BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Morgantown had all the names, but it was Bridgeport quarterback A.C. Caldera who reaped the praise after the teams scrimmaged for about two hours on Tuesday.
While both defenses held their own, it was Caldera’s elusiveness that kept several plays alive, ultimately giving the Indians a slight edge on the scoreboard in the end, two scores to one.
“Their quarterback was the best player on the field,” said Morgantown coach John Bowers. “He was the best playmaker on the field, and I hope some of our kids took note of that. Bridgeport’s quarterback was the best player today.”
Morgantown, however, gave limited touches to its best offensive player, running back Chazzy Thomas.
“He did fine,” Bowers said. “We wanted to give him five carries, and so we gave him five carries – that’s all he got the ball. He did alright, he did fine. He has to work a little bit harder.”
And that was the overall theme for Bowers from some of his bigger-name players on the night. While Thomas is a preseason Kennedy Award candidate, junior Stone Wolfley and senior Amanii Brown, of course, are both already committed to play football at WVU. Those two, among several others, give Morgantown a depth along the line that could be its biggest asset this season.
“I still would have expected a little bit more out of those guys – we thought that was going to be the strength of this football team,” Bowers said. “They have some work to do. I think they have been reading too many newspaper clippings about how great they are. They aren’t that doggone great when I put on the film.
“They have the opportunity to be great,” Bowers said. “My biggest fear is that this team may terribly underachieve. I hope that’s not the case. This team could be 14-0, or they could be 6-4. We’re not that good that we can just show up and play.”
Still, Morgantown ran only a small portion of its offense on Tuesday, as Bowers liked what he saw at quarterback, including new starter Ethan Goldcamp.
“He did a nice job tonight, he really did,” Bowers said. “Honestly, coming into this scrimmage, I had some concerns about our quarterback play. And by no means are they off the hook, but it was a good debut for both of them.”
For Bridgeport, Indians head coach Josh Nicewarner came away pleased with the production of Caldera who finally gets his chance at quarterback after serving as the back-up the last two seasons.
“He’s just a natural leader,” Nicewarner said. “He’s taking this team and leading it down the right path. He’s the kind of kid that we want to get the ball in his hands, and actually running the ball 15-20 times a game.”
Nicewarner’s club, meanwhile, showed a few new formations on Tuesday night, working out of the shotgun and in pistol sets.
“Some people would probably say we’ve changed things drastically,” Nicewarner said. “People probably would say we’ve changed our entire offense, but really we’ve just shifted things around a little bit. I was pleased with the execution of it.”