Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State football team held its first scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Aggies ran 107 total plays in the scrimmage with both sides of the ball showing bright spots.
"I was very pleased with our first scrimmage of the spring," head coach DeWayne Walker said. "We can see improvement on both sides of the ball and in order to have a successful football team this coming fall we need to be a complete team on offense, defense and special teams."
The defense started the scrimmage with two quick turnovers both were interceptions, one by linebacker Frank Padilla and the other by defensive back Ben Bradley. The Aggie running game then jumped in the mix as Marquese Dunn scored on a 3-yard run from scrimmage, while Seth Smith took one into the end zone from 37 yards out on the offenses’ next possession.
"I thought the first part of the scrimmage the defense really took it to the offense," Walker said. "Then in the middle of the scrimmage the offense settled down and started to move the ball and put together some very good scoring drives. Then towards the end both sides battled back and forth and that is what we want to see happen."
Defensive back Justin Smith recorded the third takeaway for the defense with a fumble recovery before the offense rattled off five straight touchdowns. Marcus Allen caught a 10-yard pass from Matt Christian, followed by an 11-yard touchdown run by Dunn, his second of the scrimmage. Quarterback Jeff Fleming then hooked up with Darrius Preston for a 15-yard touchdown catch, while tight end Kyle Hipp caught a 15-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tanner Rust. Fullback Ronald Opetaia pounded into the end zone from 2 yards out to score the Aggies’ fifth straight touchdown.
The defense then ended the scrimmage with a fumble recovery by Alphonso Powell and a goal line stand at the 1-yardline.
"The defense forced some turnovers in the early part of the scrimmage and the offense made plays in the passing game and both are areas we have to improve on if we want to have success in the fall," Walker said.
The Aggies will be back on the field Monday, Wednesday and Friday this next week for practice beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Aggie Memorial Stadium. NM Sate will then host its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday, April 24 at 11:00 a.m.