Haskell Indian Nations University's defense never actually tackled quarterbacks Peter Hahn or Rob Palmer the two wore bright red jerseys that screamed to defenders "HANDS OFF" but they were still credited with five sacks.
And the defense did that in only 33 plays in the Purple and Gold intrasquad scrimmage Friday night at Haskell Stadium. But Indians' coach Graham Snelding is not worried about what might seem as a porous offensive line.
"Our defensive line is the strongest part of our team," the first-year coach said. "I told our offensive line that if they can block these guys they'll be able to block anyone in the league."
If Snelding's linemen can keep defenders away from Hahn, the team's starting quarterback, the Indians could put up some big numbers on the scoreboard. Except when the team was in obvious running situations, the offense used three-, four- and sometimes five-receiver sets.
During the third offensive series of the scrimmage, facing third and 20 on the defense's 40-yard line, Hahn threw a deep pass over the middle for a touchdown.
In his next series he moved the offense down field and fired a 12-yard touchdown for the second, and final, score of the scrimmage.
"I'm satisfied with how I played," said Hahn, who graduated from Swanee High School in Live Oak, Fla., in 2000. "I still need a little work on dropping back."
Hahn attended Florida State University last year and planned to walk on the football team, but could not because of problems processing his transcript.
"My transcript got messed up and I was going to try out, but things happened," he said. "Then coach called me and said he needed a quarterback, so I came."
Hahn was 5-for-10 with 103 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage.
"Right now, Pete is the starter and Rob Palmer is the backup," Snelding said. "But both are looking good."
If senior receiver Sonny Duncan returns, the quarterbacks might look even better. Duncan, a second-team all-league pick last year and first team the year before, has not reported to practice yet because of family issues, Snelding said.
"He's supposed to be here (Saturday)," he said. "I don't know if he'll be able to play against Bacone (on Aug. 25), though, and right now that's what we're getting ready for."