Originally created 04/27/97

Hamilton, Shaw lead Tech offense



ATLANTA - Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton passed for 88 yards, Charlie Rogers ran for 70 yards, and Emmett Hill ran for two touchdowns in a Saturday scrimmage of the first offense and first defense Saturday. About 1,500 braved the conditions to watch the workout.

"It was wet and sloppy and our receivers dropped too many balls and our backs put too many on the ground, but I saw good effort and enthusiasm," said coach George O'Leary.

Tech (5-6 overall, 4-4 ACC) will conclude spring drills on Monday and Wednesday. Tech opens the season at Notre Dame on Sept. 6.

"It will seem like a long summer waiting for Notre Dame," said Hamilton, who completed 8 of 18 passes. "I don't want to make excuses, but the rain slowed us today."

Hamilton directed a 70-yard drive, resulting in David Frake's 42-yard field goal. No. 2 quarterback Brandon Shaw led a 30-yard thrust to bring about Hill's one-yard TD.

No. 3 quarterback Alex Thompson also directed a 30-yard drive with Hill, taking it three yards around the right end for a touchdown.

Shaw complete 5 of 9 passes for 49 yards. Rogers, who averaged 50 yards a game last fall, led with 70 yards on 10 carries. Hill, a transfer from Navy, had 44 yards on 20 carries.

Josh Rackley caught five passes for 33 yards. Brett Basquin had two catches for 28 yards and veteran Mike Sheridan had 2 for 21.

"Both quarterbacks can run our offense," said O'Leary. "Joe makes the plays and Brandon has a stronger arm."

O'Leary said Tech's key going into next season "is to get both sides of the line some depth and playing as a unit. They've both made progress this spring."

The Tech coach said he was "happy to see some of the defensive linemen come on. Tony Robinson really showed up well today, and so did Jesse Tarplin.

"That's encouraging because that's where we need some help in terms of depth."

Robinson, a red-shirt freshman, is Tech's biggest defensive lineman at 6-foot-4, 306 pounds and appears to be shaping up as the top backup on a front line that returns three of four starters and six of the top eight players from last fall.

O`Leary had a number of his veteran players sitting out the 75-play workout. Among those giving way to younger players were all-conference split end Harvey Middleton, starting linebackers Keith Brooking and Ron Rogers and starting nose guard Patrick Bradford.

Running back Charles Wiley and flanker Derrick Steagall are both coming off knee injuries last season and are not participating in any contact work this spring, while starting tight end Chris Myers (broken foot) and running back Phillip Rogers (hamstring) are out with injuries.

In addition, tight end Matt Gubba and running back Curtis Hollomon were excused to attend their sisters' weddings.