Defense prevails in scrimmage

Reserve players get field time in final tuneup

CHENEY – A solid defensive effort prevented any touchdowns on Aug. 26 for the Eagles' final scrimmage of summer camp.

The offense ran 12 drives, and the defense held them to under 300 total yards on the afternoon.

Some of that reason could be because coaches had a lot of reserve players take the field on the offensive side of the ball.

"The defense definitely won the day," Head Coach Aaron Best said.

Linebacker Derek Tommasini said the defense had been pretty fired up since the previous scrimmage.

"Last scrimmage the offense had us a bit," Tommasini said. "I think we just turned it around, got a lot of energy going."

"We just go out to dominate every day," he added.

Many of their key players were being rested in preparation for the season opener against the North Dakota State Bison, whom they will face in U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Home of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Eagles' brought four quarterbacks in to get some reps, and Nate Bell was at the top of the stat list.

Bell completed nine of 15 passes for 89 yards, and following him, Aiden Carter completed four passes for 40 yards.

Tight end Messiah Jones led the scrimmage with four catches for 37-yards.

Running back Isaiah Lews led the attack with six carries totaling 56 yards. He had a 32-yard breakout run but was caught before he could get in the end zone.

Best said they expected some mishaps because the team captains weren't suited up. He said the offense needs to be better regardless.

"We were just too sloppy on offense," Best said. "We knew some of that was going to happen without our leaders, our captains, but you can still lead without a helmet on."

"That's the mindset we will have going forward because you never know who will be suited up for these games," he added.

Brandon Thomas is a defensive end, and he tallied four tackles, including a key forced fumble.

According to Thomas he puts so much effort in because he wants to make an impact with hopes of making the travel team.

"I take pride in effort," Thomas said. "I saw a dude running down the middle and just tried to come in from the side and hit him as hard as I could to try and knock the ball out."

According to Tommasini this year's defensive squad is better equipped than the team was last year.

"We are lot more united; I think we are a lot more centered," Tommasini said. "We definitely had a bad taste in our mouth after last season.

"Coming around, we turned a lot of that anger into energy and effort, which we turned into a lot of productive practices to build on."

Author Bio

Matthew Stephens, Reporter

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Matthew graduated from West Virginia University-Parkersburg in 2011 with a journalism degree. He's an award-winning photographer and enjoys writing stories about people.


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