Saturday April 18, 2009Orange Team Wins 31-21 in Annual Spring Game
The defending national champion University of Florida Football Team topped off its 2009 spring season with the Orange and Blue Debut Saturday afternoon in front of a record-breaking spring game crowd of 65,000 people. The Orange team defeated the Blue team 31-21 for its first win in three years.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback John Brantley (Ocala, Fla.) had an outstanding day playing on both the Orange and Blue teams scoring 5 total touchdowns. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla.) amazed the crowd with 4 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman linebacker Brendan Beal (Bangor, Pa.) had a great day with one interception, while leading all defensive players with 13 total tackles.
On the first drive of the game, senior quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) completed a screen pass to sophomore running back Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.) for 37 yards to set the Blue team up on the 14 yard line. With 5:43 remaining in the first quarter, redshirt freshman fullback T.J. Pridemore (Gainesville, Ga.) received a two-yard pass from Tebow for the first score of the day.
After being forced to punt on their first drive, the Orange scored early in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown pass from Brantley to senior fullback Rick Burgess (Jupiter, Fla.) to even the score at 7-7. On the very next play, redshirt senior Dorian Munroe (Miami, Fla.) had a 30-yard return after picking off Tebow for the first interception of the game. Orange took a 10-7 lead after sophomore Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, Fla.) kicked a 44-yard field goal.
Tebow led the blue team back and took a 14-10 advantage after completing passes to redshirt freshman T.J. Lawrence (Lakeland, Fla.) and Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, Fla.) to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Rainey.
Brantley would not be outdone though, as he led a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive to end the half and take a 17-14 lead into the locker room. Brantley went 4-for-4 on the drive, including a 22-yard completion to Lawrence and made it into the end zone on a 15-yard carry.
Orange started off the second half with a bang when Hammond caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Brantley on the second play, bringing the score to 24-14.
After a methodic drive to start the fourth quarter, Brantley hooked up with Hammond for his second scoring catch of the day. Brantley then switched over to the Blue team and led another touchdown drive, capped off by a five-yard rush up the middle to complete the scoring. The Orange team would walk away with a 31-21 win after totaling 357 yards on the day.
Brantley was the offensive star of the day, rushing for two touchdowns and completing 14-of-23 passes for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tebow completed 7-of-9 pass attempts for 83 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 21 yards.
The Gators will open the 2009 regular season on Sept. 5 against Charleston Southern at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.