Defense Dominates Annual Purple-White Game

Marvin Gray records one of his two interceptions Saturday.

April 27, 2013

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjack defense dominated the annual Purple-White Scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Homer Bryce Stadium. Stephen F. Austin's defense picked off five passes, recorded four sacks and allowed only one touchdown in the final workout of spring camp.

"Our defense was dominant today," said head coach J.C. Harper. "This was a defensive day, and they really came ready to play. I thought they walked on the field with a little bit of an attitude and looked really impressive. They were really swarming around out there today. I'm really happy for those guys.

"Obviously, you're not going to win anything from a spring game, but we want these guys to keep this attitude and never be satisfied. Now the challenge for the defense is to maintain this attitude through the summer heading into August camp," added Harper.

The defense set the tone early forcing the Lumberjack offense into a three-n-out situation on five of the first six drives, and 10 times on the afternoon. The offense didn't record a first down until the third series.

Led behind a couple of strong runs from junior Gus Johnson the offense moved the ball deep into opponent territory, but the defense stiffened again. Juniors Collin Garrett and Darren Robinson teamed up to make a stop behind the line, and classmate Trey Vallier batted a pass away to stop the drive.

The defense was led by Garrett who finished the day with eight tackles, including three for losses and a pick, while junior Ishmiah Miles added seven stops and two tackles for losses. Classmate Marvin Gray recorded two stops and had two of the team's five interceptions, including a diving pick where he cut in front of the receiver. Junior Darren Robinson made two stops on the day but both were for losses, including a sack.

The Lumberjack quarterbacks struggled to find any rhythm finishing the day 24-of-57 (42 percent) for 278 yards and five interceptions. The lone score of the day came on an 11-yard pass from senior Brady Attaway to junior D.J. Ward. Attaway was 12-of-29 for 149 yards and one interception. Minden completed eight passes (50 percent) for 89 yards but was picked off twice.

Ward led all receivers with seven catches for 53 yards and a score. Sophomore Aaron Thomas hauled in two passes for 69 yards (34.5 ypc).

The 'Jacks carried the ball 27 times for 155 yards, led by 11 rushes for 60 yards from Johnson. Redshirt sophomore Fred Ford had five carries for 49 yards (9.6 ypr). Both Johnson and Ford had long runs on the day. Ford had a long rush of 35 yards, while Johnson pounded out gains of 14, 13 and 19 yards.

As a team the 'Jacks were penalized five times for 40 yards. The defense was penalized two times for 20 yards while the offense was flagged three times.

Junior kicker Jordan Wiggs struggled a bit with his accuracy when the 'Jacks focused on field goals, but the Grand Prairie native's accuracy improved with distance. Wiggs finished the day 3-of-5, but was a perfect 2-of-2 from 44 yards or longer, including a 47 yarder.



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