Progression Continues As Braves Hold First Preseason Scrimmage
PEMBROKE – True freshman Matthew Florence
kicked a pair of long field goals, senior Rashon Kennedy scampered
for a pair of impressive runs and Keith Gore and Te'vell Williams each found the end zone to highlight the first of two
preseason scrimmages Thursday evening at Grace P. Johnson
The two-plus hour scrimmage consumed nearly 100 plays and left head coach Pete Shinnick more than pleased as rain moved into the area late in the evening.
"I was very pleased with our effort tonight," Shinnick said. "We had some miscues on both sides of the ball, but there were some guys that stood out tonight as well. I thought Rashon ran with a lot of passion tonight. We were able to rest some guys that may have caused some plays to have different outcomes, but I really like where this team is at right now. These guys have worked through a lot of heat and some nagging injuries, but they have worked hard every day."
Florence, a Gastonia native, missed an early 42-yard field goal attempt just wide of the left upright, but made a quick impression on the more than 250 fans in attendance when he nailed a 45-yarder shortly after and then made a 47-yard attempt look easy. Kennedy surpassed the 100-yard mark on the night, but took care of a bulk of his final numbers on a 24-yard run early in the session, and then a 51-yard jaunt toward the end of the night.
Gore scored the only rushing touchdown of the night on a 6-yard plunge off the left guard, and redshirt freshman Teland Todd found Williams on a 14-yard strike as Williams leapt to collect the ball and then got one foot in bounds as he fell to the turf. Redshirt freshman kicker Eddie Wickline also proved valuable on the night as well, nailing both an extra point and a 35-yard field goal attempt.
UNCP, which completed just its second day of fall classes on Thursday, will return to the practice fields behind Lumbee Guaranty Bank Field on Friday and Saturday before getting an off-day on Sunday.