Spring football showcases Jacks’ exciting defense at Coughlin-Alumni

Travis Kriens

Travis Kriens

Defense was the story at the annual spring game on April 24th at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium as the white shirts dominated the offense, 65-16.

With a modified scoring system and two 45-minute halves and a running clock, the defense earned the majority of their points with 13 tackles for loss, 14 three-and-outs and three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown by Eric Koehlmoos, a redshirt freshman safety.

Things could not have started better for the offense as the first play of the scrimmage saw sophomore quarterback Thomas O’Brien connect with sophomore receiver Aaron Rollin on a 42-yard completion.

From there, the defense put up the next 39 points before O’Brien found converted defensive back Julian Wagner for a 22-yard touchdown.

The final points of the afternoon for the Jackrabbit offense also came through the air as former running back Tyrel Kool (now playing receiver) hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass, despite being interfered with on the play.

While the defense dominated and the offense looked sluggish, head coach John Stiegelmeier does not think people should put too much stock into the scrimmage.

“It’s our 15th and final practice of the spring,” Stiegelmeier said. “I think we all need to remember that this was a practice. It wasn’t a game where one team wins or one team loses, but I am excited about the way that the defense played.”

Considering the offense lost more than half of its starting linemen and its top three receivers, and the defense has its top six defensive backs and seven starters returning, it should not be much of a surprise that things turned out the way they did.

One of the two returning OL’s, Missouri Valley’s first team center Ryan McKnight thought that despite the spring game performance, everything should be fine.

“Coming out, I think we will be as tough as ever,” McKnight said. “Our defense is tough and our offense kind of faltered at times, but also showed a lot of promise at times.”

A couple of sophomores that really stuck out to Stiegelmeier were linebacker Kyle VanVoorst, who tallied six tackles, and DB Skyler Luxa who led the team with seven tackles.

Sophomore defensive lineman Andy Mink and junior transfer LB Zach Bowers each had two sacks apiece.

The 2010 SDSU football season kicks off Sept. 11 when the Jacks travel to take on Delaware.