Offense Prevails in Orange and Blue Spring Game

Ryan Lankford helped the Blue to a 26-21 win.
Ryan Lankford helped the Blue to a 26-21 win.

April 23, 2011

Spring Game Scoring Summary | Spring Game Photo Gallery | Varsity I Reunion Photos

Postgame Interviews: Paul Petrino | Vic Koenning | Nathan Scheelhaase | Ryan Lankford | Jonathan Brown

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini football team held its annual Orange and Blue Spring game Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in front of an estimated crowd of over 6,000. The Illini offense (blue) came out ahead of the defense (orange) today with a final score of 26-21 using a special scoring system to award points to the defense.

The game lasted only 90 minutes, with 12-minute quarters and a running clock in the second half. The offense got the on the board early with a long drive six-plus minute drive with five first downs that culminated in a short touchdown run by running back Ean Days, giving the Orange a 12-0 lead. The defense dominated the second quarter as Miami Thomas intercepted a Nathan Scheelhaase pass and also stopped five drives, including two three-and-outs, to pull the Blue within 17-12 at halftime.

The Blue outscored the Orange 6-4 in the third quarter thanks to a fourth down stop and two more three-and-outs by the defense to make the score 21-18 Orange heading into the fourth. Scheelhaase had the longest play of the day for the offense with a 32 yard run early in the fourth quarter and picked up two other first downs, which was enough to hold off the Blue for a 26-21 win.

The scrimmage wraps-up the Spring season for the Illini, who will now prepare for summer conditioning before Camp Rantoul begins in August. The next time fans can see the Fighting Illini football team in action is in the Sept. 3 home-opener against Arkansas State.

2011 Illinois Spring Football Awards

Bresee Awards
Most Improved Offense: Ryan Lankford
Most Improved Defense: Ashante Williams
Most Improved Walkon: Eddie Viliunas

Best Effort Awards
Best Effort Offense: Hugh Thornton
Best Effort Defense: Houston Bates

Faculty Award (Exemplary Leadership in Community, Classroom and on Field)
Nathan Scheelhaase and Craig Wilson

Academic Excellence Award
Zach Becker