published Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Even runners get in on 32-31 G-Day fun

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia's spring football game had a surprising amount of fireworks Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium, with the Red team pulling out a 32-31 win over the Black.

Even the running backs had a little room to roam. A little.

"It's been a hard road to run against our [defensive] front," Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "They've got a lot of meat and mass up there, and they've got some good corners that kind of screw down the safeties and play tight coverage out there and make it tight to run the football.

"We had our moments and got better throughout the spring, and going against our defense is only going to make us better."

Georgia did not have a 50-yard rusher in any of its three spring scrimmages, but Richard Samuel, Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome each had a gain of 10 or more yards Saturday before an announced G-Day crowd of 44,117. Samuel rushed eight times for 43 yards and a touchdown, doing most of his damage late, while Crowell rushed 10 times for 39 yards and Malcome made eight runs for 32 yards and two scores.

Malcome's 29 yards in the second scrimmage had been the high before G-Day.

"We did a lot better today," he said. "We got beat up a lot this spring, but I think we could go up against any defense in the country, and that has made me and Isaiah better."

The defense aided in the high score when end Garrison Smith recovered a Hutson Mason fumble in the end zone and walk-on end Ricky Lowe recovered a fumble by walk-on quarterback Parker Welch and raced 62 yards for a touchdown. Lowe's score with 1:40 remaining gave the Red a 32-25 lead, but the Black struck back with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Christian LeMay to tight end Jay Rome with 59 seconds left.

LeMay's two-point-conversion pass sailed through the hands of Rhett McGowan, providing the difference.

"It was a great day for Georgia," head coach Mark Richt said. "I feel like everyone enjoyed the game. I thought there were a lot of offensive plays made today, and when you look at it, the defense was scoring points, too. I thought both sides of the ball played well."

Starting quarterback Aaron Murray was 7-of-17 passing for 112 yards for the Red and accounted for the first half's only touchdown with a 33-yard hookup with Tavarres King. Mason played for both teams and went a combined 9-of-12 for 133 yards, while LeMay was 7-of-10 for 154 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Justin Scott-Wesley and King were Murray's favorite targets, totaling five catches for 93 yards.

"Our guys did a great job against one of the best defenses in the country," Murray said. "It showed out there in the game today."

Ramik Wilson, who has played both inside and outside linebacker this spring, led the Red with seven tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception he returned 19 yards. Outside linebacker Chase Vasser led the Black with five tackles and a pass deflection.

There were 108 total plays in G-Day, with the defenses combining for 12 tackles for loss, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. And not allowing that much room to run.

"We just lined up and played," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. "I think we have a solid front and that we need to continue to develop ourselves, because we need to be good up front."

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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