Spring steps

The Portland State football team held its annual Spring Game against a slight rain last Saturday night at PGE Park.

The Portland State football team held its annual Spring Game against a slight rain last Saturday night at PGE Park.

A light drizzle fell on the field as the Viking first-stringers in green trounced their counterpart reserves in white, 49-7. The soggy day didn’t keep away the Viking faithful of 2,014 fans. The rain didn’t impede Glanville and offensive coordinator Darrel “Mouse” Davis from unveiling their infamous schemes to the fans.

Glanville, also the defensive coordinator, showed off his 3-4 defense, known for handing out hard licks. And, with 684 yards of total offense and nine touchdowns, Davis proved just how explosive his run-and-shoot offense can be this season.

The green team’s quarterbacks senior Brian White and sophomore Tygue Howland headlined the offensive production, combining for 457 yards passing and five scores. The two signal callers are jockeying for the starting job under center come regular season play.

Junior wideout Reggie Joseph was a recurrent target of the quarterbacks, as the transfer snagged five passes, including a 55-yard touchdown. Senior Kenneth Mackins also caught the run-and-shoot fever with four receptions for 144 yards and a 54-yard touchdown.

“The run-and-shoot is a complicated offense, but it’s easy to run and understand as a player,” Mackins said. “We are having fun-people love it. The offense is difficult, but everyone is adapting and enjoying it. And, the defense is flying around and having fun at practice; it’s not the drudge of the old system. Everyone’s just excited.”

Like the green side’s offense, the defense played superbly in Glanville’s pro-style 3-4 defensive alignment. The squad mostly full of starters kept the white team’s offense under wraps, conceding only 198 yards on 48 plays. The stars shined brightly for the green defense with a couple hard-hitting Vikings in linebacker Jordan Senn, and safeties Michael Dorsey and Condrew Allen all pulling in interceptions.

“We like the new defense a lot,” Dorsey said. “For being an NFL defense, it’s really basic. It’s really just a matter of learning everything, and I think we have the whole package in, right now. So, we just have to work on a few things over the summer and we’re ready to go.”

While the on-field game was just an exhibition, the focus on attracting fans and season ticket purchasers was significant for Viking athletics. Since Glanville, former head coach of the Houston Oilers and Atlanta Falcons, was hired back in late February, a newfound buzz has surrounded Portland State athletics. This excitement has brought a hoard of new season ticket purchases, gifts from donors and business endeavors. The success continued Saturday, as the turnout was triple the average of the past couple years and 119 five-game season tickets were sold, surpassing the athletic department’s goal of 100.

Raindrops dripping from his hair, Glanville seemed more than enthused by the number of fans that opted to show up even with the less than spring-like weather following the game.

“That’s better than practice. That’s more than we had at practice,” Glanville said when he heard the attendance figures. “We want all those people here to come back for the opener and bring three neighbors with them. If they all bring three neighbors, we’ll really get this thing going.”

The green’s victory will not reflect a win on Portland State’s record, and only a couple reserves with an increased chance to make the final roster were uncovered, but this Spring Game was far from meaningless. With a Spring Game-record 2,014 fans in attendance, nearly half of some regular season home tilts last season, it proves the hype and buzz is not fantasy. It is reality for Portland State football.