Gardner-Webb Defense Strong In Saturday Football Scrimmage -—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Head Coach Carroll McCray addresses his team following Saturday's scrimmage in Spangler Stadium.
Courtesy: Saxon Simpson
Gardner-Webb Defense Strong In Saturday Football Scrimmage
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: April 06, 2013
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BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb worked through its second full scrimmage of the spring practice season Saturday morning, with a spirited defensive effort providing many of the day's highlights.

The deeper and more experienced side of the football heading into spring practice, Gardner-Webb's defensive unit applied consistent pressure on quarterbacks Lucas Beatty and Nat Dunlap and collected 18 stops behind the line during the 80-play scrimmage.

Saturday's scrimmage was the team's first in Spangler Stadium this spring.

Cat-quick corner Ivan Toomer (6-1, 197, RSo.) provided an early highlight, picking off a Beatty pass in the flat and sprinting 30 yards to the end zone. Tiko Thompson took a Dunlap pass to the house later in the scrimmage and Adam Johnson also had an interception on the afternoon.

Toomer finished with three passes defended (two PBU) and a tackle for loss. Newcomer Charleston Higginbotham (6-0, 181, Jr.), who has played both safety and corner this spring, broke up a pair of passes at nickel back.

Chad Geter (6-2, 233, So.) was explosive from his outside linebacker position Saturday, registering four tackles for loss and a batted down pass and Azziz Higgins recorded a sack and two tackles for loss from his inside spot.

The nose guard rotation of Matt Goods and O.J. Mau was solid again Saturday, with the pair combining for five tackles behind the line and two batted down passes. Ends Shaquille Riddick, Tyler Hough-Jenkins and Zach Shelton also provided plenty of pressure.

Offensively, the Runnin' Bulldogs were hampered by the absence of five starters who were sidelined with a variety of minor injuries Saturday.

The first unit found the end zone once during the red zone/goal line period, with Beatty hitting Earnest Harmon from five yards out for a touchdown.

Harmon (5-10, 227, RJr.), who transferred to Gardner-Webb last spring from Ole Miss, provided some muscle running the football Saturday, carrying nine times for 36 yards and a pair of first downs.

All-Big South receiver Kenny Cook (6-4, 216, RJr.) caught four passes for 64 yards, including a 27-yarder from Beatty late in the first half of scrimmage. Richard Jules (2-18) and Stanley Fleurant (2-20) also had multiple catches on the day.

* New kicker Jordan Day, who previous played soccer for the Runnin' Bulldogs, showed solid accuracy on field goals out to 42 yards Saturday. Day, a senior from Marvin Ridge (N.C.) High, started 17 matches over his final three seasons under Coach Tony Setzer - including six in 2012.

* Redshirt freshman tight end Mike Estes (6-4, 245) has posted several strong moments over the past week with increased snaps during practices. The former Athens Drive (N.C.) High standout should be an excellent compliment to returning starters Seth Cranfill and Hudson Smith.

* Gardner-Webb will wrap up its spring practice season next Saturday in Spangler Stadium with the annual Spring Game. A start time will be announced next week.



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