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Weber State spring football game: Big plays in offense win over defense

Saturday , April 14, 2018 - 4:56 PM

OGDEN — After a slow start Saturday, the Weber State offense claimed a 39-26 win over the defense using a modified scoring system in the WSU football spring game to close camp.

“I think we got better as a football team,” WSU head coach Jay Hill said. “We still have some holes that we’ve got to continue to fix throughout the summer and fall camp. We’re still progressing as a team, but we’re not where we need to be yet.”

Sophomore quarterback Braden Miles led the offense on 8-of-12 passing for 130 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Rashid Shaheed recorded two catches for 73 yards and a touchdown.

“We’ve progressed a lot,” Shaheed said. “With a new coach and a new system, we came in with a little bit shaky, but that’s going to happen. Over camp, we’ve progressed a lot and made a lot of plays.”

The biggest play of the day came when freshman quarterback Kaden Jenks found senior receiver Darryl Denby for a 67-yard touchdown pass to give the offense its final points of the day.

Jenks finished 5 of 11 for 112 yards and a touchdown. Senior Rathen Ricedorff threw 3 of 8 for 50 yards and touchdown.

“We need someone to separate themselves,” Hill said. “Hopefully a couple of weeks into fall camp, we’ll know who that guy is and he’ll start to hone in on taking all the (No. 1) reps, but right now there’s not a big separation between the group, and we need to start seeing that.”

The defense came out strong and stout, scoring 11 unanswered points as a result of a recovered fumble and an interception from redshirt freshman defensive end Raoul Johnson.

The offense responded with 28 straight points to take the lead, including a 32-yard touchdown pass from Ricedorff to Shaheed.

Freshman safety Spencer Niutupuivaha put an end the offense’s run with a diving grab for an interception, putting more points on the board for the defense.

“We’ve got some defensive players that are going to make a lot of big plays for us,” Hill said. “A lot of them were sitting, and so it was good to see some of those backups come in and make those plays.”

The defense finished strong, but couldn’t put enough big plays together to cut into the offense’s lead.

“I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that are doing a lot of really good things, we just need to perfect our form,” said junior defensive lineman Kawika Tupuola. “I think we’re starting to figure out our depth on defense. I think we’re starting to find our groove and getting our swagger back from last year.”

With expectations higher than ever after a historic season, Hill believes his team can build on what’s been achieved — but said last season’s accomplishments have nothing to do with his current team.

“This is a new team,” Hill said. “We’ve got a long ways to go yet. We’ve got to continue to add new players to what we’re doing, but we’re on track.”

Weber State opens the 2018 season against Utah on Aug. 30 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at [email protected], on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on

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