Friday, January 12, 2001
Bolts Run up Yardage in Scrimmage, Defense Allows One Score

ORLANDO - Birmingham rolled up 354 yards total offense and limited New York/New Jersey to 151 yards passing as the Bolts and Hitmen met in a 60-play live scrimmage at Showalter Field Friday night.

Both teams officially scored just one touchdown, but Birmingham's Brad Palazzo kicked two field goals and the Bolts had another scored called back for a penalty. Birmingham's lone touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from Casey Weldon to Stepfret Williams. Palazzo's field goals were from 37 and 47 yards.

"I thought the effort was really good. I think we have the makings of good team chemistry," head coach Gerry DiNardo said. "Technically, we need work like anybody would at this point in camp."

Weldon got most of the snaps at quarterback for Birmingham, completing 9 of 15 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Jay Barker completed 4 of 8 for 67 yards, while Graham Leigh was 3 of 6 for 32 yards. Combined, the Bolts passed for 207 yards.

Curtis Alexander and James Bostic were the running stars for Birmingham. Alexander rushed for 66 yards on six carries, 43 of those coming on one play. Alexander had an 8-yard touchdown run nullified by a penalty. Bostic ran for 56 yards on six carries, with a long run of 28. Five Bolts ball carriers ran for a combined 147 yards.

Williams led all receivers with three catches for 34 yards and a score. Joe Douglass had two receptions for 52 yards and Steve Smith two catches for 45 yards. Kevin Drake had two for 24 yards and tight end Ed Smith gathered in two passes for 23 yards

"I truly think we were attacking on both sides of the ball. The way we practice is the way we played that scrimmage," offensive tackle Ed King said. ""We had enough rushing yards to open up the passing game."

David Knott came up big for the Birmingham defense, stopping a New York/New Jersey running back in the open field on fourth and goal from the 4 yard line and blocking a Hitmen field goal attempt.

The Hitmen touchdown came on a 6-yard pass from Kevin Mason to Sean Love. Mason ran for the point after.

Eric Sloan also had a big night for the Thunderbolts defense, breaking up two passes. Sloan dropped a sure interception for a touchdown on the first play of the scrimmage, perfectly breaking on a flat route before not being able to catch the ball.