Red-White spring football game ends in 34-34 tie

Red-White spring football game ends in 34-34 tie
South Dakota head football coach Ed Meierkort was pleased with his team's performance in the annual Red-White game April 21 at the DakotaDome before an estimated crowd of 2,500.

"I was pleased with the effort of both the offense and defense tonight," said Meierkort. "They (red and white squads) played hard all night. But they know the expectations of playing for the Coyotes, which means they have to give their best each and every time they step onto the field. This was a pretty physical game and I was proud of the effort.

"I felt the defense was pretty dominant early in the game," he continued. "I am impressed with the speed of the defense, particularly off the corner with guys like (Tyler) Spease and (Jon) Lakatos. Our secondary covers very well and I would find it hard to believe that there is a better secondary anywhere in the league."


The Red squad (offense) and the White squad (defense) played to a 34-34 tie in a 60-play scrimmage. Both teams made several big plays during the spring game. The White team came up with three turnovers while the Red team had a pair of TDs and a field goal. The scoring system rewarded six points for a TD, three points for a field goal, six points for a turnover, two points for a defensive stop and one point for a first down. The Red Team led, 19-14, at halftime.

Overall, the Red team had 41 rushes for 198 yards and completed 13-of-23 passes for 139 yards with a TD, and two interceptions.

In limited duty, All-American running back and Harlon Hill candidate Stefan Logan of Miami, FL, had two rushes for 55 yards, including a 50-yard run early in the game. Matt Lee of Oxnard, CA, rushed 11 times for 55 yards. Darnell Pitts of Sioux City, IA, had nine rushes for 48 yards and a TD. Pitts had a 10-yard scoring run in the third quarter and also had a 29-yard run. Bobby Thomas of Lancaster, CA, had seven rushes for 24 yards.

Starting quarterback Carter Black, a junior from South Sioux City, IA, completed 2-of-5 passes for 31 yards, including a first-quarter 28-yard scoring strike to junior tight end David Cronin of Holstein, IA. Redshirt freshman Noah Shepherd of Thornton, CO, completed 7-of-10 passes for 43 yards and an interception. He also rushed seven times for 20 yards.

Dan Skelly, a redshirt freshman from Champlin, MN, completed 3-of-7 passes for 42 yards and had two carries for seven yards. In addition, Jacob Breske, a redshirt freshman from Webster, completed his only pass of the game for 23 yards to Taylor Walker of Phelan, CA. Jordan Murphy, a junior from Aberdeen, had two receptions for 22 yards and redshirt freshman Ben Oberle of Vermillion, caught two passes for 12 yards. Alex Perkowski, a junior from Hinsdale, IL, had one reception for 23 yards.

Defensively, Blake Hoyer, a sophomore from Lake Preston, finished with four tackles, all solo stops. Tyler Spease, a sophomore from Rapid City, had three tackles and an interception. Senior John Barker of Sioux City, IA, Jon Lakatos of West Lake, CA, and Josh Sprecher of Huron, had quarterback sacks. T.J. Simmons of Houston, TX, had an interception and a tackle while Devon Toft of Canton, had a fumble recovery.

Meierkort was pleased with the offensive line, which lost four starters from the 2005 squad.

"We have several guys with experience coming back like Christian Morton, Ryan Mach and Nick Walters. The entire offense line all showed good things tonight," he said. "The coaching staff is very proud of the effort by everyone that played," he said.

Colette Abbott of Vermillion, USD business professor Jack Powell and Argus Leader writer Mick Garry served as honorary captains for the Red-White game.

USD will open the season in a special Thursday night game against Quincy University on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. in the DakotaDome.

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