ALBANY -- It's only spring football, and the Albany run game looks to be on track after Thursday's scrimmage against Northeast, but that doesn't mean the Hornets don't have things to work on before the season begins in August.
The Albany first-teamers unofficially ran for 323 yards on 43 carries against the Vikings. And for those keeping score, the Vikings picked up a 14-8 win in the timed portion of the scrimmage, which featured a pair 10-play series for the first-teamers, two series for the second-teamers, a goal-line portion for the first-teamers and two 12-minute quarters for the first-teamers.
"I feel like that's just what we do best," Hornets running back Kamryn Mayers said of the team's run game. "We run the ball. We like running it right down peoples' throats, and we're going to continue that until somebody stops us."
And that part of the scrimmage was fine with Hornets coach Blane Westmoreland.
"We felt like we wanted to run the ball a little bit more (Thursday) to work out our offensive line, to work out our backs, and we were happy with what we saw," he said. "We've just got to clean up a couple mistakes with some exchanges, and we're going to be fine."
In the timed portion of the scrimmage, the Vikings got the ball first at their own 35 and put together a seven-play scoring drive, capped by quarterback Rashaun Steel's 1-yard keeper and 2-point conversion run for an 8-0 lead.
Curtis Keaton had a 43-yard run on the drive for the Vikings.
The Hornets got the ball after the score but lost a fumble on the second play of the drive, giving the Vikings the ball at the Hornet 28. Two plays later, Montrell Bell scored on a 13-yard run over the right side, and the pass on the two-point attempt failed, giving the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
From there, the Hornets took over at their own 35 and countered with a 10-play scoring drive made up entirely of running plays. Devonte Kelly, who had 14 carries for 88 yards, capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run to cut the lead to 14-8.
"We've just got to get better on both sides of the ball," Kelly said. "Everybody makes mistakes, you know. But we've got to make up the mistakes. We'll get better."
The Hornets stopped the Vikings on downs on their next drive and took over at their own 35 to start their next drive, which again featured all running plays. The drive was aided when the Vikings jumped on 4th-and-2 at the Albany 37. Kelly had an 18-yard run to the Viking 40 on the next play, and the Hornets moved to the Northeast 16 before Jewel Rheams lost a fumble with 5:40 to play.
The Vikings moved to Hornet 5 in 10 plays, highlighted by a 42-yard pass from Steel to Jacoby Junis. But the Vikings fumbled on the next play, and Albany's Casey Thompson recovered at the Albany 5 with 45 seconds left.
A roughing-the-passer call against the Vikings moved the ball to the Hornet 21 before Jackson Fazio fired two straight incompletions. Rheams busted a 49-yard run to the Viking 30 to end the scrimmage.
"Not much you can do," Westmoreland said. "We gave it a hell of an effort there. Proud of our kids. We've just got to now come back to the drawing board. We've got a lot to work on, and that's the best part about summer."
In the opening 10-play series featuring first-team players, Steel hooked up with Jascent Scott on a 75-yard pass play, and Montrell Bell ran for a 2-point conversion for the Vikings.
"We've got to do a better job on defense," Westmoreland said. "We were missing a couple of guys tonight, but we've got to do better job of getting the calls in, and that's on the coaches. We've got to figure that out on our end. The best part is it's May. We've got a long way to go. We'll eliminate those mistakes, and we'll be ready come August."
From there, the Hornets took over at their own 35 and went to the ground game, scoring in eight plays, capped by Mayers' 13-yard TD run.
"I feel like it went (well)," said Mayers, who finished with 100 yards on 16 carries. "We have a lot to learn from still tonight. We are down a couple starters. We're down five starters on (defense). We're down two starters on (offense), so I feel like when we get everybody back into gear and everything clicking again, we're going to be better, and we're going to continue to progress."
Rheams, who finished with 131 yards on eight carries, unofficially, had a 40-yard run after the score.
Albany's second-team defense surrendered a 40-yard TD run to Samuel Pryor, and both second-team offenses lost a fumble. The Hornets' first-team offense also lost a pair of fumbles before the goal-line portion of the scrimmage.
During the goal-line work, in which both teams worked from the 10-yard line, Northeast scored twice -- on a 4-yard run by Curtis Keaton and a 10-yard pass from Steel to Johnny Selders.
Albany also scored twice during its goal-line work -- on a 10-yard pass from Fazio to Mayers and a 1-yard run by Mayers.