Orange Team Wins Annual UVa Spring Football Game

By: Kristi Fulkerson Email
By: Kristi Fulkerson Email

April 14, 2012

In the annual Virginia spring football game, the Orange team had the upper hand Saturday, winning 20-17 over the Blue team. The two teams played four 8-minute quarters to decide a winner. Orange was made up of the returning first-team offense and Blue included the majority of returning players and starters on defense.

Leading the way for the Orange squad was Perry Jones, who scored both touchdowns for the winning team. Rising junior quarterback Michael Rocco completed 12-of-21 passes and threw for 195 yards while kicker Drew Jarrett kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal.

"I think at times we did well," said Orange quarterback Michael Rocco. "We moved the ball pretty productively. Still, there were hiccups with either a bad snap, missed assignment or missed alignment by one of our receivers. We tried to clean it up a little bit, but we'll watch the film and see what we need to improve on."

"It was pretty good tempo," Virginia head coach Mike London said. "The weather was good, it was what you want out of the last practice of spring practice. It was good to see the guys competing. We are going to continue to make downfield throws and try to get the ball in the hands of as many guys as possible. There is an emphasis on explosive plays, plays that move the ball beyond 15 yards. We have guys that can run, that were athletes and track runners in high school, and we are going to find ways to get them the ball."

True freshman Greyson Lambert led the Blue team for the third and fourth quarters, connecting on 8 of 15 passes and 75 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Parks. Khalek Shepherd had a team high 102 rushing yards, 75 of those on a breakaway touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Orange team scored on the opening drive after a 47-yard pass from Rocco to tight end Jack McGee set up a one-yard score from Jones.

The Blue team answered with a drive led by rising sophomore quarterback David Watford and was capped off by a 20-yard field goal by Jarrett. Orange held a 10-3 lead at halftime.

To start the third, first-year quarterback Greyson Lambert made his first appereance of the day, leading to the team's first touchdown. Lambert completed four passes, the final a 13-yard strike to Parks, tying the game at 10 with an extra point from Jarrett.

Orange regained the lead later in the third quarter on a seven-yard score from Jones. Blue again tied the game, 17-17, on the 75-yard touchdown run by Shepherd.

Jarrett kicked the game-winning field goal for the Orange team with 55 seconds remaining in the game.

"You're happy that when you're playing a game," said London. "And coaches are off the field that some guys can get out there and they can play, they don't need to have a coach standing over them. To finish up where we finished up I'm happy about the improvement made, we still have a ways to go but I'm much more confident going into August than the past two springs."

After the game, Coach London announced the 2012 captains as senior running back Perry Jones, senior offensive tackle Oday Aboushi, LaRoy Reynolds and senior defensive tackle Will Hill.

Awarded the Rock Weird Award as the most improved players from spring training camp were Will Hill and sophomore wide receiver Dominique Terrell. Sophomore cornerback Demetrious Nicholson earned the Z Society Dudley Award presented to the first-year player for his excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community. The Cavalier Academic Achievement Award was shared by senior defensive end Billy Schautz and junior defensive end Jake Snyder. And for his dedication in the weight room, junior wideout Tim Smith won the Iron Cavalier award.

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