White team outshines gold in spring game

Lion football

Freshman running back Julius Maraclin lays a stiff arm on junior linebacker Caleb Young during the 2015 Spring Game.
The Lion’s Roar / Gleana Hill

The spring football game held last Saturday in Strawberry Stadium gave Lion’s fans the opportunity to cheer for the new season’s team as well as scope out the new defensive coordinator, ex-NFL coach Blake Williams. The White team was victorious over the Gold team with a score of 45-26; the Southeastern offense made up the White team while their defense created the Gold.

Points earned during the game were given uniquely. The offense were scored in the traditional way, but first downs and big plays were each awarded one point. The defense received three points with turnovers, two points for three-and-outs and one point when they performed a stop.

With two consecutive Southland Conference championships, the Lions have no intention of slowing down this season.

“We expect to break all the records from last year and [to] be the best defense in the nation,” said senior defensive back Josh Dakin.

With Bryan Bennett gone, taking up the mantle at quarterback are juniors D’Shaie Landor and Larry Cutbirth. 

The gold team held the white team to 289 yards in the entire game, including a Dakin interception of Landor. Leading the gold team were Dakin with two interceptions and junior defensive back Demareyen Lane who forced a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive back Derrick Raymond.

With seven tackles, senior defensive back Micah Eugene had the highest number but was closely followed by senior defensive back Jordan Batiste, senior linebacker Herbert Harris and junior defensive back JQ Sandolph who each had accomplished six tackles of their own.

Leading the white team were senior running back Kody Sutton who rushed for a score and sophomore running back Eugene Bethea with 12 carries for a total of 49 yards as well as two touchdowns. The leading receiver was junior Jarrell Bennett with five catches for 49 yards.

The aforementioned  Landor threw for 133 yards on 12 of 19 passing, while Cutbirth passed for 36 yards on 5-for-12 passing.

On the fifth drive, Sutton gave the white team a 10-8 lead after he ran in a touchdown from 10 yards.

Moving onto the second quarter, the white team changed their tactics to a goal-to-go situation while the gold team hardened to stop freshman running back Julius Maraclin on four consecutive chances.

On the following drive Ja’Hmal Macklin and freshman linebacker Dylan Vaughn forced a safety when they stopped Bethea in the end zone.

Moving into the third quarter, on the third drive, Landor went 4-for-4 for 57 yards, setting up Bethea’s two yard touchdown and advancing the white’s score to 31-20.

In the fourth quarter, the highlight was when the gold team’s Dakin picked off a Cutbirth pass and allotted the team three points. Bethea closed out the scoring for the white team with a 10-yard run for a touchdown.

“I expect us to get better every day and I want us to play to our potential. None of us have yet to reach that level, not that they haven’t played extremely well but there are still things left to do. We have some upperclassmen who have been playing for years and are going to get to really step up their last year. I want us to realize our greatness,” said Williams.

The 2015 season opens on Sept. 3 with the Lions traveling to Northwestern State for a Southland Conference contest in Natchitoches, Louisiana.