RUSTON, La. – For the first time in three years, a Louisiana Tech Spring Game was played at Joe Aillet Stadium.
Team LA Tech defeated Team Bulldogs, 26-10, in the 2021 LA Tech Spring Game presented by Origin Bank on Saturday. It was the first LA Tech Spring Game played since 2018 after the 2019 game was canceled due to inclement weather and the entirety of the 2020 spring camp was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve had 14 days of practice and you come into number 15 and you’re really looking forward to people in the stands and the players having to perform in front of people,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “I thank and applaud all the people that came out today. We had a great crowd for the spring game. You want to see how people respond when there are people in the stands. We have guys who go out there for 14 days and they’re focused on what they have to do and the play going on. It’s amazing that when you put family and fans in the stands, they start seeing everything else. It was good to have an opportunity to get out there. And as (Aaron) Allen said as he was walking out, ‘Coach, that felt like a real game.’ That one felt like a real game. That’s the environment we wanted to put them in and it couldn’t have been made possible if people didn’t come out and support us.”
Team LA Tech opened the game with a three-and-out to give Team Bulldogs their first possession of the day. The Bulldogs worked down the field with a 14-play drive that spanned over 5:18. Redshirt freshman kicker/punter Jacob Barnes scored the first Louisiana Tech spring game points in three years with a 39-yard field goal to give Team Bulldogs the 3-0 lead with 8:39 to play in the first quarter.
Team Bulldogs’ first possession of the third quarter resulted in a punt. Team LA Tech made the most of it as the team worked its way down the field until graduate transfer running back Marcus Williams Jr. rushed into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to give Tech the 17-3 lead. Team LA Tech would score less than two minutes later when sophomore quarterback Aaron Allen found senior wide receiver Praise Okorie in the corner of the end zone for the 25-yard touchdown to boost Tech’s lead to 23-3 following a missed PAT.
Team LA Tech added three more points to the board in the first half after Boniol ended a 10-play drive with a 42-yard field goal as time expired for the 10-3 lead at the break.
Team Bulldogs’ first possession of the third quarter resulted in a punt. Team LA Tech made the most of it as the team worked its way down the field until graduate transfer running back Marcus Williams Jr. rushed into the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown rush to give Tech the 17-3 lead. Team LA Tech would score less than two minutes later when sophomore quarterback Aaron Allen found senior wide receiver Praise Okorie in the corner of the end zone for the 25-yard touchdown to boost Tech’s lead to 23-3 following a missed PAT.
It wasn’t until just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter that Louisiana Tech scored again as Boniol made a 40-yard field goal to give Team LA Tech the 23-point lead, 26-3.
Team Bulldogs were not done yet, however, as freshman quarterback JD Head dropped a 16-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Isaiah Graham. Team LA Tech won the game, 26-10.
“As a head coach, what you want to get out of a spring game is you want an evaluation,” Holtz said. “You want to see your players play in competitive situations. You want to see them play in different situations. Where are we in understanding down, distance, how I fit into the system, everybody playing one-of-11? There are so many things you’re trying to evaluate. The most important thing you’re doing is you want to come out of it healthy. We’ve had a great 14 days and, after today, we had a great 15 days. It wasn’t necessarily offense or defense as much as it was trying to make individual decisions on some of the players.”
Offensively, Allen led Team LA Tech after completing 14-of-25 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. LA Tech was also led offensively by Williams with 52 rushing yards and freshman wide receiver Tre Harris with 91 receiving yards. Head led Team Bulldogs after completing 12-of-25 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Harlan Dixon lead the Bulldogs with 32 rushing yards, while junior wide receiver Griffin Hebert led the ‘Dogs with 59 receiving yards.
Defensively, Team LA Tech was led by Fulp, freshman safety Jamison Kelly and freshman linebacker Eric Barnes with five tackles apiece. Redshirt freshman linebacker Maki Carabin led the Bulldogs with a game-high seven tackles. Nine Louisiana Tech players registered a sack during the spring game, led by Team LA Tech senior defensive lineman Eric Kendzior with two.
The 2021 LA Tech Spring Game officially marks the end of 15 spring practice sessions for the Bulldogs.
Season tickets for the 2021 Louisiana Tech football season are on sale now. Fans can purchase season tickets online at LATechSports.com/tickets or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.
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