Competitive spring game shows promise for upcoming season
Short passes were the key for both Raider quarterbacks on Saturday afternoon.
SU’s two quarterbacks, Ryan Zapoticky and Chris Lawshe, did not throw a touchdown pass farther than 29 yards during Saturday’s Shippensburg University football spring game. A lively first half led the Red squad to a 23–17 victory over the White squad.
“We saw a lot of good things. One good thing about the spring game is going out there and competing and having fun,” Head Coach Mark Maciejewski said after the game. “I think our guys did that today.”
Competition was at an all-time high since many of the Raiders are competing for starting spots next season. The predominant battle for a starting spot is at the quarterback position. Zapoticky, who did not play a down in the 2013 season, is battling against Lawshe for next year’s starting quarterback slot.
Lawshe, who completed 33 of his 51 pass attempts for 327 yards, took the upper hand early in the game when he drove the Red squad down the field on its first possession for a touchdown. The drive was capped off by a 7-yard run from Justin Pyle.
Pyle ended the game with 46 rushing yards on 11 carries to complement his touchdown.
Zapoticky struggled his first time on the field when he took charge of the White squad. The red-shirt freshman fumbled the ball on the fourth play from scrimmage, putting the ball in the Red squad’s hands. Zapoticky stayed on the field and redeemed himself as he strung together a five-play drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Harman.
Chris Lawshe throws the ball to a Raider teammate.
Marquis Fells carries the ball while cutting up the field for the White squad.
Zapoticky floated the ball up to Harman in the back of the end zone, Harman jumped in-between two defenders to haul the ball in while getting both feet down, sending the Red squad up 14–0. The Zapoticky to Harman connection was just one of Zapoticky’s two touchdowns on the day. The other came with 3:28 left in the first half when he completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Harro on a blown defensive coverage.
Harman finished the afternoon with seven receptions and 86 yards to go along with his sole touchdown.
Lawshe got the White squad on the board on the next drive as he scrounged up 10 plays for 75 yards. Lawshe finished off the drive with a 2-yard touch pass to Dexter Bridge in the back right of the end zone.
Lawshe notched the White squad’s next touchdown on an almost identical play, this time to Stanley Lumpkin Jr., tying the game at 14.
The first half was finished off by field goals from Damon Neil, one for the Red squad and one for the White squad. Going into halftime, Red led White 23–17.
The second half was not as lively as the first. Second team players got a lot more reps which led to no scoring.
The mix of first and second team defense shut down the offense in the second half, notching the win for the Red squad.
The White squad’s offense was led by Marquis Fells and Brady Forney.
Fells led the White squad with 12 carries for 63 yards while Forney hauled in 10 receptions for 94 yards. Fells also added three receptions for 27 yards to his stat line.
“We are making progress. Every day we come out here we they are getting better,” Maciejewski said. “One thing I can tell about this team right now is they compete and they are excited about playing this game of football.”
The Raiders have two more spring practices before the long break until August practice starts back up.
SU will have new players on the field in 2014 but the Raiders are ready to compete with anyone.