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Utah State football: Aggies have productive, soggy scrimmage

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, April 18 2011 10:10 p.m. MDT

LOGAN — Dodging on again, off again rain downpours, Utah State football had a productive controlled scrimmage on Monday afternoon at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium to kick off its final week of spring camp.

USU went through just under 70 plays Monday afternoon, working mostly on short-yardage and redzone situations, as well as mixing in different special-teams situations.

"We wanted to get very close to 60 reps and spend a lot of time in the red zone. That is what we got out of the scrimmage, so mission accomplished as far as what we put together as a staff. Overall, it was a very positive day," said coach Gary Andersen.

Offensive highlights including two short-yardage touchdowns from sophomore running back Robert Marshall, part of his eight carries for 38 yards, while junior running back Joey DeMartino added 37 yards on three rushes and junior running back Kerwynn Williams logged 34 yards on eight carries. The USU offense had two TD passes dropped, as well as several other missed chances in the passing game. Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy had just three completions on 10 attempts for 33 yards, while redshirt freshman Alex Hart had two completions for 17 yards.

Defensive standouts included sophomore linebacker Jake Doughty logging seven tackles, while five different players had three stops each. Senior linebacker Reuben Willis and junior defensive lineman Al Lapuaho each logged a sack, while junior safety Dontel Watkins tallied two pass break-ups, and junior safety McKade Brady and sophomore cornerback Nevin Lawson posted one pass break-up apiece. Junior cornerback Quinton Byrd had a fumble recovery, thwarting one of the offense's drives.

Redshirt freshman Joe Hill had a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown to highlight the special teams' efforts, while redshirt freshman Jaron Bentrude was 6-for-6 on field goals, hitting three 39-yarders. Sophomore Nick Diaz was 4-of-7 on field goals, booting a 44-yarder.

"The kicking game was much improved on a day where it wasn't great conditions to be able to snap and kick the football," Andersen said. "I thought that was drastically improved from a week ago. We got a start on special teams with the return teams for punt and kick. We haven't had a lot of practice on that so it should be a great teaching time for Joe Hill and Cam Webb, who did a nice job returning punts. They have both looked good throughout the spring and were able to make some nice moves and bust a couple today."

Monday's scrimmage was the last tune-up before Saturday's Spring Game, and the Aggies will practice on Wednesday and Friday in final preparation for Saturday.

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