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    Wildcats Give Strong Showing in Annual Kenosha Scrimmage

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Venric Mark was dangerous as both a wide receiver and kickoff returner in NU's intrasquad scrimmage.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Venric Mark was dangerous as both a wide receiver and kickoff returner in NU's intrasquad scrimmage.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Aug. 21, 2010

    WATCH: Scrimmage Highlights and Postgame Reaction
    Photo Gallery

    KENOSHA, Wis. -- On a warm and sunny afternoon at Indian Trail Academy in Wisconsin, more than 600 Northwestern fans witnessed NU's annual preseason scrimmage on Saturday. The 'Cats ran through approximately 70 plays in their penultimate practice before returning home to Evanston.

    "There was some good and some bad and some big plays on both sides," said head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "A lot of these guys will be in the mix not only on offense and defense but on special teams. At this point it's the little details that matter in whether we're going to be successful or not so we can get to those now that guys have had their roles more clearly defined."

    Northwestern's first touchdown of the afternoon came courtesy of freshman tailback Adonis Smith, who took a pitch from quarterback Kain Colter and burst down the sideline for 18 yards to paydirt, using a key block on the edge from Venric Mark to get free. The run capped off an impressive 10-play drive that covered 54 yards.

    After the defense asserted itself on the next series, Northwestern turned the offensive reins over to another true freshman signal-caller in Trevor Siemian. Siemian got NU into the red zone with a 12-yard pass to high school teammate Rashad Lawrence before finishing off the drive with a perfect pass down the middle to a streaking Venric Mark for a 28-yard score.

    Mark is at the tail-end of his first experience in Camp Kenosha.

    "This has been great a experience," he said. "Before we came here everyone was talking about how Kenosha is hard, it's a lot of running, but I can honestly say I've grown as a person since I've been here. I've learned how to handle things, learned how on the field the offense and defense can clash but when we step off the field we're still friends and still a family."

    More details regarding Saturday's scrimmage can be found below:

    Offensive/Special Teams Highlights
    Redshirt freshman Evan Watkins took the snaps under center for Northwestern's first-team offense and was followed at the quarterback position by true freshman Kain Colter.

    Converted linebacker Tyris Jones saw some of his first live game action at running back on Saturday, posting one of NU's longest runs of the day through a big hole on the right side of the line before being chopped down by Hunter Bates in the secondary. Jones was the team's leading rusher Saturday, finishing with 52 yards on seven carries.

    Northwestern's second score of the day came in the form of a 38-yard field goal by Steve Flaherty. Flaherty finished the day 3-for-3 after connecting on kicks of 24 and 36 yards later in the scrimmage.

    In addition to his 28-yard touchdown reception, Venric Mark also drew some 'ooohs' from the crowd with his electric kickoff returns.

    Defensive Highlights
    Ben Johnson ended Northwestern's first offensive series with a third-down sack of Evan Watkins for a loss of five yards, reaching Watkins after blitzing from the outside.

    On what looked destined to be a touchdown pass down the seam from Watkins to wide receiver Drew Moulton, cornerback Demetrius Dugar stayed with the play and made an outstanding pass breakup, knocking the ball from Moulton's hands at the last instant.

    Continuing an impressive training camp, freshman defensive end Will Hampton showed the power of his big paw as he pulled down Adonis Smith in the backfield with one hand. Hampton's classmate, Chance Carter, also recorded a sack in the game.

    Late in the scrimmage, freshman defensive back Ibraheim Campbell made a solid leaping interception on the 3-yard line.

    Scrimmage Notes
    ∙ Northwestern held its annual scrimmage at Indian Hills Academy in Kenosha, its third different location in three years. Nearby Tremper High School was the site of the 2009 scrimmage after Carthage College served as the game's host for several years before that.

    ∙ Junior cornerback Jeravin Matthews agreed to wear a wireless microphone throughout the duration of the scrimmage for an upcoming feature on the Pat Fizgerald Show.

    ∙ Each team was guaranteed a minimum of six plays per drive, meaning if the defense forced a three-and-out immediately, the offense received a new set of downs rather than yielding the field to the next team.

    ∙ Per coaches decision or injury, the following student-athletes on the 2-deep were held out of the scrimmage: David Arnold, Corbin Bryant, Ben Burkett, Stefan Demos, Drake Dunsmore, Jeremy Ebert, Arby Fields, Jordan Mabin, Brian Mulroe, Al Netter, John Henry Pace, Dan Persa, Brian Peters, John Plasencia, Josh Rooks, Jacob Schmidt, Stephen Simmons, Sidney Stewart and Nate Williams.

    ∙ Today (Saturday), sophomore cornerback Demetrius Dugar emerged as the winner of Northwestern's annual Last DJ Standing contest in Kenosha, defeating linebacker Nate Williams in the final.

    Up Next
    Following an off-day Sunday in Kenosha, Northwestern will make a stop at the Great Lakes Naval base in North Chicago, Ill., for its final training session before heading back to Evanston. Be sure to check NUsports.com later in the day on Monday for videos and photos from the practice.

    Scrimmage Statistics
    Passing
    Trevor Siemian: 10-for-13 for 112 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
    Kain Colter: 5-for-10 for 52 yards
    Evan Watkins: 4-for-7 for 34 yards

    Rushing
    Tyris Jones: 7 rushes for 52 yards
    Adonis Smith: 8 rushes for 29 yards, 1 TD
    Tim Hanrahan:6 rushes for 29 yards
    Scott Concannon: 6 rushes for 12 yards
    Trevor Siemian: 2 rushes for (-1) yards
    Evan Watkins: 6 rushes for (-8) yards

    Receiving
    Rashad Lawrence: 3 catches for 39 yards
    Mike Jensen: 3 catches for 38 yards
    Venric Mark: 2 catches for 34 yards
    Drew Moulton: 2 catches for 24 yards
    Jaleel Reed: 4 catches for 21 yards
    Brett Nagel: 2 catches for 17 yards
    Charles Brown: 2 catches for 10 yards
    Adonis Smith: 1 catch for 6 yards

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