Gold Team prevails 35-14 in Spring GameWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On a night that produced winds and cold rain spells more akin to a conference game in mid-November, the Rockets capped spring practice with their annual Blue-Gold Game as 500 fans watched the Gold Team prevail 35-14 over the Blue Team at the Glass Bowl on Apr. 15.
“There’s great competition out there,” Toledo head coach Tim Beckman said. “The guys understand that we’re playing for steaks and eggs or rice cakes, so I get to have steak and eggs but those other guys are playing for it.”
One player who earned his meal ticket in the intrasquad scrimmage was sophomore wide receiver Bernard Reedy, who finished the game with 143 yards on eight catches with one touchdown for the Gold Team.
“I was preparing for it all spring,” Reedy said. “It feels really good because when you’re working so hard, you feel like you need someone on the other end. So I just felt like if the coaches give me an opportunity, I was just going to show them what I could do.”
Reedy showed how speedy he can be when he caught a pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Dwight Macon in the second quarter and turned it into a 53-yard touchdown.
“It was a screen play,” Reedy said. “I was supposed to take three steps up and come back behind the linemen, but it got broken up. Me and Dwight, we’re roommates, so I looked at him and we winked, and then he knew when to throw it.”
The Gold Team had 390 yards to the Blue Team’s 151 in the contest, holding a 156-48 advantage on the ground and a 234-103 advantage through the air. Senior running back and Gold Team member Adonis Thomas led all rushers with 97 yards on 16 carries for two touchdowns. Meanwhile, junior quarterback Austin Dantin saw his first game action behind center since getting injured in a 42-7 victory over Eastern Michigan on Oct. 30, 2010 of last season, completing 11-of-16 passes for 127 yards with one interception for the Gold Team.
“It was incredible,” Dantin said. “Being able to get out here with my brothers, really, and be able to play again, it was a great feeling. I was extremely fired up. It was great being able to get out there and run around a little bit, and just play out there with my teammates again.”
Sophomore quarterback Terrance Owens—currently listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart—started opposite Dantin for the Blue Team and completed eight-of-17 throws for 82 yards and one touchdown.
“It feels real good just to be able to come out and just have a real, live game situation, and to be able to come out and perform,” Owens said. “You know a spring game, we expect it to be like feeling real good and sunny. It is football weather. It was a little difficult because we’re not really used to that. Usually we’ll be indoors, but you’ve just got to get used to it and adapt to everything.”
In the first quarter, the Blue Team struck first as Owens found junior wide receiver Cordale Scott for an 18-yard score to make it 7-0 at the 10:57 mark. The Gold Team bounced back and tied the game at 7 apiece thanks to Thomas, who ran 20 yards up the middle untouched into the end zone with 3:18 on the clock. Thomas finished the quarter with 59 yards rushing for an average of 8.4 yards per carry as his Gold Team outgained the Blue Team by a 74-65 margin.
The Gold Team carried that offensive momentum into the second quarter as Thomas found paydirt again at the 10:19 mark on a 14-yard run to make it 14-7. That lead was extended by seven more points less than three minutes later when Macon found Reedy on a 53-yard strike to give the Gold Team a 21-7 lead with 8:09 remaining in the second quarter. The Gold Team held off the Blue Team the rest of the quarter to keep the 14-point halftime advantage.
The Blue Team struggled offensively in the first half, gaining just 91 yards on 35 plays. Meanwhile, the Gold Team racked up 251 yards on 41 plays and had 179 passing yards to the Blue Team’s 39. Reedy led the Gold Team’s attack with 109 yards on six catches with one touchdown, while Thomas had 85 yards on 13 carries with two scores on the ground.
In the second half, the Blue Team got on the board for the first time since the opening minutes of the game at the 9:08 mark of the fourth quarter when senior running back Morgan Williams punched it in from one-yard out to make it 28-14. The Gold Team got two second half touchdowns from sophomore running back David Fluellen for the 35-14 final.
Toledo kicks off the season on Sept. 1 at home against New Hampshire.