Offense Edges Defense in 2014 Spring Game
April 12, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin capped its 2014 spring workout schedule with a thrilling Spring Game under the lights at Homer Bryce Stadium. White (offense) defeated purple (defense) 87-65, using a modified scoring system by head coach Clint Conque.
"I thought it was a great effort, especially at the end with a strong finish," Conque said following the game. "We had some good things happen on both sides of the ball, which you hope to see in a spring game, and we had some miscues, which you expect. Gus Johnson was dominant, and our defense made some big plays, and most of all no one got hurt. I was pleased with the organization and the execution, and it shows that there has been some growth during this three-week period."
Conque hoped to run between 70 and 80 plays on the night, but was pleasantly surprised to see the offense log 94 plays on the night, racking up 542 yards. The Lumberjacks completed 44-of-66 passes for 438 yards while the SFA rushing attack racked up 104 yards on 32 carries.
Sophomore wide receiver Robert Sylvester paced the SFA receiving corps, hauling in seven passes for 119 yards. Fellow sophomore Justice Liggins had five catches for 61 yards on the night while senior DJ Ward had four catches for 79 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown reception from Conque.
Johnson paced the rushing attack, racking up 60 yards on five carries, playing just the first two series of the game, while breaking a 34-yard touchdown run on the first offensive possession. Junior transfer Cameron Washington had 32 yards on eight carries with sophomore Joshawa West tallying 22 yards on five attempts.
Defensively, senior transfer Maurice Poullard was explosive on defense, registering eight tackles (seven unassisted) with a pair of pass breakups. Senior Rodney Young had seven tackles for SFA (four solo) while sophomore Jabralon Allen and junior Lance Skyler each had six tackles on the night.
Skyler led the way with three tackles for loss for the SFA defensive unit with sophomore Kedrick Harrison adding 2.5, including 1.5 sacks. Redshirt freshman Juvon Gales was credited with a sack as well with senior Ismiah Miles assisting Harrison, finishing with five tackles.
The touchdown rush by Johnson was the only score of the first quarter as SFA played four 12-minute running-clock periods. Early in the second, junior Aaron Thomas pulled in a three-yard pass from Conque for the game's second touchdown.
Senior kicker Jordan Wiggs notched a 21-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, and then it was the defense's turn to shine as sophomore Roman Mitchell intercepted a pass from Conque and returned it 47-yards for the touchdown to close out the half.
Conque connected with Washington for an 18-yard touchdown down the near sideline in the third quarter before tossing his 51-yarder to Ward in the fourth and a six-yard strike to Antonio Cannon on the game's final play. Redshirt freshman Brett Rattan also added a 39-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
With the spring season now concluded, SFA will turn its attention to the fall and prepare for the 2014 season. Following the conclusion of the semester, the `Jacks will have a little time off before returning to campus in June, preparing for the 2014 season opener at Kansas State on August 30th.