McNeese Defense Brings Attitude to First Scrimmage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

McNeese Defense Brings Attitude to First Scrimmage

By McNeese SID Matthew Bonnette

LAKE CHARLES – McNeese's first football scrimmage of the fall favored the strong play of the Cowboys' defensive unit which didn't allow the ball to get into the endzone until the final play of the evening pitting the first units together.


The scripted 100-play scrimmage saw the defense swarming the field and coming up with three interceptions, six-and-a-half sacks and five pass break ups.


"I thought defensively we were really good," said head coach Matt Viator.  "Offensively we moved it  at times but had so many negative plays."


Those negative plays consisted of fumbled snaps and missed targets on passing plays, although most of those came from the fourth and fifth string quarterbacks.


"There were a variety of things, which on offense, you have to be a lot more consistent than that to sustain.  Even on the first drive we had two negative plays but other than that, we were moving it down the field.  But a lot of that is because of the defense with their pressure and doing really good things."


Quarterback Cody Stroud led the first offense to open the scrimmage with two incompletions in his first three passes but settled to complete four straight tosses to drive the team down to the 28 yard line where the drive stalled.


Transfer kicker Ryan Rome booted through a 45-yard field goal to give the offense the score.


In the 2 vs. 2 sequence, the defense came through with back-to-back sacks by linebacker Brodie Burkhalter and defensive lineman Cameron Smith on quarterback Tyler Bolfing as the 12-play sequence ended with no score.


The No. 1 offense made strides against the No. 1 defense on the next go around as the offense drove down to the 5-yard line after a 29-yard pass from Stroud to Ernest Celestie followed by a 15-yard reception by Marcus Wiltz set the ball up with a first down at the 5.  A run by Wiltz on the first play got no yards then a pass to Celestie in the endzone was caught but Celestie's foot was out of bounds.  Another incomplete pass set up a 23 yard field goal by Rome. 


Quarterback Will Briscoe took the snap on the final play of the sequence and his pass would be intercepted by Guy Morgan.


In the 2 vs. 2 slate, fullback Dylan Long made some noise by rushing the ball four times for 20 yards, including a punishing run of two yards on a third-and-1 to get a first down and keep the drive going.


The drive eventually stalled at the 17 yard line and Jean Breaux's 35 yard field goal sailed wide right.


The next series ended with Smith wrapping up Bolfing for his second sack of the scrimmage.


The offense reached the endzone on the final play of the No. 1 sequence when Wiltz ran it in from 1 yard out.  That was set up by a nice break away run by Kelvin Bennett for 16 yards that appeared to be a score but he stepped out of bounds a the 3 yard line before scoring.


Stroud led the quarterbacks with 108 yards passes on 10 of 18 completions.  Long led all rushers with 26 yards on seven carries and freshman Kent Shelby led the receiving corps with four catches for 42 yards.


Defensively, senior safety Terence Cahee led all tackles with eight stops to go along with a sack and a tackle for a loss.


McNeese will take its first day off from practice since the start of camp on Sunday but will take part in the annual media/fan day from 5-6 p.m. in Cowboy Stadium.


The team will return to the practice field on Monday afternoon at 4:30 then will hold its annual Cowboy Night scrimmage at 6:30 on Wednesday.


The Cowboys open the season on Aug. 31 at South Florida.



Saturday, Aug. 17 Football Scrimmage Stats



Cody Stroud, 10-18, 108; Tyler Bolfing 6-11, 57; Grant Ashcraft 2-5, 40; Will Briscoe 4-11, 19, Int; Joe Lissard 2-7, 31, 2 Int.  Totals 24-52, 255, 3 Int.


Rushing:  Dylan Long 7-26; Kelvin Bennett 5-20; Marcus Wiltz 7-19, td; Tyler Collins 5-19; Devin Eaglin 4-18; Reynaldo Young 1-9; Javaris Murray 2-7; Jontrey Tillman 1-(-2); Wes Briscoe 1-(-3); Cody Stroud 1-(-6); Tyler Bolfing 3-(-12).  Totals 37-95, td.


Receiving:  Kent Shelby 4-42; David Bush 3-21; Khalil Thomas 2-38; Marcus Wiltz 2-26; Wes Briscoe 2-19; Zach Hetrick 2-13; Jereon McGilvery 2-10; William Ryckman 1-16; Bodhi Bell 1-17; Ernest Celestie 1-29; Diontae Spencer 1-8; Kendale Thomas 1-8; Damon Gladney 1-7; Dylan Long 1-1


Defense:  Terence Cahee - 8 tackles, TFL, sack; Carlos Carroll – 5 tackles; Ryan Bronson – 4 tackles, PBU; Livingston Hamilton – 4 tackles, PBU, interception; Brent Spikes – 4 tackles; Antonio McGhee – 4 tackles; Gabe Hamner – 3 tackles; Wallace Scott – 3 tackles, PBU; Kevin Dorn – 3 tackles; Brodie Burkhalter – 3 tackles, sack; Sean Brown – 3 tackles, TFL, PBU, sack; Guy Morgan – 2 tackles, interception; Michael Ware – 2 tackles, 0.5 sack; Aaron Sam – 2 tackles; Bo Brown – 2 tackles; Everett Ellefsen – 2 tackles, Kyle Harden – 2 tackles; sack; Damion Morgan – 2 tackles; Anthony Yruegas – 2 tackles; Jake Grode – 2 tackles; Jay Washington – 1 tackle, PBU; Krishon Seastrunk – 1 tackle, fumble recovery; Correy Middleton – 1 tackle; Steele Merritt – 1 tackle; Jammerio Gross – 1 tackle; Kurt Viges – 1 tackle; Marcus Gray – 1 tackle; Shea Nutt – 1 tackle; Erik Jones – 1 tackle; interception; Demon Baker – 1 tackle, interception; Cameron Smith – 3 sacks, breakup; Callen Smith – interception

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