FROM NSU SPORTS INFORMATION:
NATCHITOCHES – A sensational leaping catch in the corner of the end zone by a tightly-covered Ed Eagan for a 20-yard touchdown pass from Zach Adkins capped an explosive two-hour, 120-play Northwestern State football scrimmage Saturday morning featuring nine touchdowns and two diving interceptions by sophomore safety Adam Jones.
The Demons, who open at home Thursday, Aug. 28 against Missouri State, finished their second full week of preseason camp. They ran 106 plays from scrimmage with a thud tempo, which doesn't allow live tackling. NSU also got in 28 special teams snaps in the situational scrimmage, which included 11-on-11 competition on the goalline, in the red zone, in a two-minute scenario and in overtime.
True freshman running back Ronald Green scored on runs of 1 and 20 yards, topping 11 Demons' ballcarriers with 56 yards on nine rushes. Junior Daniel Taylor scored from the 9 while true freshman Nigel Dora had a 2-yard TD run.
Adkins, NSU's returning starting quarterback, went 16 of 25 for 170 yards with two interceptions and threw for touchdowns of 4 yards to sophomore De'Mard Llorens and the scrimmage-ending OT score to Eagan. Sophomore Daniel Hazlewood tossed a 3-yard TD to true freshman Cameron Lazare for another OT touchdown. Redshirt freshman T.J. Fleeton threw for 81 yards, going 5-of-8 with a 9-yard TD to junior Cody Jones.
Adkins completed 7 of his last 9 passes for 71 yards and both touchdowns, the first coming in the two-minute scenario when he led a 10-play, 60-yard drive.
Jones and Lazare each had four catches as 16 Demons made receptions. True freshman tight end Chase Hawthorne posted 85 yards on three catches.
Junior defensive end Leroy Jones scooped up a fumble forced by senior linebacker Marion Chapman and scored on a 32-yard return.
“Today was great, a good crowd, the scrimmage went very well, and it's a great way to end camp,” said Demons' coach Jay Thomas. “It was very well balanced.
“There are some things we have to clean up next week. We've got to continue to work on tackling. We had a few missed assignments in our pass rush, letting the quarterback get out too much. The offense did a great job running the ball, had some really good passes, but had three interceptions and we have to limit those,” he said. “On the flip side, the defense had three interceptions, so the Demons won today.”
Thomas was pleased with NSU's rushing game.
“The offensive line really has progressed in camp. Going against our defensive front, which is really good, makes them a ton better. It's a tussle every day,” said Thomas. “Our backs did a good job finding the seams. I was standing back there, and there were some small windows and they hit them.”
Redshirt freshman safety Desmond Lacey topped the defense with five tackles and had a pass breakup. Senior linebacker Tyler Roussel, sophomore defensive end JeMarcus Marshall, sophomore safety Jahvez Barnes, and sophomore cornerback Sylvester Grimble each had four stops.
“The defense was handcuffed playing in a thud tempo with no tackling, but the D-line rushed the pass well,” said Thomas. “Adam Jones had two beautiful plays on his interceptions. We ran around really good, but it's tough to defend if you're not allowed to tackle.”
A Southland Conference officiating crew worked the contest and marked off only three penalties. Thomas successfully mounted his first instant replay challenge, resulting in a 1-yard touchdown awarded by replay official Harris Wilson Jr. to Green, who was initially ruled down short of the goalline.
The Demons will go through a light workout Sunday, then begin a “mock school week” schedule Monday with a dress rehearsal mock game Thursday at 6 in Turpin Stadium.
Daniel Taylor 9 run (Chris Moore kick)
Ronald Green 20 run (John Shelton kick)
Moore 31 field goal
Cody Jones 4 pass from T.J. Fleeton (Shelton kick)
Green 1 run (pass failed)
Leroy Armstrong 32 fumble return (no kick)
Nigel Dora 2 run (no kick)
De'Mard Llorens 4 pass from Zach Adkins (Moore kick)
Cameron Lazare 3 pass from Daniel Hazlewood (Shelton kick)
Ed Eagan 20 pass from Adkins (Moore kick)
Rushing (54-156, 4 TDs)
Ronald Green 9-56, 2 TDs; De'Mard Llorens 10-36, Garrett Atzenweiler 6-30, Daniel Taylor 5-23, 1 TD; Matt Flores 6-13, Nigel Dora 5-12, T.J. Fleeton 2-1, J.D. Almond 3-minus 2, Ed Eagan 1-minus 3, Zach Adkins 4-minus 5, Daniel Hazlewood 3-minus 5,
Passing (32-52-3, 363 yards, 4 TDs)
Zach Adkins 16-25-2, 170 yards, 2 TDs; T.J. Fleeton 5-8, 81 yards, 1 TD; Daniel Hazlewood 5-8-1, 78 yards, 1 TD; J.D. Almond 6-11, 34 yards
Receiving (32-363, 4 TDs)
Cody Jones 4-40, 1 TD; Cameron Lazare 4-23, 1 TD; Tuff McClain 3-45, Tremayne Freeman 3-20, Chase Hawthorne 3-85, De'Mard Llorens 2-29, 1 TD; Ed Eagan 2-27, 1 TD; Daniel Taylor 2-14, Shakeir Ryan 2-10, Garrett Atzenweiler 2-minus 1; Rondarious Morris 1-44, Corey Simmons 1-17, Larry Copeland 1-4, Ronald Green 1-4, Bryson Bourque 1-3, Matt Flores 1-minus 2
Desmond Lacey - 5 tackles, 1 PBU; Tyler Roussel - 4 tackles, 1 QBP, 1 QBS; Sylvester Grimble - 4 tackles, 1 TFL; JeMarcus Marshall - 4 tackles; Jahvez Barnes - 4 tackles; Jason Yarbor - 3tackles; Peyton Guidry - 3 tackles, 1 TFL; Roderick Ross - 3 tackles; Paxton Cook - 3 tackles, 1 QBP; DeMarcus Drumgo - 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBS; Adam Jones - 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 INT; Dannie Harmon – 2 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QBP, 1 QBS; Chase Collins - 2 tackles; Marion Chapman - 2 tackles, 1 FF, 1 QBS, 1 QBP; Joseph Mobley - 2 tackles, 1 INT; Fred Thomas - 2 tackles; Robert Fabrizio - 2 tackles, 1 QBP; Devonta' Allen - 1 tackle, 2 QBS; Imoan Claiborne - 1 tackle, 1 PBU; Manuel Mukes V - 1 TFL; Caviaan Rachal - 1 tackle; Chris Cryer - 1 tackle; Xavier Braxton - 1 tackle; WaDerrious Sellers - 1 QBS; Josh Roberts - 1 tackle; Rondarious Morris - 1 tackle; Cornist Broadway - 1 TFL, 1 QBP; Leroy Armstrong - 1 tackle, 1 TFL, 1 fumble return; LeAllen Clark - 1 tackle; 1 TFL; Isaiah Wheeler - 1 tackle; Andrew Bletsch - 1 TFL, 1 QBS; Damon Medcafe - 1 tackle; Deon Simon - 1 tackle
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