Maroon Edges White 14-10 in Spring Game

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Virginia Tech concluded spring practice with the annual Maroon-White game on Saturday afternoon, and the Maroon team came away with a 14-10 victory. The defense for both teams stood out, as neither offense was able to get anything going for the majority of the game.

All eyes were on the quarterbacks, and they generally played well, completing 17-of-26 passes for 217 yards. They threw two touchdown passes and one interception. R-sophomores Sean Glennon and Cory Holt, and r-freshman Ike Whitaker received the majority of the playing time. Each quarterback played for both teams.

Each quarterback did some good things in the passing game. Glennon completed 5-of-6 passes for 36 yards and did not turn the ball over. Cory Holt was 4-of-12 for 83 yards. He got off to a rough start on the first possession when he threw an interception to linebacker Vince Hall, but later in the game he had a 50-yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan. Whitaker had the most impressive game from a statistical standpoint, completing all six of his passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Neither team could establish an effective running game. The White team had -4 yards on the ground, while the Maroon team managed just 42. Cory Holt was the game’s leading rusher with nine carries for 36 yards.

The Maroon team jumped on top early in the game. Vince Hall intercepted Cory Holt’s pass on the first possession of the game and returned it to the five yard line. From there, the Maroon team ran a reverse to Eddie Royal, who took it in for an easy touchdown. Just seconds into the game, the Maroon team found themselves up 7-0.

They wasted no time in extending their lead. On their next possession, facing a fourth-and-four from the White’s 49 yard line, they decided to go for it. Ike Whitaker dropped back to pass, avoided a strong pass rush by r-freshman defensive end William Wall, and scrambled to his right. He put up a deep ball on the run to Justin Harper, who had gotten behind Jahre Cheeseman and Robert Parker. Whitaker hit Harper in stride and the 49-yard touchdown pass made the score 14-0.

The White team began a rally at the end of the first half. With just 11 seconds remaining in the half, Cory Holt found Josh Morgan down the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. Morgan beat Kent Hicks on the play, and the score cut the Maroon lead to 14-7 at halftime.

The second half was owned by both defenses. Brandon Pace kicked a 49-yard field goal for the White team in the second half, making the final score 14-10.

Defensive standouts included Xavier Adibi and William Wall. Adibi has been drawing rave reviews from Bud Foster for his performance this spring, and he capped it off with a good spring game. He recorded 3.5 tackles, including two for a loss and half-a-sack.

William Wall had the best performance of his young career. He finished with 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He was in the backfield on numerous occasions. At one point, he sacked Ike Whitaker, forced him to fumble and then recovered the fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Wall, he grabbed Whitaker’s facemask on the play and his score was called back.

The receivers were led by juniors Justin Harper and Josh Morgan. Harper caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown, while Morgan finished with four receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. They were the only players who caught more than one pass during the game.

With spring practice in their rear-view mirror, the Hokies will now use the summer to develop depth along the offensive line and continue to try to decide on a starting quarterback. The 2006 football season kicks off on September 2 against Northeastern.

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