MARTIN, Tenn. – A sharp defensive performance headlined the University of Tennessee at Martin’s first scrimmage of the spring season, as Practice No. 9 was held this afternoon at Hardy Graham Stadium.
Following a Junior Day that featured over 100 participants this morning, the Skyhawk defense stood out for a rousing performance. The UT Martin defense produced a pair of touchdowns, six pass breakups, five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception while forcing 15 incompletions and 22 plays of two yards or less (10 of which went for negative yardage).
“It was a good job today by the defense to get turnovers,” Skyhawk head coach Jason Simpson said. “Any time that you can score on defense, that’s good to see. We didn’t take care of the ball today and that was concerning but we will get that cleaned up. We are making individual improvements – we have seen some growth from a lot of different individual players.”
Koreyon Jordan accumulated a team-best six tackles for the staunch UT Martin defense, who did not allow a score until the 42nd play of the 75-play scrimmage. Kevin Reid returned a fumble for 39 yards for a touchdown while Skip Rowe scored on a 58-yard interception return. Garrett Wall, David DuBose and Joseph Murry also each accounted for four tackles apiece for the Skyhawks.
All in all, the Skyhawk offense generated 323 total yards and three touchdowns. UT Martin went 20-of-35 through the air for 230 yards while rushing for 93 yards on 40 attempts.
Each of the three Skyhawk quarterbacks who saw action threw for a touchdown today, as Troy Cook completed a team-best eight passes in 13 attempts. Kyle Akin was responsible for team-highs of 84 yards on 16 attempts while Clay Beathard went 4-of-5 for 45 yards.
Donnell Williams was the recipient of two touchdown passes, hauling in a 12-yard strike from Cook and a nine-yard pass from Beathard. Londell Lee also caught a 13-yard pass from Akin for a touchdown.
Jaimiee Bowe set team-highs with nine rushes and 42 yards this morning while adding 28 yards receiving and 30 yards passing on a designed trick play. Ty Brown (seven carries, team-highs of five receptions and 38 receiving yards) also saw plenty of action out of the UT Martin backfield.
On special teams, Brett Arkelian put the finishing touches on the scrimmage with field goals from 29- and 30-yards out.
The Skyhawks return to practice on Monday, April 10 for Practice No. 10 of the spring season. UT Martin has six practices remaining, including scrimmages on Friday, April 14 (9:30 a.m.) and the annual Navy/White Spring Game at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 22.