SFA defense shines in first full-contact workout.
Aug. 9, 2006
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team took to the practice field in full pads Wednesday morning, its first full contact workout of fall camp. Although the SFA offense has received a good amount of attention, it was the 'Jacks' defense that stole the spotlight Wednesday.
After junior Bug Aymond intercepted a Greg Meinzer pass, the Lumberjack defensive line really stepped up to shut down the running game. Speedy sophomore Lester Simmons was held to three yards or less on four consecutive carries. The 'Jacks secondary also came up with some big plays finishing with an interception and three pass break ups.
The defensive line also put pressure on the SFA quarterbacks throughout the practice. On two separate occasions, the defense collapsed the pocket on junior quarterback Danny Southall and once on redshirt freshman Clint Bricker.
"The defense has really worked hard this summer," said SFA head coach Robert McFarland. "I'm very impressed with how they attacked the ball. It was great to see how excited they were to be on the field and their desire to continue working despite the heat."
The offensive highlights came from Southall and junior Louie Runnels as well as the Lumberjack tight ends. Southall went through a stretch where he completed six-straight passes, including a 70-yard scoring strike to sophomore Rodney Freeman, who made a nice one-handed grab. Junior Daniel Foster also made a couple of nice catches, including a nice recovery to snag a pass that was deflected by the secondary.
The tight ends played a huge role catching five passes for 86 yards. Senior Andrew Fleck had two catches for 26 yards, while classmate David Coleman had one catch for 30 yards. Senior Mike Benson and freshman Dustin Kempf each added a reception.
Runnels was the bright spot in the Lumberjack back field. He continues to run strong during camp and recorded carries of seven, 11 and eight yards Wednesday morning.
"It was great to see the kids flying around the field this morning," said McFarland on Wednesday's full contact workout. "I'm really pleased with their conditioning as they entered camp. These guys worked really hard together during the summer, which makes camp enjoyable from a coach's standpoint."
The Lumberjacks will be in position meetings for the rest of the afternoon. SFA will return to the practice field Thursday with an 8:25 a.m. workout.