Football Bears Pick Up the Pace in First Spring Scrimmage
March 31, 2012
SPRINGFIELD -- The football Bears' efforts to pick up the tempo on the offensive side of the ball were loud and clear here Saturday morning in Missouri State's first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring.
Led by a pair of touchdowns from junior running back Vernon Scott and 205 passing yards from Trevor Wooden, the offense accumulated 484 yards on 91 official plays. The entire event took less than 90 minutes, but there were some fireworks on both sides.
Quarterback Kierra Harris manufactured the day's first long drive as he drove the offense inside the 10 yard line. The defense eventually halted the progress, and the white-clad offensive unit settled for a 33-yard field goal by Austin Witmer. Harris' hit tight end Richard Darden for a 21-yard gain on the drive to set up the eventual score.
Moments later, Trevor Wooden brought the first-team offense back on the field, and immediately led the starters to paydirt. A screen pass to Vernon Scott was set up perfectly, and Scott went 75 yards untouched down the near sideline for a touchdown.
Scott would later tack on a 19-yard run toward the end of the scrimmage to account for the only two touchdowns of the session.
Working with a noticeably faster tempo, the offense struggled at times to find its timing. Nine penalties were thrown against the offensive unit, only six of which were accepted, and the two quarterbacks were sacked a combined eight times. Junior Martin Montgomery was in on six of those sack plays, while senior Chris Moses accounted for the only interception of the morning when he stopped a Harris drive with a pick just inside maroon territory.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Heaston carried 14 times for a team-high 89 yards, including an early 28-yard dash for the first big gainer of the day.
Wooden completed 78 percent of his passes and finished 14-for-18 through the air for 205 yards and the touchdown pass to Scott. Harris was an efficient 13-for-21 for 98 yards.
Cadarrius Dotson led 11 MSU receivers with seven catches for 83 yards.
The Bears are scheduled for three more practices this week before taking next weekend off. The team's next scrimmage will take place on April 14 at 10 a.m., a week before the club's annual Maroon and White scrimmage game on April 21 at 1 p.m.
RECEIVING (27-303): Cadarrius Dotson 7-83; Eric Brown 4-23; Dorian Buford 3-27; Ryan Heaston 3-18; Richard Darden 2-30; Julian Burton 2-14; Adrian Williams 2-6; Vernon Scott 1-75; Matt Swan 1-22; Eric Christophel 1-3; Elgie Hurd 1-2.
FIELD GOALS (2-3): Austin Witmer (33 good, 37 good, 42 blocked).