SFA Defense Takes Center Stage
Aug. 15, 2009
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack offense found points to be at a minimum during the teams first preseason scrimmage Saturday night at Homer Bryce Stadium. Although the offense scored 36 points, only seven points and just a handful of first downs came against the first-team defense.
"Our defense has been playing like this going all the way back to the spring," said SFA head coach J.C. Harper. "They have entered this year with a chip on their shoulder. They want to be better, and I'm pleased with the effort and consistency on the defensive side of the ball."
Along with the lack of points on the scoreboard, the defense also recorded several big plays forcing five interceptions and one fumble. The stage was set from the first three offensive series that saw the first-team defense record a three-n-out, and pick off two passes against junior quarterback Jeremy Moses and the first-team offense.
The defense was led by preseason All-Americans Tim Knicky and Jabara Williams, who appear to be living up to the preseason hype. Knicky was credited with three sacks on the night, while Williams, the league's top returning tackler, posted seven tackles and two pass breakups.
The Lumberjacks secondary also looked strong Saturday night, with a majority of the big plays coming from the incoming freshman class. Brothers Jordan and Josh Aubrey, along with classmate Josh Hughey seemed to be around the ball all night batting passes to the ground, and not allowing receivers to roam free in the secondary. Five different players picked off a pass for the 'Jacks during the scrimmage.
Moses finished the game 15-of-31 for 121 yards, but also threw two interceptions, both of which came during the first three drives of the scrimmage. Sophomore Dalton Williams finished the night 19-of-35 for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Williams also surrendered one interception. True freshman Brady Attaway was 22-of-29 for 195 yards and a score, but also threw two picks. Senior receiver Duane Brooks also saw a few plays behind center and was impressive. Brooks finished the night 2-of-3 for 79 yards, including a 70-yard TD strike to senior Aaron Rhea. He also carried the ball three times for 39 yards.
The other two big scoring plays came from Williams who connected with sophomore Garret Williams on a 47-yard scoring strike, and a 40-yard TD run from senior Vincent Pervis. The touchdown run by Pervis was the lone TD surrendered by the 'Jacks' first-team defense.
"This has been a great start to preseason camp," said Harper. "This has been a tough first week with all the guys in summer school along with lifting weights and practice. I'm pleased with how they have handled the situation."
The Lumberjacks will take Sunday off, before returning to the practice field Monday morning. SFA has its second scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m.