Georgia Bulldogs Black Team cornerback Damian Swann breaks up a pass intended for Red Team receiver Justin Scott-Wesley of Camilla during the Georgia G-Day game Saturday at Sanford Stadium in Athens. The Georgia Black Team defeated the Red Team, 23-17.
ATHENS — In what many would consider an upset, the Black Team upset the Red team by scoring 16 unanswered points in the second half in Georgia’s annual spring game Saturday, 23-17, at Sanford Stadium.
The matchup pitted the Black team consisting of Georgia’s No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense against the Red team, which was the Bulldogs No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense.
“We didn’t really see it as an upset,” said Josh-Harvey Clemons, a member of the Black Team. “We came in with the expectation that we were going to win. The Red Team came in with that same expectation.”
Kyle Karempelis led the way on the ground, gaining 89 yards on 13 carries, while also catching three passes for 35 yards. While he didn’t score a touchdown, his runs did lead to two of the Black team’s three field goals in the second half.
“Kyle ran the ball well,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “We saw a lot of things we liked.”
The Red Team got things going early, scoring on its first drive.
Aaron Murray found Rontavious Wooten for 24 yards before two runs for 20 yards by Todd Gurley set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Murray to former Mitchell County football and track star Justin Scott-Wesley for the game’s first score.
The Red Team added a 32-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan early in the second quarter to take a 10-0 lead.
However, the Black Team rallied.
Hutson Mason had a run of 24 yards and completed four passes, including a 20-yard strike to Jonathan Rumph (four catches, 98 yards) to bring the Black Team to within 10-7 with 1:01 to go in the half.
Not to be outdone, Murray came back and led the Red team down the field in three plays. A 33-yard pass to Rhett McGowan and a 37-yard pass to Scott-Wesley set up another connection between Murray and McGowan. This time it was from four yards and the Red Team had a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
“It just goes to show you the depth we have at receiver,” McGowan said. “We have a lot of guys that can do the job well.”
However, that would be the last time the Red Team scored.
The Black Team scored on three plays to open the second half, with Parker Welch connecting with Rumph from 37 yards out to make the score 17-14.
From there, the Black Team added three field goals and stopped the Red Team multiple times.
The biggest came on fourth down with less than five minutes to go in the game when Keith Marshall was stopped in the backfield by Tray Matthews, turning the ball over.
The Black Team added a 35-yard field goal from Thomas Pritchard to make the final score 23-17.
“There were a lot of things to like about the scrimmage,” Richt said. “The main thing you don’t want to do is get anyone hurt. We’ll go back and look at the film and go from there.”
Murray finished the game 12-for-18 for 200 yards and two touchdowns, while Mason was 16-for-27 for 191 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Kosta Vavlas led the Red Team with 12 total tackles, while Quincy Mauger had eight. John Taylor got to the quarterback twice, picking up two sacks.
For the Black Team, Ramik Wilson led the way with eight tackles, including one sack, while James DeLoach and Amarlo Herrera each had six tackles.
Camilla’s Scott-Wesley earns spring practice ‘Hustle’ award
ATHENS — Mitchell County’s Justin Scott-Wesley, a redshirt freshman at Georgia, was awarded the Coffee County Hustle Award by the Bulldogs on Saturday for his exceptional effort and play during spring practice.
Scott-Wesley, who played in nine games and had six receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown last season, had an impressive day on Saturday during Georgia’s G-Day spring game.
He caught two passes for 53 yards, including a 16-yard TD catch from Aaron Murray that topped off the first drive of the day and gave the Red Team a 7-0 lead.
KYLE PLEASES: Kyle Karempelis had a strong day for the Black Team in Georgia’s annual spring game Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
He rushed for 89 yards on 13 carries and had three receptions for 35 yards, amassing the highest total yards on any side.
While running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall get most of the press, Karempelis showed he has a lot to offer.
“There’s a lot to be pleased with the way Kyle ran the ball,” head coach Mark Richt said.
JUST AS TALENTED: One thing defensive end Ray Drew of Thomasville stressed is that the defense is still in good hands, despite the loss of a lot of guys from last year’s team.
“There’s a lot of talent on the defense,” he said. “It’s just last year they were behind guys like Jarvis Jones, John Jenkins and Alec Ogletree so they didn’t get in the spotlight a lot. A lot of people don’t see what goes on at practice and how good a lot of this year’s guys are. They’ll get their chance now.”
Drew encouraged others to underestimate the Bulldog defense because of all of the starters lost, but that they will be able to get the job done.
“We’re confident in our abilities,” he said. “We feel like we can have a great year on defense.”
SECONDARY STARTERS NOT SET: Richt stressed that while multiple players had a great spring in the secondary, the starting lineup is far from nailed down.
“We have some (non-early enrollee) guys who are going to come in here and compete for a spot,” he said. “While it’s great to see what the guys here have done, the starters are far from set.”
As expected, Josh Harvey-Clemons of Valdosta was dominant at safety, putting good hits on opponents.
“Right now he has the body of a safety,” Richt said. “But, we want to get him into some of our nickle packages where he’s a secondary/linebacker hybrid guy. We believe he can succeed in that role as well.”
RUSHING YARDAGE: In a surprising stat, the backup running backs rushed for more yards than the starters. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 31 yards and weren’t even the leading rushers on the Red Team. That honor went to early-enrollee J.J. Green, who had 27 yards on eight carries.
In addition to Karempelis’ team-high 89 yards on the ground, the Black Team also got 33 yards from quarterback Hutson Mason. In total, the Black team rushed for 137 yards, compared to 23 for the Red team.