Defense opens Texas Tech Spring Series with win in Midland - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Defense opens Texas Tech Spring Series with win in Midland

Source: Texas Tech Athletics Source: Texas Tech Athletics

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

MIDLAND, Texas – The Texas Tech defense used a quick start to open the 2017 spring series with a 50-36 victory Saturday afternoon in the annual Midland scrimmage held at Grande Communications Stadium.

Backed by four consecutive three-and-out series to start the scrimmage, the defense shined through portions of the scrimmage that featured traditional play as well as numerous situational scenarios thrown at both units.

"I was pleased," Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said of his team's performance. "We receive tremendous support each year in Midland and this is always a fun event. I liked what we saw on both sides of the ball and we'll look to continue to improve the rest of spring."

The trio of Jah'Shawn Johnson, Octavious Morgan and Douglas Coleman III led the defense with six tackles each while D.J. Polite-Bray and Brayden Stringer both added five takedowns apiece. The defense totaled four sacks on the day – two of which that came from Noah Jones – resulting in 12 points as part of the scoring system.

Offensively, Nic Shimonek paced the Red Raiders, finishing 20-of-28 overall for 196 yards and a touchdown. He found Zack Austin for a 24-yard strike over the middle for his lone touchdown of the afternoon in what was an impressive debut with the starting unit.

Austin, returning after missing the entire 2016 season, finished with six receptions on the day for 68 yards to lead the Red Raider receivers. Dylan Cantrell added five receptions for 47 yards and a six-yard touchdown from Payne Sullins.

Sullins ended the scrimmage with 115 yards through the air after completing 10-of-13 passes. McLane Carter, making his Red Raider debut, was 7-of-13 overall for 70 yards while true freshman Xavier Martin finished 4-of-7 for 48 yards while also adding a 15-yard scamper on his opening drive.

The Red Raiders hit the road again next weekend as Tech will travel to The Star in Frisco for its annual Spring Game. Tickets for that game are sold out but fans can still catch every play via FOX Sports Southwest Plus or FOX Sports Go.

Fans are encouraged to arrive to The Star early next Saturday for a vibrant tailgating scene outside the Ford Center as well as to welcome the Red Raiders. Fans without tickets are encouraged to watch the game from the Tostitos Championship Plaza outside the stadium.

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