Texas Tech football returned to the Permian Basin March 27th for the second consecutive year to showcase their spring squad for loyal west Texas Raider fans.
Upon their arrival at Grande Communications stadium in Midland Texas, the Red Raiders were met with excitement and energy by a crowd of 10,000 plus fans. The scrimmage was open to the public, granting the people of Midland a first glance at their favorite team for free.
Just like the previous year, tailgating was a major part of the event. Fans gathered in full force hours before the scrimmage to prepare food and talk about the latest Red Raider football news. Included amongst the massive crowd were the family and friends of senior wide receiver Bradley Marquez.
The game served as a homecoming for Marquez, a graduate of nearby Odessa high school. The home-crowd favorite didn’t disappoint, grabbing a catch on just the second play and eventually scoring a few series later. After catching a short pass from quarterback Davis Webb, Marquez turned up field and scampered across the goal line for an 18-yard touchdown.
After the game Marquez was one of the last players to leave the field. He took extra time signing autographs and interacting with his adoring fans. He was even seen giving his pair of gloves to a young fan.
“It was a good atmosphere,” Marquez said. “The crowd was rocking, and we’re just excited to play in front of somebody. It’s good to get that game-like atmosphere. It’s been a great event.”
Marquez was not the only Raider with a solid performance on the day. Quarterback Davis Webb looked crisp and comfortable, leading his offense to scores on multiple series.
With former starting running back Kenny Williams currently trying out the outside linebacker position, Webb was joined in the backfield by junior running back Deandre Washington. Washington showed his ability to step up as Tech’s starting back, finding the end zone once.
Overall, head coach Kliff Kingsbury had to be pleased with what he saw out of his team. They played with a lot of energy and passion, competing on both sides of the ball, in turn making the scrimmage more enjoyable.
After the back to back years of early success, the Permian Basin spring football scrimmage is shaping into a very beneficial event for both west Texas fans, and the Texas Tech football program. It allows coach Kingsbury an extra opportunity to evaluate his spring squad’s talent in a game like environment, and brings additional publicity to the program.
The Red Raiders have developed a solid relationship with their fan-base in Midland through the free scrimmage, giving the Permian Basin event the potential to grow year after year, and perhaps even forge a new Red Raider tradition.