JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 11, 2015) – Freshman quarterback Jared Drake (Westerville, Ohio) rushed for a team-high 104 yards and passed for another 140 yards, connecting on two touchdown strikes as the Gold team topped the Blue squad 28-10 Saturday afternoon in the Mountain States Health Alliance Blue-Gold Game at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
While a crowd of 4,128 fans were on hand to watch the first ETSU spring football game in over 12 years, one of the day’s best highlights was the announcement of a $1 million financial gift to the ETSU football stadium project by Scott Niswonger. Known for his generous support of several community initiatives, Niswonger made a “leadership challenge” to the region by showing his support for ETSU football.
“We are extremely grateful to Scott Niswonger for his willingness to be a leader in this effort to build a new, on-campus stadium for our football program,” said ETSU Senior Associate Athletic Director/COO Scott Carter. “Over a year ago, Scott made this commitment to the program as a leadership challenge to others in the region. Our community is responding and momentum is continuing to grow for this campaign.”
As for the game itself, the Gold team struck first when quarterback Austin Herink (Cleveland) connected with wide receiver Demetrius Anthony (Fountain Inn, S.C.) on an impressive 64-yard touchdown strike just minutes into the contest. The Gold team then made it 14-0 on its next possession after a long scramble by quarterback Drake helped set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Cory Colder (Ashburn, Va.).
Colder then made it 21-0 in favor of the Gold team with another 3-yard scoring run early in the second quarter, before the Blue team finally answered with a 37-yard scoring pass from Drake to wide receiver Dalton Ponchillia (Nashville) to make it 21-7 at halftime.
In the second half, placekicker Ryan Nuss (Fairfield, Ohio) made it 21-10 thanks to a 40-yard field goal, but the Gold ultimately closed out the scoring with a 3-yard scoring pass from Drake to tight end Tyrus Rollins (Greeneville) in the fourth quarter.
Along with Drake’s numbers, Herink also played well at the quarterback position, hitting on 12-of-22 passes for a team-high 175 yards. On the ground, Colder finished with 57 yards on nine rushes, while wide out Drake Powell (Clinton) led the way with 101 yards on eight receptions.
Defensively, linebacker Austin Anderson (Elizabethton) had a team-best six tackles, which included a sack. In addition, cornerback Darin Ardis (Bradenton, Fla.) also added an interception.
The MSHA Blue-Gold Game marks the end of official spring workouts for the Bucs. For more on ETSU football throughout the spring and summer months visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.
Gold – Anthony 64-pass from Herink (Mumpower kick)
Gold – Colder 8-yard run (Mumpower kick)
Gold – Colder 3-yard run (Mumpower kick)
Blue – Ponchillia 37-yard pass from Drake (Nuss kick)
Blue – Nuss 40-yard FG
Gold – Rollins 3-yard pass from Drake (Mumpower kick)
Rushing – Drake 7-104, Colder 9-57, Drew 8-33, Stinson 9-27, Lankford 4-16, Sexton 4-(-22), Herink 4-(-25)
Passing – Herink 12-22-0 175, Drake 12-21-0 140, Sexton 7-15-1 64.
Receiving – Powell 8-101, Lankford 5-35, Anthony 4-87, Wike 4-15, Mitchell 3-46, Ponchillia 2-56, York 1-10, DeFur 1-8, Rollins 1-3, Moore 1-2.