The Indiana State Sycamores closed out the first week of spring football practice with a spirited one and a half hour scrimmage Saturday (April 5) at Memorial Stadium.
The team went through various situations, including goal line, down and distance and several game simulated drives.
Throughout most of the workout, sophomore Charles Dowdell saw the lion’s share of the snaps at the quarterback position and played well, completing 7-of-13 pass attempts, including four to converted tight end Josh Jones.
“Dowdell is really getting better each day,” first year head coach Trent Miles said. “He is working with his third position coach in as many years, so he is really trying to absorb a lot of information. Once he totally understands everything that we want him to do, he is going to be just fine.”
Jones, who has spent time during each of the past two seasons at linebacker, caught four passes on the day. He made a pair of spectacular 34 and 43 yard catches plus a 27-yard catch and run, all of the arm of Dowdell. The highlight of Jones’ day was a nine-yard grab just inside the goal line for the first touchdown of the day.
In the offensive backfield was Darrius Gates, who put together back-to-back 18-yard rushes during the game-like portion of the scrimmage and then finished the drive with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone on fourth and goal.
Also strong at tailback for ISU was transfer Antione Brown, who scored twice on the day with a 32-yard scamper early in the scrimmage and then a 1-yard drive to pay dirt in the goal line portion of the workout.
Redshirt freshman Tyler Williams also scored on the day with a 1-yard touchdown in the goalline drills as did Dowdell, who plowed through the pile for a 1-yard score during the same drill.
Sophomore kicker Corey Varnadore went 4-for-6 during the field goal portion of the day, including a best of 44 yards that split the uprights. Gabe Mullane got in several punts as well during the special teams portion of the day’s drills.
Defensively, the Sycamores acquitted themselves well holding the offense to limited success on most drives. Junior Elliott Thomas recorded an interception of Matt Seliger during skeleton drills while junior Quinton Scott posted a diving interception as well during the scrimmage portion of the day.
“We are seeing a better understanding of our schemes,” Miles commented after practice. “We still have along way to go, but the team is starting to learn exactly what we expect at practice. The guys still need to pick up the tempo a little bit, but I have been very pleased with the enthusiasm.”
Indiana State will practice on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and will also workout on Friday at 6 p.m. before holding its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, April 12. That scrimmage will begin at 10 a.m. (EST).