CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – For the first time this preseason, the BC football team had an extended look of team scrimmage periods with a full set of officials inside Alumni Stadium Saturday morning. Under a hot sun, the Eagles were on the field for over two hours in the most game-like conditions and situations yet this preseason.
“We went hard today,” said head coach Jeff Hafley. “We went in the stadium, it was hot outside and we pushed them a little bit. Tomorrow is a day off so I just wanted to challenge them a little bit mentally and physically. We felt physically they were ready. And I just wanted to see where they were at mentally. I thought it was one of our best practices. They took a huge step and went back and forth. It was clean, guys were competing, guys were talking. We started to come together today. So really, really proud of the guys and appreciate their work today in a hard day.”
Hafley put the Eagles through several different periods of game situations, including red zone, two-minute drill, starting drives inside the five-yard line, and having to finish with a touchdown on the final drive of the game for the victory.
The game-like conditions featured the offense on the home sideline of Alumni Stadium and the defense on the visiting sideline. Both the offensive and defensive coaching staffs called the game from their respective sideline, with only Hafley and the game officials on the field.
“We competed more today,” said Hafley. “More competition for the offense, the defense put through some situational football, put the coaches on the sideline, put the players on the sideline and let the guys play the game. I couldn’t be prouder of the way they practiced today.”
Practice Notes: Sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec is 6’5” and 227 pounds, but do not let his size fool you that he is not a mobile quarterback. The Pittsburgh native showed tremendous ability to escape the pocket during team periods and hurt the defense with his legs. Jurkovec showed off his ability to drop the football in a tight window on several throws to junior tight end Hunter Long Saturday. Long looks primed for a big season in the passing game for the Eagles … easily the play of the day and one of the top plays of preseason camp came from sophomore wide receiver Ethon Williams. The Maryland native made a diving, one-handed grab from junior quarterback Dennis Grosel. Williams has been one of the most reliable, consistent targets in the passing game all camp … Buffalo graduate transfer Chibueze Onwuka has been active all preseason and was again today during the scrimmage periods. He had a sack to stop the offense in the red zone and teamed up with defensive end Marcus Valdez for a TFL as well … the longest field goal of the day belonged to New Mexico transfer Stephen Ruiz, who split the uprights from 43 yards out … junior running back David Bailey showed great acceleration and burst on a 20-yard run. He has noticeably slimmed down under the watch of strength and conditioning head coach Phil Matusz and looks ready for a big 2020 campaign … senior running back Travis Levy also made several plays both on the ground and as a receiver Saturday. Levy has shown to be one of the most versatile threats on the team … senior defensive lineman Bryce Morais had a crunching tackle-for-loss to stop a running back in his tracks … the offense looked to have a big play as red-shirt freshman quarterback Sam Johnson hit a streaking Jaelen Gill in stride over the middle, but the play was negated due to penalty … junior linebacker Paul Theobald scooped up a fumble while senior safeties Mike Palmer and Deon Jones both tallied an interception … true freshman defensive back Kam Arnold came across the middle for a pass breakup.