The Eastern Michigan football team had their annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 13. Team Fink and Team Hale faced off in Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, as Team Fink came out on top 14-7 behind a touchdown from Karmi Mackey and Preston Hutchinson.
On the first play from scrimmage, Willie Parker received a hand-off to the right side and ran for a first down. Team Hale continued to move the ball quickly, as sophomore Jairus Grissom ran multiple times on quarterback keepers. On third down at the four-yard line, Grissom ran a draw and pushed the ball to the near sideline. He dove over two defenders and scored the first touchdown of the game, putting Team Hale up 7-0.
Team Fink would answer back soon after, as senior quarterback Mike Glass III hit a screen pass for 31 yards on his first play of the day. Glass found Arthur Jackson III on the far sideline to get Team Fink down to the four-yard line, where Mackey would find the end zone to tie the game 7-7. On Team Hale’s second possession, Isaac Stiebeling came in at QB but failed to move the ball. Hutchinson would replace Glass for Team Fink and he immediately found Jackson for a first down.
“We were just focusing on getting our offense in the right position to be successful. Basically just take what the defense gives us. Don’t force anything. And I feel like we did a good job,” Glass said. “I really got to get in depth with the playbook. Last year I came in during the summer so I was really catching up. But this time, I know everything. I’m getting more comfortable with the offense.”
A few plays later, Hutchinson kept the ball on a run-option and scored from 39-yards out, putting his team up 14-7. After both teams traded punts, Grissom came back out for Team Hale. He fumbled on a run play but was able to recover and pick up the first down. He ran for another first down three plays later but the possession would come up empty. Grissom attempted a deep throw to the back of the end zone and was picked off by Blake Bogan for the only turnover of the game.
“We had some bad ball security today. So we got to continue to clean that up,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “I couldn’t see the interception that Blake Bogan had but it looked like it was off a ricochet. Great play by him. And so much of takeaways is being ball aware and making plays. He has had a fantastic spring and super excited about his development.”
Team Hale got the ball back and had another chance to tie the game late but came up short. Grissom handled the ball off to Marcalin Hairston, who sprinted 52 yards to get in scoring position. Later in the drive, Vincent Boyd sacked Grissom and forced a fourth down. On the final play of the game, Grissom dropped back and threw an incomplete pass, which gave Team Fink the victory.
“It was competitive. It came right down to the end. It’s been a great day,” Creighton said. “I believe that our very best is a group we’re going to be very proud of.”
The incoming freshman players will officially report on June 17 and the season will begin on August 31 against Coastal Carolina. The Eagles’ first three games will be on the road before facing Central Connecticut State on September 21 at Rynearson Stadium.