Red Wolves offense wins close Spring Game - The Herald: Sports

Red Wolves offense wins close Spring Game

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Posted: Monday, April 20, 2015 3:23 pm

The A-State football team held its annual spring football game Friday in which the offense defeated the defense by a final score of 55-47.

The team used a special scoring system that gave points to each unit during the game for positive plays by each unit. A-State also offered an opportunity to the public for the rights to coach the game through an auction. The winner of the “Coach Experience” auction was Angie Gallaher who chose to coach the offense and also decided she wanted to coach against Meredith Poland, who coached the defense on the opposing sideline. Both coaches, as part of the experience, communicated with the A-State coaching staff on headset throughout the entire game while also giving each of their respective teams their pregame and halftime speeches.

Overall, good things happened on both sides of the ball. The Red Wolves offense accumulated 630 yards total offense, which consisted of 406 yards passing and another 224 rushing yards on the ground. The offense totaled eight touchdowns through the entire game.

However, the defense turned in a good performance as well, forcing multiple 3-and-outs and two turnovers and scoring a defensive touchdown. The defense also finished with seven sacks and 14 tackles for loss on the night.

“We had good energy, a great crowd, and I think the fans had a good time before, during and after the game,” said A-State head coach Blake Anderson. “I hope that both our coaches had a good time, and I think they did. Really, I thought it was a good night that was great for the community.”

The defense started off the scoring for the night forcing back-to-back 3-and-outs. Then, senior cornerback Rocky Hayes intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown. However, at halftime the defense clung to just a 44-42 advantage.

“We were able to accomplish what we wanted tonight, and I think we came out of it fairly healthy,” Anderson said. “I thought early the defense was going to run away with it.  The offense gave up two turnovers and there was a 21-point swing with the way the scoring system was set up, and that put the offense way behind in terms of how the game was going.  It was good to see the offense battle back, get a couple of scores and make it a close game at halftime.  There were some big plays on both sides of the ball, though, and we saw some good things from both units.”

The spring game also featured a battle for the backup quarterback position behind starter, senior Fredi Knighten. Both competitors performed well throughout the night. Sophomore Cameron Birse hit 11-of-21 pass attempts for 199 yards and a touchdown, which was a 65-yard strike to senior wide receiver Tres Houston that was the longest play of the day. Redshirt freshman James Tabary, the other competitor for the job, went 15-of-21 passing for 183 yards while also tossing two touchdowns to sophomore receiver Dijon Paschal and sophomore running back Johnston White.

The Red Wolves will conclude spring drills on April 20 with one final practice.

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