The Black team topped the Garnet for the second-straight season in South Carolina’s annual Garnet and Black Spring game Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Dylan Thompson-led Black squad posted 21 points in the first half en route to the 28-10 victory in front of 36,412 fans.
Offense was the early draw as each side drove for a touchdown. Led by Thompson at quarterback, the Black team capped a methodical 10-play, four-minute drive with a Brandon Wilds three-yard run with 7:42 to go in the first half. Just 3:22 later, freshman signal caller Connor Mitch led Garnet on a 70-yard drive to the end zone, highlighted by a 37-yard pass to Shon Carson. Mitch ran or threw on five of the eight plays that knotted the game at 7-7 with 4:20 to play in the quarter. Thompson answered with a 70-yard drive the opened with a 34-yard completion to Jerell Adams and closed with a four-yard touchdown run by David Williams for a 14-7 Black lead. Mitch’s Garnet side struggled on then next drive, which ended three plays in when Jody Fuller fumbled after a 28-yard reception with Chris Moody recovering at his own 31-yard line just at the end of the quarter.
Black opened the second quarter with sophomore quarterback Perry Orth throwing an interception, but the defense held Garnet to just a 48-yard field goal attempt from Elliott Fry, who missed it wide right. Black could not convert the opportunity, though, and Garnet took over again with 7:15 left in the half. The drive started with three promising plays, all over 13 yards, but Garnet had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Fry, though, to cut the Black lead to 14-10 with 3:24 left in the half.
Once more, the Black team had the answer. With Thompson back under center, the side needed just 2:59 to go 60 yards for a touchdown. After David Williams rushed for 15 yards on two plays, Thompson found South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley in the end zone for a 30-yard reception that gave Black a 21-10 advantage just before halftime.
The running clock in the second half kept things moving quickly. With freshmen quarterbacks Mitch and Orth calling the shots for the Garnet and Black teams, respectively, neither team scored in the third quarter. Orth had the Black team driving late in the period, though. Darius Paulk ran for 13 yards on a pair of rushes, and two plays later Orth found Matrick Belton in the end zone with a 41-yard pass to make it 28-10 Black just 1:01 into the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Brendan Nosovitch took over at quarterback for Garnet and led his team down the field, including a 40-yard strike to Sean Odom to set up 1st and goal from the 6-yard line. The defense delivered, though, allowing just a four-yard run to Nosovitch before forcing Garnet to turn it over on downs.
Thompson finished the afternoon 8-of-11 for 129 yards and a touch down for Black, while Mitch went 7-of-10 passing for 108 yards. Skai Moore led the defense with four tackles, while Jamari Smith posted the lone interception in the game.
2014 Spring Game Awards
OL Brock Stadnik
DL Deon Green
WR’s Carlton Heard
Spur Jordan Diggs
LB Jonathan Walton
TE Jerell Adams
S T.J. Gurley
CB Brison Williams
RB Shon Carson
QB Perry Orth
Spt-LS Drew Williams
Spt-Holder Patrick Fish
Freshman-Defense Jonathan Walton
Freshman-Offense Connor Mitch / Jacob August
Legend Award Marcus Lattimore
Everyday Effort Award Mason Zandi – Offense / Mason Harris – Defense
Everyday Hustle Award Mike Matulis – Offense / J.J. Marcus & Skai Moore – Defense
Everyday Attitude Award Shamier Jeffery & Shaq Roland – Offense
J.T. Surratt & Marcquis Roberts – Defense
Outstanding Weight Room Brandon Shell – Offense / Darius English – Defense
Outstanding Walk-Ons Darius Paulk – Offense / Michael Washington – Defense
Harold White GPA Devin Potter (3.9) – Offense
T.J. Gurley (3.4) – Defense
Landon Ard (3.8) – Special Teams
Big Plays – Spring Practice Perry Orth – Offense / T.J. Holloman - Defense
Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student/Athlete
Representative of the Univ. of S. C. Dylan Thompson
Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring Pharoh Cooper
Rex Enright Defensive Player of the Spring Abu Lamin
Jim Carlen Special Teams Player of the Spring Elliott Fry
Ernest Brooks – MVP – Clemson Game Connor Shaw
Cap One Bowl – (Big Play Players) Bruce Ellington – Offense / Victor Hampton – Defense