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Demons have first scrimmage action in preseason camp - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Demons have first scrimmage action in preseason camp

Demons have first scrimmage action in preseason camp

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NATCHITOCHES, La. -

A 97-yard scoring drive sparked by De’Mard Llorens’ 50-yard run included a pair of third-down conversions on Daniel Hazlewood passes to highlight a 45-minute controlled scrimmage capping the first week of preseason camp for the Northwestern State football team at Turpin Stadium Saturday morning.

The Demons ran 56 plays and gained 328 yards, 150 on 22 runs and 178 yards on 17 of 34 passing aim from four quarterbacks. The Purple Swarm defense scored twice, on a 65-yard interception runback by redshirt freshman cornerback Shane McLendon and a safety on a fumbled snap.

Senior running back Garrett Atzenweiler finished the eight-play scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Hazlewood, a sophomore, finished 6 of 11 for 83 yards including third-down conversion throws of 21 yards to true freshman Bryson Bourque and 16 yards to Rondarious Morris, who had a scrimmage-best four catches for 39 yards.

Junior kicker Chris Moore nailed 7 of 8 field goal tries in a placement kicking segment ending the workout. The Demons practiced for 53 minutes before heading into the scrimmage, which did not include live tackling.

Llorens, a sophomore, was the top yardage producer among eight rushers with his only carry of the day. Nine different players caught passes, with Bourque’s 46 yards on two grabs topping the yardage list.

“There was more good than bad, that’s for sure,” said second-year coach Jay Thomas. “Our effort and intensity was good. We’ve got to get better particularly in our run schemes, our blocking. Thought the offensive line competed very well today, and our defensive line has to grow up a little bit. I know it’s hot right now, but we’ve got to fight through that and be more physical in the box defending the run.

“The skill position guys hustled well today and in the passing segments, we did some good things,” said Thomas. “We put the ball on the ground a little too much. We’ve got to clean up the center-quarterback exchange. It’s early in camp, the fifth day, and we’ll get better. Overall our offensive timing was OK and the performance was good. There were more positives than negatives, and we have plenty to work on.”

Safeties Chase Collins, a junior, and sophomore Darius Poullard led the defense with four tackles each. Senior cornerback Imoan Claiborne had three stops, including a sack, while senior corner Jason Yarbor and senior linebacker WaDerrious Sellers also made three tackles. Redshirt freshman Manuel Mukes forced and recovered a fumble.

The Demons will have a light workout Sunday, then go through the first of three two-a-day practices on Monday. Their major preseason scrimmage is next Saturday morning with the season opener Thursday, Aug. 28 at home against Missouri State.

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