OGDEN — With a full week of camp under its belt, Weber State football held its first fall scrimmage Saturday morning at Stewart Stadium.
It began with a bang when Jake Constantine lofted a 79-yard pass over the defense to sophomore receiver Ty MacPherson on the first play. MacPherson and junior David Ames were bright spots for the offense as proven starters like Rashid Shaheed and Josh Davis were limited or sat during scrimmage action.
Receivers Devon Cooley and Isiah Jackson are also nursing minor injuries and Hill said they should be back at full speed next week.
“Those guys have stepped up and played well ... (injuries have) allowed Ty MacPherson to really step up the last couple days. I think he’s played really good in that receiver crew,” Hill said. “Haze Hadley showed some good things, and David Ames made a ton of plays today. It’s good to see some of those young guys step up.”
In one series that began on their own 34-yard line, Constantine hit Ames for completions of 21 yards, 14 yards and 3. Two of those came on well-defended routes, the latter of which finished the drive for a touchdown.
Similarly on defense, players like Adam Rodriguez, Jonah Williams and Auston Tesch were limited in scrimmage as coaches look for playmakers to step up to claim spots on the depth chart.
“We’ve got to see who we can win with,” Hill said. “We don’t have to play with (veteran) guys because I know we can win with them. We’re looking at some of the young corners, safeties, to step up.”
Brody Burke and Preston Smith saw plenty of reps at safety, with freshmen like Maxwell Anderson, Ja’Kobe Harris and Jacob Sharp getting run at cornerback.
“We were looking at the linebackers. I thought Noah Vaea separated himself and played pretty good today,” Hill said.
Hill said he was pleased with the offense, which he said won many of the drills during the session.
Sophomore Kaden Jenks split scrimmage reps at quarterback with Constantine on all but one series. He said he’s doing well while returning from last year’s leg injury.
“We have a really good medical staff here at Weber State and they’ve been doing a lot to get me healthy and right again,” Jenks said. “It’s been great working back in, learning the offense, bonding with all the guys and playing football again.”
The offense returns tons of young experience and will be in its second year under offensive coordinator Dave Schramm.
“I think it’s been really good ... it’s functioning really well, everything’s working like it should,” Jenks said. “Coach Schramm’s putting together great plays for everybody and the offense is executing at a high level.”
Ames caught Constantine’s other touchdown pass, a 14-yard score during red zone work. Jenks connected with sophomore tight end Justin Malone for a 17-yard score in red zone action as well.
With redshirt freshman Kylan Weisser at quarterback, and true freshmen Dontae McMillan, Haze Hadley and Hudson Schenck at running back and receivers, the offense marched the ball to the goal line on the final series before practice time ran out.
Trey Tuttle made field goals of 42 and 29 yards during the scrimmage before connecting on 1 of 3 long-range kicks to end practice. The one make on kicks from 55-60 yards saved a set of gassers for the team, which brought cheers and a yell of “that’s my kicker!” from a lineman.
Fall camp continues for two weeks before game week arrives ahead of the Aug. 31 opener at San Diego State.