Exactly three weeks away from kickoff of Northern Illinois’ 2013 season opening game at Iowa, the Huskies held their first extended scrimmage of preseason practices Saturday night at Huskie Stadium.
The 80-minute scrimmage closed out the second of two practices for NIU as the Huskies went through their first two-a-day of fall camp. Northern Illinois spent nearly two hours on the field in shoulder pads, shorts and helmets during the morning practice.
NIU head coach Rod Carey came off the field happy with his squad’s progress on Saturday. “I wanted to get into live situations and play football again,” Carey said.
“We went out and played good, hard, clean football. I was pleased with the effort. Both sides of the ball brought it. I see both sides so I can’t say who had the better of it,” he added. “I saw some good plays on offense, some nice passes and runs. Then the defense had a huge stop on the six-inch line and a couple of interceptions. Overall, there was a lot of good give and take.”
Running back Cameron Stingily (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville HS), who shared first team carries with sophomore Keith Harris (Chicago, Ill./Leo HS), was responsible for several of the good plays on the offensive side of the ball as he powered through the defense for a pair of scores, including one on a 29-yard run.
NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch accounted for a pair of touchdowns as he hit Tommylee Lewis (Riviera Beach, Fla./W.T. Dwyer HS) over the top for a 54-yard score, and connected with Da’Ron Brown (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park HS) in the corner of the end zone late in the session.
Defensively, cornerback Sean Evans (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla./Ft. Walton Beach HS) and safety Marlon Moore (Mobile, Ala./C.F. Vigor HS) picked off passes thrown by Lynch and back-up quarterback Drew Hare (O’Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West HS), respectively. Moore’s INT came off a tipped pass in the red zone. The first team defense stopped the number one offense on three plays inside the three-yard line to fire up the black-clad defenders.
Freshman Joel Bouagnon (Aurora, Ill./Aurora Christian HS) scored on a one-yard run for the second-team offense after a 36-yard completion from Hare to converted receiver Matt Williams (Geneva, Ill./Geneva HS) put the ball inside the 20-yard line.
The scrimmage went more than 100 plays as the first team offense faced off against the first team defense, the second teams on both sides of the ball met and the freshmen had a chance to get into scrimmage situations for the first time in their careers.
“We didn’t go quite as long as I wanted but I didn’t want to be out here all night,” Carey said. “We got through every situation. We’ll comb through every second of film, first as a coaching staff and then with the players. We will learn a lot from this.”