Oregon State holds scrimmage for Portland-area fans

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State treated its scrimmage Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium just like an away game.

And that was the point.

“This is an invaluable experience for our young kids to get in front of a crowd and play, get on a bus drive up here, and get into as much of a game-day environment as we can,” coach Gary Andersen said about the Portland-area event, just over an hour’s drive north of the Beavers’ home in Corvallis. “It was a good day for our kids and really the thought process for our kids was just that: We need every moment we can get into a big-time football environment as possible.”

Fans got their first look at Utah State transfer Darell Garretson, who started at quarterback for the offense, in white jerseys. Garretson had to sit out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.

Garretson hit Victor Bolden with an 18-yard pass on his first series and finished 7 of 15 for 66 yards with an interception, thanks to sophomore cornerback Dwayne Williams.

“I’m pretty comfortable with everything going on right now,” Garretson said. “Mainly just getting back into the rhythm of things, and more or less the speed of what it is. So overall I feel pretty comfortable right now.”

Freshman Mason Moran started for the second team in the informal event, while Marcus McMaryion also saw action. Moran finished with 101 passing yards and a touchdown.

Andersen ran 69 total plays.

McMaryion is the only returning quarterback who saw action last season. Both Seth Collins and Nick Mitchell decided to transfer in the offseason after the Beavers finished 2-10 in Andersen’s first year.

“It’s going to be hard to really make a decision at quarterback until we have an offense that can help the quarterback, regardless of who it is,” Andersen said after the event. “So, as much as you’d like to say we have a timeline on it, right now we’re a little bit held back by the receivers, that’s the long and the short of it.”

Andersen praised freshman receiver Trevon Bradford, a local kid from Oregon City, who caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown, and veteran Victor Bolden, who had two catches for 43 yards. Bolden also had three carries for 35 yards.

The scrimmage, with the offense in white jerseys and the defense wearing black, concluded with players gathering on the field and singing the Oregon State fight song while applauding the several thousand fans who turned out.

Andersen concluded that the defense was ahead of the offense, and added that all the players would be scrutinized for their performance.

“This will be a highly evaluated film,” Andersen said. “The kids knew that walking in here. They were expected to treat this as a game-day situation over the last 48 hours, so they will be held at a very high accountability level for their performance today as we move forward for the rest of spring ball.”

The NCAA decision on Friday to ban off-campus football satellite camps had no impact on the scrimmage at Hillsboro. The ruling doesn’t prevent teams from throwing such events, and recruits were allowed to attend the scrimmage just west of Portland.

Bolden was asked via Twitter what he thought of the new rules, which require FBS-level programs to conduct clinics and camps at their own facilities. He responded: “This definitely hurts the players more than anything. Those under recruited players won’t get the same exposure now.”

Oregon State’s annual spring game is set for April 16 at Reser Stadium.

Dubbed the “Dam City Showcase,” the event at Hillsboro Stadium was followed by an Oregon State baseball game against Central Arkansas at the adjacent Ron Tonkin Field, home of the minor league Hillsboro Hops. The Beavers, ranked No. 7 in the nation, won 6-2 to improve to 21-7.

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