NAU ends spring practice with makeup scrimmage

Poe, Cartwright both throw TD passes while defense plays well in final spring practice.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- After having the Blue-Gold Spring Game postponed Saturday due to inclement weather, Northern Arizona hit the field Sunday for a makeup scrimmage.

The final spring practice was highlighted by impressive plays from both the offense and defense. NAU's offense showed its versatility on its two touchdowns. The first score came when quarterback Kyren Poe found Alex Holmes for an 8-yard touchdown pass. On the next series, quarterback Chase Cartwright connected with Hunter Burton for a 5-yard score.

Outside of those two touchdowns, the defense kept the offense in check.

"All in all we did well today, but there is still room for improvement across the board," said NAU coach Jerome Souers. "(Graduated running back) Zach Bauman is a hard person to replace, especially since he attributed to a lot of our offensive success last year. As a whole, I think our offense is moving in the right direction, and Casey Jahn has gotten enough reps to earn the starting role at running back."

The defense seemed to pick up right where it left off in the fall. NAU is widely expected to have one of the best defenses in the Big Sky and showed it Saturday. Senior Rob Watson came up with the first interception of the day, but it would not be the last. Junior Harrison Johnson and redshirt freshman Jonathan Lyles also grabbed a pick each to give NAU three interceptions in the scrimmage.

Leading the defense this fall will be senior linebacker Austin Hasquet, an All-Big Sky honoree.

"Austin is a great person to build our defense around," said Souers. "In addition to Austin, our secondary has also been performing well, led by Marcus Alford."

Hasquet led NAU in tackles last season with 91, while Alford is the lone returning starter in the secondary for the Lumberjacks.

NAU will kick off its 2014 season at San Diego State on August 30.

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