|Blue Outlasts White, 34-22, to Close Spring Camp|
Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University football team concluded spring camp Saturday afternoon at Joe Walton Stadium with its annual Blue-White scrimmage, with the Blue Team posting a 34-22 victory over the White Team.
The RMU defense, dressed in its home uniforms, scored the first 22 points of the scrimmage before the Colonial offense, dressed in its road jerseys, was able to put points on the board.
"One thing that I'm extremely happy with regarding this spring camp is that we've improved a lot," head coach Joe Walton said. "Our guys have done a better job in the weight room, because we're a much stronger team. Certainly, we hope some of the freshmen we have coming in will help, but I know we'll be a much more competitive team next year because of the hard work these guys are putting in."
On the second play from scrimmage, sophomore linebacker Mark Centofanti (West Mifflin, Pa. / West Mifflin) forced a fumble by junior running back William Quarles (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Baldwin), and junior defensive lineman R.J. Cook (Beaver, Pa. / Beaver) pounced on the loose ball for the turnover and the first points of the afternoon.
The Robert Morris defense came up with four sacks during the scrimmage, with the first coming courtesy of sophomore defensive lineman Chris Thompkins (Webster, N.Y. / Webster).
Also posting sacks for the Colonials were freshman defensive lineman T.J. Mastrascia (Jefferson Hills, Pa. / Thomas Jefferson), junior defensive lineman Steve Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Pittsburgh Central Catholic) and freshman linebacker Devon Cesario (Stahlstown, Pa. / Ligonier Valley).
"Typically, as is the case with training camp, the defense is ahead of the offense," Walton said. "Our defense had a great camp, and the hitting out there today was fantastic. That's a good sign."
Junior defensive back Eric Lowry (Johnstown, Pa. / Bishop McCort) also produced a takeaway for the RMU defense, intercepting freshman quarterback Matt Layman (Hilton Head, S.C. / Hilton Head Prep) that gave the Blue Team its early 22-0 advantage.
Layman shook off the pick and got the offense on the board by directing a seven-play drive that was capped by a 34-yard field goal from junior kicker Greg Langer (Wexford, Pa. / Pine-Richland).
Layman completed a 13-yard pass to junior wide receiver Quinton Pirl (Austintown, Ohio / Austintown-Fitch) to help get RMU near the red zone.
Robert Morris produced its lone touchdown of the afternoon thanks to a 21-yard touchdown run by Quarles that helped the White Team close to within 30-22, but the scrimmage ended on Cesario's sack of Layman.
Junior quarterback Jeff Sinclair (Natrona Heights, Pa. / Highlands) had a productive scrimmage under center, completing eight of his 13 passing attempts for 85 yards. He also had one rushing attempt for five yards.
Senior tight end Paul Evans (Elma, N.Y. / Iroquois Central) caught three of Sinclair's passes for 27 yards.
"I thought Jeff looked sharp," Walton said. "As the scrimmage moved along we moved the ball much better, but I'm pleased with both of the quarterbacks right now. They've worked hard to overcome the injuries they sustained last year, and they both should be ready to go once we get started in August."
Quarles led the Robert Morris ground game with 34 yards on 10 carries, while sophomore tight end Andrew Smith (Cranberry Township, Pa. / Seneca Valley) added two catches for 18 yards.
Defensively the Colonials were paced by freshman linebacker Matt Green (Belle Vernon, Pa. / Belle Vernon), who produced four tackles, while Centofanti and Mitchell each recorded three stops.
Training camp for the 2012 regular season begins in August, with the season opener set for Saturday, Sept. 1, a road game at defending NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national champion North Dakota State.