Record Crowd Of 71,000 Turns Out For Penn State Blue-White Game
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 21, 2007 - A record crowd of 71,000 fans turned out on a beautiful 70-degree day for Penn State??s annual Blue-White Game in Beaver Stadium. The White captured a 30-6 victory, led by 126 yards passing and two touchdowns from junior quarterback Paul Cianciolo (Charleston, S.C.) and 116 yards receiving and two touchdowns from sophomore wide receiver Chris Bell (Norfolk, Va.).
Many in the huge crowd, which surpassed the previous Blue-White Game record of 62,000 fans that attended the 1996 spring contest, wore orange and maroon in tribute to the victims of this week??s tragedy at Virginia Tech. A student section 800-strong formed a large block ??VT?? with colored shirts in the stands and the Blue Band played ??Amazing Grace?? following a moment of silence. Junior tackle Gerald Cadogan (Portsmouth, Ohio) represented the Penn State players and coaches in addressing the crowd with a message of support for Virginia Tech prior to kickoff.
Thousands of other fans wore maroon or orange shirts on the sun-splashed day.
The game was the highlight of Blue-White Weekend Presented by PHEAA. More than 40,000 fans have attended the game in nine of the past 12 years, with rainy conditions during the other three contests.
Three Nittany Lion players were recognized for their efforts during halftime of the game. Junior cornerback Lydell Sargeant (Lompoc, Calif) was presented the Jim O'Hora Award and senior wide receiver Terrell Golden (Norfolk, Va.) the Red Worrell Award. The Nittany Lion coaching staff singled out Sargeant and Golden as the players who have best demonstrated exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.
Red-shirt junior guard Ross Muir (Noblesville, Ind.) was also recognized as the 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 and Bryant Johnson.
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 and Anthony Adams. The O'Hora Award was first presented in 1977.
Presented today for the 13th time, 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 took an early 6-0 lead following field goals of 35 and 28 yards from junior Kevin Kelly (Langhorne). Senior quarterback Anthony Morelli (Pittsburgh) led the Blue on its opening drives, completing 11-of-18 passes for 104 yards, with one interception. Morelli found junior receivers Derrick Williams (Greenbelt, Md.) and Jordan Norwood (State College) early. Both Williams and Norwood finished with five catches for 54 yards to lead the Blue. Norwood also ran the ball three times for 51 yards, including a 31-yard scamper on a reverse. Senior tailback Austin Scott (Allentown) led the Blue and all rushers on the day with 13 carries for 53 yards.
The White stormed to victory with 30 unanswered points, many of which came behind the strong play of Cianciolo who ran for one touchdown and passed for two more to stake the White to a 20-6 lead Cianciolo got the White on the board with a six-yard run in the second quarter. He went on to complete eight-of-nine passes for 126 yards, hitting Brendan Perretta (Altoona) with a 37-yard touchdown strike before halftime and Bell with a 22-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Redshirt freshman Colin Wagner (State College) knocked home a 43-yard field goal late in the third before junior quarterback Daryll Clark finished the scoring with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Bell with 3:13 to play in the game. Clark finished four-of-six for 96 yards and a touchdown on the day.
Redshirt freshman Evan Royster (Fairfax, Va.) led the White in rushing, posting 45 yards on nine carries.
Redshirt junior linebacker Tyrell Sales (Butler) posted 11 tackles (six solo) for the White to lead all tacklers on the day. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jerome Hayes (Bayonne, N.J.) added 10 stops and redshirt junior defensive end Chris Rogers (Wexford) had two sacks and three tackles for loss for the White. Redshirt junior safety Mark Rubin (Amherst, N.Y.) made the lone interception on the day, in the first quarter.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Aaron Maybin (Ellicott City, Md.) and redshirt freshman linebacker Navorro Bowman (District Heights, Md.) led the Blue with four stops each.
Entering his 42nd season as head coach, Joe Paterno's squad returns 33 lettermen and 15 starters from last year's 9-4 squad that defeated Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. The Nittany Lions open the season September 1, when they face Florida International in Beaver Stadium.
A limited number of season football tickets are available and season ticket holders are reminded that the deadline for renewals is May 1. For information on 2007 football tickets, call 800-833-5533 or 814-863-1000.