Freshmen Connect on Two Touchdown Passes to Lift Blue Over White
April 24, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A pair of freshmen connected on two touchdown passes to lead the Blue to a 17-3 win in the Blue-White Game presented by AAA. The contest aired live on ESPN2, as Penn State became the first Big Ten school to have its spring football game air on the ESPN family of networks.
True freshman quarterback Paul Jones (McKees Rocks) connected with redshirt freshman wide out Shawney Kersey (Woodbury, N.J.) on a pair of 18-yard touchdown passes for the Blue, one in the second quarter and the other in the fourth. Jones was 5 of 8 for 67 yards and Kersey had two catches for 36 yards. A crowd of 55,000 filed into Beaver Stadium for the autograph session with the players and the game, which culminates spring practice. More than 40,000 fans have attended the Blue-White Game in 12 of the past 15 years, with rainy conditions during the other three contests. Today started out sunny in Happy Valley, but the skies became overcast and cool around noon. Five Nittany Lion players were recognized for their efforts during halftime of the game. Senior linebacker Bani Gbadyu (Gaithersburg, Md.) was presented the Jim O'Hora Award. Junior tackle Quinn Barham (Durham, N.C.) and senior wide receiver Brett Brackett (Lawrenceville, N.J.) were co-recipients of the Red Worrell Award. The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Barham, Brackett and Gbadyu as the players who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.
Junior linebacker Chris Colasanti (Leonard, Mich.) and junior tight end Andrew Szczerba (Wilmington, Del.) were recognized as co-recipients of the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Memorial Award. Brackett won the 2009 Patrick Award. Sophomore quarterback Matt McGloin (Scranton) and freshman Kevin Newsome (Portsmouth, Va.) played for the Blue and White. McGloin was 10 of 23 for 110 yards, with two touchdowns and a long completion of 23 yards to running back Curtis Dukes (Evans Mills, N.Y.) Newsome was 5 of 12 for 50 yards, with no interceptions. His longest completion was 17 yards to tight end Garry Gilliam (Carlisle).
Sophomore wideout Justin Brown (Wilmington, Del.) made a game-high four receptions for 35 yards for the Blue. Gilliam made two catches for 23 yards and junior Derek Moye (Rochester) made two grabs for 19 yards for the Blue. Redshirt freshman Brandon Moseby-Felder (Fort Washington, Md.) led the White squad with three catches for 31 yards. Brackett and Dukes each had two grabs for 29 yards.
Redshirt sophomore Hykeem Brodie was the leading rusher with 34 yards on seven carries, including a 16-yarder, for the Blue. Brodie transferred to Penn State from Old Dominion and played with Newsome at Western Branch High School in the Tidewater region. True freshman Silas Redd (Stamford, Conn.) gained 16 yards on four carries and junior Stephfon Green (Bronx, N.Y.) gained 10 yards on four attempts for the Blue. Dukes led the White squad with 31 yards on nine attempts.
Sophomore linebacker Nate Stupar (State College) made a game-high six solo tackles (seven overall), including a tackle for loss, and grabbed an interception for the White team. Sophomore linebacker Mike Yancich (Washington) tied for game-high honors with seven tackles for the Blue, including a half sack for minus-three yards.
Sophomore defensive tackle James Terry (New Castle, Del.) made five solo tackles for the Blue, sophomore linebacker James Van Fleet made four stops and grabbed an interception and sophomore defensive end Cody Castor (Uniontown) made two hits and had an interception to set-up the game's first touchdown.
Senior placekicker Collin Wagner (State College) opened the scoring with a 46-yard field goal with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Sophomore David Soldner (Lititz) connected on a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to draw the White within 10-3 at the break.
Among the former Nittany Lions in attendance was 2009 first-team All-American Jared Odrick, selected Thursday by the Miami Dophins in the first round of the NFL Draft. Other former Nittany Lions in attendance were: Trey Bauer, Levi Brown, Ki-Jana Carter, Chris Ganter, Jason Ganter, Bryant Johnson, Justin Kurpeikis, Tyler Lenda, Scott Radecic, A.Q. Shipley, Brandon Short, Derrick Williams.
The Worrell Award is presented to the offensive player whose spring contribution is most worthy of special tribute. The prize was first presented in 1958 and is named in the honor of the late Red Worrell, a high school All-American from Centerville HS who was tragically electrocuted in an accident after an exceptional season on the 1957 Nittany Lion freshman team. Past Worrell Award winners include former assistant coach Fran Ganter, Lydell Mitchell, Kyle Brady, Bryant Johnson and last year's winner wideout Graham Zug (Manheim).
The defensive award is named in honor of Jim O'Hora, a long-time Penn State assistant coach who was a member of the coaching staff for 31 years. Loyalty and attitude especially characterized Jim O'Hora and has typified many of the previous winners, including Walker Lee Ashley, Andre Collins, Michael Haynes, Anthony Adams and last year's winner, linebacker Mike Mauti (Mandeville, La). The O'Hora Award was first presented in 1977.
The Frank Patrick Memorial "Total Commitment" Award goes to junior class squad members who consistently follow through with their responsibilities in all facets of the football program and do so in exemplary manner. This includes academic pursuits, off-season preparation, in-season commitment, demeanor and community service. Patrick was a member of the Lions' coaching staff from 1949-73.
The Blue-White game will re-air on the Big Ten Network Sunday at 11:00 a.m., Monday at 10:00 p.m., Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and Friday at 6:00 a.m. this week.
Penn State is 51-13 (79.7) since the start of the 2005 season, tied for the nation's No. 7 winning percentage over that span. The Nittany Lions earned their second consecutive 11-2 record last season, capped by a win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl, Penn State's fourth bowl victory in the past five seasons. Penn State posted its 23rd final Top 10 ranking under Coach Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions return 37 letterwinners for the 2010 season, including 13 starters (7 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 11 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens the season Sept. 4 vs. Youngstown State in Beaver Stadium and visits 2009 national champion Alabama on Sept. 11.
Penn State Football will hold its 36th annual summer camps in June. The camps feature two offense / defense skills and fundamentals camps for athletes entering 8th-12th grade in the fall, to be held June 20-23 and June 27-30. A "seniors only" camp will be held June 25-26, Penn State's popular 7-on-7 team passing camp will be held June 18-19 and a placekicking camp is June 4-5.
For more information on the Penn State Football Camps, please visit: www.pennstatefootballcamps.com or call the Penn State sports camps office at 814-865-0561.