Redhawks to cap spring practices with game

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The offense and defense will square off today at Houck Stadium.

Southeast Missouri State hopes for a strong finish to its spring football practices with today's noon intrasquad game at Houck Stadium.

For the third straight year, Southeast's spring game will pit the offense vs. the defense under a scoring system that allows both units to score points. There is no admission charge.

That format has produced one close affair and one lopsided result. The defense romped 50-11 in 2008, after the offense prevailed 22-18 in 2007.

"It can be real competitive and I believe we'll have a good game," fourth-year Southeast coach Tony Samuel said. "We're going to have mock game situations with a running clock. We want execution but not a whole lot of plays.

"The last two minutes of the first half and the last two minutes of the fourth quarter we'll go with an actual clock so we can work on our two-minute drill."

Samuel said he has liked what the Redhawks have accomplished in spring workouts, during which the NCAA allows 15 practice sessions, including scrimmages.

"It's gone real good," Samuel said. "I like this group. They've gotten after it pretty good."

The Redhawks lost 16 seniors from last year's team that went 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Southeast signed 28 players in February, including 13 -- most of them junior college transfers -- who have participated in spring practice.

"The new guys that are already here, it's a big help," Samuel said. "They get to learn all the things, from the conditioning aspect from the going to school aspect.

"Just getting familiar with the system. Otherwise you'd just have a few weeks before the season [during fall practice]."

Several of the newcomers already in school are offensive linemen, an area Southeast sorely was lacking in depth last year.

"We've made some good progress there," Samuel said. "They've been able to learn the system, and they'll be able to go off in the summer now and work on it."

The Redhawks' only two scholarship quarterbacks on campus -- Matt Scheible and Dustin Powell -- should receive plenty of work today.

Scheible saw considerable action as a freshman last year backing up senior Houston Lillard and is considered the favorite to be the 2009 starter.

Powell, who will be a senior, saw virtually no action at quarterback, although he contributed on special teams.

Samuel said both signal callers have been solid this spring and should continue to wage a spirited competition in the fall, when they'll be joined by two incoming freshman scholarship quarterbacks.

Spring party

The Southeast football coaching staff will hold its annual spring party tonight at Kimbeland Country Club in Jackson. There will be free food and cash bar for adults. The event, which begins at 6 p.m., is open to the public.

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