The Georgia Southern football team held their second scrimmage of the preseason Saturday but not a lot of people in Bulloch County had a chance to see it. Not because it was closed to the public, but rather because the Eagles took flight Saturday and held their scrimmage at Memorial Stadium in Savannah.
“I thought today was a great training tool for us,” said coach Clay Helton. “To have the ability to have a little training with packing up and taking buses and hitting the road was good to see. To get on and off a bus after about an hour and be able to bring energy and focus and play at a high standard was nice to see. It was also nice to be able to come over here by our Armstrong campus and giving alumni and fans in this area the chance to see us and work with some kids at our clinic after the scrimmage has been great.”
As for the scrimmage itself, the first team offense came out strong as quarterback Kyle Vantrease was 4-4 through the air for 67 yards and set up the first score with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Singleton. Jalen White capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. White and Gerald Green combined for 56 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“I really liked our first offense and how well they started today,” said Helton. “Kyle has had a lot of reps and we wanted him to start fast with this group and he did that on the opening drive. I think he is really in tune and in a great position. With him out I wanted to see where our number twos and threes are at. We will only be as good a team as where our twos and threes grow right now.”
Vantrease came out of the game after the first drive and the backup quarterbacks played the rest of the game. Helton felt there were some moments when they played well, but knows they are continuing to learn.
“We know there are going to be growing pains when you throw those guys out there,” said Helton. “We need to make sure we are putting them in situations where they can grow. Every failure we hope you learn from and it can create success later in your career. A lot of good things happened with them in there but there were also some critical mistakes.”
Defensively Zion McGee led the way with a pair of interceptions Isaac Walker and Wylan Free also recorded interceptions and Jeffrey Smyth and Jalen Jackson each came up with sacks.
“Defensively I feel we are pretty deep right now,” said Helton. “We have a lot of players who made great plays out there today. We also created some turnovers which I like to see. The defense continues to be solid. The defensive secondary has really improved so much from spring. That is the group I think have grown the most since spring football.”
The Eagles will now move into its mock preparation week and will go into their normal game-week schedule. Georgia Southern opens the 2022 season at home Sept. 3 against Morgan State at 6 p.m.