April 22, 2006
Box Score | Box Score.pdf
COLUMBUS, Ohio: Troy Smith played just one series but that was all the Scarlet team needed Saturday in a 12-0 win over the Gray squad in Ohio State’s annual spring game. A crowd of 63,649 was on hand for the game in Ohio Stadium, including a walk-up gate of 23,600.
Smith, one of eight returning offensive starters from last year’s 10-2 team and an early season frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, marched his Scarlet unit 80 yards in just nine plays on the opening series of the game. Tailback Erik Haw capped off the drive with a 4-yard run that turned out to be the only touchdown of the day. The 6-1 Smith was perfect on the drive, completing all four of his passes for 62 yards before heading to the sideline, his day’s work done. Smith also ran once for seven yards.
With true freshman Rob Schoenhoft at the controls, the Scarlet team added a safety midway through the second quarter and then wrapped up the scoring on a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Pretorious with 2:26 remaining in the first half. The Gray team threatened just before halftime, but Todd Boeckman came up just short on a fourth-down quarterback sneak at the goal line as time expired.
The Gray team marched deep into Scarlet territory midway through the third quarter, but an acrobatic interception in the end zone by freshman defensive back Kurt Coleman snuffed out that threat. Freshman tailback Chris “Beanie” Wells led all rushers with 48 yards on 11 carries for the Scarlet team. Haw finished with 38 yards on 11 carries for the Scarlet. Maurice Wells ran for 33 yards on 10 carries for the Gray team. Last year’s starting tailback, junior-to-be Antonio Pittman, is nursing a pulled hamstring and did not play.
Freshman Brian Hartline led all receivers with seven catches for 88 yards. Senior Roy Hall led the Gray team with five catches 66 yards. Seven different receives caught passes for the Gray team and six had receptions for the Scarlet squad.
Gray linebacker Marcus Freeman led all tacklers with 10 stops. Cornerback Malcolm Jenkins had seven and was credited with a fumble caused for the Gray. Freshman Ross Homan paced the Scarlet with eight tackles and defensive end Jay Richardson had two of that team’s four sacks.
“I think we learned some things about ourselves today,” said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. “We saw some good things and we saw some things we need to work on. We didn’t play a lot of our veterans because we know what they can do. It was nice to see some of our younger players step up and make plays. I thought we really played hard, but that didn’t surprise me. Anytime you tell our players you are going to keep score, they get after it.”
Justin Zwick started at quarterback for the Gray team and completed four-of-six passes for 32 yards before giving way to Boeckman. Boeckman completed 13 of 27 passes for 189 yards, while Schoenhoft completed nine of 28 for 109 yards.