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The Syracuse football team gave fans their first look of the 2015 edition in Saturday's annual spring game – the centerpiece of a day filled with events for Orange fans, including the annual 'Select-A-Seat' promotion that led to the purchase of almost 350 season tickets.
"We had a good spring, we kept things real basic during the course of the game but we had a good spring," said head coach Scott Shafer. "I was pleased with some of our young corners. I thought Cordell Hudson played well, he had a couple nice pass breakups down field for us. I was pleased with the hitting and tackling on defense. Offensively we broke off a couple big runs and good chunks on some deep throws, but for the most part it's been a good spring and we're looking forward to the fall."
On the field, several members of the Orange had strong days, led by defensive end Ron Thompson's three-sack effort on the defensive side of the ball. Fellow senior defensive end Donnie Simmons added a pair of sacks of his own as well.
On the offensive side of the ball Adly Enoicy's 36-yard touchdown reception on a strike from Austin Wilson was one of the highlights. Steve Ishmael led all receivers with 59 yards on four receptions, including a 30-yard leaping catch down the sideline on a pass from Terrel Hunt.
Sean Avant also hauled in four passes on the day for 36 yards.
'Cuse fans also got their first look at tight end Trey Dunkelberger, who grabbed three passes for 34 yards. Brisly Estime and Ashton Broyld each caught a pair of balls as well.
Hunt finished the afternoon 10-of-30 through the air for a game-high 145 yards. His replacements, Wilson and AJ Long, threw for 7-of-10 for 103 yards and 4-of-8 for 72 yards respectively.
On the ground, Devante McFarlane led all rushers with 59 yards on 14 carries, while George Morris added 40 yards on 13 attempts.
In addition to the efforts of Thompson and Simmons, the strong showing of the Syracuse defense was aided by Joe Stanard, who finished with a game-high seven tackles, and Zaire Franklin and Jonathan Thomas who each chipped in six of their own.
Thomas had a pair of tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a combined five yards for loss.
On the outside, Cordell Hudson created issues for the wide receivers, breaking up a pair of passes. Alryk Perry – who finished with five tackles – Eric Jackson, Corey Winfield and Parris Bennett each knocked down a pass as well.
Following the game, fans were able to interact and take photos with the team after the game at 'selfie stations' and the younger members of OrangeNation enjoyed inflatables on the field.