Duke Hosts Annual Spring Football Game

DURHAM, N.C. – Freshman quarterback Brandon Connette rushed for 91 yards and one touchdown while throwing for another score to lead the Blue team to a 24-3 victory over the White squad in Duke's annual Spring Game held on Saturday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium.

"I'm really pleased with the crowd that we had," Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. "There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm surrounding today. We came out injury free, which is huge. We divided our team up where we had unit-against-unit, in other words, our one offense competing against our one defense, and the twos against each other. I thought it was competitive. The play of Brandon Connette stood out, as it has in a lot of scrimmages. It was good to see us run the football. I thought the offensive line blocked well at times and consistently. I am anxious to look at it and get back into the fall. I think we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish in the spring, and that was to learn a lot about our young football team."

Connette, who graduated from high school early to enroll at Duke in January, completed eight-of-19 passes for 67 yards with a six-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Tyree Watkins. He rushed 13 times for his 91 yards including a 31-yard scamper in the fourth quarter than set up his three-yard touchdown run with just 25 seconds left in the game.

White team kicker Nick Maggio booted a 39-yard field goal at the 6:28 mark of the opening period for a 3-0 lead, but the Blue squad responded with a 70-yard drive that yielded Connette's touchdown toss to Watkins. Blue added 10 points in the second quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Paul Asack and a two-yard touchdown run from running back Patrick Kurunwune.

The Blue unit grinded out 232 yards on the ground behind the running of Desmond Scott (13 carries for 97 yards), Connette (13-91) and Kurunwune (13-44). Scott (26 yards) and Matt Pridemore (24 yards) caught three passes each. Safety Matt Daniels paced the Blue defense with five tackles.

"I think the success that the offense had running the football today was a combination of Desmond Scott running the ball well, the offensive line blocking and the receivers blocking well," Connette said. "And when they were worried about Desmond running, I was able to sneak a couple yards here and there, and then once they started keying on me, we gave [the ball] back to Desmond and [Patrick Kurunwune], and they really did their thing. So it was a testament to our whole offense – it wasn't just one person."

Freshman running back Josh Snead rushed for a game-high 99 yards on nine attempts to lead the White squad while Jay Hollingsworth rushed six times for 27 yards. Quarterback Sean Schroeder was four-of-20 through the air for 23 yards. The White defense was spearheaded by end Kenny Anunike's nine-tackle performance while end Eriks Reks added five stops including three behind the line of scrimmage.

At halftime of the game, Cutcliffe announced the program's spring award winners. Connette and Perry Simmons shared the Most Improved Offensive Player honor while Kevin Rojas received the Most Improved Defensive Player award. Jeffrey Faris was the recipient of the Blue Devil Heart Award.

The Blue Devils open the 2010 season at home against Elon on September 4. Season tickets may be purchased online at GoDuke.com or by calling the Duke Athletic Ticket Office toll free at 1-877-375-3853. The Duke Athletic Ticket Office is located in Cameron Indoor Stadium and open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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