JONESBORO, Ark. (4/8/16) – The Arkansas State football team traveled to War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock to conduct their 10th spring practice Friday.
“We had a great scrimmage tonight,” said A-State head coach Blake Anderson. “We had beautiful weather, the stadium is awesome and we had a good crowd. I think there probably some fans here do don’t normally get to see us play, and hopefully now they will travel to Jonesboro in the fall.”
The Red Wolves used the trip and practice to simulate the routine of game day. A-State went through warmup with specialists taking the field and skill work before a nearly 100-play scrimmage that included special teams.
“It was good for out guys,” Anderson added. “It will be interesting to go back and watch tape, but I thought the energy level looked good on the field. It was a productive night on both sides of the ball.”
A-State flashed speed from the opening kickoff as Blaise Taylor returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. It was one of two kickoffs returned for touchdowns on the night with Cameron Echols-Luper returning a kickoff 92-yards for a score. Taylor fielded the third kickoff of the scrimmage and returned it27 yards to finish the day with over 100 yards on a kickoff returns.
The Red Wolves offense, led by offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner, dived approximately 80 snaps between four quarterbacks while finding the end zone four times. James Tabary took the first snap, while Cameron Birse, Justice Hansen and D.J. Pearson also controlled the offense.
Hansen was responsible for a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Omar Bayless and he also had a rush of 31 yards on his first series. Brise completed a 68-yard touchdown strike to Darveon Brown, while Tabary passed for a 24-yard touchdown to Brandon Brockman. Echols-Luper accounted for the final offensive touchdown of the day, a three-yard scamper on a pitch from Hansen.
On the defensive side, two turnovers were forced by the Joe Cauthen-led unit. Chris Humes intercepted a pass in the end zone, while Bo Sentimore picked up a fumble. The Red Wolves defense forced several plays for lost yardage, with pass rushers Chris Odom, Ja’Von Rolland-Jones and T.J. Harris leading the charge. Harris had back-to-back sacks on a series while Dom and Rolland-Jones helped for a three-and-out.
A-State also lined uo for field goals and Elliot Cockrum was 2-for-3, nailing kicks from 37 and 42 yards. His lone miss was a blocked field goal by Cody Brown.
The Red Wolves practice Monday and Wednesday before hosting the spring game at Centennial Bank Stadium on Friday night.