Photo Courtesy of GoZags.com
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Showing off a new, up-tempo pace, the South Carolina first and second-team offensive units moved the ball consistently in a Black 34-20 win over Garnet in the annual Garnet & Black Spring Game, held at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.
An announced crowd of 25,500 watched on a sunny, 60-degree day, as the teams combined for 44 points and 449 yards of offense in the first half alone. Junior starting quarterback Jake Bentley completed 15-of-25 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, while senior Michael Scarnecchia solidified his spot as the number 2 QB heading into the fall camp. Despite several drops by his receivers, Scarnecchia hit on 9-of-20 attempts for 146 yards and a score.
The Black team received the opening kickoff and got on the board first. Bentley completed 4-of-5 passes on the first drive for 51 yards before Ty’Son Williams broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown scamper. Williams was the game’s top rusher with 63 yards on just four carries.
The Garnet team, led by Scarnecchia, quickly countered with a scoring drive of its own. Sophomore placekicker Parker White capped the drive with a 47-yard field goal.
Black extended its lead to 14-3 when Bentley led another first-quarter touchdown drive, culminating with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jacob August.
Garnet responded again in a back-and-forth first half. Freshmen signal-caller Dakereon Joyner directed his first drive into a touchdown, with fellow freshman Deshaun Fenwick plunging in from one-yard out for the first of his two touchdowns on the day to narrow the gap to 14-10.
Black took advantage of a turnover, the first of three turnovers, to push its lead back to 11 at 21-10. One play after freshman R.J. Roderick picked off a pass, Bentley found Edwards all alone for a 19-yard score. The junior standout led all receivers with seven catches for 117 yards.
It took just 1:02 before Black was on the board again. After Jaylan Foster intercepted a pass, White connected again, this time from 46-yards out, stretching the Black’s lead to 24-10.
But Garnet would not go away quietly. Scarnecchia and Edwards hooked up on a 40-yard completion, paving the way for a 40-yard field goal from Alexander Woznick to cut the deficit to 24-13, then just before intermission, Scarnecchia found a wide-open A.J. Turrner streaking down the middle of the field for a 49-yard touchdown pass, closing the gap to 24-20.
Woznick connected on his second field goal of the day, this one from 37-yards out on Black’s first possession of the second half, making it 27-20. Fenwick capped the day’s scoring and sealed the win for Black with his second one-yard touchdown run of the day late in the third quarter.
With reserves in the game and a running clock, the teams went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Gamecocks, just 123 days away from the start of fall camp, will practice twice next week, wrapping up their spring drills.
2018 SPRING AWARDS
Joe Morrison Offensive Players of the Spring — Sadarius Hutcherson and K.C. Crosby Rex Enright Defensive Players of the Spring — T.J. Brunson and D.J. Wonnum Jim Carlen Special Teams Players of the Spring — Steven Montac and Keisean Nixon Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete — Spencer Eason-Riddle Harold White GPA Award (Offense) — Michael Scarnecchia Harold White GPA Award (Defense) — Kobe Smith Harold White GPA Award (Special Teams) — Parker White