JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman College football team took the field in full pads for its third full team scrimmage Wednesday night.
The first half was dominated by the Orange squad, loaded with Carson-Newman starters and primary back-ups. The positional battles were still going strong with the quarterbacks taking stage once again. Junior Brandon Haywood and sophomores Johnny Foster and Jason Brown all rotated into the offense.
With the season opener at Glennville State just a week away, Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks is going to have to make a decision at QB soon.
"That's scary," Sparks said before the scrimmage. "I think we'll have a little better answer after tonight."
Foster and Brown didn't make Sparks' decision any easier. Foster took the field first after the Orange kickoff return team recovered a dropped kick inside the redzone. With the short field, Foster ran the Eagles' triple-option attack perfectly, keeping the ball for a 20-yard touchdown run.
Redshirt junior kicker Carlos Lopez, returning this season from a back injury, is in a camp battle with sophomore Curt Duncan. Lopez gave Duncan the edge by missing his first extra point attempt, but made up for it later in the half when he booted a 51-yard field goal, bouncing it off the crossbar, to put the Orange team up 36-0 at the half.
The motto for this seasons Eagles squad is "F.I.T.S.", meaning Fit In The Spots.
"We want them to fit in where they're supposed to," Sparks said. "We need to fit in on this team, in the classroom and socially."
Though Foster got first crack at playing quarterback Wednesday night, Brown showed Carson-Newman he just might fit that spot as well.
Brown led a quick drive down the field capped with a 5-yard Nate Inman touchdown run. Haywood was up next, but had to wait a while because the C-N defense took center stage. Senior safety Blaine Ruttan stepped in front of a White team pass and returned it 25 yards for the touchdown.
On the next drive, senior defensive end Byron Bell scooped up a fumble and streaked alone to the endzone, returning it 50 yards.
Haywood finally made it to the field, but the turnover bug finally bit the Orange team, with an Orange runner fumbling inside the red zone.
With time winding down in the half, Foster led another quick score, this time hitting sophomore running back Tyron Douglas with a swing pass that Douglas turned into a 30-yard touchdown, breaking numerous tackles along the way.
Brown took over and after getting a 62-yard touchdown pass called back due to a holding penalty, put the Orange Eagles in field goal position for Lopez's 51-yarder.
The Eagles open next Thursday, Sept. 1, at Glenville State (W.Va.). Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Glenville, W.Va.