Hoosiers Treat Fans to Entertaining First Scrimmage

    Go Hoosiers! Ben Chappell completed 15-of-23 passes for 231 yards and one score.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Ben Chappell completed 15-of-23 passes for 231 yards and one score.
    Go Hoosiers!

    April 4, 2009

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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - On a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in Memorial Stadium, the Indiana football team held its first scrimmage of the spring. The team ran approximately 100 plays with some special teams and 7-on-7 periods mixed in.

    "It started with nice weather, and I thought we had good enthusiasm," head coach Bill Lynch said. "Early on the offense kind of had their way, but once the defense got settled in, I thought they played really well down the stretch and particularly in the red zone situations at the end. The offense has most of the experienced guys out there. The defense has some really good returning players that aren't practicing because of injuries."

    The offense started quickly and turned in a strong performance. Fifth-year senior running back Bryan Payton broke free for a 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the new pistol formation.

    Junior quarterback Ben Chappell hooked up with fifth-year senior wide receiver Kellen Lewis in the flat on the next play, and after a good block from sophomore wideout Matt Ernest, Lewis did the rest and raced 30 yards into the end zone for a score. Chappell, who looked sharp all afternoon, finished the scrimmage 15-of-23 for 231 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also scored on an 8-yard run and threw a 17-yard TD to Ernest during red zone drills.



    "It is good," Chappell said of the pistol formation. "I think we've worked really hard on it, and it came out and showed today. I think we ran the ball better than I can really remember. I think we did really well."

    Lewis closed the scrimmage with four catches for 51 yards, while Ernest led the team with 92 yards on five catches. Sophomore Tandon Doss added six grabs for 79 yards with junior Mitchell Evans (47 yards) and sophomore Damarlo Belcher (35 yards) contributing three catches apiece.

    Four Hoosier running backs carried the ball 31 times for 200 yards, good for a 6.5 average. Junior Trea Burgess, who has moved back to running back after opening the spring at linebacker, paced IU with 13 carries for 65 yards (5.0 average). Payton added 58 yards on 6 rushes (9.7) followed by fifth-year senior Demetrius McCray (7 carries, 37 yards) and sophomore Shawn Major-Winston (5 rushes, 40 yards).

    Left tackle Rodger Saffold, left guard Pete Saxon, center Will Matte, right guard Mike Reiter and right tackle James Brewer made up the first team offensive line. The second unit consisted of left tackle Andrew McDonald, left guard Marc Damisch, center Chris Ahlfeld, right guard Cody Faulkner and right tackle Josh Hager.

    The defense played without six starters due to injury, including defensive end Jammie Kirlew, defensive tackle Deonte Mack, weak-side linebacker Will Patterson, cornerback Ray Fisher and safeties Austin Thomas and Nick Polk. However, the unit still turned in some big plays throughout the scrimmage.

    Indiana picked off three passes, recorded three sacks and junior linebacker Tyler Replogle recovered a fumble he returned 90 yards for a touchdown.

    Junior Jerimy Finch grabbed the first interception followed by takeaways from safeties Shane Covington and Collin Taylor, both of whom made the switch from wide receiver this spring. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Nicholas Sliger, senior linebacker Matt Mayberry and junior defensive lineman Terrance Thomas each collected one sack.

    The Hoosiers return to the practice field on Tuesday and Thursday before a 10 a.m. scrimmage next Saturday. IU closes the spring at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18.


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