Spring fever

Written by Casey Kellas May 06, 2013 11:18 am

Eastern Oregon running back Mahonri Bostrom was busy  shedding defenders at the Mountaineers’ spring game Saturday. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
Eastern Oregon running back Mahonri Bostrom was busy shedding defenders at the Mountaineers’ spring game Saturday. (Casey Kellas/The Observer)
 

Mountaineers wrap up spring ball with scrimmage 

by Casey Kellas/The Observer

The big question surrounding the Eastern Oregon University football team this spring has been what the Mountaineers will do at quarterback.

At the team’s spring game Saturday at Community Stadium, fans got to see five quarterbacks take reps. But it is freshman Zach Bartlow who just might be at the forefront of those five.

Bartlow started the game with the first string and led the team downfield to a touchdown. Later in the game, he tossed a touchdown pass to A.J. Prom.

“I was pretty confident with my play,” Bartlow said. “I was pretty happy with what I did. It was a good overall team effort. Guys made plays for me.”

Bartlow didn’t want to say where he thinks he stands in the competition for the starting quarterback job and neither did head coach Tim Camp. But Camp was pleased with what all five quarterbacks did during the spring scrimmage.

“I thought there were some good things, I thought there were some bad things,” Camp said of his quarterbacks. 

“There were things that we’ve hit before that we didn’t hit today, which is frustrating. This offense is so much about finding mismatches, and making sure we’re getting the ball on time and in space.”

With that said, Camp did add that Bartlow’s play this spring has stood out.

“I like him. I think he does a nice job,” Camp said. “But there were some other guys that showed today that it might not be over yet. I like all of the quarterbacks, but I think some are ahead of others in certain areas. To say that we have a complete quarterback right now, I can’t say that.”

Freshman Campbell Summerfield had a couple of long drives when given the chance to play, and redshirt freshman Trent Brown had a long touchdown pass to Luis Ortiz.

Junior Ray Walser, who has the most game experience of any quarterback on the roster, had a touchdown completion to wide receiver Geoff Petties.

Freshman T.J. Esekielu also took some reps during the game.

The quarterback play may be the most looked at position this spring, but the Mountaineers also showed they have some playmakers for those quarterbacks to get the ball to.

Sophomore running back Mahonri Bostrom broke off a couple long runs, while Jace Billingsly and Ortiz both had flashes at the receiver spot.

“We have a lot of playmakers around me, so it makes my job easier,” Bartlow said. “Easy dump offs, screen passes. It’s nice to see those guys work after an easy completion.”

Camp also liked what he saw from the skill positions.

“We got some speed,” Camp said. “We’re ahead of where we were last year offensively.”

Spring ball may be over for the Mountaineers, but the team still has a lot of off-season work to put in before their 2013 season opener against Portland State University on Aug. 29.

“I think I had the most fun this spring, personally,” Camp said. 

“I’ve never been the kind of person who can stomach a 4-6 season. I’m coming in here to make this program better. You have to motivate the players and the coaches. I’m super excited about the season coming up, and the way the kids are working.”