April 11, 2009
GALLERY (Photos by Mark Crammer)
Clemson, SC – Quarterback Kyle Parker completed 13-21 passes for 171 yards and a score, and also ran for a score to lead the White team to a 30-13 win over the Orange team in the annual Clemson Spring Football Game at Memorial Stadium. The game was played in front of a Clemson spring game record 24,000 orange clad Tiger fans in perfect weather.
The day started with the Clemson team running down the hill, an entrance usually reserved for regular season games. But, Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney had the team board buses behind the West End Zone and make the normal game day trip around the stadium to the top of the hill. The Clemson band was off for Easter break, but the team ran down the hill after the cannon sounded as Tiger Rag blared over the PA system.
The game was played with normal stoppages in playing time for the first 35 minutes, then was played with a running clock for the remaining 25 minutes. Heisman Trophy candidate Ricky Sapp, safety Barry Humphries sat out the entire spring from a contact standpoint as they recover from torn ACL injuries.
It was a full day for Parker, who played the full football scrimmage between 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM. He then ran across the parking lot and changed into his Clemson baseball uniform to play a doubleheader for the Tigers against the fifth ranked Miami Hurricanes. In the first game he had two hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs.
Parker had strong support from White team running back Jamie Harper, who had 21 rushes for 83 yards. Tight end Durrell Barry had three catches for 29 yards, including a three-yard scoring pass from Parker for the first score of the game. Parker spread his passes around to the receivers, as he completed his 13 players to seven different players. Kyle Johnson 2-26 and Brandon Ford 2-29.
The White team defense was led by was led by Brandon Maye had five, including a tackle for loss, and Scotty Copper also had five tackles and a sack. DaQuan Bowers had two sacks, the only player on either team to have a pair of sacks.
Rising senior cornerback Crezdon Butler had the biggest defensive play of the game when he scored on a 32-yard interception return for a score. Kantrell Brown and Rashard Hall also had interceptions for the White team.
Willy Korn had a solid game for the Orange team as the rising sophomore quarterback completed 12-25 passes for 144 yards. Rendrick Taylor ran hard with 14 carries for 48 yards. Mike Wade completed 4-14 passes for 80 yards, including a 19-yard scoring pass to Ellington.
Tight end Michael Palmer had five receptions for 86 yards to match the number on his back and was the top receiver in the game to pace the Orange team. Terrence Ashe had 4-69 and Brandon Clear had 1-17.
The Orange defense was led by a host of players with five tackles apiece. Marcus Gilchrist, Kavell Conner, Jeremy Campbell, Carlton Lewis, and Jarvis Jenkins all had five tackles apiece. Kevin Alexander had four tackles, including a sack.
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney was pleased with what he saw on Saturday. “It was great day in Death Valley,” said Swinney, who will start his first full season as Clemson Head Coach in September. “I saw a lot of good things on both sides of the ball. We have had a good spring. We still have a lot of things to work on. I didn’t see any bad penalties today. We had a couple of interceptions, but no fumbles. If we can keep the turnovers to a minimum and play well on defense we can win some games this fall.”
Swinney commented on the state of the quarterback position on Saturday. “We have a healthy situation at quarterback with talented players. Kyle Parker was outstanding today and has really played well this spring, especially over the last four practices. Willy Korn has had a good spring also. The competition will continue over the summer and into the fall. It is a close battle. And, Mike Wade has done very well also and can get the job done. We have talented players at that position.”
Swinney was also pleased with the kicking on Saturday. “Early in the spring I thought I was going to have to advertise for a kicker. But both Richard Jackson and Spencer Benton finished strong today. ” The two kickers were a combined 5-5 on field goals. Jackson also had a 45-yard punting average.
The scoring started in the first period when Parker led the White team 72 yards for a score at the 6:09 mark when he connected on a three-yard scoring pass to tight end Durrell Barry. The White team scored just a minute later when Crezdon Butler intercepted a Wade pass that was deflected and sped 32 yards for a score for a 14-0 White team lead.
The Orange team scored on a 39-yard field goal by Benton at the 50-second mark of the first period. The Orange team scored again on a 29-yard field goal at the 8:54 mark of the second quarter.
After a White team field goal, the Orange team came back on a 65-yard drive that was executed with Wade at the helm. He connected with Andre Ellington on a 19-yard score to bring his team within 17-13 at halftime.
But that was as close as the Orange team could get as the White team won the second half 13-0. Jackson had a pair of field goals, boots from 32 and 44 yards that were sandwiched around a two yard scoring run by Parker, who had 198 yards of total offense on the day. That touchdown drive was a 91-yard drive in 12 plays.
Clemson Spring Football Game Statistics
Scoring Summary W — Barry 3 pass from Parker (Jackson Kick), 9-72 at 6:09 of 1st W — Butler 32-yard interception return (Jackson Kick), at 5:14 of 1st O — Benton 39 FG, 9-44 at: 50 of 1st O — Benton 29 FG, 13-57 at 8:54 of 2nd W — Jackson 27 FG, 12-55 at 4:20 of 2nd O — Ellington 19 pass from Wade (Benton Kick), 7-65 at 2:30 of 2nd W — Jackson 32 FG, 8-51 at 12:00 of 3rd W — Parker 2 run, 13-91 at: 58 of 3rd W — Jackson 44 FG 5-11 at: 50 of 4th
Rushing White: Harper 21-83, Parker 7-27-1, Watson 7-26, M. Jones 1-(-3), Barnes 1-(-1) Orange: Taylor 14-48, Ellington 9-29, Korn 9-7
Passing White: Parker 13-21-171-1-0 Orange: Korn 12-25-144-0-2, Wade 4-14-80-1-1
Receiving White: Barry 3-29-1, M. Jones 2-52, Dye 2-22, B. Ford 2-29, Johnson 2-26, Harper 1-8, Diehl 1-9 Orange: Palmer 5-86, Ellington 5-41-1, Ashe 4-69, J. Brown 1-11, Brandon Clear 1-17
Tackles White: Thompson 6, Maye 5, Cooper 5, Moore 4, McDaniel 3, Butler 3, Rollins 3, Willard 3 Orange: Gilchrist 5, Lewis 5, Conner 5, Campbell 5, Jenkins 5, Alexander 4, Chavis 4
Sacks White: Bowers 2-13, Cumbie 1-7, Cooper 1-8, Brown 1-1, Moore 1-1, Goodman 1-4, Thompson 1-8 Orange: Alexander 1-7
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