White Holds On for 21-20 Win Over Blue
STATESBORO, Ga. - If Head Coach Jeff Monken wanted a Georgia Southern win on his birthday, he got his wish. In the annual Blue-White Spring Game, the White team held on to take a 21-20 victory over the Blue team Friday, April 15th, at Paulson Stadium in front of 4,233 Eagle fans. Freshman quarterback Jerick McKinnon ran for one touchdown and threw for another one for the Blue team. Junior Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) handed off to Brent Thomas (Tampa, Fla.) for the White team's first score and connected with Tyler Sumner (Pooler, Ga.) for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Nico Hickey (Columbus, Ga.) scored two touchdowns for the Blue team, one on a rush and another on a fourth-quarter pass play from McKinnon.
"They were running into each other pretty well," said Eagles Head Coach Jeff Monken. "There were some good hits, good blocks and hard tackles. I think the guys really enjoyed the chance to get out there and play in front of a crowd."
Shaw led the White team downfield on the first possession of the game to put the White squad up 7-0. Darreion Robinson (Bishop, Ga.) took the pitch to the left for 29 yards to put the White into Blue territory. Two plays later and after a White timeout, Shaw hit Patrick Barker (Pontre Vedra, Fla.) for a 31-yard completion to put the White team at first-and-goal. After no gains on his first two attempts, Shaw handed off to Brent Thomas (Tampa, Fla.) for the one-yard score and Billy Greer (Crosby, Texas) added the point after.
With a game-long 73-yard pass, Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) and Kentrellis Showers (Dublin, Ga.) put the Blue team inside the White 5. George Osunde (Alpharetta, Ga.) and Connell Reddick, Jr. (Hephzibah, Ga.), pushed Nico Hickey (Columbus, Ga.) back three yards. On his next attempt Hickey took the pitch left for the final five yards for the touchdown. Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) added the PAT for the 7-7 tie.
The White team responded on its next drive with another score. Miguel Gilmore (Orlando, Fla.) ran for 27 yards on three plays during the drive and Robinson had 21 more, including the 13-yard touchdown run. Greer put the finishing touch on the drive with a PAT to put White up 14-7 with a minute left in the first quarter.
The Blue team drove to the White 20 on 10 plays, covering 50 yards, but a missed 37-yard field goal ended the chance for the score.
An efficient drive of four plays and 80 yards put the White team across the goal line again for a 21-7 lead on its first drive of the second quarter. After two rushing plays, Shaw completed a pass to Barker for a 54-yard gain and then set up an 11-yard touchdown for Sumner to put the score at 21-7.
The two teams turned over the ball on downs on the next two possessions. The Blue team started its drive with 5:20 left in the half and on the third play, Showers caught a 45-yard pass from McKinnon, stunning the White defense. Terrell Jackson (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Brian Wilcher (Dublin, Ga.) picked up first downs and McKinnon kept for the three-yard touchdown. Luke Cherry (Jacksonville, Fla.) hit the point after to pull the Blue team within seven points, 21-14, White team.
Two punts, a fumble recovery and a change of possession on downs defined the scoreless third quarter. The Blue team started its scoring drive at the end of the third. Hickey threw to McKinnon to pick up 12 yards and then Jackson pushed up the middle for another 15 yards. Devin Scott (Tucker, Ga.) popped two nice runs for seven yards. and the Blue team lost two for a fourth-and-five mark, Jackson rushed for 12 yards to convert the first down.
A five-yard penalty set the ball back at the White 24 for a first-and-15. McKinnon rushed for nine yards and Jackson duplicated the effort a nine-yard gain. Jackson added five more yards to his total, setting up the one-yard pass play from McKinnon to Hickey. The Blue squad went for the lead with a two-point conversion, but the play was stopped one inch away from the end zone.
The Blue team's John Stevenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) had the top tackle total with nine. Marcus Duvall (Griffin, Ga.) had seven for the White team and Michael Spaulding (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Osunde had six for the Blue and White teams, respectively.
"They certainly had a never-say-die attitude. They are going to play hard, we've got a good group of guys that are going to play hard. Its going to be a matter of us executing, playing our assignments, blocking our blocks. I don't know how talented this football team is, but hopefully we can be a tough team."
Robinson had 94 yards for the White team while Jackson lead the Blue squad with 72. Shaw completed five of eight passes for 138 yards and McKinnon was three of four for 119 yards. Barker's two receptions totaled 85 yards and Showers had 118 yards on his two catches.
Jayson Foster and Mark Williams served as the honorary captains for the White Team while Steve Bussoletti was the honorary captain for the Blue Team.
- Category: Football
- Published on Friday, 15 April 2011 21:54