South Dakota State ended their spring practice with the offense defeating the defense 34-28 in the annual intra-squad game. Both sides of the ball had their moments, but the most important thing was that no one was seriously injured.
The defense dominated early, giving up only one play of more than 10 yards before quarterback Ryan Berry connected with wide receiver Chris Doblar on a 25-yard pass and wide receiver JaRon Harris on a 44-yard strike on consecutive plays to end the first quarter.
Coach John Stiegelmeier felt that Harris and Doblar played well and it gives the team two experienced wide receivers with different styles. Stiegelmeier added that Harris is the big play guy that can burn the defense with his speed, while Doblar is more of a possession receiver.
Berry completed the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Doblar to put the offense in the lead for the first time 9-6.
With the offense holding a 15-9 halftime lead, senior quarterback Reed Burckhardt led the team on an 11-play, 75-yard drive to start the third quarter. The Jacks offense picked up seven points on the drive ending in a 19-yard first down by Parker Douglass to take a 22-10 lead.
The defense would respond by recovering a Stefan Geissler fumble during the next drive and forcing the Jacks offense into back-to-back three and outs in the fourth quarter.
The offense scored their second and final touchdown of the game on a 10-play, 76-yard drive that began with a 31-yard Berry to Doblar connection, and was ended by a 1-yard touchdown run by senior runningback Trevor Hohn.
Hohn finished the spring game with 14 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown, while Stefan Geissler led the team on the ground with 9 carries for 45 yards.
The offense seemed to move better with quarterback Berry, who was 11 of 16 for 172 yards and one touchdown. Berry said that the offense was just coming together at the right time after a slow start.
On defense, defensive back Brock Gentile and linebacker Chris Johnson led the defense with eight tackles each, while defensive back Tyler Koch had the only interception of the game.
Coach Stiegelmeier was very pleased with how both sides of the ball played. He adds that he was pleased with the quarterback play and that the team will learn more as they look at the game film. A starter has not been named as of yet.
At this point, still early in the season, Stiegelmeier feels that the defense is a little ahead of the offense, but that the offense picked it up and improved as the game went on. He considers that a good sign since it only takes “one big play to lose a game”.
#1.883395:2449946081.jpg:springfootballQBs.jn.jpg:Coach Daren Wilkinson goes over some game strategy with the quarterbacks during a timeout in the spring football game on April 28.:#1.883394:1857679231.jpg:springfootball.jn.jpg:Trevor Hohn, junior running back from Mitchell, South Dakota, is taken down by the Jackrabbit defense in the spring football game on April 28.: