McNeese goes through first preseason game of fall camp

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 3:36 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES – Starting quarterback Cody Orgeron threw for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 12 of 15 passing while All-American defensive end Isaiah Chambers recorded three sacks as the Cowboys capped off their first full week of fall camp with preseason game No. 1 on Saturday in Cowboy Stadium.

Overall, the offense rolled up 461 total yards on 62 plays, averaging 7.4 yards per play, and scored five touchdowns while the defense sacked the quarterback five times and forced two turnovers.

“I was pleased with our effort overall,” said head coach Frank Wilson. “I thought we flashed on both sides of the ball. I thought in the first half, you’re talking about going 99 yards in 10 plays for an offensive unit that was very efficient in the passing game and ran the ball well.”

That 99-yard drive saw the Cowboys drive to the end zone in just 10 plays while mixing it up with six running and four passing calls. Half of the plays in the drive went for 10 yards or more and the unit saw just one third down during the series. The drive ended when Orgeron connected with CeeJay Powell on a 15-yard strike across the middle in the end zone.

Powell, who reeled in three passes for 45 yards and two TDs, scored his second touchdown late in the scrimmage during the Red Zone situation when on the first play, hauled in an over-the-shoulder pass in coverage by Orgeron for a 20-yard score.

Orgeron completed 7 of 8 passes for 90 yards and a TD in the first half of the scrimmage but the second half was a different story as the defense held the offense out of the end zone until the closing plays of the day.

“The other two units of the offense were stifled by the defense,” said Wilson. “I thought the defense was stellar now allowing the 2 and 3 offense to get into the end zone. Balls started at the 20 and stayed at the 20.”

The offense looked sharp on the scrimmage’s first drive as Orgeron connected with Josh Matthews on back-to-back passes for 29 and 14 yard pickups, but on first down from the plus 31, his reception to Mason Pierce went for 15 yards before Trent Winbush stripped the ball on the tackle and Darius Daniels recovered for the defense.

The offense drove to the plus 33 on the next drive but a sack by Isaiah Chambers and Mason Kinsey stalled the drive.

Chambers finished with three sacks on the day while the defense as a whole collected six sacks, six other tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries on the afternoon.

The No. 2 offense with freshman quarter Devon Tott was the first to get into the end zone, that coming on a 4-yard Tott run that capped a 7-play, 75-yard drive. During the drive, Tott connected with Walker Wood for gains of 25 and 23 yards that helped set up the scrimmage’s first touchdown. Wood, who has been running at the No. 2 quarterback slot during camp, saw some time away from that position last spring where he scored a couple of touchdowns in different positions.

Redshirt freshman transfer defensive lineman Joey McNeely played with the No. 1 defensive unit as Masry Mapieu sat out the scrimmage. McNeely added a sack as the line recorded all six in the scrimmage.

“It was good to see him (McNeely) give us some push on the inside,” said Wilson. “Masry didn’t play for precautionary reasons so Joey went in and was able to really show himself.”

Running back Stephon Huderson scored a touchdown on an 8-yard run in red-zone work as the No. 1 offense scored TDs on all three red zone series.

Freshman quarterback Dillon Simon led all rushers with 56 yards on seven carries as he ran with the No. 2 and 3 offenses. Simon had the long run of the day when he took off for a 35-yard gain on a 1st-and-10 at the plus 47-yard line.

Additionally, competition at field goal continues to be a battle between returning starter Jacob Abel and transfer Graycen Kennedy. Kennedy connected on a 42-yard field goal while Able hit from 31 yards out.

In the second half of the scrimmage, the defense kept the offense out of the end zone until the red zone situation portion of the scrimmage.

The Cowboys will return to the practice field Sunday morning and will go to afternoon practices on Tuesday due to school beginning on Monday.

McNeese will hold preseason scrimmage No. 2 next Saturday at noon in Cowboy Stadium. It will be open to the public as fans will be able to pick up their season tickets during that time.


Devon Tott 4-yard rush (7 plays, 75 yards)

Cody Orgeron 15-yard pass to CeeJay Powell (10 plays, 99 yards)

Graycen Kennedy 42-yard field goal

Jacob Abel 31-yard field goal

Cody Orgeron 20-yard pass to CeeJay Powell (1 play, 20 yards)

Stephon Huderson 8-yard rush (4 plays, 20 yards)

Cody Orgeron 2-yard pass to Jamal Pettigrew (1 play, 2 yards)

Total Offense: 62 plays, 461 yards, 5 TD, 7.4 yards per play, 11.6 yards per reception, 5.7 yards per rush, 20 first downs.

Passing: Cody Orgeron 12-15, 136, 3 TD; Devon Tott 4-6, 67; Dillon Simon 2-6, 9.

Totals 18-27, 209, 3 TD.

Rushing: Dillon Simon 7-56; Josh Parker 10-52; Devon Tott 9-51, TD; Cody Orgeron 4-32; Stephon Huderson 6-31, TD; Deonta McMahon 5-26; Cade Bartlett 1-2; Ivory Roberts 2-(-3).

Totals 44-252, 2 TD.

Receiving: Walker Wood 4-65; Josh Matthews 4-56; CeeJay Powell 3-45, 2TD; Mason Pierce 3-34; Jalen Johnson 1-10; Jamal Pettigrew 1-2, TD; Josh Parker 1-1; Stephon Huderson 1-(-1).

Sacks: Isaiah Chambers (3), Mason Kinsey, Welland Williams, Joey McNeely

Tackle For Loss: Edward Gilds (2), Chris Joyce, Grayson Mays, Gus Nave, Rae’Kwon Starks.

Turnovers: 2 fumble recoveries.

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