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Northwestern State impresses in scrimmage as Delaney Bowl nears
Apr 10, 2014 | 122 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two sustained scoring drives, a 40-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Hazlewood to Tuff McClain, and a tackle for a safety by linebacker Marion Chapman were highlights Saturday morning in Northwestern State's first full-contact action of spring football during a 68-play scrimmage in Turpin Stadium.

De'Mard Llorens, who led all rushers with 43 yards on 10 carries, had a three-yard touchdown run while Matt Flores scored on a 4-yard dash. Chris Moore booted a 28-yard field goal and was perfect on two extra points, while John Shelton booted the last one. NSU drove 65 yards in 10 plays for Llorens' TD and used 14 plays to move 47 yards, setting up Moore's field goal.

Last fall's Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, Zach Adkins, didn't take a snap in the scrimmage portion of the two-hour workout as the Demons gave longer looks to three young contenders to be the backup quarterback. Redshirt freshmen J.D. Almond and T.J. Fleeton, and Hazlewood, a sophomore, had modest stats but each moved the ball and pleased second-year coach Jay Thomas.

There were no turnovers and only four enforced penalties, two more declined in the scrimmage that marked the 12th of 15 spring practices by the Demons. NSU works out Tuesday and Wednesday before wrapping up spring ball with the 25th Annual Joe Delaney Bowl at 5:30 next Thursday in Turpin Stadium.

I saw some guys flying around, playing the game, and I saw some good stuff out of the quarterbacks. "We wanted to put them in the fire, and liked what they did under pressure," said Thomas. "I thought the offensive line played really well, and the defense ran to the ball really good.

"What I thought we were seeing the last three weeks, we kind of proved the point today. We've got a team that's moving forward, making progress, and giving great effort. We're ahead of pace as a team," he said. "We got more out of today than I thought we would actually be able to do because of having only eight offensive linemen, and it looked like we stayed healthy."

The 40-yard bomb caught by McClain was the only big play given up by the Demons' Purple Swarm defense. Thomas was pleased with the lack of missed tackles in NSU's first live action work this spring.

"The key to good tackling, and you need to play well fundamentally, and do a good job of coaching fundamentals, but fresh legs make all the difference. We tackled well today in our first opportunity," he said.

Chapman, a junior college standout who was redshirted last season, notched the safety when he slammed Flores down in the end zone during the "coming out" portion of the controlled scrimmage, when the offense started at the 3.

Defensive end Leroy Armstrong and defensive tackle Deon Simon had sacks.

Six receivers divided the nine passes completed in 16 tries by the three quarterbacks.
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