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Annual Maroon-White Game Concludes Spring Practice

Senior QB Andrew Shoop carries out a fake during spring practice.

April 21, 2012

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EASTON, Pa. - The Maroon-White Spring Game concluded the Lafayette spring football season on Saturday morning at sun-drenched Fisher Stadium. The Lafayette coaching staff put the Leopards through more than 75 plays beginning at 10 a.m.

The offense, wearing the Leopards' traditional road uniforms of white on white, topped the defense 35-24 using a scoring system that allows points for stops on downs and stops on three-and-outs. The defense wore the standard home uniforms of maroon jerseys and white pants.

"At the conclusion of spring ball, we've run well over 200 plays of live scrimmaging. We thought that is was important for our young guys to have that throughout the spring because there really is no substitute for live game experience," said 13th-year head coach Frank Tavani. "Offensively, I thought we did some good things. We don't have as much installed as we have in previous years, but I really like how our unit has adjusted, especially considering all of the injuries and changes we've had to make on the offensive line."

The Lafayette quarterback corps of senior Andrew Shoop and sophomores Zach Zweizig and Kyle Ohradzansky wore black uniforms and was held out from contact. No. 7 Shoop, who will be in his second season as the starting signal caller, played two of the first four series, highlighted by his 17-yard touchdown pass to Jet Kollie. Senior kicker Case Garner handled the PAT.

No. 8 Zweizig appeared to be at least slightly ahead of No. 9 Ohradzansky in terms of the depth chart, as he was the first quarterback not named Shoop to take snaps. On his first series, Zweizig used a pump fake on Kollie's double move and connected with Kollie for a 25-yard TD pass.

Zweizig scored on his own on his second series, faking a handoff to Alan Elder, before running off the left side from 14 yards out. Freshman Franco Viola added the point after as the offense led 21-1.

The defensive highlight of the day was Colton Kirkpatrick's interception of Shoop to give the defense four points and close the gap to 22-9. The sophomore is currently in the two-deep at MIKE linebacker. The defense recorded seven tackles for loss with three sacks.

"Defensively, we knew coming in that we had a very young group at linebacker, but I was really happy to see some of the things they did today. They deflected some passes and were able to get an interception. There has been definite improvement already and I think we'll continue to see it when we come back in the fall."

Late in the event, Viola was able to boot home a 39-yard field goal off the hold of Justin Adams to put the score at 32-16, in favor of the offense. Garner missed a subsequent 42-yarder, but made a shorter field goal earlier in the game.

The game included situational scrimmaging from deep in the offense's own end, special teams work and concluded with a two-minute drill. During the two-minute drill, Zweizig connected with sophomore Mike Duncan for a 25-yard grab that put the Leopards at the six yard line. The defense held up, however, aided by a penalty.

The team will report for preseason camp on Aug. 8 in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 8 at William and Mary, a team ranked in the top 25 last season. In 2011, Lafayette opened with eventual national champion North Dakota State while playing the toughest schedule in the nation.

RUNNING GAME: Reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year Ross Scheuerman was the starting tailback and saw carries in the first several series. He was hel out for the remainder with some tightness in his back. Senior tailbacks Vaughn Hebron, Alan Elder and Emery Young also had quality carries along with junior tailback Marcellus Irving who had his first action since 2011 training camp as he missed the season with an injury.

INJURIES: No major injuries to report.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ethan Swerdlow handled the punting duties but did not see any time as a placekicker as he is battling a hip pointer. Senior Case Garner and Franco Viola split time on the PATs. Shoop continued as the team's holder. Anthony Baker was the team's long snapper and Morgan Donohue was the short snapper.

EARLY RETURNS: Sophomores Jared Roberts and Justin Adams handled return duties along with junior Jet Kollie. Those positions are typically long from being settled, however.