Blue holds on for 21-20 win over white
GREELEY, Colo. – The white team scored two touchdowns in the first half and one in the second half, while the blue team did the opposite, getting to the endzone once in the first and twice in the second half at the Battle of the Bears Blue & Gold Spring Game. The white team went for the two-point conversion with less than a minute to play and the ball sailed long, giving blue the 21-20 win.
"I thought the kids showed up for the last spring practice," said Head Coach Earnest Collins Jr. "For the fans it's a game, but for us it's just the last practice. The kids did well. It was difficult for us to run a full offense and full defense since we split the teams. I thought the spring went well, we didn't get anyone hurt too badly."
The Bears defense stepped up for 13 total sacks, led by senior-to-be VJ Holmes with 4.0 for the white team, while redshirt freshman Sawyere Monson had 3.0 for the blue squad. The defense also stepped up with four interceptions, including one by junior AJ Moosa for a 45-yard return.
"Defensively, we have more pieces to fill," said Collins. "Defense is playing well and I don't have any big concerns about Coach Shay and the defense. We'll keep chomping at the bit but we'll be good to go."
Offensively, the five quarterbacks combined to go 37-for-59 for 497 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Seth Lobato completed 12-of-20 for 203 yards. The quarterbacks' favorite target of the afternoon was redshirt freshman Marcel Peoples, who caught 13 passes for 143 yards. Junior Chris Morris also surpassed 100 yards, pulling in 10 receptions for 115 yards with one touchdown.
"Our quarterbacks all bring something particular to the game," said Collins. "Seth, throwing the ball and Dylan's that natural leader/competitor. He easily could have let Moosa go score a touchdown on the interception on that tipped ball but he ran him down and caught him at the one. Cameron Deen – he's a kid that's a wild card. He's got all the tools, he can do a lot of things, it's just about learning the offense and getting it down. The thing you like about (Matt) Baca is he's a fighter. I have to calm him down sometimes if something goes wrong. He wants to go, go go. You have to calm him down – you can't be that kind of hothead as a quarterback, but it's really one of his strengths and I just have to control it for him."
"I'm excited about the quarterback group and the competition that's going to take place this fall because somebody's going to come out on top and whoever it is is going to be pretty good. We have a good problem at quarterback."
Junior David Dean carried the ball 16 times between the two teams, netting 73 yards with one touchdown on the afternoon. Junior John Burnley also rushed eight times for 19 yards.
"We like to throw the ball around," said Collins. "The thing I think we have to work on coming into the fall camp is running the ball a little more. We will get there. We had running back issues when we first got here and hopefully we can get them squared away. We didn't have a running back on our team that had more than 50 yards rushing last year, so that's one of those deals we'll work on. We threw the ball a lot this spring simply because we've got to find out as a quarterback who can throw the ball for us."
Saturday concluded the spring practice season for the Northern Colorado football team. Their fall season kicks off against Lindenwood University on Sept. 3 at Nottingham Field. Season tickets are now available both online (uncbears.com) and at the ticket office (970.351.4849).