Young Players Emerge in Missouri State Football Spring Game
SPRINGFIELD -- If there were any questions about Missouri State's crop of young football players, they were answered Saturday in the Bears' annual Maroon and White Scrimmage at Plaster Field.
The low-scoring scrimmage was threatened by mid-day rain, but after starting just a few minutes later than scheduled, proved to be an exciting affair. Junior running back Chris Douglas carried 17 times for a game-high 63 yards to set the pace in the backfield. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Wooden led the second offensive unit but also pulled in four receptions for 84 yards as a wideout.
On the defensive side, sophomores Anthony Lee and Ryan Callender shared game-high honors with six stops apiece. Lee also came up with a big interception to kill a drive by the offense at the two-yard line. Colby Broadnax, Byron Hightower and Rodney Kelly also contributed five tackles.
A 50-yard pass from Cody Kirby to Wooden in the first half was the longest play of the day as Wooden fought through a near deflection to come down with a juggling catch on the near sideline. Wooden's athleticism was evident throughout the contest as he also carried six times for 41 yards with a team-long 19 yard carry. For the afternoon, the High Springs, Fla., native accumulated 125 all-purpose yards and was 3-for-6 for 17 yards at quarterback.
Kirby finished 13-for-18 for 183 yards and a touchdown -- a six-yard completion to Stephen Johnston to end the first half -- as the only touchdown of the game.
The offense also scored on a 27-yard field goal by Jordan Chiles in the first quarter.
Also helping the receiving corps were Jermaine Saffold with four catches for 48 yards, Adrian Williams (3-37), and Johnston (3-20).
The defensive squad scored a safety late in the second quarter and finished with a pair of sacks, five pass break-ups, seven tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and Lee's interception.
''Overall, we had a good spring, and this was a good way to end it. We saw some good things out there today,'' said MSU head coach Terry Allen. ''This game is really for our fans and the parents, and I am glad the weather held out long enough for them to have fun.''
The 2010 season will feature five home games in all as the Bears return 68 squad members, 44 lettermen and 17 starters in hopes of improving on the team's 6-5 campaign and fifth-place showing in the Missouri Valley Football Conference a year ago.
Season ticket information for Missouri State football is currently available by calling (417) 836-7678.