BATESVILLE, Ark. – With only eight days separating the Lyon College football team from the season opener, first-year head coach Kyle Phelps had a simple game plan when his squad took to the field here at Pioneer Stadium in an intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday night. He played his starters sparingly and looked at a lot of young talent as the White offense rolled up 148 yards in 30 plays in a 3-0 win over the Blue defense.
The Scots, who open the 2016 season next Thursday at home against Wayland Baptist University (8 p.m.), put in some action under the lights and allowed fans to come out and take a sneak peak at what to expect this season. Lyon quarterbacks completed 7-of-10 passes (70%) and 13 different players carried the ball, rushing for 5.1 yards a carry, finishing with 104 yards.
"I thought all-in-all it was pretty good," Phelps said after the competition. "When the older guys were out there it was pretty clean, but I think when some of the younger guys got in there late it wasn't as sharp because a lot of them are still trying to learn the playbook.
"But it's just the details of it. We need to clean up some of the penalties and things like that. But for being eight days away (from the opener) I think we're pretty close."
Sophomore Cody Jones (SO/Russellville, Ark.) had the best night passing the ball, completing 4-of-5 throws for 36 yards. Sophomore running back Christian Cain (SO/Huntsville, Ark.) picked up 24 yards rushing on just two rushes, while sophomore Raymond Gill (SO/Batesville, Ark.) tallied 26 yards on four carries to lead the ground game.
Lyon senior running back Michael Bowles (SR/Earle, Ark.), who was third in the nation in rushing a year ago with 1,431 yards, only ran the ball once, picking up eight yards, in limited duty. He also caught one pass.
"The guys who we know can perform well didn't get much action," Phelps explained. "Guys like Mike (Bowles) and (safety) Steve (Benedik) probably only played about 5-10 plays apiece, if that much. We needed to see what some of the other guys could do and keep the starters healthy for next week's season opener against Wayland."
There were some tough hits on defense, as well. Freshman defensive lineman James Phommavongsa (FR/Russellville, Ark.) picked up a sack, while Cedric Cooney (SO/Lonoke, Ark.) came close to a pick-six interception. Other players recording tackles for losses included freshman Austin Jones (FR/Cabot, Ark.), sophomore Sage Wood (SO/West Plains, Mo.) and freshman Braydon Pender (FR/Thayer, Mo.).
Sophomore Cade Almond (SO/Van Buren, Ark.) accounted for all the scoring in the scrimmage when he kicked a 27-yard field goal.