Jeff Harvey

Getting back into active writing after a few weeks of NFL Draft-dominated coverage , I thought I’d take a look back at the Maroon-Gray spring scrimmage at Concord. Since I just gotten out of the hospital by the time the game was played, I was unable to cover it, but, thanks to Concord Sports Information Director Wes McKinney, I have enough information to write a column about it.

One thing I got from Wes’ information was that the sophomores-to-be, both regular and redshirt, were the players who really stood out (I double-checked and a couple of juniors-to-be also played key roles as did seniors-to be Kyle Akin and Jakil Sarhim).

If the results of one scrimmage can be taken at face value, the defense, which won 37-19, is ahead of the offense at this stage.

The offense received points for traditional scoring plus one point for each first picked up in the contest while the defense scored on turnovers (six points), sacks (two points), tackles for loss (one point) and stopping the offense on third or fourth down (one point).

The first half did not feature either scoring in the end zone or on turnovers by the defense, but freshman kicker Luke Walls punched through an 18-yard field goal at the end of the first half to give the Maroon a 14-13 lead at the break.

However, the defense outscored the offense in the second half 24-5 led by an interception from sophomore defensive back Jonathan Roebuck and a fumble recovery from junior defensive back Jakil Sarhim. The latter turnover came with the defense up 31-19 and after a completion of 34 yards from junior quarter Kyle Akin to sophomore wide receiver Tywan Pearce.

The pass had the offense set up inside the red zone before Sarhim came in from behind to punch the ball loose with less than one minute left in the fourth quarter.

The defense was able to hold the offense to 5-of-16 on third-down conversions and limited them to 331 yards of total offense.

On offense, redshirt freshman wide receiver Tanner Bailey had four catches for 60 yards while freshman running back Kris Copeland hauled in a game-high five catches for 46 yards.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Shearer attempted 26 passes in the game as he threw for 156 yards. Akin tossed for 106 yards on 9-of-14 passing. Freshman running back Josh Maxwell had eight rushes for 50 yards.

Defensively, the Mountain Lions recorded four sacks in the game including one from freshman linebacker Tylen Fowler who was the game’s leading tackler with six stops. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Dillon Brasse, sophomore defensive back Devion Green and sophomore defensive lineman Tyler Jones also tallied a sack in the game.

Looking at the roster as it now stands, the defensive backfield with Roebuck, Sarhim and Ke’shawn Hall looks to be the most experienced unit along with wide receivers Pearce and Brandon Plyler. I can see Paul Price going with both Shearer and Akin at quarterback.

This will be a young roster with only four seniors and quite a few new faces, particularly at linebacker and offensive line. The deepest positions are at running back and defensive back.

I know there’s no such thing as cheering in the press box, but I hope Concord des well this year. I speaking as both a journalist and an alumnus.

Contact Jeff Harvey at

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