Coyote football team concludes spring practice with contest

Coyote football team concludes spring practice with contest The University of South Dakota football team's spring season concluded Friday night with the annual spring game. The White team, featuring the Coyote offense, recorded a 51-25 win over the Red team, which featured the Coyote defense. The Coyote offense, with 10 starters returning, looked sharp in the spring game. Quarterback Noah Shepard (Thornton, CO) was 8-of-14 for 177 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Dante Warren (Arlington Heights, IL) was 7-of-11 for 167 yards and a touchdown. Chris Ganious (Houston, TX) led the USD rushing game with 93 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Marcus Sims (Brooklyn Park, MN), who redshirted last season, had 10 rushes for 56 yards. Jeremy Blount (Tampa, FL) had a 27-yard rushing touchdown for the Coyotes as well. Tight end London Landry (Lancaster, CA) led the receiving corps with five catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Ben Oberle (Vermillion,) had three catches for 52 yards, while Dan Skelly (Champlin, MN) had two catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. "The offense played well," said USD head coach Ed Meierkort. "They executed real well and moved the ball." USD scored on the game's first play, in fact, with Shepard connecting with Skelly for a 65-yard touchdown. "The Noah Shepard-to-Dan Skelly pass at the beginning was well-executed," Meierkort said. Other big plays for the White team included an 83-yard touchdown run from Ganious and a 78-yard touchdown pass from Warren to Ganious. Several individuals shined on the Coyote defense. Brad McCurry (Watauga, TX) had six tackles, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Justin Harper (Chandler, AZ) had five tackles, while Abe Booker (Bloomington, MN) and Shea Williams (Alexandria) had four tackles each. Elliott Harper (Chandler, AZ) had a forced fumble, while Booker, Andrew Meier (Guthrie Center, IA) and Ko Quaye (Brooklyn Park, MN) had sacks. Quaye also recovered a fumble. "They kept competing," Meierkort said. "We continue to get better defensively." Justin Veazie (Chino, CA) also appeared solid in the kicking game for USD . He averaged 44.3 yards on three punt attempts and was 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts. USD opens the 2009 season at home on Thursday, Sept. 3 against William Penn. Game time is 7 p.m. at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

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