Game Statistics

NEWARK, Del.  -- New University of Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco came away pleased with his first Blue-White Spring Game experience Saturday evening at Delaware Stadium as the Blue Hens closed out a successful spring with the annual exhibition matchup.

An appreciative crowd of 3,000 was on hand to check out the new look Blue Hens and see the progress that has been made over the last month in preparation for the 2017 season.

Using a modified scoring system to that gives points to the offense for touchdowns, field goals and first downs and credits the defense for takeaways, sacks, tackles for loss, and forcing punts, the White (defense) came away with a 53-29 victory the Blue (offense) in the 70-minute scrimmage that featured 12-minute quarters with a running clock.

The game featured four conventional scoring plays as the Blue team got on the board first on a 24-yard touchdown pass from rising junior quarterback Joe Walker to junior tight end Charles Scarff (#85 above) with 19 seconds left in the second quarter.

Scarff, a second-year transfer from Rutgers, used his 6-5, 270 lb. frame to go up high and grab the ball away from a White defender in the back of the end zone.

The White team got on the board with a defensive touchdown in the final quarter as rising senior linebacker Anthony Jackson (at right) picked off an interception and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown down the right sideline.

The Blue team also got a 43-yard field goal from redshirt freshman Mark Bonnie in the fourth quarter and a 15-yard scoring pass from redshirt sophomore Pat Kehoe to freshman Gene Coleman II in the final minute of play.

“We had an opportunity to get some live work in, play an up-tempo game at a physical pace, and had the opportunity to evaluate a lot of players,” said Rocco. “And that is the real upside to a spring game. I would have liked to see us execute better offensively, have more tempo, and be more productive, but we did some good things today and some guys stepped up and some new names and faces made some plays. The defense ruled the day but the offense had its moments. I am really happy to be here and really proud to be their head football coach. I reminded them that we are all in this together and I really believe this group is committed to winning. I had a good feeling tonight.”

The offense picked up 14 first downs and  246 total yards as Walker completed 10 of 20 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown and Kehoe (#12 at left) went 5 of 9 for 60 yards and a score. Redshirt freshman receiver Joey Carter hauled in four passes for 67 yards, Scarff added four catches for 40 yards, and Coleman had two receptions for 35 yards.

“I think I've had a really good spring and I feel more comfortable getting back to tight end,” said Scarff, who played wide receiver a year ago but added 20 lbs. to his frame in the off-season. “Joe (Walker) and I have been developing a good chemistry this spring. Everybody really seems to be on the same page and we've all put in a lot of hard work this spring.”

Defensively, the White team intercepted four passes, had three pass breakups, collected three sacks, and had five other tackles for loss. Jackson, junior linebacker Troy Reeder, junior defensive back Nasir Adderley, and junior defensive back K.C. Hinton all picked off a pass, sophomore defensive end Cam Kitchen posted two sacks, junior defensive end Aaron Donalson had a sack, a tackle for loss, a pass breakup, and three tackles.

Reeder and senior linebacker Larry Spears led the defense with six tackles each while Kitchen and redshirt freshman linebacker Colby Reeder each made five stops.

Rocco spoke to the crowd at halftime and introduced several awards for the spring and named the captains for the 2017 season.

Troy Reeder, senior linebacker Charles Bell, senior running back Wes Hills, and senior center Brody Kern were selected by their teammates to serve as co-captains; Scarff and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Sal Mauro were named the Blue Hen Touchdown Club Most Improved Players; and Reeder and senior defensive Bilal Nichols were named Weight Room Champions for their outstanding performance in the weight room during the spring.

In addition to the team awards, all-time Blue Hen great and longtime National Football League star quarterback Rich Gannon was on hand and was presented with a University of Delaware Alumni Association Wall of Fame outstanding achievement award. Gannon, an All-Pro and NFL Most Valuable Player during his long career, currently is a color commentator on NFL games with CBS TV.

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