Aug. 25, 2011
Bearcats break fall camp
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University broke fall camp Thursday night as the third-ranked Bearcats held their final scrimmage at Bearcat Stadium.
The Bearcats gathered on the field prior to the scrimmage, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, as 2011 schedules and posters were made available.
First-year head coach Adam Dorrel and his staff was able to get their first live look with a more situational and game like feel during Thursday night's scrimmage. Players were divided into green and white squads as the white team was made of first team and possible travel roster players.
"What we wanted to do was set-up a live, game like situation where we could see how our players handled it. If we took a sack, how do we get back to a manageable third down and vice-versa for the defense to put the offense in a third and long situation," Dorrel said.
With the defense standing out through the first scrimmage, tonight the offense was able to make waves and put points on the board. Junior Brian Miller, caught the first touchdown for the white team, as he snagged a Blake Christopher pass and raced pass the secondary 40-plus yards for the score.
Again the Bearcat defense was solid for the white squad as they were able to stuff out the green team's drives each time. Cornerback Bryce Enyard recorded the game's only turnover after returning his interception for a touchdown and the game's final score.
Last week storms rolled through the Maryville area with winds over 100 miles per hour, producing hail that damaged a number of homes and cut the Bearcats' first scrimmage short. A few miscues on special teams from that shortened scrimmage were taken care of this week, outside of a blocked field goal.
Freshman punter Kyle Goodburn was able to get off some nice punts and should hold the punting duties early. Dorrel felt more comfortable with his special teams who have gotten better as the Bearcats break camp with an off day on Friday.
"I think it's important to have a break camp day. The players have the day off to take care off their classes, rest up and get healthy," Dorrel said. "It's a lot of hours and can be a stress full time with all the hours and school starting on Monday, but I'm happy with the way fall camp went and pleased to move onto Truman."
The Bearcat running game continued to look impressive featuring Jordan Simmons and James Franklin, who are both proven running backs in the MIAA. Simmons continued to return punts as well, while Franklin made a few tough runs between the tackles.
"I'm excited about our ability to run the football. We also found that we have some good young quarterbacks and am pleased with the way they have progressed," said Dorrel. "The newcomers we brought in should have people excited also. You are always worried when you bring in that many new faces how they are going to get along and if they understand the Bearcat family. I'm very proud of those guys for working hard and doing things the right way."
As the injury bug hit Bearcat camp early on most of the players had returned and even saw scrimmage action on Thursday. Running back Billy Creason and offensive lineman Rod Williams were notables still out, however, Dorrel expects a full and healthy squad to make next week's trip to Truman.
The Northwest coaching staff will evaluate tonight's scrimmage as players will return to practice Saturday in preparation of Truman. The Bearcats will be looking for a season opening win over the Bulldogs as they sit just three wins shy of No. 500 in program history.
Northwest trails the all-time series with Truman as the two rivals will meet for the 99th time in the battle for the Ol' Hickory Stick. Kick-off from Kirksville is slated for 7:30 p.m.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468