SFA Athletics Release
With temperatures once again in the mid-90's and a heat index over 100 degrees, the Stephen F. Austin football team took to Homer Bryce Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Lumberjacks' second scrimmage of fall camp. Playing in full pads for just the third time of the preseason, SFA ran 110 total plays in an open-field scrimmage that lasted about 1.5 hours.
"I think overall when we go back and look at it, how we ran the football and how we broke tackles and finished runs", commented head coach Clint Conque on what he was most pleased with Saturday.
The 'Jacks ran several situational and special teams plays, in addition to conducting full drives from the offense's own 35-yard line and from midfield. The scrimmage got started with the team practicing 41-yard field goals in full formation and the kickers working on kickoffs, before SFA went into situational plays from the offense's own 3-yard line.
Sophomore signal caller Jake Blumrick (Pearland, Texas) was the starting quarterback on the first team offense, while senior Kijana Amous (Mansfield, Texas) was the featured running back. Junior quarterback Ryan Cottingame (Sunnyvale, Texas) took all the snaps for the second team offense as redshirt freshman running back Josh McGowen was the main rusher. Junior Arkansas transfer running back Juan Day (Little Rock, Ark.) also saw plenty of repetitions coming out of the backfield.
The defense made its presence felt early as freshman safety Gavin Roland (League City, Texas) and freshman defensive end Holland Malone (Spring, Texas) completed a blitz, getting to Cottingame in the end zone for a would-be sack and safety. However, it didn't take long for the offense to catch up following a few plays of team kickoff coverage. Blumrick found junior Texas A&M transfer wide receiver Frank Iheanacho (Houston, Texas) on a crossing route for a 65-yard catch and run, resulting in the first touchdown of the scrimmage.
Later on in the first half the defense shined once again as sophomore junior college transfer cornerback Davelle Fox(Chicago, Ill.) stripped Amous on a run to the left side and jumped on the loose ball. The defense finished off the day with a total of three takeaways as freshman safety Trenton Gordon (Rowlett, Texas) picked off a deep ball thrown by Blumrick in the second half. Just 11 plays later, sophomore safety Trey Ramos (Azle, Texas) crossed in front of freshman wideout Josh Thompson (Garland, Texas) to intercept a pass from Cottingame.
A 20-yard run by sophomore running back Jamall Shaw (Broken Arrow, Okla.) setup SFA's offense, before back-to-back 10-yard carries by Amous gave the 'Jacks their second touchdown of the afternoon. The drive was quite impressive as SFA went 50 yards in five plays, gaining the majority of its yards on Shaw's and Amous' carries.
Following the offensive drives from midfield, the 'Jacks worked on kickoffs, kickoff coverage and punting. The scrimmage came to a close after several short-yardage, goal-line plays.
"I thought we ran the football well", the head coach said following the scrimmage. "Of course the downside of that is we didn't have gap integrity like we need to have. At times we had too many people commit to the run, to stop the run. Then at times we were there to make plays but we didn't get the ball carrier on the ground. I think after Amous put the ball on the ground we got his attention and he ran with a better sense of purpose and better since of urgency. I thought Day had a run or two as well, and then Shaw just had a fabulous game. The credit by and large goes to the offensive line and their patience and some of the perimeter blocking we got at times."
Coach Conque also remarked about the amount of turnovers in the scrimmage, "Turnovers are unacceptable." He continued, "There was just some inconsistent play, and then, obviously, we missed some tackles and gave up some long runs and a long pass. We've got a lot of work to do."
SFA will have Sunday off from practice as the 'Jacks rest up for their final week of camp, which culminates Wednesday at 7 p.m. with the third scrimmage of the preseason. The team returns to practice Monday morning at 9:15 a.m., working out in shoulder pads, helmets and shorts on the grass fields behind the SFA Fieldhouse.
Fans and supporters of SFA athletics will have a chance to personally meet the football team at the 37th annual Meet the 'Jacks hosted by the Fredonia Rotary Club on Thursday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held in the Grand Ballroom of SFA's Baker Pattillo Student Center. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door the night of the event.
The 'Jacks open up the 2017 season at SMU on Saturday, Sept. 2, before beginning the home portion of their schedule the following weekend against Southern Utah (Sept. 9).
Season tickets for 2017 SFA Football are on sale through the SFA athletics ticket office and can be purchased here. Available season ticket packages include reserved chair back and reserved bench seats. SFA football season tickets start at only $63 for the general public and $38 for faculty and staff. For more information, call 936-468-5225 (JACK).
Stay tuned to SFAJacks.com, as well as SFA's social media platforms, for complete 2017 fall camp coverage.
2017 SFA FOOTBALL FALL CAMP SCHEDULE
Monday, Aug. 21 – Practice 16 (9:15 a.m.)
Location: Practice Field* | Attire: Shells
Tuesday, Aug. 22 – Practice 17 (9:15 a.m.)
Location: Homer Bryce Stadium | Attire: Shells
Wednesday, Aug. 23 (Scrimmage Three) – Practice 18 (7 p.m.)
Location: Homer Bryce Stadium | Attire: Full Pads
* – Practice fields located behind the athletics fieldhouse