"We just felt like it was something we wanted to do," head coach Jerry Partridge said. "One is: we're less proven at this juncture with some of the players we have."
It's been that way throughout the Griffons' 15 spring practices as they try to set the tone for a playoff return come fall.
"We wanted to see what some of those kids were doing when the live bullets were flying and what they would do tackle-wise."
Freshmen T.J. Lafaver and Skyler Windmiller, competing against each other for the starting quarterback job, connected on touchdown passes. Lafaver hooked up with Dee Tolliver on his first series, while Josh Walker made an acrobatic catch to take Windmiller's pass to the end zone.
"It was definitely more physical," defensive lineman Janis Matulis said. "We have a really young bunch as a team, so we can afford to go live, tackle, take people to the ground, and get used to the physicality of a college football game."
Reigning MIAA rushing leader Raphael Spencer shined as well, breaking several long runs and finding the end zone once.
"There were some big plays the offense had that I'd like to see us not give up," Partridge said. "But, for the most part, I thought we had a lot of stops on defense. They played hard, but we were pretty vanilla with what we were doing."
The defense hauled in a two interceptions, the first by redshirt sophomore Brock Kimball, who returned it for a score.
The Griffons resume practice in August as they prepare for the season opener on Sept. 4th against Central Missouri.