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TSU offense shines in pre-season scrimmage

TROY, Ala.-The Troy State offense took its cue and shined brightly against a watered down defense on Thursday night in

Memorial Stadium at Richard M. Scrushy Field, dominating the Trojans’ first preseason scrimmage from start to finish.

Against a first-team defensive unit that did not blitz, junior quarterback Brock Nutter completed his first eight passes and connected on a pair of scoring passes to lead the first-team offense on a steamy night under the lights. The Nutter-led unit scored three times, the last coming on a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore tailback LeBarron Black.

Overall, head coach Larry Blakeney said he was pleased with his team’s performance in the two-and-a-half-hour workout.

"I thought we looked pretty good," Blakeney said. "We made a few penalties and had some late hits that were uncalled for, but I thought our guys responded well and we didn’t get anybody seriously hurt. Without allowing our guys to blitz, the defense was sort of like sitting ducks out there, so that made our offense look a little better than it really was. I was pleased with what I saw, though, and I think we’re showing signs of improvement."

Nutter finished the day 15-of-28 passing, but even more impressive was the play of freshman Hansell Bearden. The Cairo, Ga., native completed 13-of-21 passes, but also threw a pair of interceptions.

Auburn transfer tailback Demontray Carter made his presence quickly felt, returning a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and catching four passes, mostly on short routes and screens. Senior wide receiver Jonathan Carter caught a 65-yard scoring strike from Nutter, while Adrian Moore had a pair of impressive catches, the first a 23-yard scoring strike, also from Nutter.

Placekicker Lawrence Tynes also enjoyed a strong night, connecting on all three field goal attempts from 34, 43 and 47 yards out. Freshman running back Jermaine Richardson capped the night’s scoring with a 60-yard scoring run with the third-team offense.

"We’ve got some weapons on offense," Blakeney said. "I thought our tight ends played really well tonight, and we really need them to become a factor to be a good passing offense."

Defensively, the Trojans were missing three starters in linebacker Jimmy McClain (knee), linebacker Corey Sears (shoulder) and safety Antonio Thompson (foot) but still managed five sacks and three interceptions, all by freshman Derrick Ansley from Tallassee, Ala.

"I haven’t been to a practice yet when Ansley didn’t intercept a ball," Blakeney said. "He had a real good showing out there tonight."