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Quarterback Chris Leak was 12-of-20 for 86 yards in the first half.

Saturday April 22, 2006Orange Defeats Blue, 24-6, In Spring Game


Quarterback Chris Leak was 12-of-20 for 86 yards in the first half.

The University of Florida football team completed its 2006 spring season with the annual Orange and Blue Debut in front of 45,200 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Orange emerged victorious over the Blue, 24-6.


Orange quarterback Tim Tebow orchestrated a pair of scoring drives during the first half to lead the Orange to a 10-0 lead at the intermission. Following an interception by Darryon Robinson, Tebow completed five- consecutive passes to Kenneth Tookes, Cornelius Ingram and Cam Brewer. Chris Hetland booted a 52-yard field goal, the longest in UF’s spring game history, to put the first points on the board. Hetland’s successful conversion surpassed Jeff Chandler’s 51-yarder in 2001.


Tebow connected on 4-of-8 passes during a 64-yard scoring drive for the Orange in the second quarter, highlighted by a 16-yard touchdown throw to Tookes for a 10-0 lead at the break. The duo of running backs Markus Manson (96 yards on 10 carries) and DeShawn Wynn (23 yards) kept the Blue squad off-balance with a steady ground attack throughout the contest.


Blue quarterback Chris Leak completed 12 of 20 passing attempts for 86 yards during the first half, with Nyan Boateng and Louis Murphy snagging four receptions apiece. Action was suspended for 30 minutes at halftime due to lightning in the area. The players returned to the locker room as several waves of heavy rain passed through.


When play resumed, Tebow and the Orange put together another scoring drive. Tebow found Ingram on a 15-yard screen pass and later hooked up with redshirt freshman receiver David Nelson on a 29-yard toss. After Manson produced a 12-yard option run to keep the defense on its heels, Wynn finished off the drive by plunging into the end zone from one yard out. 


The Blue team narrowed the deficit to 17-6 with 4:48 remaining in the game when freshman running back Anthony Gay scored on a two-yard run. The Orange countered with 1-yard rush into the end zone by Manson to finalize the margin at 24-6. The final touchdown was set up by a 55-yard passing play from Tebow to Nelson.


Tebow completed 15-of-21 passes for 197 yards and totaled 17 yards on 11 rushes, while Leak (17-of-33) passed for 145 yards. The Gators will open their 2006 campaign against Southern Miss on Sept. 2 in Gainesville.

Score by Quarters       1          2          3          4          F

Orange                          3          7          7          7          24

Blue                               0          0          0          6          6

Scoring Summary

1st       4:47 Orange - Hetland, C. 52 yd.  FG, Orange 3 – Blue 0

2nd      3:44 Orange - Tookes, K. 16 yd. pass from Tebow, T.  (Hetland, C. kick), Orange 10 – Blue 0

3rd       0:00 Orange - Wynn, D. 1 yd. run, (Hetland, C. kick),  Orange 17, Blue 0 

4th       4:48 Blue - Gay, A. 2 run (Nappy, E kick failed), Orange 17, Blue 6

2:29 Orange - Manson, M. 2 run (Hetland, C. kick), Orange 24, Blue 6



2006 Orange and Blue Debut Postgame Notes

  • Chris Hetland’s 52-yard field goal was the longest in Florida spring game history. Jeff Chandler set the previous mark with a 51-yard field goal during the 2001 game.
  • 45,200 was the second-highest attendance for a spring football game at the University of Florida. The record was set last season when the Gators drew 58,500 for Urban Meyer’s spring coaching debut.
  • Freshman quarterback Tim Tebow completed his first five passes against the Blue team’s defense. Tebow finished the day making 15-of-21 passes for 197 yards through the air.
  • Tebow and David Nelson connected on a 55-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Nelson led all players with 90 receiving yards.
  • Chris Leak passed for 145 yards on 17-of-33 attempts. Leak completed passes to six different receivers (Louis Murphy, Nyan Boateng, Billy Latsko, Tate Casey, Chevon Walker, Anthony Gay) on the afternoon.
  • The Orange has now won two consecutive spring games and five out of the last six. It has captured eight spring games over the Blue since 1996.
  • Former Gators Danny Wuerffel and Chris Doering were honored at halftime along with the rest of the University of Florida 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame class.
  • Play was suspended for 30 minutes shortly before the start of the second half due to lightning and rain in the area. The 1985 contest was the only other time that rain altered the course of a spring game. 
  • Darryon Robinson and Nick Brooks made one interception each for their respective teams.




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