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April 25, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A record crowd of 76,500 fans turned out on a beautiful 80-degree day for Penn State's annual Blue-White Game in Beaver Stadium. The White captured a 21-16 victory, as a trio of quarterbacks combined to throw four touchdown passes.
The game was the highlight of Blue-White Weekend presented by Donate Life Pennsylvania. The estimated crowd of 76,500 marked the third consecutive year the Blue-White attendance record has fallen, with 73,000 fans attending in last year and 71,000 in 2007. More than 40,000 fans have attended the game in 11 of the past 14 years, with rainy conditions during the other three contests.
Three Nittany Lion players were recognized for their efforts during halftime of the game. Freshman linebacker Michael Mauti (Mandeville, La.) was presented the Jim O'Hora Award and junior wide receiver Graham Zug (Manheim) the Red Worrell Award. The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Mauti and Zug as the players who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.
Junior wide receiver Brett Brackett (Lawrenceville, N.J.) was recognized as recipient of the Frank Patrick Total Commitment Memorial Award.
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 James McDonald (Washington, D.C.).
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. Punter Jeremy Boone (Mechanicsburg) and linebacker Josh Hull (Millheim) were the 2008 recipients.
Senior quarterback Daryll Clark (Youngstown, Ohio) was 10 of 13 for 123 yards in limited duty for the Blue team. Redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew McGloin (Scranton) threw two touchdown passes, one for each team, and was a combined 9 of 13 for 111 yards. He also had a 28-yard run for the White team.
Playing for both teams, freshman Kevin Newsome (Portsmouth, Va.) also was 9 of 13 for 71 yards and one scoring strike. Redshirt freshman Shane McGregor (Ebensburg) was 5 of 10 for 83 yards and a TD pass.
Brackett hauled in a 14-yard scoring strike from Newsome and David Soldner's (Lititz) PAT made it 7-7 midway through the second period. Following Zug's TD catch that gave the Blue a 13-7 lead, the White took a 14-13 lead late in the half on a three-yard pass from McGregor to tight end Gino Raneri (Wilkes-Barre).
McGloin threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to wideout J.D. Mason (Philipsburg) to give the White a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Soldner finished the scoring with a field goal for the Blue to make it 21-16.
Penn State has earned one of the nation's Top 10 records since the start of the 2005 season, posting a 40-11 (78.4) mark, good for No. 9 nationally. The Nittany Lions won the 2008 Big Ten title, finishing No. 8 in the nation with an 11-2 record.
Entering his 44th season as head coach and 60th on the Penn State coaching staff, Paterno returns 37 letterwinners and 10 starters for the 2009 campaign. The Nittany Lions host Akron on Sept. 5 to open the 2009 season.