College football: Six QBs play in Dayton’s spring game

Dayton freshman quarterback Braden Woods throws downfield as redshirt freshman Sam Schadek closes in during Saturday's spring game at Welcome Stadium. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

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Dayton freshman quarterback Braden Woods throws downfield as redshirt freshman Sam Schadek closes in during Saturday's spring game at Welcome Stadium. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Flyers looking for replacement for three-year starter Jack Cook

Dayton’s search for a new quarterback continued in Saturday’s annual spring game at Welcome Stadium. Six quarterbacks played, which means head coach Rick Chamberlin and his staff have a lot of tape to watch and an important decision to make in August.

Chamberlin liked what he saw from freshmen Shane Hamm, Will Tammaru and Dante Casciola and redshirt freshmen Braden Woods (Franklin High School), Cole Dow and Ryan VanSchelven. One of them will replace three-year starter Jack Cook.

“Throughout spring, each guy will do something that catches your attention,” Chamberlin said. “And what we’ve got to find is that individual that consistently will make the plays that we need to have happen. But I was very pleased with the production of our quarterbacks today.”

Whoever wins the job will have an experienced group of receivers to throw to led by Sam Bubonics and Joey Swanson, who combined for 59 catches and over 900 yards last year. Leading receivers Saturday, according to unofficial stats, were Swanson (three for 35 yards), Jake Coleman (three for 28), Derek Willits (two for 32) and Kyle Hazell (two for 25).

“Our receivers did what they always do – make plays,” Chamberlin said. “They did that all in 2021, so we saw it again today.”

The White team defeated the Red Team 17-7 and scored two first-half touchdowns. Tammaru, who completed six passes for 126 yards, led the first scoring drive that ended on freshman Logan Davis’ one-yard run. Davis rushed for 63 yards on eight carries. Hamm followed that with a 55-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to freshman running back Anthony Ammori, who also rushed six times for 23 yards.

The Red got on the board in the third quarter on Casciola’s 2-yard pass to freshman tight end Kevin Roberts. Michael Denning added a 22-yard field goal for the White. Casciola completed five passes for 63 yards and Hamm completed three for 72.

Chamberlin expects two or three quarterbacks to emerge and get most of the reps in August. The Flyers practice again Monday, giving them one more chance to impress the coaches.

Junior running back Jake Chisholm sat out while the Flyers got a look at young backs. Chisholm rushed for 1,052 yards, caught 30 passes and scored 14 touchdowns. Chamberlin was most impressed with freshmen John Sciarretti and Davis.

“You can’t have Jake carrying the ball 35 times again,” Chamberlin said. “You got to have other people that you can count on that won’t lower the bar. And I think John Sciarretti and Logan Davis showed that today.”

The biggest hole to file on defense is at safety, and redshirt freshmen Matt Lenti and Logan Dalton appear to be the starters. They played on opposite sides Saturday.

“When you put them together, I think they’re a pretty good tandem back there,” Chamberlin said.

Chisholm, a second-team FCS All-American last year, graduate linebacker Ben Schmiesing, second-team all-league last year, and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Brian Stevens were voted to be captains by their teammates. Redshirt freshman Willits was chosen as special teams captain.

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