Young Bears Emerge in First Spring Scrimmage
April 5, 2014
SPRINGFIELD -- The Missouri State football Bears wrapped up their first week in full pads with the squad's first intrasquad scrimmage of the spring Saturday. The morning session at Kickapoo High school included more than 90 plays, with redshirt freshman Calan Crowder leading all players with 71 rushing yards and an impressive touchdown run on 13 carries.
"Calan Crowder’s going to be a good football player," said ninth-year head coach Terry Allen. "He’s had a good week of practice. We knew from redshirting him (last) year that we thought he had a chance (to be special), and he demonstrated it to everybody today."
The Bartlesville, Okla., native started the day's scoring with a 4-yard touchdown carry to cap a 7-play scoring drive early. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry for the day and had 5 carries of 7 yards or more.
Later in the second half, LeMarcus Stewart caught the game's only touchdown pass when he reeled in a 14-yard strike from second stringer Brodie Lambert. Lambert finished with a team-best 7 completions for 61 yards.
Starting quarterback Kierra Harris tacked a 1-yard touchdown run onto his stats to wrap a 50-yard scoring drive with the first-team offense. The 9-play scoring effort was conducted entirely on the ground with Crowder accounting for 45 yards on the drive as part of his impressive performance.
Julian Posey scored the day's final touchdown as he punched in a 5-yard carry to help him match Crowder's 5.5 yards per carry on the day. Posey finished with 33 yards on 6 handoffs, just behind Heaston who ran 35 yards on 4 attempts.
Defensively, Eric Greely, Jr., a redshirt freshman cornerback from Liberty, Mo., snagged a pair of interceptions -- one thrown by Lambert and one by Harris -- to account for half the team's picks. Walk-on Brandon Wright and sophomore Dalton Freeze provided the other two.
"We got some picks defensively, which is good for some of those young corners," Allen explained. "As you know, we have to replace a couple of guys there (seniors Howard Scarborough and Sybhrian Berry), so it was nice to see Eric (Greely) come up with a couple of plays."
In all, the offense provided 397 total yards on 91 official snaps to finish with 4.4 yards per play, including 4.7 yards per rush by 10 different ball carriers. The offense was penalized just once, while the defense committed two infractions.
Returning starter Julian Burton had a team-high 4 pass receptions for 15 yards, while Kyren Watts posted 72 yards on 3 catches, including a 46-yarder from Kierra Harris early on. Nine different Bears caught passes with all three quarterbacks completing at least 5 attempts.
The Bears will return to the practice field this week for three weekday sessions before returning to Kickapoo on April 12 for another 10 a.m. instrasquad scrimmage. MSU's annual Maroon and White spring game will take place on April 26 at Parkview High School.
Allen has 36 lettermen and around 70 returning squad members in camp from last year’s Bears squad that won four of its last five league games to tie for second in the nationally-prominent Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Missouri State Spring Scrimmage #1
April 5, 2014
RUSHING (53-248): Calan Crowder 13-71; Ryan Heaston 4-35; Julian Posey 6-33; Josh Mattes 5-29; Cedric Miller 7-25; Kierra Harris 4-17; Brodie Lambert 4-15; Brad Troyer 4-9; Phoenix Johnson 4-7; Murphy Ward 2-7.
SCORING PLAYSCalan Crowder 4 yd. run (Marcelo Bonani kick)Cedric Miller 2 yd. run (Shelby Harris kick)LeMarcus Stewart 14 yd. pass from Brodie Lambert (Bonani kick)Kierra Harris 1 yd. run (Shelby Harris kick)Julian Posey 5 yd. run (Bonani kick)