Big Plays Stand Out in MSU's Second Scrimmage
April 12, 2014
SPRINGFIELD – Big plays were the theme Saturday during Missouri State’s second intrasquad scrimmage of the spring as the Bears rolled up 671 yards in just under 120 snaps to cap a beautiful morning at Kickapoo High School.
“We got close to 120 snaps and came away without any significant injuries,” said MSU head coach Terry Allen. “We got a lot to look at (on film) and a lot to learn from.”
It didn’t take long for the offense to draw first blood as Brodie Lambert connected with LeMarcus Stewart for a 94-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the day to put points on the board for the second unit. On the next series, Kierra Harris engineered a 9-play touchdown drive that covered 75 yards and was capped with a 23-yard scoring strike to Eric Christophel.
Dalton Freeze exacted revenge for the MSU defense on the ensuing sequence when he picked up his second interception in as many weeks to kill a Lambert-led drive. The pick seemed to spark the MSU defenders as the maroon jerseys held the offense to just one first down on the next three series combined.
Just before the half, Alex Lawson marched the Bears from their own 35 into the red zone before the drive stalled at the 21. A 38-yard field goal attempt by Marcelo Bonani sailed left as the defense applied pressure to keep the third unit from scoring before the break.
The offense had 16 series in the second half, six of which led to scores. Five of the first six drives, however resulted in three-and-out defensive stops.
On the seventh drive, Phoenix Johnson capped a 25-yard rally with a 1-yard touchdown carry. Two series later it was Cedric Miller’s turn to find paydirt as he scored from 4 yards out to put the finishing touches on a short, 15-yard possession.
Harris would later manufacture a pair of 80-yard scoring drives, the first of which culminated in a 25-yard TD pass to Gannon Sinclair on the ninth play of the series. The next scoring drive took just a pair of plays to complete with a 72-yard strike to Julian Burton on the near sideline for the final touchdown of the day.
Bonani redeemed himself in the second half with a 26-yard field goal, while Shelby Harris booted a 32-yarder through to start the scoring in the final stanza. Bonani, Shelby Harris and T.J. Kroll combined to convert all four extra point attempts the team tried.
In the end, the Bears averaged 5.9 yards per play and completed six passes of 20 yards or more, including four from the arm of first-string QB Kierra Harris.
“One of the things we talk about are explosive plays,” said Allen. “Today I think we had maybe 6 or 7 bombs. If you can get big plays, that really helps you put points on the board and stack up the yards.”
Harris finished 15-for-23 through the air for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Lambert racked up 172 passing yards on 9-of-14 pass attempts. Burton topped all receivers with 6 catches for 113 yards, while Stewart added 115 yards on 4 receptions. In all, 16 different Bears accounted for the club’s 31 pass receptions.
Miller shouldered most of the offensive carries, collecting 69 yards on 16 attempts with a score, while last week’s star Calan Crowder got 4.4 yards per carry with 57 yards on 13 plays.
The Bears will practice twice this week before taking time off for the University’s spring holiday next weekend. The club will then wrap up spring drills the following week with three mid-week practices followed by the team’s annual Maroon and White game on Saturday, April 26. Due to stadium construction at MSU, the Maroon and White game will also be conducted off campus with the spring game set to kick off at 1 p.m., at Parkview High School’s JFK Stadium.
Missouri State Spring Scrimmage #2
April 12, 2014
RUSHING (69-240): Cedric Miller 16-69; Calan Crowder 13-57; Julian Posey 11-48; Murphy Ward 6-28; Ryan Heaston 4-23; Kierra Harris 5-19; Brodie Lambert 5-14; Team 1-(-5); Phoenix Johnson 5-(-6); Alex Lawson 3-(-7).
RECEIVING (31-431): Julian Burton 6-113; LeMarcus Stewart 4-115; Gannon Sinclair 3-33; Calan Crowder 3-3; Eric Christophel 2-37; Stacey Thornton 2-13; Ryan Heaston 2-13; Maddy Johnson 1-49; Zac Hoover 1-25; Adam Judnich 1-7; Adam St. Peter 1-6; Murphy Ward 1-5; Brad Troyer 1-4; Phoenix Johnson 1-4; Julian Posey 1-2; Julian Posey 1-2.
FIELD GOALS (2-4): Marcleo Bonani (38 missed, 26 good); Shelby Harris (32 good, 28 blocked).
INTERCEPTIONS: Dalton Freeze 1.
SCORING PLAYSLeMarcus Stewart 94 yd. pass from Brodie Lambert (Marcelo Bonani kick)Eric Christophel 23 yd. pass from Kierra Harris (Shelby Harris kick)Shelby Harris 32 yd. field goalPhoenix Johnson 1 yd. run (Marcelo Bonani kick)Cedric Miller 4 yd. run (T.J. Kroll kick)Marcelo Bonani 26 yd. field goalGannon Sinclair 25 yd. pass from Kierra Harris (no PAT)Julian Burton 72 yd. pass from Kierra Harris (no PAT)