Quarterback Bob Milkovich was an imposing field admiral yesterday, completing four straight passes in a drenching rain to engineer the only touchdown drive of a Maryland football scrimmage altered by the elements.
After the offense was granted six possessions 60 yards from the goal, Coach Jerry Claiborne switched to third-and-long plays from the 35 and four-down, goal-line offensive maneuvers from the 10.
"I thought we'd get more out of it with specialized situaiions, rather than trying to move the football in these weather conditions," Claiborne said. "There were a lot of good things out there today. The contact was good, the effort was good and we made some good catches.
Overall, considering the weather conditions, the passing was good. It has improved this spring.
"Milkovich the first time took the team down pretty good. He threw the ball well. And the backs held onto the ball. Just one fumble in the rain was excellent. We've had only two fumbles this spring and that has to help us."
Tailback Charlie Wysocki dropped the ball on the first play, but the offense retained it and quickly moved to a score. Milkovich overcame an offensive-holding penalty with a 25-yard screen pass to tight end Bill Pugh for the touchdown.
Quarterback Boomer Esiason, a lefthanded passer, showed good running form on a 30-yard sweep around left end during the third-and-long drills. "He doesn't have great speed, but he has a good knowledge of scrambling," Claiborne said."He's had a good spring."
Alan Sadler, second-string split end out of Crossland High, made two excellent catches during the wet workout watched by two slickered fans in the Byrd Stadium stands and more than 100 high school coaches attending a weekend clinic who crowded into the press box.
This was the 11th day of spring actice for the Terrapins and Claiborne said he was "pretty well satisfied. I'd like to be further along, but we have a lot of young people, with 23 seniors gone, and we've spent extra time on fundamentals. We're behind on teamwork, but we can get the teamwork next fall if we can get the fundamentals now."
At Howard, Coach Floyd Keith's greatest concern is finding a punter. "It's my biggest question mark in camp," he said.
Keith has managed to find a placekicker -- a sidewinding soccer kicker named Duke Amayo -- to replace graduating Howard Ward. "We redshirted him last season," Keith said. "I'm confident that he is capable of doing a good job. He hasn't been tested, of course, but he's looked good."
The Bison will scrimmage for the second time on Monday afternoon, giving Keith another opportunity to assess his new quarterback, Ray Gray. "We're putting a lot of new wrinkles in, offensively and defensively," Keith said. "But the emphasis is on individual improvement, not teamwork, at this point. It's a better spring than the last two years. I've noticed the improvement from spring scrimmage teams last year and two years ago."
At Navy, the Mid defense played well in the team's final spring scrimmage, coming up with four pass interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Two of the interceptions in yesterday's contest were returned for scores. Sophomore linebacker Andy Ponsiego ran 40 yards with an errant pass before lateraling to defensive end John Oberle on a play that covered 75 yards. Safety Rusty Smith ran an interception back 25 yards for another touchdown.