.) posted 29 yards on five rushing attempts.



As a unit, the Buccaneer defense finished with 91 tackles, 10 sacks, eight pass breakups, one interception, and one fumble recovery.  


Jack Jones (Bristol, Tenn.), Domenique Williams (Charlotte, N.C.), Jason Maduafokwa (Seymour, Tenn.), Ferguierson Charles (Fort Myers, Fla.) and Christian Gibson (Bristol, Tenn.) all finished with five tackles.


Nasir Player (Columbia, S.C.) led the defense with two sacks, while Maduafokwa, Austin Rowan (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Spencer Brien (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) each totaled 1.5 sacks … Rowan also added four tackles.


Joining Rowan with four tackles were Paul Hunter (Denton, Texas) and Tony Mitchell (Robertsdale, Ala.).


Keanu James (Dacula, Ga.) forced the first turnover of the day when he picked off Nick Sexton’s pass at the goal line, while Bryce Suber (Lebanon, Tenn.) forced and recovered a fumble inside the red zone a few series later.


The defensive pack from Ohio all had solid showings on Thursday … Dylan Weigel (Pickerington) totaled three tackles and a sack, and Blake Bockrath (Loveland) ended with four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup … Colton Lakes (Loveland) finished with three tackles, while Olajuwon Pinkelton (Cincinnati) recorded two tackles, one sack and a pass breakup … Ja’Vonte Williams (Cincinnati) also added three tackles, while Kevin Ferguson (Cincinnati) tied a team-best with five tackles.



Joe DeFatta (Franklin, Tenn.) handled all the field goal and extra-point reps on Thursday … DeFatta made three of his four field goal attempts with his longest being 42-yard make.

Coach Torbush:

“Overall I saw better athleticism and I saw bigger faster and stronger guys and I expected that and we’ve seen that the 7 days we’ve been here and I mean there is a difference between 17 and 20 years old there is a difference playing college football 2 years going on 3 years so I’m seeing what i need to see right now to feel like we got a good chance to be a very competitive football team come this fall.”

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