Texas players shine in ULL spring contest

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCKUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette receiver Lance Pace is grabbed by a defender Saturday during the school's spring game.
Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCKUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette receiver Lance Pace is grabbed by a defender Saturday during the school's spring game.

LAFAYETTE — As far as quarterback Brooks Haack was concerned, it was time to show the Cajun Field crowd what the boys from Texas could do.

Haack and receiver Lance Pace, a pair of freshmen from Texas, put on an offensive show for the White team Saturday as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette concluded its spring football practice before 5,838.

The scoreboard showed the Red team winning 30-23. Each team gained points from a scoring system which gave each squad points following the results of a fraternity-sorority flag football game and a halftime tug-of-war among teams of ULL students.

Although the Red team, led by Terrance Broadway, ULL’s projected starter, defeated the White squad 17-13, Haack, from Cady, completed all but four of 19 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

Pace, a walk-on slot receiver from Lumberton, caught nine passes for 87 yards and a TD throw from Haack on the final play of the contest.

Haack, who battled D’Shaie Landor and Jalen Nixon, two other redshirt freshmen for the backup quarterback job this spring, said he and Pace talked about putting on a memorable performance for Texas.

“We talk all the time about a ‘let’s do this for Texas’ sort of thing, so we came out here (on Saturday) to do that sort of thing,” said Haack, who started for the White team.

Pace was realistic, noting he will be playing this season behind two veteran wide receivers in Daryl Sturgent and Bradley Brown.

“Right now, I’m just learning the offense and picking up the scheme,” Pace said. “I thought maybe (Haack) and I should show something. We always talk about the Louisiana versus Texas thing being a big deal.

“I came here last year as a preferred walk-on and playing (at ULL) is really my dream coming true right now.”

Broadway wore a blue jersey, which meant he was not allowed to take contact. The junior from Capitol High was 8 of 12 for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Landor was 6-of-8 passing, a Jalen Nixon, also a redshirt freshman, completed five of his six passes.

ULL coach Mark Hudspeth complemented the three who are working to become the Cajuns’ No. 2 quarterback when preseason drills begin in August.

“I thought our freshmen (quarterbacks) slung the ball around pretty good (on Saturday),” he said. “It was good to watch their development this spring. All three have made some good plays.

“It will take some more time to see which one of them is making the right reads and things like that before we can say which one of them is going to be our number two.”.

Hudspeth said the Cajuns “went vanilla” with their offense during the spring game, showing only about 20 percent of the team’s offense.

Hudspeth said he was pleased with the aggressiveness on both sides of the ball.

“I think this was as physical a final scrimmage as I have been around,” he said. “I thought (Broadway) showed a great command of our offense.

“Defensively, I think we stepped up and played physical. I thought the defense flew around most of the day and played hard.”

Defensive coordinator James Willis, who spent his first spring installing a new defense, said the Cajuns were a developmental project all spring.

“The biggest thing is we had players who were learning a new system and were being evaluated,” Willis said. “We’ve been moving guys around and finding out what we can do and what we can’t do.

“Right now, the biggest concern for us defensively is finding depth and some playmakers in the secondary.”

Broadway directed a 56-yard scoring drive on the Red’s first possession. Running back Torrey Pierce gained 13 yards, and Broadway completed an 18-yard pass to receiver Jamal Robinson to put the ball at the White 2-yard line. Pierce scored on the next play.

Haack moved the White 69 yards to the White 1-yard-line on the next series, but on fourth down, running back Effrem Reed was stopped just short of the goal line by Red lineman Karmichael Dunbar.

Landor moved the Red 52 yards late in the second quarter for the game’s second score, a 20-yard Hunter Stover field goal.

The major completions came on Landor passes to Brown (23 yards) and tight end Larry Pettis (20).

Haack responded with a 70-yard, eight-play drive that ended with a 2-yard pass to wide receiver Rickey Johnson with 37 left before halftime.

Pace caught three passes for 39 yards on the march, while 6-foot-7 wide receiver Jared Johnson had another reception for 25.

Broadway opened the second half with an 11-play, 70-yard drive that end with a 1-yard TD throw to Robinson. Broadway had 54 yards on four receptions during the drive.

Note

Hudspeth said cornerback O’Neil Parker, who started at cornerback for the White team, fractured an ankle with 8:42 remaining in the second quarter. Parker landed on his right leg after breaking up a pass intended for tight end Jacob Maxwell. ... Each quarter of the game consumed 10 minutes. ...The clock was set on running time for most of the fourth period.

Spring awards

Hudspeth presented end-of-spring awards to four players during halftime.

The awards went to wide receiver James Butler (most improved offense), cornerback Jevante Wilson (most improve defense), Jared Johnson (skill award) punter Daniel Cadona (big skills award) and defensive lineman Blain Wilson (offseason award).