weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

UNLV spring football recap No. 14: Rebels prepare for spring game

With time running out and a raucous crowd roaring, UNLV quarterback Johnny Stanton fired a 20-yard bullet to wide receiver Brandon Presley to put the Rebels in field-goal range. Stanton then sprinted downfield to spike the ball to stop the clock and set up a 40-yard attempt by Nicolai Bornand, who delivered the game-winning kick as the crowd went wild.

That sequence of plays took place at UNLV’s practice Friday morning at Rebel Park, where crowd noise blared from speakers and the energy was palpable as the team geared up for its annual spring game, scheduled for noon Saturday at Johann Memorial Field.

“It’s kind of like a game day. As you build up and get closer, you get more and more excited,” Rebels coach Tony Sanchez said. “The kids are excited about getting out there (Saturday) and playing in front of the fans.”

The spring game is a family-friendly event that’s free and open to the public. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the team is expected to start running through some drills at 11:30 a.m., with a 50-minute scrimmage to follow at noon.


The game will cap UNLV’s spring schedule, which featured 15 practices spread over five weeks, including a week off for spring break.

The team’s high energy level at practice was part anticipation of the spring game and part relief that spring practice was coming to an end.

“The spring game is really exciting. It’s the first time we get to go in front of the fans and it’s another live scrimmage, which is great, and the most we’ll be able to scrimmage,” Stanton said. “At the same time, spring practice is a grind. Fall camp’s real tough, spring ball is real tough and every time you get to the end of one of those, you kind of get a little excited.”

Here’s a quick recap of Friday’s practice.


* After a slow start to spring practice, Stanton has come on strong this week. He threw what appeared to be a sure 60-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Presley, but the sophomore wide receiver dropped the perfectly-placed ball in the end zone.

* Troy Hawthorne made a shoestring interception of Kurt Palandech, who also was picked off by Evan Austrie.

* Palandech redeemed himself in the late-game situation by firing a 20-yard TD pass to tight end Tim Holt.


* UNLV signees Andre Collins (wide receiver), Matt Brayton (offensive lineman) and Evan Pantels (punter) attended practice.


“Some of the guys we signed last year are here so they’re seeing some of their future teammates and a lot of their families are out here. That’s what makes it kind of neat,” Sanchez said of the team’s energy at practice. “You love when you look on the sidelines and see a bunch of the families out here who don’t get the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the kids. It’s kind of cool because at the end of the day, it is a family atmosphere.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.