Terrapins' spring finale a preview of QB battle

In Red-White scrimmage, trio has mixed results

April 15, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland senior wide receiver Jason Hatala set the scene last night for a three-way battle for the team's No. 1 quarterback job next fall.

"I can't wait for the drama to begin," said the scrappy Hatala of the competition between returning starter Calvin McCall, gifted sophomore Latrez Harrison and versatile junior college transfer Shaun Hill. "It's going to be a real fight. I just hope they all throw the ball to me a lot."

Hatala didn't exactly get his wish last night, as he caught just one pass for nine yards as the Red turned back the White, 24-14, in the annual scrimmage at Byrd Stadium that signals the end of spring practice.

But that didn't dim Hatala's enthusiasm on an evening that featured the newcomer Hill leading both the Red and White teams to touchdowns and Harrison marching the Red to a touchdown and a field goal.

Hill, a transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, and Harrison came away with impressive stats.

Hill completed 13 of 16 for 152 yards and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Dugan; Harrison finished with 7 of 10 for 96 yards and one touchdown pass.

Harrison hit Guilian Gary with a 43-yard scoring pass, which was part of an outstanding night for Gary, who caught 5 for 115 yards.

"This year is my big chance," Harrison said. "I know I'm going to be in the middle of everything that happens at quarterback for us next season."

McCall started slowly but still wound up with 7 of 12 for 129 yards.

"I wasn't worried about my stats but I did want to score touchdowns with both teams and I was happy to see that happen," Hill said. "I'm coming in next fall expecting to play and I can only hope I get to start."

McCall, minus the dreadlocks that were cut during the past basketball season, said: "I just couldn't get into the game for the longest time tonight. I guess it was because we kept changing teams and you couldn't get any rhythm going."

Wide receiver Scooter Monroe (John Carroll) caught two passes for 52 yards and sees himself on the verge of a big breakthrough season in 2000.

The defensive standouts last night were sophomore linebacker E. J. Henderson (Aberdeen) who racked up 10 tackles, junior linebacker Aaron Thompson (Mount St. Joe) who had six tackles, and redshirt freshman linebacker Leroy Ambush (Thomas Johnson), who chipped in with five stops.

NOTES: LaMont Jordan spent the entire game on the sideline last night, charting plays on a clipboard and chatting frequently with his teammates. Jordan was held out of spring practice to concentrate on academics and is preparing for a run at the Heisman Trophy next fall.

Vanderlinden announced the spring practice award winners at halftime.

Harrison was chosen the top sophomore, center Melvin Fowler captured the most outstanding junior award, free safety Shawn Forte was named the No. 1 senior, linebacker Mike Whaley was the top redshirt freshman, and junior cornerback Tony Okanlawon was selected the most improved player.

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