If you can take anything from the final scrimmage of the Arkansas State Red Wolves is that there are big plans for junior transfer Cameron Echols-Luper.
“He can do a lot of things,’’ said coach Blake Anderson. “He can catch it, he can throw it, he can kick it. And he has just gotten better.”
The 6-foot, 190-pounder who came to Arkansas State last August from TCU caught 4 passes for 69 yards, ran once for 6 yards and punted once, uncontested, for about 40 yards.
Defensive end Javon Rolland-Jones said it best of Echols-Luper “it’s like chasing a cheetah.”
The defensive line turned in another strong performance and dominated the patchwork offensive line, that had just 8 players, three of them playing hurt, available.
“Our defense is good but it is hard to judge against that offensive line,’’ said Anderson.
The defenders had 13 tackles for loss, a total of 48 yards. There were 6 sacks, Rolland-Jones and T.J. Harris had 1.5 each.
The offense finished with 15 yards on 30 carriers and Warren Wand’s 9-yard run was the longest of the night. He led the offense with 8 yards on 3 carries.
“It has been so hard to have a fair comparison at quarterback because we have been so beat up on the offensive line,’’ said Anderson. “Not only did we not have enough guys the one we had are beat up.”
Joe Bacchus, Tank Moreton and Jemar Clark did not participate and Anderson said Brandon Berg (foot), Colton Jackson (ankle) and Devin Mondie (hip) were all hobbled but played.
Jonesboro redshirt freshman Carson Coats had the only touchdown pass of the night, a 19-yard toss to Blake Mack. Coats finished 4 of 6 for 38 yards.
Justice Hansen was 4 of 10 for 35 yards and an interception; Cameron Birse was 2 of 6 for 8 yards and James Tabary was 6 of 14 for 53 yards and an interception.
The longest pass plays of the night was Echols-Luper to Mack for 34 yards, Tabary to Echols-Luper for 30 yards and Wand to Echols-Luper for 29 yards.
Quanterio Heath, Bo Sentimore and Carl Bess (43 yard return) had interceptions. Anderson praised the play and spring performance of Heath, a redshirt senior from Rison.
In a couple of the side shows, Echols-Luper caught a long punt behind his back and Robert Mondie made a nice one-handed grab of a punt.
The defense wound up winning 43-42 and had to stop a 2-point conversion on the final play to win the game.
The crowd was estimated at 2,000.