Monday, August 20, 2012
Sports News

Redbirds exhibit balance in annual Red-White Scrimmage

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[August 20, 2012]  NORMAL -- The Illinois State football team showed its balance with a strong offensive showing and stout defensive pressure Saturday, as the Redbirds completed 2012 fall training camp with their annual Red-White Scrimmage at Hancock Stadium.

The first-team offensive unit, led by senior quarterback Matt Brown, wasted little time getting on the scoreboard to start the scrimmage. Starting from his own 25-yard line, Brown led the Redbirds on a quick seven-play scoring drive that brought the fans in attendance to their feet.

An early 10-yard completion to Donovan Harden got things going, but the big play came via a 51-yard connection from Brown to preseason all-American wide receiver Tyrone Walker that put the ball all the way to the 4-yard line. On the next play, Brown found transfer wideout Phil Dudley in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown. In limited action, Brown was 6 for 7 for 78 yards with the touchdown, and Walker finished with 52 yards receiving.

The defense recovered quickly and started by shutting down the Redbird running attack. Senior Darrelynn Dunn was able to gain only nine yards on four carries, while Cameron Hunt rushed for 45 yards on eight rushes. True freshman running back Marshaun Coprich was able to have some success, as he led all rushers with 51 yards on 11 carries, mostly with the third-team unit.

Redbird defenders racked up a total of six sacks and nine tackles-for-loss, with redshirt freshman defensive end Zack Marshall’s 3.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and five tackles leading all ISU defensive players. Senior middle linebacker Mike Zimmer was right behind with four stops, and two of Rickey Simpson’s three tackles were for a loss.

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The highlight of the day for the defense came in the middle of the scrimmage, when freshman Kalium Ewing picked off a Blake Winkler pass and returned it 45 yards for the touchdown. It was the second interception return for a touchdown for a Redbird defender in the scrimmages, a welcome statistic for a team that recorded just two interceptions in 2011.

After several series of back-and-forth play, the offense rounded out the day with another impressive scoring drive. Winkler led the Redbirds on a six-play drive that spanned 70 yards and was capped off with a 47-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Milton Colbert. Colbert, who led all receivers with three grabs for 68 yards, was injured on the play and had to be carted off the field.

The Redbirds will have two weeks of preparation left before the season opener Sept. 1 at home against Dayton. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Hancock Stadium.


Red-White Scrimmage stats

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]

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