Season 20 Preseason Games Recap

LightningDragon · May 6, 2024


By: Cole Mantell (@lightningdragon)

Season 20 is almost here. In the week leading up to the start of this season, we were again treated to four preseason matchups. All four provided some big action and new storylines heading into Week 1. Let’s recap the action and see what we can learn.

East-West Newcomer All-American Game

West: 44
East: 30

The first of two newcomer showcases, the East-West game provided early fireworks for a fun week of preseason action. East was coached by windleythepooh, Head Coach for the Georgia Bulldogs. West was coached by 409Kay, Season 19 Fan of the Year, and AHC for the Texas Longhorns. For the East Newcomers, some standout performances include Jalen Irvin (Miami), Ricky Rak (Kentucky), and Chili Sierra (UNC).  Irvin had almost 100 receiving yards and eight pancakes on the night. Rak had over 100 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns to boot. Sierra contributed both on special teams and on defense.

The West Newcomers would end up victorious, however. 409Kay led his team to a win, led by incoming freshmen Saint Major (Cincinnati), Jett Sims (Michigan State), and Hunter Dowell (WVU). Sims had 90 rushing yards and played both offense and special teams. But Hunter Dowell was the star on offense. He had eight receptions for 186 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. WVU has to be happy with the talent they have here. Derrick Davis (USC) played well on defense with ten tackles and an interception. He was one of a few linebackers to get interceptions this week in preseason action.

North-South Newcomer All-American Game

South: 40
North: 24

The second newcomer showcase also provided a lot of fun football for old and new viewers alike. North had veteran coach MucciMane, the Head Coach for the Cincinnati Bearcats. South was led by new Auburn Head Coach RobJG2. It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half before the South Newcomers broke away in the second half and would not relinquish their lead. The North newcomers didn’t get the result they would’ve liked, but Jaylen Tyree (OSU), Taylor James (Colorado), and Morgan Winters (USC) were excellent in the showcase. Tyree had over 200 passing yards and a respectable 71% completion percentage. James was the showcase of the offense, rushing for two touchdowns and taking the bulk of the kick returns as well on special teams. On defense, despite two Generational Talents, it was instead Morgan Winters who led the defense in tackles, notching 11 in the preseason game.

On the winning side, the South Newcomers were led by Cole Mantell (Michigan State), Rahaud Williams (Florida State), and Hayden Wilmore (UNC). Mantell threw for over 500 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns, of which Williams caught one and had 140 receiving yards. Wilmore also had over 100 receiving yards and 13 receptions on the evening. On defense, Michigan commit Andrew Gauci had ten tackles and a TFL to lead the defensive efforts.

5th Annual Army-Navy Military Appreciation Game

Army: 36
Navy: 35

Maybe the most exciting game of the week each preseason, the Army-Navy affair pits two true rivals in a battle for supremacy, and more importantly bragging rights. Army was coached this season by Ohio State Defensive Coordinator dshmoney. Navy was coached by Interim LSU AD Babineau. Army won the previous edition of this game 34-21. They were able to defend their title again this season. But not before some incredible fireworks.

The main storyline of this game was Beau Dale throwing eight interceptions. If this was a regular season game that counted in the record books, that’d be the second most ever thrown in a game. Still, the Navy Midshipmen had some great showings on Thursday. Sean Lehmann (Texas A&M) had over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. Admiral Lasky (Penn St) and Kevin McLeod (UNC) both made big plays on defense. Lasky had ten tackles on the night and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. McLeod also had nine tackles as well.

For the Army roster, defense ruled the day. Bishop Guerrero (Clemson), Bjorn Thorsen (Florida State), Joshua McGinnis (Syracuse), Jet Griffin (Notre Dame), Willie Davis (LSU), and JoDeci Billups (Notre Dame) all picked off Navy QB Beau Dale. What I’ve learned from this was that beware if you are an ACC QB this season. Billups, in particular, had three interceptions and five tackles and would be my MVP of this season’s game. Jamesyn Golde (USC) also made his first career appearance, and the USC staff should be happy with a balanced performance that ended in a big win for Army.

East-West Senior Classic

West: 55
East: 48

Maybe my favorite annual preseason game, the East-West Senior Classic serves as a final game for many of our favorite players we’ve loved watching for four seasons. You only can participate if you play all four seasons, providing an extra small prize for those who’ve stayed all four seasons in the CFSL with their player’s career.

For the West, Texas Head Coach Blake1588 coached the team. The East was coached by Brocco, the FSU Head Coach. It was a great back-and-forth affair with offense ruling the day.

For the West, we had Season 19 National Champion Mateo Walker leading his offense to a win. He had over 450 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. He found Blake Xander Martel and Brandon Oliver for both over 100 receiving yards on the night. On defense, we got a classic performance from Jameson Weinrich, who had 13 tackles and 3 PDs on the evening. The East was led by former Michigan, Boise State, Toledo, and Miami QB Sam Dobbins. Dobbins also had over 400 passing yards on the evening, and combined for five touchdowns on the air and ground. Deuce Bolden caught two of those touchdowns and was his usual dominant self. On defense, Candace Navarro had nine tackles and a crucial forced fumble to show out one last time. It’s sad to see many of our favorite stars go, and the game should be exciting once again next season as well!


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