Clifton's big day highlight of fourth scrimmage
By Jimmy Robertson
April 12, 2003

Tech receiver Chris Clifton caught three touchdown passes and both Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick each threw two touchdown passes to headline Tech's fourth scrimmage, held Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.

Tech worked a lot on red-zone offense and defense in this scrimmage and two of Clifton's touchdown catches came in the red zone. Both of Vick's touchdown tosses were in the red zone as was one of Randall's.

Clifton, a 6-foot-4, 197-pound rising sophomore from Chesapeake, Va., caught five passes for 97 yards on the day to lead the Hokies. He caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Randall early in the scrimmage on what appeared to be a broken coverage by the defense and then caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Vick later in the scrimmage. Midway through, he caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Randall in which he jumped over defensive back Cary Wade to hauled in the pass and then sprinted about 50 yards untouched for the score.

Randall, the 6-0, 222-pound rising junior, continued his outstanding spring, completing 18-of-24 in the scrimmage (4-of-5 in the red zone) for 210 yards. Vick, the freshman from Newport News, went 4-of-7 for 46 yards (2-of-2 in the red zone), with his other touchdown pass going 7 yards to Chris Shreve.

Vick also ripped off a long 57-yard run - after a great block by Clifton - in the scrimmage. That play led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Cedric Humes, who led the Hokies' rushing attack with 39 yards. Humes also scored three touchdowns, all on short runs.

"I was disappointed in some individual play, but I was pleased with several areas," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I thought Cedric Humes and Mike Imoh ran great, and offensively, we had some good execution. Our quarterbacks are performing at such a high level and that helps.

"Defensively, we had some guys play very well. We just need to get more guys playing well overall."

DeAngelo Hall, a rising junior from Chesapeake, Va., played both ways in this one. He gave Tech's coaches a scare when he broke up an attempted fade pattern to Ernest Wilford and landed on his back. Fortunately, he only had the breath knocked out of him. He caught three passes for 17 yards on offense.

Not to be outdone, Tech's defense amassed 10 sacks, led by senior Nathaniel Adibi's two. Vincent Fuller led the Hokies with five solo tackles on the day. Garnell Wilds added four tackles (two solo) and Blake Warren played well in this one, amassing four tackles and a sack. Noland Burchette recorded three tackles, including a sack, and Chad Cooper had three tackles.

On special teams, Nic Schmitt and Brandon Pace connected on 35-yard field goals, while Carter Warley hit a 21-yarder. Schmitt, though, missed two field goals and Pace had one blocked.

On the injury front, the Hokies' defense took yet another hit when Darryl Tapp, a rising sophomore from Chesapeake, left with a left foot injury. He was to be taken for x-rays later Saturday evening. His absence forced Adibi, Burchette and walk-on Bob Ruff to play nearly the entire scrimmage. Tech's defense already is without Cols Colas (knee), Vegas Robinson (ankle), Kevin Lewis (strained right calf), Jim Davis (torn pec) and Isaac Montgomery (torn MCL).

The Hokies will hold their final practice next Wednesday. The team will hold its annual Maroon-White scrimmage on April 19 at 2 p.m. at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.