Monday, May 2, 2016

Morgan State Bears Spring Game Recap: Khalil Trotman tosses 3 TDs, Defense posts win

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Quarterback Khalil Trotman tossed three touchdown passes, including a pair of deep bombs to wide receiver Thomas Martin to highlight the Morgan State football team's 95-play Blue-Orange Spring Game on Saturday (April 30) before a spring-game crowd in Hughes Stadium. Despite brilliant flashes by the offense, it was the defense who pulled away with a 67-50 win.

Trotman hit 11-of-24 passes for 269 yards and 3 scores, including 76-yard TD on the game's third play to wide receiver Thomas Martin,  while Chris Clack Jr. was 9-of-22 for 73 yards. Trotman's other scoring tosses were 66 and a 1-yarder to Jerrod Reed.

In addition to touchdowns and PATs, points were also awarded on offense for explosive plays, while the defenders gained points for sacks, tackles for loss, three and outs, and turnovers.

Interim head coach Fred Farrier was pleased about the overall performance of his team.

"For the most part I thought we were competitive and did some really good things," said Farrier. "You get a chance to see guys compete on offense and defense. I think Thomas Martin had a good day. I thought Khalil Trotman had a good day throwing the ball, especially early. And in these games you're going to try and avoid injury, so we're going to keep our fingers crossed for Orlando Johnson who tweaked his knee there late in the practice. Outside of that I thought guys ran around and were competing and it was really good day." 

Martin led the receivers with 234 yards on five catches, while Maurice Lewis (23 yards), Ladarious Spearman (14 yards) and Reed (5 yards) each had a pair of receptions overall.

"I felt good," said Martin, who returns after missing last season. "My goal was to come out and just focus. We're a young offense and we've come a long way this spring."

Martin also noted the play of the quarterbacks.

"I felt like our quarterbacks did great job and they've come a long way. They came in and a lot of people were doubting them, but those boys worked hard and after awhile we rallied around them. They played great."

Tailback Orlando Johnson rushed for 47 yards on 13 carries, including a long of 23 yards before leaving the field early in the third quarter with an injury. Marcolm Banks ran for 26 yards on eight tries.

Safety Carl Garnes seemed to be everywhere and led the defense with 6 tackles and also intercepted a pass by Trotman and raced down the sideline to score points for the defense. Linebackers Brandon Griffen and Damare Whitaker each added 6 stops, while D-linemen Isaiah Mclin (2 sacks) and DeMarkus Bullock (2 TFL) combined for five of the defense's 12 tackles for loss. 

"I felt that the team did very well today," said Garnes. "We tackled, we ran to the ball and we all got 11 heads on the ball on every play. We did what we had to do most of the time, I just feel like we can get better too."

The game, which concluded MSU's 15 days of spring practice, included portions of a regular practice in addition to situational scrimmage plays.  Placekicker Chris Moller was a perfect 3-for-3 in point after attempts.

"Overall we just have to play faster and play tougher and play smart," added Farrier. "Football is a game about blocking and tackling. It is really a physical sport and I want to play a more physical brand of football, but we have to also play smart and understand football situations. I think if we can just get better at understanding what's coming in certain situations and scenarios, that'll give us a chance to be successful." 

Morgan State opens its 2016 season with a home-opener against Holy Cross on Sept. 3 before traveling to take on Marshall on Sept. 10. The Bears  2016 schedule features five home games in Hughes Stadium, including a meeting with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) co-champion Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 5 in Baltimore.

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