The following is by the Montana State Athletic Department.
If a college head football coach is going to feel good after a spring scrimmage, players on both sides of the ball will usually make plays. And Rob Ash felt plenty good after Montana State?s 75-play Sonny Holland Classic in Bozeman on Saturday.
?I was pretty happy with how the offense played,? a smiling Ash said as members of his football team trained Bobcat fans in hands-only CPR technique following the day?s football festivities. ?I thought they came out and executed well. And I thought the defense responded with some big plays. Like most of our spring so far, it was evenly contested.?
Two-time all-league quarterback DeNarius McGhee was one of the steadiest playmakers on Saturday, completing 15 of his 22 pass attempts for a sparkling 220 yards. He gave up an interception on an outstanding play by Deonte Flowers, but also threw a pair of touchdown passes. His quarterback counterpart may have had the most impressive day. After defensive end Odin Coe hit Bleskin?s thumb on the white team?s first offensive play, Bleskin played through the pain and completed 8-of-16 for 126 yards.
?Jake hit his hand on a helmet early in the day,? Ash said of the only quarterback behind McGhee during the spring, ?and he showed extreme toughness. He had a painful thumb all day, and I though he threw extremely well. And DeNarius had an exceptional day throwing the ball.?
After playing the first quarter in scoreless fashion to the last play, Tray Robinson scampered in from four yards out to open the scoring for the blue team. Keith Leenders? 36-yard field goal got the white team on the board in the next possession, but on the third play of the ensuing drive McGhee found Chase Young from Augusta on a slant, and the junior took the direct route to the end zone.
?They were bringing a blitz, the outside ?backer,? Young said. ?DeNarius and I both saw it. It was a hot route across the middle, I caught it and made a move. Rob (Marshall) hit me (near the goal line) but I was able to stay up and get into the end zone.?
Behind a young offensive line playing with its own share of injuries, Kirk gained 53 yards rushing for the blue team while Johnson gained 62 for the white. On the day, MSU running backs carried 31 times for 156 yards on the day. ?I was really happy with (the offensive line),? Ash said. ?They were able to stabilize the pass rush and have some success in the run game.?
Montana State closes out the spring with practices on Tuesday and Thursday in Bozeman this week, before capping it off with the Triangle Classic Scrimmage in Great Falls Saturday.
Rushing: Cody Kirk 7-53, Tray Robinson 4-12, Orenzo Davis 3-4, Everett Gilbert 1-2, DeNarius McGhee 4-12.
Passing: DeNarius McGhee 15-22-1, 220, 2 TD.
Receiving: Tray Robinson 4-45, Kruiz Siewing 3-42, Cody Kirk 3-21, Chase Young 2-73, Tiai Salanoa 1-17, David Dash 1-19, Orenzo Davis 1-4, John Ellis 1-7.
Rushing: Shawn Johnson 10-62-1, Orenzo Davis 7-25.
Passing: Jake Bleskin 8-16-1, 126, 0 TD.
Receiving: David Dash 3-79, Orenzo Davis 2- -8, Brian Flotkoetter 2-84, Matt Thibault 1-5.