TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Rockets completed their spring practice season with a controlled scrimmage as part of the Spring Football Showcase at the Glass Bowl on Saturday.
The Rockets performed drills and conducted 11-on-11 plays for a nice crowd of fans who enjoyed crisp, sunny weather reminiscent of what they might expect in the Glass Bowl next fall.
Sophomore quarterback Tucker Gleason looked sharp, completing 5-of-8 passes during the scrimmage portion of the day, including touchdowns of 53 yards to freshman tight end CC Ezirim and six yards to sophomore wide receiver Dalen Stovall. Redshirt freshman John Alan Richter saw plenty of action too, connecting on 6-of-9 attempts. Freshman RJ Johnson III completed all three of his attempts, including a 30-yarder to freshman Sam Smith, Jr.
The longest run of the day was a 15-yarder by sophomore Willie Shaw III. Junior cornerback Andre Fuller (tackle for loss) and sophomore safety Emmanuel McNeil-Warren (pass breakup) made the biggest plays on defense.
Most of the starters did not participate in live plays from scrimmage, leaving opportunities for action for younger players.
“A lot of young players who don’t have a lot of opportunities to play in game situations at this point in their career get a chance to feel what a game-day atmosphere is, to a certain extent,” said Head Coach Jason Candle. “The music is on, the band is there, family members are there, fans are there. There are scrimmage situations. Whether it’s a scrimmage or a practice, you always want to put guys in a position to see how they’re going to react in those game-type situations.”
Candle said his team was able to achieve its goals for the day.
“We got a chance to wrap up what I thought was a very, very good spring with some competitive work and some situational things that I think our team has got to improve on,” said Candle, who will be entering his eighth season as Toledo’s head coach next fall. “I’m very pleased with today. We came out injury-free. I’m very excited to wrap up spring ball the way we did.”
Prior to the scrimmage, the Rockets hosted a free youth football clinic that was attended by more than 200 area youngsters. After the clinic, the kids also enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt, as well as football toss and cornhole games. Fans of all ages were able to take photos with Rocky and Rocksy, as well as the 2022 MAC Championship Trophy and the 2022 Boca Raton Bowl trophies.
Prior to the game, Candle and the Rockets hosted a breakfast for 15 former players.
The defending MAC Champion Rockets open their season on Sept. 2 at Illinois before hosting four consecutive games in the Glass Bowl. The Rockets’ home opener is on Sept. 9 vs. Texas Southern, followed by a matchup vs. San Jose State on Sept. 16. Toledo closes out the month of September with two home MAC contests vs. Western Michigan on Sept. 23 and vs. Northern Illinois in the Homecoming Game on Sept. 30.
Season tickets are on sale now. To order tickets or for more information, please visit UTRockets.com/fbtix or call/text 419.530.GOLD (4653) or stop by the Rocket Ticket Office located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena during office hours. Ticket representatives will be on site to answer questions or to assist with season ticket purchases.
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