Blue Holds On for 35-28 Win Over Orange

Donovonn Young rushed 19 times for 86 yards and three touchdowns in the Blue team's 35-28 win.
Donovonn Young rushed 19 times for 86 yards and three touchdowns in the Blue team's 35-28 win.

April 12, 2013

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Blue team raced out to a 28-0 second-quarter lead and held on for a 35-28 win under the lights in the 2013 Orange and Blue Spring Game at Memorial Stadium on Friday. Nathan Scheelhaase completed 24-of-32 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, and Donovonn Young rushed 19 times for 86 yards and three touchdowns for the victorious Blue squad.

The Blue team compiled a pair of lengthy drives in the first quarter, with Young's three-run plunge capping the first and an eight-yard pass from Scheelhaase to Ryan Lankford finishing the second. The Blue defense held the Orange to only 35 yards in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Young punctuated a 45-yard drive that was set up by Taylor Barton's first interception of the night with a five-yard touchdown run. Then Barton picked off another Reilly O'Toole pass and returned it 45 yards for a score. Just before halftime, O'Toole found Evan Wilson with an eight-yard pass to cap an eight-play, 70-yard drive that brought the Orange team within 28-7 at halftime.

The Orange squad came out fired up in the second half, forcing consecutive three-and-outs to start the third quarter. They marched their first possession 71 yards down the field in six plays, including a 29-yard strike from O'Toole to receiver Martize Barr on the first play of the drive and a 12-yard touchdown pass to fullback Tim Clary.

Blue extended its lead to 35-14 after a 10-play, 85-yard drive that included 36 yards by Young on six carries and a 23-yard toss from Scheelhaase to Lankford. The Orange drove it 70 yards across the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth. Miles Osei hit Barr for 22 yards on an end-around pass and O'Toole found Osei for 25 yards. Osei snagged another pass from O'Toole across the middle and got down to the 1 yard line, and Dami Ayoola punched it in from there to cut Blue's lead to 35-21.

After Orange forced a three-and-out, Ryan Frain booted a 52-yard punt that pinned Orange on its own 12 yard line. But O'Toole went back to work, engineering a 16-play, 88-yard drive that Ayoola punctuated with a 15-yard scamper straight up the gut, pulling Orange within 35-28 with 1:56 left in the game.

The coaches decided to give the ball back to Orange and see if they could tie the game up with a two-minute drill. O'Toole drove his team deep into Blue territory, but Mason Monheim clinched the victory with an interception at his own 13 yard line.

In addition to the performance by Scheelhaase and Young, Lankford caught nine passes for 77 yards and one score. Barton had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, while Mike Svetine and B.J. Bello shared the team lead with 11 tackles. Austin Teitsma had seven stops, three TFLs and two sacks, while Tim Kynard had five tackles, including three sacks.

For the Orange - which totaled 463 yards, including 384 through the air - O'Toole was 34-of-52 for 362 yards and two touchdowns, but had four interceptions. Ayoola carried 16 times for 68 yards and two touchdowns, while Justin Hardee caught six passes for 104 yards. Osei had eight catches for 98 yards. Darius Mosely had a team-high 10 tackles, while Teko Powell totaled 1.5 sacks and Kenny Nelson added a sack.

2013 Spring Awards (presented on the field after the game)
Bresee Most Improved Offensive Player: Corey Lewis, Sr., OL
Bresee Most Improved Defensive Player: Houston Bates, Jr., LEO
Offensive Most Valuable Player: Nathan Scheelhaase, Sr., QB
Defensive Most Valuable Player: Austin Teitsma, Jr., DL
Special Teams Most Valuable Player: Zepheniah Grimes, So., LB
Unsung Award: Defense - V'Angelo Bentley, So., CB Offense - Tim Clary, So., TE
Faculty Award for Exemplary Leadership in Community, Classroom and on Field: Alex Hill, Jr., OL
Academic Excellence Award: Michael Martin, r-Fr., LS