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April 14, 2012It was a beautiful day for some spring football at Kelly-Shorts Stadium on Saturday. With clear skies and a temperature that reached into the upper 60's, the Central Michigan Chippewas could not have asked for better weather to unveil their 2012 football team.
With a new format where the seniors drafted both teams, things got pretty interesting. The Maroon team ended the game on top against the Gold team, winning by a score of 49-48. The game came down to a play late in the game when redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Niznak had a potential game winning two-point pass attempt fall incomplete.
Head coach Dan Enos played "commissioner" during the scrimmage and made sure everything ran smoothly. The coaching staff was divided into the two teams as well. Mose Rison was the head coach for the Maroon team and Butch Barry was the head coach for the Gold team.
"I thought our players played very well and competed hard today," said Enos. "They all had fun and I watched some people make some plays."
Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff threw the ball very accurately, completing 8 of 11 passes for 133 yards. Radcliff made many tough throws during the game, showing the improvement that he has made since the fall.
"I'm a lot more comfortable this year than last year," said Radcliff. "It's my third year in this offensive system. Gaining that full understanding of this offense has helped out a lot. I just need to go out there and execute."
Zurlon Tipton ran the ball extremely well. He rushed for 114 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns. Tipton's teammate Anthony Garland looked very good rushing the ball as well. Garland was more explosive and elusive than he was in the fall, which is something that the CMU coaching staff is excited about.
Sophomore standout wide receiver Titus Davis picked up where he left off in the fall. He caught two balls for 70 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Alex Niznak on the Gold team's third drive of the scrimmage. With the way Davis played Saturday, he could be a force to be reckoned with going into the fall.
Although the scoreboard did not show it, the defense played very well. On the opening play of the game, sophomore Jarret Chapman intercepted a pass thrown from Alex Niznak. After a high-scoring first half, the defense came out after halftime and limited the scoring in the second half. The Maroon team only scored seven points in the second half compared to the 42 that they scored in the first half.
"Our defense has had a tremendous spring," said Enos. "One day does not take away what they've done this entire spring. They've had some days where they have dominated our offense. Today, what you saw was guys making plays."
Central Michigan is looking to improve on back-to-back 3-9 seasons. With the depth and experience on the offensive side of the ball and playmakers on defense, the Chippewas have the potential to surprise many people around the conference this upcoming season.
Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting
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