Cats Look Good in Annual Sonny Holland Scrimmage - News, Sports and Weather

Cats Look Good in Annual Sonny Holland Scrimmage

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BOZEMAN, Mont. – Quarterback Dakota Prukop threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns as Montana State closed its 2015 spring practice session with the Sonny Holland Classic in Bobcat Stadium on Saturday.

Prukop completed 13 of his 19 passes and Jake Bleskin was 8-for-15 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown, but both dealt with relentless pressure from MSU's defense. The Bobcats logged eight sacks and 17 tackles-for-loss, creating a conundrum that Bobcat coach Rob Ash says every coach deals with in scrimmage situations.

“As is the case with most spring scrimmages,” he said, “there were good things on both sides. I really liked the execution on both sides of the ball in game-like situations. We got plays off, we didn't line up in wrong formations or have too many men on the field or things like that. There was some excellent play on both sides of the ball.”

Defensive end Tyrone Fa'anono registered three of those sacks, and end Devin Jeffries had two more. Ash lauded his defensive front. “Defensively it was probably the best day for our pass rush. The quarterback was touch-sacked several times. Dakota might have gotten away a few times, but the pressure was there either way.

Ash also indicated the defensive unit played fundamentally sound. “The linebackers and safeties tackled well,” he said. “On the flip side defensively, we had several pass interference penalties. We need to clean up our technique in the secondary and not play with our hands so much and get penalties. But, the effort and hustle and intensity were good.”

In addition to standout individual play, this spring's defensive scheme changes proved challenging for the MSU offense. “What we're seeing is the multiplicity of our defense is causing the offense some assignment problems. Those are issues we could correct if we were creating a game plan against our defense,” he said.

The offense engineered several solid scoring drives. The No. 1 offense moved 55 yards for a score on its second possession and on the first possession after halftime marched 60 yards for a 33-yard Luke Daly field goal. Justin Paige beat press coverage for a 39-yard touchdown from Prukop on the final scrimmage play.

“Offensively there were some three-and-outs that were a little frustrating but, especially with the ones we had some really good, long drives. We ended the day with a long touchdown pass to Justin Paige. The execution was pretty good, although we just missed on a few assignments that cost us the chance for some big plays. We missed on a few blitzes on pass protection and the defense had a few tackles-for-loss on running plays where we obviously had some missed assignments.”

Daly, MSU's sophomore kicker, was stellar. He was 2-for-2 on field goal attempts during the scrimmage, and 3-for-3 on staged kicks after. “Luke Daly had a great day,” Ash said. “He was perfect on his kicks during the scrimmage, then after the scrimmage we moved him back and he kicked a 47-yarder, a 52-yarder and a 57-yarder at the end of the scrimmage. He did a good job.”

Ash lauded the play of some familiar names on defense. “Mac Bignell showed up again on defense,” he said. “Grant Collins, I thought, played really well, and Nate (Bignell).”

RUSHING: Chad Newell 4-11, Dakota Prukop 9-4, Gunnar Brekke 3-9, Nick LaSane 3-24, Tavon Dodd 1-13, Noah James 4-5.

PASSING: Dakota Prukop 13-19-0, 107, 2 TD; Jake Bleskin 8-15-0, 89, 0 TD.

RECEIVING: Mitch Griebel 4-24-0, Chad Newell 1-10-0, Austin Bart 3-25-1, Nick LaSane 2-18-0, Mark D'Agostino 1- -1-0, Gunnar Brekke 1-25-1, JP Flynn 1- -5-0, Noah James 2-18-0, Tanner Roderick 1-31-0, Brandon Brown 1-9-0, Jackson Mahlum 1- -2-0, Connor Sullivan 1-2-0, Justin Paige 1-39-1.

SACKS: Tyrone Fa'anono-3, Devin Jeffries-2, Matt Brownlow, Nate Bignell, Mac Bignell.

TACKLES-FOR-LOSS: Monte Folsom 0.5, Mac Bignell 2.5, Tyron Fa'anono 4, DeMonte King 1, Nate Bignell 3, Joey Michael 1, Matt Brownlow 1, Devin Jeffries 2, Fletcher Collins 1, Rob Walsh 0.6, Zach Wright 0.5, Bryson Keeton 0.5

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