Runners rack up yardage for Bears
A week after averaging less than 3 yards per carry in their first scrimmage, the University of Central Arkansas Bears emphasized the running game in Saturday’s second scrimmage at Estes Stadium in Conway.
Four players combined for 264 yards and 7 touchdowns on 32 carries (8.3 yards per carry) as the Bears prepare for their Sept. 2 season opener at Kansas State.
“All in all, I was pleased,” head Coach Steve Campbell said. “It was a good second scrimmage. The ones and twos had zero turnovers, so that’s something I’m very pleased with this time of year. I thought we ran the ball a lot better this week than we did a week ago.”
Redshirt freshmen running backs Dylan Smith (3-69, 1 TD) and Kierre Crossley ( 9- 61, 2 TDs) led the rushing attack. All- Southland Conference sophomore Carlos Blackman added 51 yards and 2 touchdowns on 7 carries after sitting out last week’s scrimmage, and junior transfer Kevin Momnohin and senior Brandon Cox combined for 83 more yards and 2 scores on 13 carries.
“[We’re] getting the ball on the outside in the run game,” Campbell said. “We’ve been so inside-gap conscience … we’re getting the ball on the perimeter now and that’s been a big plus for us.”
Four quarterbacks combined to complete 14 of 18 passes for 221 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior Hayden Hildebrand was 6 for 6 for 81 yards and 3 TDs. Redshirt freshman Breylin Smith went 3 for 4 for 64 yards and a touchdown, while junior Kirk Baugh combined to go 5 for 8 for 66 yards with sophomore Kolt Harfield.
Freshman Brandon Myers had 2 catches (both touchdowns) for 70 yards, while freshman Lujuan Winningham added 2 receptions for 53 yards and another score.
“I thought Brandon Myers … he showed up in the last scrimmage,” Campbell said. “And he’s shown up during practice, just making plays. And you go, ‘Well, there’s a play. Can you do it again?’ Then he does it again and you go, ‘Well, he’s pretty good.’ But now you’re starting to see it enough to where you realize that kid is a big-time playmaker.
The defense also had some playmakers, according to Campbell.
“Defensively, I thought we did some good things,” he said. “We gave up a ball or two that we can’t give up, but I was pleased. [Senior end] Chris Chambers, he shows up every time. Nobody plays harder than Chris. But there are times when he can take over and he’s hard to block man, coming off that edge.
“I like our pass rush. I think we have good pass rushers. With Chambers, Eric Jackson, Chris Terrell … Chris Terrell is a really good player. [Senior rover] George [Odum] didn’t show up a lot today, but our plan was to not play him a whole lot.”