ATHENS, Ga. - Receiver Jonathan Rumph caught two touchdown passes and the Black team scored 16 unanswered points to record a 23-17 victory in the G-Day Game on Saturday in front of 45,113 fans at Sanford Stadium.
"I thought it was a great day," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "The guys played hard. I thought we looked like a a really well-conditioned football team. Overall, I really like how things are going this spring."
Quarterback Hutson Mason paced the Black team as he went 16-of-27 for 191 yards and a touchdown. Rumph, a transfer from Holmes (Miss.) Community College, hauled in four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, the second coming from quarterback Parker Welch. Tailback Kyle Karempelis led the Black with 13 carries for 89 yards.
Quarterback Aaron Murray went 12-of-18 for 200 yards and two touchdowns for the Red team. Receiver Rhett McGowan led the Red with 55 yards on three catches, including a touchdown, and Justin Scott-Wesley had the other touchdown among his two catches for 53 yards. Tailback J.J. Green led the Red with eight rushes for 27 yards, while tailback Todd Gurley had four carries for 25 yards.
Linebacker Ramik Wilson had eight tackles to lead the Black. Linebackers Amarlo Herrera and James DeLoach added six apiece. Wilson, DeLoach, linebacker Jordan Jenkins, defensive back Reggie Wilkerson, defensive end Garrison Smith and defensive end Sterling Bailey each had one sack. Safety Connor Norman had a game-sealing interception.
Linebacker Kosta Vavlas had 12 tackles to spark the Red. Defensive back Quincy Mauger added eight, and linebacker Reggie Carter and defensive lineman John Taylor each had seven. Carter also registered an interception. Taylor had two sacks and defensive tackle Chris Mayes added one.
The Red team opened the scoring by getting points on its first drive. Murray hit Scott-Welsey on a 16-yarder and kicker Marshall Morgan added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarrier, the Red team pushed its lead to 10-0 on Morgan's 32-yard field goal.
The Black team answered as Mason found Rumph on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Kicker Patrick Beless' extra point made it 10-7.
The Red responded with a touchdown of its own. Murray found McGowan on a 4-yard pass and Morgan tacked on the PAT to give the Red a 17-7 halftime lead.
The Black drew even by scoring on its first two possessions of the second half.
Welch threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Rumph and Thomas Pritchard added the extra point. Then, Adam Erickson connected on a 19-yard field goal to knot the score at 17-17.
The Black pulled ahead on Beless' 24-yard field goal, then Pritchard drilled a 35-yard field goal to push the lead to 23-17 with 1:36 remaining.
Norman sealed the win for the Black as he intercepted Christian LeMay's pass with 1:26 to go.
"It was fun, but it's always fun," Murray said. "Anytime you get to come out and play in front of all these fans is really special. I'm really proud with how we played. It's always tough going into the games when you're not fully healthy or you're not game-planning for anyone, but I thought we played well offensively."
"I was really optimistic about it all coming in," Jenkins said. "I figured it would be a battle, but I think the score really sums up how even things are on both sides of the ball. We are just a really evenly balanced team right now."
The Bulldogs have two practice days remaining this spring, and they are expected to use them on Tuesday and Thursday.
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