NATCHITOCHES - Northwestern State played a lot of pitch and catch Saturday morning in its last major scrimmage of spring football practice, as three quarterbacks combined for 398 passing yards on 38 completions in 69 tries.
With only six healthy offensive linemen available, the Demons stacked up 268 total yards on 57 plays from scrimmage in 11-on-11 full contact work, and the quarterbacks went 26 for 44 with 246 yards passing in 7-on-7 pass skeleton competition. NSU wraps up spring drills Thursday night with the Joe Delaney Bowl.
"We had a great day, with a lot accomplished in all three phases although we had to keep the live scrimmage to only about 60 plays," said fourth-year coach Bradley Dale Peveto. "We're much better schematically, we're tougher, we're executing, we're growing up. It's the best the offense has looked in my four years here."
Returning starting quarterback Brad Henderson was a combined 16-of-28 for 199 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown to Oklahoma transfer Sheldon McClain. Backup Don Canyon went 13-23 for 95 yards while redshirt freshman Grant Chiasson was 9-18 for 107 yards and a 9-yard TD to Rakheem Mitchell.
Senior receiver Phillip Harvey topped all pass catchers with 10 grabs for 126 yards. Louisiana-Lafayette sophomore transfer tailback Rob Walker was the leading rusher with 55 yards on nine carries. Chiasson had a 15-yard scoring run as the Demons combined for 114 yards on 32 attempts.
Senior kicker John Shaughnessy drilled a 50-yard field goal and added a 37-yarder. Redshirt freshman Andy Wickman kicked 39-yarder.
Brashard Booker, Pat Black and Imoan Claiborne notched interceptions. Jamaal White had a 4-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Henderson had praise for the offensive linemen: Caleb Stanfield, Damian Morris, Larry Calcote, Jeremy Raine, Tchissikid Player and Xavier Jefferson.
"They're tough. This is probably the toughest position group we have, as a whole. Those guys didn't get a lot of rest in the scrimmage. For the big guys to go 50-60 plays apiece, in the heat today, had to be tough, but they played hard from the start to finish and did a very good job."
NSU will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Delaney Bowl Thursday evening at 6 in Turpin Stadium.