HARRISONBURG, Va. - The James Madison football squad wrapped up its 2012 spring drills with a controlled scrimmage at Bridgeforth Stadium, April 21. In a modified scoring format, the offense came out with a 26-21 victory on the strength of a late touchdown and field goal before the rains hit Harrisonburg.
The early portion of the scrimmage focused on the passing game in situations, with redshirt-senior Justin Thorpe going 7-for-8 for 164 yards and a 65-yard touchdown pass to Dejor Simmons, the long of the day. Mack Spees also was solid through the air, going 5-for-7 for 23 yards. Simmons led all receivers with 70 yards on two catches, while Renard Robinson added two receptions for 40 yards. Marquis Woodyard, moving over to the offense during spring drills, had two catches for 38 yards. At one point, the two quarterbacks completed 10 consecutive passes.
The only touchdown of the run/bootleg portion of the scrimmage was on the final carry of the day, as redshirt-freshman Deane Cheatham carried it in over the left side from four yards out. Redshirt-junior Cameron Starke hit the extra point and then hit a 49-yard field goal from the right hash for the final scoring margin.
With several starters sitting out the final scrimmage for various reasons, the offense, in the two combined sessions, put up 422 yards on 81 plays, averaging more than five yards a snap. The quarterbacks combined to go 20-for-33 for 238 yards, while the offense rushed for 184 yards on 48 carries. The offense converted both fourth-down opportunities.
Redshirt-senior Hykeem Brodie had a team-high 75 yards on 12 carries, while redshirt-sophomore Dejor Simmons had 12 rushes for 59 yards. Redshirt-senior David Skahn had six punts for a 44.0-yard average with a long of 54. The big hit on the day defensively came from Eric Magruder, who popped quarterback Michael Lopresti on an eight-yard run.
JMU opens the 2012 season at Bridgeforth Stadium, hosting St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Sept. 1. Season and single-game tickets are currently available via JMUSports.com and by calling the JMU Athletic Ticket Office at 540-568-3853.