Defense dominant early, offense shines late
JACKSON, MS. – The Jackson State University football team played its annual Spring Blue and White Scrimmage at Newell Field Saturday afternoon. The spring game was played in four 15 minute quarters.
The scrimmage was dominated by the defensive squad, which wore the blue uniforms, over the first two periods of play. The defense scored nine points in the first quarter by stopping all three drives of the offense. Neal Pogue, LeBrandon Glover and Madricus Polk all finished the quarter with two tackles each. Tray Rutland led the White (offensive) unit. He completed three of six pass attempts for 37 yards and he rushed for another 21 yards. Keenan Tillman caught a pass for 21 yards and Demario Pippen caught a pass for 25 yards. Darius Bolela rushed for 20 yards on two attempts. At the end of the quarter the Blue team held a 9-0 advantage.
In the second quarter the defense continued to play well. The Blue squad pressured, sacked and intercepted the number two signal caller, Dedric McDonald, early in the period. Pogue recorded two tackles and got the sack and David Grady picked off an errant McDonald Pass. The defense put up eight points in the quarter (three points for a drive stop and five for the interception). In the running game Bolela and Luther Edwards helped the offense move the ball down the field. Bolela recorded 33-yards and Edwards tacked on 16 on four rushes. In the latter part of the quarter McDonald shrugged off the earlier miscues and hooked up with Marcellos Wilder for an 11 yard touchdown pass. Jabril Smith made the extra point kick to cut the Blue team’s lead to 17-7. McDonald passed for 90 yards and a TD for the quarter.
After a brief halftime intermission McDonald continued to play well. He rushed for 24 yards and passed for another 79 yards. He connected with Wilder for a 70-yard TD strike. However the defense continued to pad its lead by putting up six more points off of stops. Ernest Brocks and Raymond Rayford made their presence known by recording three tackles each.
In the final period the offense took control via the run. Rutland was reinserted and he had a long run of 19 yards which set up a seven yard TD run by Jewrad Smith. Later he connected with Wilder for a 56 yard strike which set up a three yard TD run by Bolela. Smith was 4-4 in extra point attempts, but missed a 49 yard field goal attempt , his only attempt of the scrimmage
Both quarterbacks played well in spots. Rutland completed 7-14 pass attempts for 157 yards. McDonald completed 8-20 for 169 yards, two TDs, and an interception. Bolela led all rushers with 59 yards and a TD. Wilder caught five passes for 182 yards and two TDs. Michael Evans led the Blue unit with seven tackles and Neal Pogue finished with six tackles, a sack and a QB hurry.
In earlier action the JSU Legends played a very entertaining game, with the White team beating the Red team 22-12.