WMU holds scrimmage

Published 6:57 am Friday, August 21, 2009

KALAMAZOO – The Western Michigan football team held its first scrimmage of the 2009 preseason at Waldo Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

The afternoon was highlighted by a 3-for-3 passing performance from Hiller on one scoring drive, a short screen that resulted in a long score for Antoin Scriven and plenty of big defensive plays.

Hiller came onto the field for the first series of the scrimmage, which started on the offense’s 1-yard line. After the first play resulted in a safety for the defense, Hiller hooked up with Robert Arnheim for a 19-yard gain to the 20-yard line for a first down.

That looked to be Hiller’s last play of the day as he headed to the sideline for much of the rest of the afternoon. He would return midway through the scrimmage and showed the poise of a fifth-year senior QB.  Starting at midfield, Hiller found Ansel Ponder for an 18-yard gain and a first down. He and Ponder hooked up again for another nine-yard gain. On 2nd-and-1 from the 23-yard line Hiller threw a perfect fade pass to Chleb Ravenell dropping the ball into his hands in the back corner of the end zone.

Hiller finished his day with 98 yards, four first downs and the one score on 7-of-11 passing.  Alex Carder also racked up a number of completions, going 10-for-13 with 118 yards and a scoring toss. Over half his yards came on a seemingly routine screen pass to Scriven but the freshman turned upfield and outran the defense for the 62-yard score.

Scriven led with 64 yards receiving on just two catches, while Ponder followed with 50 yards on five catches and Ravenell added 30 yards on two receptions.  Freshman Tyler VanTubbergen completed three passes for 23 yards but threw the only interception of the day when a pass intended for Josh Schaeffer was picked off by fellow freshman Matt Mills when he jumped the route at the 40-yard line.

Paul Dreher, of Niles, looked to be easing into his new position on the defensive line with a tackle for loss when he dropped Brian Fields behind the line of scrimmage and Austin Pritchard registered a “sack” on Thursday. Deshon Lawrence broke up a pass in the red zone, giving the Broncos one of two opportunities for more interceptions on the day. David Lewis had the other when a tipped ball kicked off his outstretched arms on the near sideline.

During the scoring zone session of the scrimmage, WMU showed its power game with Glenis Thompson rumbling to the 1-yard line and Aaron Winchester powering through for one score. Jaron Deshazor scampered nine yards for the second scoring run.  Fields led all ball carriers with 35 yards on three carries followed by Thompson with 25 yards on a pair of carries.

Ben Armer looked to be in mid-season form booting his first two punts 52 and 54 yards, respectively.  John Potter made good on each of his four field goal attempts from varying distances and Caleb Morris made good on three of his four attempts.