Southeast Missouri got a nice lift from the running backs in its first intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason Saturday at Houck Stadium.

Southeast closed out its first full week with a balance of positives from both sides of the ball.

“I thought it was a clean scrimmage,” said Redhawks head coach Tom Matukewicz. “There weren’t a lot of penalties on offense and the defense had its moments with some big plays. Scrimmages are good teaching opportunities. Now, we need to go back, look at the film and evaluate situations.”

Newcomer Tremane McCullough led a strong rushing effort with 82 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. McCullough took his first carry for 20 yards and later scored on a 56-yard run to give the offense its second touchdown of the game.

DeMichael Jackson was also productive, adding 27 yards on nine attempts. Jackson’s longest run was nine yards.

“We showed we can be a little more explosive than last year,” commented Matukewicz.

Southeast finished with 159 rushing yards and ran 98 plays for 373 yards. The Redhawks put up 32 points with other touchdowns coming on an 8-yard run by Tay Bender, a 3-yard pass from Bender to fullback Lewis Washington and a 30-yard pass from Alex Niznak to freshman tight end Marquette Murdock. Niznak’s pass was deflected by two defenders before Murdock secured the ball and ran to the end zone. Ryan McCrum kicked a 38-yard field goal to cap the scoring.

Defensively, Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference linebacker Roper Garrett led the way with 10 tackles, while Stephon Williams and Eriq Moore followed with eight and six, respectively. John Popovich and Chad Meredith each sacked Bender in the end zone to get four points for the defense.

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