Wilson Passes White To Win

Much of the attention in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday was on an incredible full house of over 92,000 fans for the Alabama spring football game, which was won by the White team, 20-13. But not to be overlooked is that it was a surprisingly well-played game.

Individual Stats:
Play by Play:
Postgame Quotes:

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has cautioned against championship talk, and playing a good spring game is a long way from contending for a title in the fall. Still, it has to be encouraging to end spring training on a good note.

Saban divided the team into a White squad of the number one offense and number two defense against a Crimson team of the number one defense and number two offense. That turned out to be an equitable division with the White having to come from behind to eke out the win.

White quarterback John Parker Wilson completed 18 of 36 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to the win. Five of his completions for 87 yards and one of the touchdowns went to D.J. Hall, who was named winner of the Dixie Howell Award as the top performer in the spring game.

Nikita Stover had three receptions for 58 yards and the other TD pass.

Leigh Tiffin accounted for the final White points with fourth quarter field goals of 46 and 28 yards.

Jamie Christensen, who missed on a 43-yard field goal attempt for the White, was good on three-pointers from 42 and 41 yards for the Crimson.

Greg McElroy, who completed 14 of 33 passes for 139 yards, connected with Matt Caddell from five yards out for the Crimson touchdown.

That Caddell reception capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive that gave the Crimson a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. McElroy got the drive started with a 10-yard completion to Mike McCoy and Roy Upchurch had a 14-yard run and McElroy an 11-yard run in the drive.

The White responded with an eight-play, 70-yard drive to tie the game. Wilson connected on passes to tight ends Preston Dial (25 yards) and Nick Walker (17) before finishing the drive with a 17-yard strike to Hall.

Christensen was good on a 42-yard field goal with 23 seconds to play in the first half to give the Crimson a 10-7 lead at intermission.

The Crimson extended that lead to 13-7 by opening the second half with a 12-play, 47-yard drive that ended with Christensen connecting on a 41-yard three-pointer. McElroy had pass completions of 18 yards to McCoy and 14 yards to Upchurch in the drive.

The White took the lead for good with a nine-play, 70-yard drive. Wilson completed passes for 13 and seven yards to Keith Brown and eight to Dial before finding Stover in the end zone on a 26-yard scoring pass. Christensen's extra point kick made it 14-13.

True freshman Jamar Taylor was the leading rusher for the Crimson with 10 runs for 44 yards. Upchurch had nine for 37 and Glen Coffee four for 15.

Redshirt freshman Earl Alexander was the leading receiver for the Crimson with three catches for 45 yards. McCoy had three for 29 and Upchurch three for 26.

Redshirt freshman Terry Grant had eight carries for 47 yards and Jimmy Johns six runs for 26 yards.

Grant also had five pass receptions for 29 yards.

P.J. Fitzgerald punted for both teams, and much better for the White than the Crimson. He had two punts for the White, a 53- and a 50-yarder. For the Crimson he had four kicks for a 36.5 average and a long of 39.

Both Javier Arenas and Jonathan Lowe had exciting kickoff returns. There was no live tackling on the kickoffs or the runbacks might have been for much greater yardage. Arenas returned three for 70 yards and Lowe returned five for 143 yards.

Alabama will resume practice in August in preparation for the 2007 season-opening game on September 1 against Western Carolina.

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