Defensive quick hitter, sack opens scrimmage

Not all the heat was coming from the sun Saturday.

On the first play the No. 1 defense saw during McNeese State’s second scrimmage, Mason Kinsey raced around end and sacked quarterback Cade Bartlett.

The ball flew out and landed some 10 yards behind the point of impact. While it didn’t end with a defensive recovery or turnover, it was still the hit of the day.

“That felt good,” Kinsey said. “It’s great to get a strip and a sack.”

Kinsey’s hit was the first of serval big plays in the near 100-degree heat.

“Guys flew around and got a lot out of it,” said McNeese head coach Frank Wilson. “We got a lot of quality reps in. Thought the day went well.”

Quarterback Cody Orgeron had a sold afternoon, finishing 6 of 12 for 83 yards, including a 15-yard scoring pass to CeeJay Powell. It was the third time the two have connected on scores in the two scrimmages.

“Cody did a nice job running our offense,” Wilson said. “There were a lot of good things for the situations we put the players and coaches in.”

Stephon Huderson led the running game with 83 yards on 12 carries, including touchdown runs of 5 and 11 yards. Deonta McMahon had 51 yards on six carries and a 2-yard run.

“Got some good touches today,” said Huderson, a graduate transfer from Tulane. “There were some big holes, multiple holes to get through out there.”

Mason Pierce made three catches for 51 yards while Markel Cotton had two for 30, including a 25-yard TD grab from Bartlett.

“This offense has a lot of guys who can make plays,” Huderson said. “I think we can be explosive.”

C.J. Semien had a pair of sacks for the Blue team with Edward Gilds leading everybody with seven tackles.

One area of concern was the kicking game. McNeese struggled punting and with deep kickoffs.

“I would like to see better punting as we move forward,” Wilson said. “We didn’t punt the ball very well. We need to be more consistent in all of our kicking game.”

Transfer Graycen Kennedy looked good again as he booted a 28-yard field goal in overtime for the Blue team. Wilson put the Cowboys in an extra period to add some pressure to the day.

Incumbent starting kicker Jacob Abel missed his chance to tie when his kick fell short. It was not Abel’s fault as a bad snap forced a poor hold, messing up the play.

Wilson blamed Abel’s miss on the entire group. Still, it seems to be one of the better battles in camp.

Wilson said McNeese will use next week to simulate the opener against West Florida on Sept. 4. Next Saturday they will not be in full pads as they prep for the defending Division II national champion.

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