Spring practice came to a close at Valparaiso University on Saturday morning at Brown Field as the Gold defeated the Brown 51-32 at the annual spring game.
The game used a modified scoring system with points as the offense (gold) battled the defense (brown).
“I liked out tempo today,” head coach Dale Carlson said. “Our players got an idea of how quickly we want to move the football in a game setting.”
The Gold posted the day’s first big play as Bobby Wysocki (Calumet City, Ill./Thornwood H.S.) connected with Eric Slenk (Holland, Mich./Christian H.S.) on a 55-yard touchdown pass early in the opening quarter.
JaVon Welch (Grand Rapids, Mich./Ottawa Hills H.S.) proved the Brown with its first big play, intercepting a pass midway through the first quarter. Josh Keatley (Woodstock, Ohio/Triad H.S.) added a touchdown for the Golf on the final play of the opening period, a 1-yard run, to give the offense a 24-7 lead.
Chrision Rasberry (Chicago, Ill./King College Prep H.S.) intercepted the second play of the second quarter to add points on the scoreboard for the Brown. Andrezj Skiba (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor H.S.) booted a pair of second quarter field goals for the Gold in the second, one from 24 yards and another from 44 yards after connecting from 43 yards out in the first.
Nate Goergen (Golden, Colo./Golden H.S.) added a 15-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Niehus (Oak Park, Ill./Pak Park & River Forest H.S.) with 40 seconds remaining before halftime to give the Gold a 45-22 lead at the break.
After playing the first half under normal timing rules as two 15 minute quarters, the third quarter was played as a 12-minute running clock.
Matt Heinen (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte H.S.) made another big play for the defense in the third quarter, recovering a fumble in the backfield and returning it about 10 yards. Gold led the Brown 49-30 after three quarters.
The final quarter was played as a two-minute drill with 1:50 on the clock with the Gold starting on the 35-yard line. A third down 25-yard completion from Matt Upshaw (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central H.S.) to David Coneys (Sebastian, Fla./Sebastian River H.S.) kept the drive alive. The Brown registered a sack at the 12-yard line on first and goal with 13 seconds to play and held the offense from scoring on the final play of the game.
“We had some positive plays both rushing and passing,” Carlson added. “The defense got some good stops and adjusted nicely in coverage.