CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's offense was clicking during CSU's Spring Football game on Saturday afternoon as the offense topped the defense, 31-17, at Buccaneer Field.
Defensively, Stefan Williams was active early with an interception, while Ramero Rock had a pair of drive-ending sacks. JD Sosebee and Darin Smalls made several plays on the field, while Jon Pohahau joined his fellow defensive linemen with several plays in the backfield.
The 2019 Spring Game was the culmination of the first practice slate under first-year head coach Autry Denson. Denson was pleased with the efforts by the team as a whole as the Bucs concluded their spring season.
"Our goal was to come out here and get some pretty good work in against each other," Denson said. "It was encouraging to see the offense continue to take steps. Defensively, they were in position and made some plays. End of the day we're the same team and it was good to see both sides play well. "
He continued, "Our biggest thing we wanted to do when we came in this spring was to lay the groundwork and the fundamentals of what we want to do as a team. We also wanted to get the base of our system in for both our offense and defense. As you could see today, the guys are taking to it and getting used to it, and we can keep building from there."
The defense took control of the contest early with Stefan Williams making the big play on the first drive of the game. The rising redshirt junior defensive end read the screen pass perfectly and picked off the attempt at the line of scrimmage to end the drive.
Darin Smalls nearly took a pick-six to the house two drives later as the rising senior safety stepped in front of a Christian Reid pass on third down, but the ball skipped off his hands and fell incomplete to end another CSU drive.
Rock took over from there on the defensive side as the rising redshirt junior ended another offensive drive by breaking through the offensive line to get the sack.
The offense got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter thanks to Chambers' rushing efforts, as well as a key defensive penalty on the field goal attempt. A 32-yard Chambers run set the Bucs up with a first down on the defense's 35. Later in the drive, following an offside penalty on the field goal attempt, Chambers targeted Garris Schwarting for the 25-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the game.
The next drive was Christian Reid's time to shine as the rising sophomore quarterback showed off his arm strength. Reid dropped a 57-yard post pattern into Demetrius Jones' arms for the score to cap back-to-back touchdown drives for the offense.
The offense continued to click moving into the second quarter as Reid targeted Patrick Smith for a key third-down conversion pickup, before finding Tyree Baptiste for the 46-yard touchdown down the left sideline for the Bucs' third touchdown of the game.
Chambers captained the final scoring drive for the offense as the rising redshirt sophomore hit first down connections to Schwarting and Cayden Jordan, before finding Jones for the 20-yard touchdown pass.
Following the spring game, Chambers commented on the offense's production through the day as CSU unveiled its new passing game featuring a balanced, tempo attack.
"I think today went extremely well," Chambers said. "We had a few miscues out there early, but altogether we had good tempo and the energy was high today. It was good putting points up on the board against our defense. It was good to get out in front of the crowd and show them what we've been working on."
Defensively, Sosebee's standout performance culminated a strong spring for the All-Conference linebacker and he sees promise on both sides of the ball heading into the summer.
"I'm glad they came out to play - they put on the points and showed that we could have some firepower next season," Sosebee commented. "I feel overall we've been pretty good. We have a few young guys in the backend but have some guys who played a lot up front. We have had a lot of guys buy-in that will continue to develop over the summer and the fall. It's really important getting our bodies and minds right to lock in on the playbooks and get back after it."
The Bucs will continue preparations for the 2019 fall kickoff at Furman on August 31 as they start summer workouts and look ahead to fall camp.