CEDAR CITY, Utah, April 26 – Southern Utah’s defense prevailed over the offense by a final count of 39-22 Saturday in a the Thunderbirds’ annual Red/White Scrimmage, which was played in wet conditions and using a unique scoring system.

Instead of splitting into two complete teams the Thunderbirds opted to go with a defense-versus-offense format, with the offense scoring in the traditional manner while the defense got its points according to the field position where the offensive drives ended.

“This was a good scrimmage, everyone hit hard, we were executing on defense and executing on defense,” SUU Coach Ed Lamb said. “The defense won the game but the offense had its share of success. We ended a very productive and energetic off-season with a very productive and energetic spring game. The offense was able to score 22 points and the defense was able to get stops on seven drives, so both sides did have success. The offense also didn’t have any turnovers, which is something we always strive for.”

The defense stopped the offense on its first two drives to take an 11-0 lead before the offense got on the board when Aaron Cantu found Chris Robinson in the corner of the end zone on a short route to make it 11-7.

The defense scored another 11 points to take a 22-7 advantage before Donovan Marshall hit a 27-yard field goal to make it a 22-10 game, then got two more stops to go up 34-10 before the offense got on the board again with a 48-yard pass from Cantu to Mike Sharp.

Late in the game the defense got five points for a stop at the 50 yard line before the offense ended the game with a one-yard Raysean Martin touchdown run.

Linebacker Chinedu Ahanonu paced the defense with 10 tackles, seven solo, and broke up a pass, while LB Jarom Healey tallied seven stops. Taylor Nelson and Josh Kariya each had solo sacks while Robert Torgerson and Andrew Eide teamed up on a third.

Although the offense wound up on the wrong end of the score, it did have its share of success, piling up 457 yards of total offense, including 160 on the ground and 297 through the air. Cantu completed 16-of-21 passes for 204 yards and the two touchdowns, while Ammon Olsen completed 11-of-22 for 69 yards.

Robinson led the receivers with six receptions, for 50 yards while Naia Ursua had five catches for 50 yards. Sharp, who also played one series at quarterback, caught four passes for 86 yards. On the ground, Martin led the way with 51 yards on 14 carries.

Scoring Summary:

4-0  – Defense 4 points, stopped offense inside the 40 yard line

11-0 – Defense 7 points, held offense to 3-and-out

11-7 – Offense 7 points, Chris Robinson 7 yard pass from Aaron Cantu, Donovan Marshall kick

18-7 – Defense 7 points, held offense to 3-and-out

22-7 – Defense 4 points, stopped offense inside the 40 yard line

22-10 – Offense 3 points, Donovan Marshall 27-yard field goal

29-10 – Defense 7 points, held offense to 3-and-out

34-10 – Defense 5 points, stopped offense at the 45 yard line

34-17 – Offense 6 points, Mike Sharp 48-yard pass from Aaron Cantu, 2 point conversion failed

39-17 – Defense 5 points, defense stopped offense at the 50-yard line

39-22 – Raysean Martin 1 yard run, 2-point conversion failed

-- SUU --