Gold defeats green in spring football game

By Ben Everett | Sports Writer

Baylor football played its annual spring “Green and Gold” game Saturday at McLane Stadium to conclude the spring practice season.

The 2017 football roster was divided up into offense and defense and competed against each other.

Head coach Matt Rhule said he is proud of the team and what they showed during the game following three weeks of spring practice.

“Really proud of the guys on our team and the work that they’ve done,” Rhule said. “They came out today and played some good football. Had some good moments, some bad moments, but I’m proud of them.”

The gold team was composed of the offensive players while the green team made up the defense.

For the gold team, scoring for touchdowns, point-after-touchdowns and field goals was normal, but the team also received a point for each first down and each play over 20 yards.

For the green team, scoring varied based on forcing punts, tackles for loss, sacks, turnover on downs and converting fumbles and interceptions.

Sophomore quarterback Zach Smith started the scoring with a 22-yard completion to sophomore tight end Sam Tecklenburg to put the Gold team up 2-0.

Sophomore linebacker Clay Johnston got the green team on the board with a tackle for loss to make it a 3-1 game.

Smith and sophomore wide receiver Tony Nicholson led the gold team down the field where sophomore kicker Connor Martin knocked in a 32-yard field goal to put gold up 9-1.

Photo credit: Dayday Wynn

Freshman defensive back Jalen Pitre recorded two tackles for loss for the defense and senior transfer QB Anu Solomon showed off his athleticism with a 22-yard run as the gold led 11-3 in the first quarter.

The green team forced back-to-back punts to end the first quarter with gold leading 14-5.

Freshman QB Charlie Brewer led a drive that ended in a 42-yard field goal make for sophomore kicker Peter Webster to put gold up 19-5.

The green team started to make a comeback in the second quarter as senior defensive end Brian Nance recorded a tackle for loss and senior defensive end KJ Smith stopped the offense on a fourth down to cut the gold lead to 19-9.

Following another forced punt, the gold team was awarded five extra points after sophomore defensive tackle Bravvion Roy caught a punt from junior punter Drew Galitz as the green team closed the gap to 19-16.

Brewer showed off his speed with back-to-back first down runs and ended the drive with a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Marques Jones to put gold on top 30-20.

Martin booted in a 43-yard field goal as time expired with gold team leading 33-20 heading into halftime.

The green team started out strong in the second half with a sack from Smith and a tackle for loss from junior defensive end Xavier Jones, but the gold team responded with a touchdown pass from Brewer to senior tight end Ishmail Wainright to go up 42-25.

Sophomore linebacker Jordan Williams forced a fumble that was recovered by freshman defensive tackle Will Jones to make it a 43-28 game in the third quarter.

Back-to-back passes from sophomore QB Zack Bennema to sophomore wide receiver Pooh Stricklin put the gold team up 45-28 at the end of three quarters.

Longtime Baylor football manager Clint Lewis who suffers from down syndrome was handed a lateral, scored a touchdown and was greeted by the entire team in the end zone to celebrate.

Rhule said he enjoys seeing moments like that in spring football games.

“I think its wonderful all across the country to see people in their spring games honoring veterans, people battling adversity and people with special needs,” Rhule said. “That was a wonderful moment for Clint.”

Solomon led the offense in the fourth, completing passes to sophomore wide receiver Obim Okeke and freshman wide receiver R.J. Sneed to get the gold team into the redzone.

A tackle for loss from Johnston and a sack from freshman safety Jairon McVea made it a 50-35 Gold lead.

Sophomore QB Preston Heard came in and tossed a touchdown to junior tight end Jayson Clements to bring the Gold lead to 56-37.

Smith led the offense on the final drive of the game and completed a touchdown to Nicholson as Gold defeated Green 65-39.

Smith said the change in offensive scheme was difficult at first but that he is starting to get the hang of it.

“I think I’ve adapted to it pretty well,” Smith said. “It was hard at first. I’m looking forward to studying it and continuing to perfect my craft.”

Baylor opens up the 2017 football season on Sept. 2 at McLane Stadium. Time will be announced at a later date.