Asu Scrimmage Pleasing To Fans

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About 4,000 devils disciples from around the state descended on Camp Tontozona Saturday for a preseason peek at the Arizona State University football team.

During the annual fans' scrimmage, the defense dominated an ASU offense that has been projected to be one of the most high-powered in the PAC-10 conference.

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Sun Devil wide receiver T.J. Simpson (86) draws man-on-man coverage from cornerback Chris Baloney (23).

Following the about 2-hour long practice, ASU head football coach Dennis Erickson told the media he wasn't worried about the offense coming around, rather he was happy to have the team's often-maligned defense step up.

Among the finest plays turned in by the defense was an interception by former Mesa Red Mountain star John Hargis, a 6-foot, 4-inch 310-pound redshirt freshman. Hargis made the pick after Jonathan English batted the ball at the line of scrimmage.

For the offense, Rudy Carpenter completed 8-of-17 passes for 116 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Arizona State University freshman Caitlin Fruth, a 2007 PHS graduate, was among those fans at the scrimmage.

She left impressed with freshman wide receiver Kerry Taylor, formerly of Chandler Hamilton High School.

"He's going to be very good, he has a lot of potential," Fruth said.

Taylor was the offensive MVP, with five receptions for 85 yards and last year was named Arizona's Receiver of the Year by Arizona Football magazine.

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Arizona State University cornerback Chris Baloney covers Nate Kimbrough after the wide receiver hauled in a pass from Rudy Carpenter.

Erickson's arrival in Tempe is expected to signal a return of the Sun Devils once-vaunted running game that seemed to be only a passing thought on the mind of former coach Dirk Koetter.

In the scrimmage, Ryan Torain carried eight times, for 60 yards. Former Peoria High standout Keegan Herring, whose gregarious antics kept fans on the sidelines chucklin', carried eight times for 50 yards, including a longest run of 36 yards.

Following the scrimmage, the team boarded busses bound for Payson, where the players watched the matinee movie "The Bourne Ultimatum" at Sawmill Theatres.

The Sun Devils will remain at Tontozona until tomorrow, Wednesday, when the team returns to Tempe.

The final practice at Tontozona will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Another fan scrimmage will be held 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at Sun Devil Stadium.

The Sun Devils open the season Sept. 1 against San Jose State in Tempe.

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