Idaho's first team dominates reserves in spring game

Apr. 26—MOSCOW, Idaho — In its spring game Friday, Idaho's first team, in black, rolled up 35 points, including a third-quarter interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Jaxton Eck, coach Jason Eck's son, and it held the second and third teams in white to a single score.

Coach Eck was generally pleased with the performance of the starters and largely untroubled by the struggles of the reserves, which included a fourth-quarter series in which quarterback Hogan Carmichael was sacked on four straight plays.

"Our first-team defensive line played outstanding," Eck said. "It's the strength of our team. We have good depth there."

As for the other side, Eck smiled and shrugged.

"Everyone in the country probably comes out of spring ball saying, 'Our (No. 2) offensive line has got to get better.' "

By designed rules, the starters spotted the reserves a 14-0 advantage but overtook them in the second quarter on the way to a 21-14 halftime lead.

Quarterback Jack Layne got the scoring under way for No. 1 team, capping an 11-play, 42-yard drive with a 3-yard dive. The drive was highlighted by a jet sweep on which Jordan Dwyer gained 17 yards and a 10-yard pass to Dwyer from Layne, who found Dwyer on the run after being flushed from the pocket. It gave the Black team first-and-goal at the 5-yard line.

"I came in with Jack as a freshman. Our bond is amazing," Dwyer said. "I have loved playing with Jack the two years we have been here."

Dwyer also caught the game's final score, a 46-yard touchdown from Layne's understudy, Jack Wagner, who led the Black team in the fourth quarter. Wagner split a double team to get the ball to Dwyer at the goal line.

"He let it go," Dwyer said. "I seen the ball in the air, and I had to go get it."

Between those touchdowns, tight end Mason Mini gathered in a 1-yard flip from Layne and took it 8 yards to the end zone, where he half hurdled, half bulldozed a defender to score.

Layne and Cummings teamed up for a touchdown when Layne hit a wide-open Cummings, who went 23 yards down the sideline with 58 seconds to play in the first half, and Jaxton Eck impressed his mother.

"That was a good play by Jax," the Vandals' coach said of his son's pick-six. "His mom is really fired up."

The White team had its finest moment on offense with a 10-play, 75-yard drive in the third quarter. On fourth-and-6 at the 31, Carmichael found Seth Shook over the middle. Shook wiggled free from an attemped tackle and scored.

The game consisted of four 15-minute quarters with a clock that mostly kept running except for timeouts and the final 2 minutes of the first half.

Layne completed 17 of 26 passes for 186 yards. Wagner completed 3 of 5 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown for the Black team. He did double duty and went 5 of 11 for 30 yards for the White team. Carmichael was 4 of 5 passing for 56 with a touchdown.

Dwyer caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown to lead all receivers.

The Black team owned the defensive statistics, led by Zach Johnson and Amari Notice, who both recorded 2.5 sacks.

Johnson split time between linebacker and edge rusher, and Eck said defensive coaches are still trying to refine his role.

"He has a natural knack for rushing the passer," Eck said. "We've got to keep using him (on the edge).

"We have to get him rushing the passer more.

"It was a good game. I am most encouraged that there were no major injuries."