New head coach Jay Thomas put the Demons through a carefully controlled 70-minute session with every play scripted, and no live tackling or aggressive blocking. NSU ran 43 plays from scrimmage along with many punts, kickoffs and placement kicks.
The two standout moments came from seniors Ryan Sorrell and Lesley Deamer. Sorrell, who has earned his first starting role at a new position, safety, made an acrobatic interception on a deep pass, batting the ball into the air and scrambling back about six yards to snag it and return it upfield. Deamer, the 6-3, 304-pound tackle, scooped up a fumbled handoff in a goal line situation and rumbled 95 yards, staging a mock collapse once he found the other end zone.
"We got a lot of situations covered. It was fast moving. Heck, I was struggling to keep up," said Thomas. "I thought the kids did good. They were attentive throughout. We had one miscue on a substitution. This gives us the chance to iron out any kinks before next week. I thought it went well."
There were goal line scenarios, field goals in end-of-game situations, onside kicks, intentional safeties, fake punts, blocked punts, quick kicks, a wide range of down-and-distance settings, and appropriately, a Hail Mary pass play to end the action.
"We tried to cover any situation that possibly could happen, and we all know, there's still something out there that is fixing to happen," Thomas said, chuckling. "We had a game-type setting tonight, great weather, a lot of folks here. I know everybody wanted to see us mix it up more, but we're saving that for game nights. We really appreciated everyone being it. It was a great night."
Four quarterbacks combined for a modest 11-21 passing for 93 yards, with Daniel Hazlewood (2-3, 12 yards) providing the only offensive touchdown on a 3-yard fade route to Tuff McClain. Zach Adkins went 5-9 for 43 yards, T.J. Fleeton was 2-2 for 26 yards, and J.D. Almond finished 2-7 for 12 yards.
Junior college transfers were the top runners (Garrett Atzenweiler, 8-39) and receivers (Bryant Mitchell, 2-29).
Senior linebacker Pat Black topped the defenders with five stops while Deamer was one of six Demons credited with three tackles.
The team will get Friday off and begins game-week preparation Saturday afternoon for next Thursday night's season opener at Missouri State.