Defense Shines in Bears' First Football Scrimmage of 2008 Season
Stephen Johnsston (So., Arlington, Texas) had touchdown runs of 3 and 5 yards, while Jeran Trotter (So., Wichita, Kan.) averaged nearly 9 yards per carry on six rushing attempts to highlight Missouri State’s offense during its first intrasquad scrimmage of the 2008 season Saturday at Plaster Field.
The only other offensive touchdown on the afternoon went to Miguel Warren (Jr., Raytown, Mo.) who had a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth period.
Starting quarterback Cody Kirby (So., Rogers, Ark.) completed 12-of-17 passes for 138 yards on the day, including an impressive 40-yard connection with Elliott Brown (Fr., Chicago, Ill.) early in the second quarter. Kirby was picked off once when senior Chris Farrar (St. Louis, Mo.) stopped a long drive with an impressive interception and return on the far sideline.
All four MSU quarterbacks saw action, combining for 296 yards on 27 completions to 12 different receivers, including a team-best five grabs for 70 yards by senior Jeff Sargent (St. Charles, Mo.).
Third-year head coach Terry Allen observed that the effort of his defensive unit was the most impressive factor for the Bears.
“This is as good as it gets on the defensive side of the ball,” said Allen. “They created four turnovers, and they weren’t gifts. It was a good lesson for our offense that turnovers stop you from scoring and finishing good drives.”
The interception by Farrar paired by three fumble recoveries helped the defensive unit walk tall at the end of the day.
“That’s what we’re looking for,” Allen explained. “All in all, we saw a lot of good things from a coaching standpoint today.”
Though MSU’s offense finished with 440 yards on 88 plays (5.0), 31 defensive players recorded tackles, including a team-best seven stops by sophomore Sam Block (Ozark, Mo.) to go with six apiece by Chris Miller (Sr., Blue Springs, Mo.), Tony Randolph (So., Blue Springs, Mo.), Nick Deitlich (Fr., Springfield, Mo.). Randolph, Levi Moore (So., Mountain View, Mo.) and Jimmie Strong (Fr., Texarkana, Texas) each had fumble recoveries for the defense, while the defensive unit tallied six total sacks.
The kicking game also showed promise at times as Jason Bromley (So., Cassville, Mo.) made 3-of-4 field goal attempts, including a pair of 37-yarders, while Matt Hottelman (Sr., O’Fallon, Mo.) made 2-of-4, including an impressive 45-yard. Freshmen punters Jordan Chiles (Hillsboro, Ill.) and Jacob Murphy (Hermann, Mo.) averaged 41.4 and 38.0 yards per punt, respectively.
The team will have Sunday off before returning to a two-a-day practice Monday at Plaster Field at 8:05 a.m. and 4:05 p.m.
RUSHING - Missouri State 42-144 (Jeran Trotter 6-53; Stephen Johnston 10-38; Jonathan Davis 5-31; Miguel Warren 6-17; Cody Kirby 3-14; Kingjack Washington 1-3; Waylon Richardet 1-2; Jason Thomas 2-(-1); Jake Morse 7-(-5); Tyler Horner 1-(-8)).
PASSING - Missouri State 46-27-1 (Cody Kirby 17-12-1/138; Tyler Horner 11-9-0/106; Jake Morse 15-6-0/52; Jason Thomas 2-0-0/0; Team 1-0-0/0)
RECEIVING - Jeff Sargent 5-70; Clay Harbor 3-49; Eric Shaffer 3-33; Kingjack Washington 3-32; Chris Geisz 3-14; Jared Emery 2-18; Jonathan Davis 2-16; Marco Finley 2-10; Elliott Brown 1-40; Miguel Warren 1-9; Brandon Oliver 1-(-5).
PUNTING - Jordan Chiles 5-207 (41.4); Jacob Murphy 4-152 (38.0).
FIELD GOALS Jason Bromley 3-4 (made 37, made 37, made 22, missed 27); Matt Hottelman 2-4 (missed 39, made 33, blocked 22, made 45).
DEFENSIVE LEADERS - Sam Block 7 TT; Chris Miller 6 TT, 2 FF; Tony Randolph 6 TT, 1 FR; Nick Deitlich 6 TT; Levi Moore 5 TT, 1 FR; Roger Wright 5 TT, 1 PD; Kolby Hurt 5 TT, 1 Sack; Jarryd Horn 5 TT; Cedric Alvis 4 TT; David Ingram 4 TT; Byron Hightower, Jr. 4 TT, 1 FF; Michael Daniels 4 TT, 1 Sack; Russell Brown 4 TT.