April 14, 2012
Thomas with four TD passes in scrimmage
Harley's two sacks and Bonner's six tackles pace Tech defense

BLACKSBURG – Quarterback Logan Thomas threw four touchdown passes, and defensive tackle Kris Harley recorded four tackles and two sacks to headline Virginia Tech’s scrimmage on Saturday at Lane Stadium.

The scrimmage consisted of a red-zone period at the beginning and then the team played two quarters.

“Overall, I thought our scrimmage was good,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “I think we’re going to be able to go back and look at this and make a determination on some guys who are ready to play in the Georgia Tech game [the season opener] and some guys who aren’t ready to play. And then we’ll look at some freshmen and see if they can help.

“While I was out there, I felt that way. I felt people separated themselves, and it’s going to be good to evaluate who did that.”

Thomas threw three touchdown passes to receiver Corey Fuller, who saw extensive action because of injuries to Marcus Davis (hamstring) and D.J. Coles (out for the spring with a knee injury). Thomas tossed scoring strikes of 18, 8 and 3 yards to Fuller, and he added a fourth touchdown on a 23-yard pass to tight end Randall Dunn. Dunn, who caught two passes in the scrimmage, got a second touchdown on an 8-yard catch from reserve quarterback Trey Gresh.

Thomas completed 9 of 23, but was victimized by several dropped passes. He had 91 yards passing and also threw two interceptions.

“We had too many drops,” Beamer said. “But again, that’s part of the evaluation process. Marcus and D.J. weren’t out there, and Dyrell Roberts has been fighting through a hamstring himself. I think we’re a different team without those guys out there.”

Thomas saw most of the reps on the day because backup Mark Leal sat out the scrimmage (sickness) and Gresh injured his knee late in the scrimmage. Also, walk-on Brian Rody missed the scrimmage with a back injury.

Tech’s offense got another touchdown on a 60-yard run by tailback Michael Holmes against the second-team defense. Holmes led all rushers with 89 yards on eight carries. Martin Scales had 18 yards rushing and J.C. Coleman finished with 14 yards rushing on a game-high 14 carries.

“I’ve said from the beginning that I thought Michael was going to be good,” Beamer said. “He’s learning, but when he gets out there, he’s running away from people. People can’t catch him. He’s a big body. He runs with power. I thought he could cut it loose a little more at the line of scrimmage, but overall, I think you’ve got to be impressed with Michael Holmes.”

Defensively, Harley, a redshirt freshman, led the way with the two sacks, and he also split a tackle for a loss with cornerback Donaldven Manning. Detrick Bonner had six tackles (five solo) and forced an interception, and Chase Williams had six tackles, including 3.5 for a loss, and a sack. Williams also recorded a safety for the defense.

Antone Exum, Kyshoen Jarrett and walk-on Chris Caver recorded interceptions. Exum also scored a touchdown when Kyle Fuller blocked a field-goal attempt and Exum scooped up the ball, going 60 yards for the score. Demitri Knowles added another block when he blocked a punt midway through the scrimmage.

The Hokies’ kickers enjoyed a solid day, though, led by Conor Goulding’s three field goals. He drilled field goals of 42, 27 and 25 yards, and Ethan Keyserling hit a 44-yarder. Keyserling led the way in punting, averaging 45 yards per punt on two punts. Michael Branthover averaged 44.3 yards per punt on three punts.

This marked the last open scrimmage for spring practice. The Hokies conclude the spring with the annual Maroon-White game, which will be held next Saturday at Lane Stadium. Kickoff is slated at 4 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

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