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Photo by Al Seremeno - KLC Fotos

Younger Players on Display in Spring Game

March 20, 2021
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Cal football concluded its spring practice sessions with the annual Spring Game Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The Bears now go into hibernation, at least as far as formal organized workouts go, for a few months. 

They will have some good things to think about regarding their final spring day.

“The goal of today was to get some more live reps for guys that haven’t maybe played quite as much that we envision to fill up roles on our team,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “And I thought we did that.”

That would certainly apply to backup quarterbacks Zach Johnson and Robby Rowell, who did most of the QB work. Starter Chase Garbers ran the first and fourth offensive series -- both resulting in touchdowns -- and took the rest of the day off. With Spencer Brasch, who began the spring as a contender for the number two spot, having entered the transfer portal, it is between Johnson and Rowell for the backup job. They will be joined by freshman Kai Milner in the fall.

In the unofficial stats Saturday, Johnson was 10-for-15 passing for 78 yards and a touchdown. He also threw an interception.

Rowell was 8-for-15 for 65 yards. Both ran the ball effectively, with Rowell showing some ball-handling skills that bamboozled the defense. 

“I thought they did some good things,” Wilcox said. “Zach has really improved, especially the last couple of weeks. He is getting more and more comfortable with the offense. He commands the huddle really well. He is sharp, has a good understanding of the offense and what Bill (Musgrave) is teaching him. It’s been nice to see him grow.

Bear Insider
Remiggio makes a catch at the 1-yard line

“I thought Robby did some good stuff. He has sure improved in the last year or so. Glad to see both of them have some good opportunities.”

Brasch left the program just this week. Wilcox was philosophical. “In this day and age, especially at that position it’s become commonplace for guys to enter the transfer portal,” Wilcox said. “There are no hard feelings toward Spencer at all. I understand guys have got to make decisions for themselves and for their future.”

On Saturday Garbers was 5-for-5 for 71 yards and a touchdown. It might have been two TDs. A 41-yarder that Nikko Remigio caught on the 1-yard line, might have gone for six points. 

“It should have been a touchdown,” Garbers said, then described the play. “We were running the ball really well and we know the defense was preparing for the run so we called a play-action rollout, naked right. We had Nikko in a double move and we had to keep the safety from covering him. I put the ball where he could go get it. He made a great play jumped up and snagged it.”

On the next play Garbers hit Elijah Majarro for an easy touchdown. 

“I think the (his) comfort level within the offense (has improved),” Wilcox said of Garbers. “The rhythm it takes to play that position. I thought today he was very comfortable. Threw the ball on time. He had one really nice play where he stepped up into the pocket and kind of flipped it to Monroe (Young) on a crossing route. A nice comeback to Jeremiah (Hunter). He threw the deep ball to Nikko, I think it was. He is doing a good job in the huddle.”

The ball carriers all had their moments. On the first run from scrimmage, Chris Brown banged his way through a would-be tackler. DeCarlos Brooks showed some flash, gaining 55 yards on ten carries and scoring two TDs. 

Brian Driscoll and Ben Coleman did much of the work at center, and they were good at it, according to Mike Saffell.

“It takes a certain savvy to play center in this offense, the pro-style,” Saffell said. “Those guys come in with great confidence. And they take charge of the huddle when it’s needed.

Defensively Miles Williams had an interception, and Ricky Correia and Branden Smtih both had sacks.

Al Seremeno - KLC Fotos
Robby Rowell in command

Freshman tight end Jermaine Terry sustained what seemed to be a knee injury when he was tackled after catching a short sideline pass. He limped off the field. Wilcox had no immediate update on him.

Several front-line players, especially on defense, did not get on the field. Wilcox was vague on the reasons when asked if any of them were hurt. 

“There is nothing to report right now,” he said, “If there was anything long-term we will report it at the appropriate time.”

All in all, Wilcox said he was satisfied with the afternoon.

“We really tried to slim down the variety in terms of offensive plays and defensive calls, just to make sure we were lining up and playing football. It wasn’t about tricking each other, just playing fundamental football, seeing who can block and tackle and run and catch. And who can defend the ball in the passing game.

“I thought we did that. It was pretty clean overall, with some limited penalties and things like that. That was good to see, both sides of the ball made some really nice plays. Overall it was a success and we’ve to build on.”

Unofficial Stats

Cal Football Spring Game Unofficial Stats

March 20, 2021 – California Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, CA)

Weather: 55 degrees, mostly clear, wind W 13 mph

 

Scoring Plays (Drive No.)

Chase Garbers 1 TD pass to Elijah Mojarro … Drive 1

DeCarlos Brooks 9 TD run … Drive 4

DeCarlos Brooks 1 TD run … Drive 9

 

Team Statistics

Rushing (Att-Yards, TD)

33-128-2 TD

 

Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Yds, TD)

21-32-1-206, 1 TD

 

Penalties (No-Yds)

Offense (2-10)

Defense (2-19)

Total (4-29)

 

Individual Statistics

Rushing (Att-Yds, TD)

DeCarlos Brooks (10-55, 2 TD)

Christopher Brown Jr. (2-18)

Chris Street (8-17)

Ashton Stredick (4-12)

Robby Rowell (3-17)

Zach Johnson (3-2)

Marcel Dancy (2-4)

Chase Garbers (1-1)

 

Passing (Comp-Att-Int-Yds, TD)

Zach Johnson (10-15-1-78)

Chase Garbers (5-5-0-71, 1 TD)

Robby Rowell (6-12-0-57)

 

Receiving (Rec-Yds, TD)

Ben Skinner (3-57)

Jake Muller (3-15)

Aidan Lee (2-18)

Jermaine Terry (2-(-4))

Nikko Remigio (1-33)

Monroe Young (1-21)

Evan King (1-14)

Gavin Reinwald (1-10)

Ashton Stredick (1-9)

DeCarlos Brooks (1-8)

Jeremiah Hunter (1-8)

Justin Richard Baker (1-6)

Marcel Dancy (1-4)

Chris Street (1-4)

Elijah Mojarro (1-1, TD)

Recount

 

Field Goals (FGM-FGA – Distance Result)

Dario Longhetto (2-3 – 43 no good, 46 good, 48 good)

Nick Lopez (1-3 – 43 good, 46 no good, 48 no good)

Ronan Donnelly (2-3 – good 46 no good, 48 good)

 

Tackles (Other Plays Defense)

Muelu Iosefa (6)

Hunter Barth (5; 1 PBU)

Andy Alfieri (4; 1.0 TFL, -2 yards)

Ricky Correia (4; 1.0 TFL, -4 yards; 1.0 sack, -4 yards)

Tarik Glenn Jr. (3; 1 PBU)

Stanley McKenzie (3)

Evan McLurkin (3; 1 PBU)

Tyson McWilliams (3)

Erick Nisich (3)

Orin Patu (3)

Parker Bosche (2, 1.0 TFL, -1 yard)

Zane Cribb (2)

Branden Smith (2; 1.0 TFL, -13 yards; 1.0 sack, -13 yards)

Kyle Smith (2)

Raymond Woodie III (2)

Isaiah Young (2; 1 PBU)

Blake Antzoulatos (1)

Akili Calhoun (1)

Braxten Croteau (1)

Matt Horwitz (1)

Myles Jernigan (1)

Jaylen Martin (1; 1 PBU)

Ryan Puskas (1; 1.0 TFL, -2 yards)

Gunnar Rask (1)

Nate Rutchena (1)

Evan Tattersall (1)

Miles Williams (1, 1 INT)

Craig Woodson (1)

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Younger Players on Display in Spring Game

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