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Sports: Offense stands out in NSU scrimmage

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Written by: Doug Ireland

NATCHITOCHES —

With eight plays of 25 yards or more, and seven scores, the Northwestern State offense led by junior quarterback Paul Harris and junior tailback Sidney Riley provided the highlights Saturday morning as the Demons neared the end of spring football practice.

The 96-play scrimmage took 1:45 in Turpin Stadium and was the 12th of 15 spring workouts, culminating next Thursday at 6 with the 22nd Annual Joe Delaney Bowl spring game. Harris threw for 249 yards on 14 of 25 aim while Riley posted 107 yards rushing on 17 carries, scoring on two short runs as the Demons posted 532 yards, a 5.5 yards per play average.

Harris led a scrimmage-ending eight-play, 55-yard drive in a two-minute situation for a “game-winning” 33-yard field goal by junior John Shaughnessy. He also guided the first-team offense on all but the final play of a 70-yard, eight-play march culminated with a 13-yard pass from third-team quarterback Don Canyon to tight end David Larsen.

Canyon also had a 5-yard touchdown to fullback Forrest Graham in a red zone competition. Harris looped a 4-yard TD toss to senior tight end Justin Aldredge, who made a game-high six catches for 58 yards.

Riley, whose tackler-shaking style produced several nice gainers and one impressive 51-yard breakaway, scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards in goalline situations. Rahkeem Mitchell included a 1-yard TD among his 10 carries for 25 yards.

“Lots to like on both sides,” said Demons’ third-year head coach Bradley Dale Peveto. “We got the effort we wanted, the execution was very good, and we showed a lot of progress in all phases.

“The offense came out ready to play and looked as good as I’ve seen us look early in the day. The defense turned the tables in the next 16-play series. The defense did a nice job in the red zone, but offense did a really good job in the tight zone, inside the 10. Then we wrapped it up with the first offense doing exactly what we look for in a two-minute drill, with the scenario having them down by two points. They moved it down and got John the opportunity to win the game, which he’s done consistently for us and did so again.”

The defense posted points on a safety from a bad shotgun snap through the back of the end zone on a coming-out drill. Picking up turnovers were linebacker Jordan Sennett on an interception of Canyon, and cornerback Deondre Smith recovering a fumble.

The Demons recorded 167 yards rushing on 49 carries and threw for 365 yards on 47 tries. Junior Brad Henderson was 5 of 15 for 93 yards while redshirt freshman Canyon completed 3 of 7 for 24 yards with the interception.

Junior flanker Phillip Harvey posted 103 receiving yards on three catches, including a 63-yarder. Redshirt freshman receiver Javon Jilbert caught three passes for 65 yards while sophomore tailback Rumeal Morris got 61 yards on three catches.

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Written by demon53

April 11, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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