“Initially we had some of that planned, but last week was so hot that it took a lot out of our big guys’ legs,” Northwestern State head coach Jay Thomas said. “As we finished the week, we were stumbling a bit, so we didn’t feel comfortable about putting them in that situation. We’ve had plenty of contact everyday, so we felt good just getting repetitions today and making it as competitive as we could.”
Despite scaling back on contact, the scrimmage had shades of intensity.
Garrett Atzenweiler provided it with a couple of powerful runs up the middle and breaking a few tackles along the way. The Effingham, Kan. native only ran for 19 yards on six carries, but those yards were hard earned.
“I think we did really well for a second scrimmage,” Atzenweiler said. “I think that we have a lot more work to do on getting organized as an offense, but for a second scrimmage we did well minus the penalties.”
The scrimmage was also a significant one for Austin Douglas, who completed his transfer from Ole Miss Aug. 16 after a whirlwind week.
Douglas had his first Demons practice that same day and is expected to compete for the starting left guard position on NSU’s veteran offensive line.
“The schemes are the same as Ole Miss’,” Douglas said. “There’s a couple of different calls, but other than that I have the whole offense down.”
Thomas was also impressed at Douglas’ showing in the scrimmage.
“I think he’s going to fit in great here,” Thomas said. “He’s a good guy and he’s already adapted. Our offensive linemen have already taken him in and looked after him. It’s good to have him here and I think he has a bright future for us.”
Another race that continues to garner attention is the one for the starting quarterback position.
“It’s been very competitive,” Thomas said. “All the guys have worked extremely hard. Every one of them brings something to the table. It’s going to be a tough decision down the road, but that decision is nearing, so we’ll probably know who it will be soon.”
Junior Zach Adkins threw for the lone touchdown of the scrimmage---a three-yarder to Bryant Mitchell---but Daniel Hazlewood and J.D. Almond continue to be not far behind also putting up solid performances.
“It’s been going well, competition is a good thing, especially for the team and the quarterback position,” Almond said. “I’m picking up on the offense and learning that. It’s been fun competing with everybody.”
The Demons are working on trimming their roster down to the 67 players who will travel with the team this season. They will also have a mock game Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. to prepare for the Aug. 29 tilt against Missouri State in Springfield, Mo.