Aug. 23, 2000
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TURLOCK - The Cal Football team appeared to answer one of its big questions entering the 2000 season with a sterling performance by the Bears place-kicking crew during the team's first scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday afternoon.
"I was pleased with our overall effort, especially the place kicking," head coach Tom Holmoe said. "It was a typical first scrimmage and obviously, we have some things to clean up, but there were some good signs. If we stay on this track, our kicking game is going to be a huge weapon this year, as opposed to the liability it was last season."
The trio of Mark Jensen, Jeremy Hershey and Tyler Fredrickson combined to make 20-of-21 field goal tries, with the only miss a 52-yarder by Jensen that was barely wide right. During the first half of the scrimmage, each player attempted 27-, 37-, 47- and 52-yard field goals with the wind at their back. Turning around to face the wind, they kicked from 27-, 37- and 42-yards out.
Boller completed 7-of-14 passes for 42 yards, despite having four of his passes dropped. On the first play of the scrimmage, Boller threw a perfect pass down the right sideline for an apparent 70-yard touchdown, but Phillip Pipersburg dropped the ball.
"Kyle threw the ball on the money all afternoon," Holmoe said. "We just had too many dropped balls, and that's something we need to work on."
Cal's running backs also had an active afternoon. Joseph Echema received the bulk of the attention, rushing 12 times for 42 yards, with a long of 20 yards. Joe Igber had six carries for only six yards, but he had a 13-yard rush the first time he touched the ball. He also suffered a nine-yard loss on a swing play.
Among the receivers, Swoboda led the way with four catches for 52 yards, while freshman receiver Chase Lyman looked good with four receptions for 26 yards. Pipersburg came back to have three catches for 23 yards.
The defense, though, controlled the tempo for much of the scrimmage. Defensive end Andre Carter had four tackles, including one for loss and a sack. Linebacker Matt Nixon also had a pair of tackles for loss, and Harold Pearson returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown.
Cal resumes two-a-day workouts Thursday and has a final scrimmage in Turlock set for Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. KGO FunFest is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 27 from 12-3 p.m. on Kleeberger Field.