[Information provided by: Louisiana Tech Athletics]
The "LA Tech" team scored 21 unanswered points in the first quarter and led for most of the game as it defeated the "Bulldogs" team, 38-27, in the annual T-Day Spring Game in front of 5,700 fans at Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage, which was the last session of the program's 2013 spring practice schedule, lasted two hours in Skip Holtz's first spring game as head coach at Louisiana Tech.
Unlike the last scrimmage which was a defensively-dominated intrasquad session, the combined offenses racked up a total of 791 total yards in the 128-play scrimmage. The defense was not without its own highlight plays including a pick-six by IK Enemkpali and a 42-yard fumble return by Kendrick James.
Scotty Young was 16-for-22 for 158 yards and three touchdowns on the day while Ryan Higgins was 17-for-26 for 191 yards but had three interceptions.
"I thought Scotty did a nice job," head coach Skip Holtz said. "He did a good job of protecting the ball today. He did a nice job with the two-minute drive right before halftime with taking the team down the field and putting them in the end zone. I thought he did some really good things today. The negative to the day for me was the four turnovers by Ryan (Higgins) and those are the things that will take you out of that running in a hurry, but I thought Scotty really did a nice job of running the offense. He's playing with more confidence, especially for someone who has played as little as he has."
Brandon Davis led all rushers with nine carries for 98 yards and one touchdown with a 63-yard run while Marlon Seets ran for 47 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. It was Seets' 10-yard touchdown run that gave the Bulldogs team its only lead of the day less than two minutes into the game.
"I thought it was as good as it has looked all spring," Holtz said of the running game. "I thought Kenneth Dixon, he only carried the ball a couple times today, but I thought that (Marlon) Seets, (Rickey) Courtney, some of those guys went in there and really did a nice job of running the ball. I think Matt Moore has really done a nice job with this offensive line. They started creating some hole, but when you take Justin Ellis and IK (Enemkpali) out of the defensive front, it makes a difference."
Mike Schrang led all defenders with seven total tackles – including one for a loss of three yards – and was credited with a pass break-up. All seven of his tackles came while playing for the LA Tech team.
Jon Greenwalt was quietly impressive with five catches for 89 yards while Richie Casey caught five passes for 27 yards. Paul Turner turned heads with 62 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Hunter Lee had five catches for 45 yards.
Vernon Butler recorded six total tackles – five solo, one assisted – and had two sacks for a loss of seven yards with most of his action coming for the Bulldogs team. Only one of Butler's tackles came while playing for the LA Tech team.
The coaching staff used players on both teams throughout the game.
After Seets gave the Bulldogs their only lead of the game on a game-opening seven-yard, 75-play drive for a 10-yard score the LA Tech team bounced back, scoring on three straight possessions.
The first two scores came on Young touchdown passes, the first being a 28-yard pass to Paul Turner. After forcing the Bulldogs team to a 3-and-out, LA Tech drove downt he field and Young connected with Blake Martin on a seven-yard pass for a touchdown.
LA Tech's defense was solid on the next drive as IK Enemkpali picked off Higgins and ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown.
The two teams traded field goals to start the second quarter – a 41-yard field goal for the Bulldogs by Kyle Fischer and a 45-yard field goal for LA Tech by T.J. Kijak.
Rickey Courtney scored on a seven-yard run with 7:49 left in the second quarter, capping a seven-play, 90-yard drive that was made propelled by a 63-yard run by Brandon Davis. Davis had the call on the next scoring drive for the Bulldogs, running into the end zone from three-yards out after Greenwalt caught a Higgins pass for 44 yards but was tripped up by Kentrell Brice before he could reach the end zone.
Right before the first half ended, Turner caught his second touchdown pass of the game with a nine-yard reception from Young capping off a 10-play drive that spanned 75 yards in 1:42.
The second half was largely uneventful and had a running game clock with no team scoring in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs team was able to add 10 points in the final frame with a Kyle Fischer 49-yard field goal and a Travis Reyes 23-yard pass from Paul Turner.
The Bulldogs had one more chance to score late in the game but turned the ball over on downs after three consecutive incomplete passes by Zach Griffith.
On the last drive of the game, the LA Tech team turned the ball over as Griffith, who switched sides, threw an interception that was picked off by Ronnie Fields and returned 26 yards as time expired. Griffith was 3-for-9 with one interception for 15 yards in the game.
Saturday's T-Day Spring Game wrapped up spring practice for the program. The team won't hit the field again until reporting for fall camp on Aug. 4.