WALDORF — During Friday night’s inter-squad scrimmage at North Point High School, Terrapins football quarterback C.J. Brown lofted a long pass down the left sideline intended for receiver Nigel King.
Brown’s pass, though, was slightly overthrown. Cornerback Will Likely recognized his chance to make a play on the ball, leapt and secured the interception, preventing the first-team offense from scoring for the sixth time in seven possessions.
In an impressive performance, the Terps’ first-team defense forced their opponent to turn the ball over on downs on four of the first five series. The first-team offense’s only points in the first seven series came on a 46-yard field goal from kicker Adam Greene.
“I think we just started out with a high intensity,” said Sean Davis, who ignited the unit when he intercepted Brown on the first-team offense’s second possession of the scrimmage. “I just felt like from the first play, we was in it.“
Outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue complemented the strong play from the Terps’ secondary with three sacks — a performance the sophomore joked was his career-high in scrimmages.
Ngakoue said he worked hard to improve his pass-rushing technique in the offseason, focusing on using his hands, getting low and dipping past the offensive tackle. In his freshman season last year, Ngakoue admitted he relied too heavily on his power. This season, he said he’s trying to diversify his attack by becoming more technically sound with his hands and hips.
“This was probably his best practice of the nine so far and that was good to see,” coach Randy Edsall said. “He’s been very business like, he’s been very attentive to doing the things he’s been coached to do. So it was good to see him come out and play the way he can.”
Here are more notes from the scrimmage:
- Edsall said he was concerned with the high number of drops from his receivers Friday night.
“There’s got to be more consistency,” Edsall said. “The timing has to be better. Guys have got to run guys off and come back to the ball. When they make their cuts, they got to accelerate out of that.”
However, King provided a boost for the unit as Brown’s primary target for most of the night. The junior, who returned to practice Thursday after missing time with an ankle injury, caught five passes in the first six possessions for the first-team offense, including at least three catches for 15 or more yards.
“Felt pretty good,” King said. “There was a little bit of pain, but I fought through it.”
-Quarterbacks Caleb Rowe, Shane Cockerille and Perry Hills rotated running the second-team offense.
Cockerille received the most playing time, leading the Terps to two touchdowns — including a rushing touchdown of his own on the final play of the scrimmage — and a field goal in four possessions.
Rowe, who Edsall said Thursday had a slight advantage in the backup quarterback battle, played three possessions, two of which ended in successful field goal attempts from Greene.
Hills received the least amount of playing time out of the trio, going three-and-out in his first series and fumbling away the ball in his second series.
-Edsall said wide receiver Dustin Dailey and linebacker Jalen Brooks each suffered concussions during the scrimmage, and he expects them to each miss at least a week of practice. Linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. suffered a knee injury in the scrimmage, but Edsall didn’t specify the significance. Carter walked off the field after the workout under his own power.