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Monday, April 19

ISU spring football report
Reserves get extra work
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[APRIL 19, 2004]  NORMAL -- Head coach Denver Johnson extended the team period Friday to give Illinois State's second and third teams some extra reps during the 10th practice session of the spring campaign, as the 'Birds worked 24 periods in full pads at Hancock Stadium.

Before the extended period the Redbird offense took their crack at first downs inside the defense's 10-yard line. The offense had its way, scoring repeatedly on the ground and through the air. Johnson was happy with his offense's success rate but not with how the defense responded.

"I was happy with the offense, but I was disappointed with our defense down there," Johnson said. "I thought they were a little sluggish. It wasn't really a true goal line situation with it being first down on the eight, and we don't have our goal line personnel with (Steve) Statz and (Clint) Keller both being hurt. It was a goal line situation, but it was a watered-down situation."

With the ball moved 70 yards from the end zone, the Redbird offense again focused its attack against the Redbird defense during the extended team scrimmage. The matchup pitted ISU reserves against each other, and the defense rebounded as senior cornerback Evan Allen-Gessesse picked off Jordan Borowicz's pass on a fly pattern. Johnson wanted the reserves to get some extra time on the job.


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"We went a little longer on the team period with the younger guys," Johnson said. "We wanted to have a chance to get some reps for them on film. We took our No. 1 offense and our No. 1 defense out of it and wanted to get a little extra work in for those younger guys. We got several guys in there that need to get every rep that they can."

Illinois State was scheduled for a light workout Saturday morning before the second scrimmage of the spring camp on Sunday.

[Todd Kober, director of athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

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