BOCA RATON, Fla. — Willie Taggart Jr. threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and Michael Johnson Jr. threw for two more scores during the Florida Atlantic spring game Saturday, hoping to impress their fathers. But will it be enough to earn the starting quarterback job in 2021?
Taggart and Johnson are competing with Nick Tronti and Javion Posey, who split time as the starter last season, for the job.
Of course, Taggart is the son of second-year head coach Willie Taggart, while Johnson is the son of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Michael Johnson.
Taggart Jr., who played sparingly as a true freshman last season and will have four years of eligibility, was 5 of 15 for 75 yards.
Johnson Jr., who transferred from Penn State, was 4 of 5 for 100 yards, helping the white team hang on for a 23-18 win over the red team.
Tronti started for the white team, while Posey started for the red team. However, Posey left the game early with an injury and didn't return.
FAU's white team, coached by tight ends coach Jon Bills, took a 13-0 halftime lead, but Taggart Jr. rallied the red team, coached by running backs coach Chris Perkins, thanks to his touchdown tosses in the closing minutes of the game.
The death of legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger, who coached the Owls for their first 11 seasons, overshadowed the game, which was played on the field named in his honor.
"He has done some extraordinary things as a football coach and has touched a lot of lives," the elder Taggart said of Schnellenberger after the game. "As a football coach, it is one of the things you want to be able to accomplish over the years. You want to win. He won ball games. You want to mentor and bring coaches along and then you want to help the young people. He did a great job at all of those things. He is going to be missed. He will never be forgotten, and we are going to see to it that we make his vision a reality here at FAU."