WRs Macon, Reedy impress in Blue and Gold gameWritten by Zach Davis | | email@example.com
In Toledo’s annual Blue and Gold spring game, the Rockets began their search to replace Eric Page, the top wide receiver in school history.
As far as April 13 goes, they have two pretty strong candidates.
Wide receivers Dwight Macon and Bernard Reedy stole the show as Macon’s Blue Team edged out Reedy’s Gold Team 21-13 in the Glass Bowl.
“What you have seen is 14-15 practices of guys coming together and tonight playing very well,” Toledo first-year head coach Matt Campbell said. “Dwight Macon has had a great camp and he could have been the player of the day every day throughout the spring. Bernard Reedy just keeps getting better and better. I’m really excited about what that young group has. Anytime you lose a guy like Eric Page, young guys get an opportunity to show themselves and that’s what we are about at the University of Toledo.”
Macon, the team’s third-string quarterback last season, converted to wide receiver in the offseason and has been so impressive that he was selected as the top pick by the senior class while dividing teams for the Blue and Gold game. The sophomore caught seven passes for 114 yards and one score for the Blue Team, a 70-yard touchdown reception after a short pass on the first play of the game.
“I told Dwight you might as well just go score, no point in just messing around. Just go score and that’s what he did,” senior quarterback Austin Dantin said. “Dwight is an unbelievable athlete and if we can get him in space and he keeps doing what he is doing he is going to be doing a great job this year.”
Campbell maintained that despite Macon’s success at receiver, he will continue to receive reps in practice as the team’s third-string quarterback. Macon had limited time at quarterback in the scrimmage, passing for 31 yards on 4 of 5 attempts.
Reedy, who was the second-overall pick for the spring game, was the team’s second-leading receiver, totaling 758 yards and nine touchdowns last season and earned Most Valuable Player honors in UT’s Military Bowl victory over Air Force. The junior caught seven passes for 150 yards for the Gold Team with a touchdown.
In the seemingly never-ending quarterback battle that has now entered its third season, senior Austin Dantin outplayed junior Terrance Owens in the scrimmage. Dantin, representing the Blue Team, completed 14 of 18 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns while Owens completed 15 of 26 throws for 277 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
“The success of these offensive players and these skill guys is because of what we have in Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens,” Campbell said. “They allow these guys to get so much better so fast. Those guys will continue to compete at a high level and make everyone around them compete at a high level as well.”
On the ground, junior running back David Fluellen rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries with one score for the Blue Team as he begins the season as the top candidate to replace Adonis Thomas. Junior Robert Carmona and sophomore Ricky Pringle led the Gold Team with 44 and 43 yards, respectively.
Following Macon’s 70-yard score on the first play of the game, the Gold Team responded with field goals of 37 and 29 yards from sophomore Jeremiah Detmer to cut the lead to 7-6 at the half.
Fluellen extended the Blue Team’s lead before Dantin hit sophomore Cassius McDowell for a 31-yard score to push their advantage to 21-6.
The Gold Team came back with a touchdown by Reedy, who broke multiple tackles to go 70 yards and narrow the lead to 21-13.
The most important play of the game came soon after as the Gold Team faced a 4th down at the goal line. Attempting to run the ball for the score, Pringle was stopped just short as the Blue Team took over possession on downs.
“We always try to eliminate the big plays, big plays are what kills you,” said senior linebacker Robert Bell, who recorded four tackles, one sack and an interception for the Blue Team. “We made them kick field goals in the red zone and that’s what you have to try to do. They hit the big plays and that’s how they got 13 points, but as long as you keep your [composure] we can always close out the game.”
The Gold Team had one more late attempt at scoring as Owens threw a “hail Mary” from 38 yards away, but junior receiver James Green caught the pass eight yards short of the end zone as time expired and the Blue Team prevailed 21-13.
The Rockets will open the season on the road at Arizona on Sept. 1 before heading to play Wyoming the next week. They will open the 2012 season in the Glass Bowl on Sept. 15 against arch-rival Bowling Green.
Tags: Adonis Thomas, Austin Dantin, Bernard Reedy, Blue and Gold Spring Game, Cassius McDowell, David Fluellen, Dwight Macon, James Green, Jeremiah Detmer, Matt Campbell, Ricky Pringle, Robert Bell, Robert Carmona, Rockets Football, Terrance Owens, Zach Davis