Orange Defeats Blue, 16-13

Keiwan Ratliff picked off a Patrick Dosh pass and returned it 42 yards mid-way through the fourth quarter, helping the Orange team to a 16-13 victory over the Blue team at the annual Orange and Blue Spring game before 31,000 fans on Saturday.

The victory was the third straight in the series for the Orange team, which has won six of the last eight overall.

In a traditionally low scoring event, both offenses looked sharp in the early game, as each squad produced a touchdown in the opening quarter.

The squads traded big plays early in the game, including a 38-yard trick play that saw receiver Reggie Lewis fire a pass to fellow receiver Carlos Perez who made a spectacular catch.

On the Orange team's second possession, however, Ingle Martin and Dallas Baker kicked it into another gear. Martin hit Baker for a 43-yard gain on the first play of the possession. Moments later, the two combined on a 9-yard scoring play to the give the Orange team a 7-0 lead.

Martin was particularly sharp in the early going, connecting on his first nine passes, while going 4-of-4 on the scoring drive for 67 yards. On the ground, DeShawn Wynn led the way with nine carries for 47 yards in the opening quarter. Wynn finished with 22 carries for 91 yards on the day, topping all Gator runners.

The Orange team quickly got the ball back again, but this time the momentum shifted towards the Blue team. Reid Fleming came up with a deflected pass by Martin and returned it to the Orange 31-yard line. Four plays later, Ciatrick Fason found the end zone on an 11-yard scamper. The extra point was no good, however, and the Orange team led 7-6.

The quarterbacks rotated teams and the pace slowed in the second quarter and neither offense was able to sustain any significant drives until late in the half. The Orange team marched 37 yards on eight plays and got a 45-yard field goal from Chris Hetland with under two minutes remaining in the half to grab a 10-6 lead going into the locker room.

At the half, Martin's completed 13-of-16 passes for 149 yards, seeing action with both teams, Dickey was 6-of-11 for 46 yards and Dosh was 3-of-10 for 14 yards.

The Blue team received the kick in the second half and with Martin at the helm, methodically moved 65 yards in eight plays to take the lead for the first time in the game. Martin hit Lewis on a 40-yard touchdown strike mid-way through the third quarter to cap a drive that took over six minutes, giving the Blue team a 13-0 lead after three.

Ratliff's touchdown would be the only scoring of the final quarter. The Blue team had the ball with one final possession late in the game, however, Ratliff once again cut in front of the intended receiver and picked off Dosh to seal the victory.

For the game, Martin completed 10-of-16 passes for 129 yards with the Orange team and 5-of-12 passes for 65 with the Blue team. He combined for 15-or-28 passes for 184 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Dickey hit 5-of-16 passes for 52 yards for the Orange team and was 2-of-3 for 3 yards for the Blue team, finishing 7-of-19 for 55 yards overall. Dosh played only with the Blue team and was 5-of-18 for 30 yards.

Wynn led all rushers, while Jimtavis Walker led the Blue team with 42 yards on 10 carries, followed by Fason's 33 yards on six carries. Walker also added four catches for 24 yards to lead the Blue Team, while Baker's three catches for 67 yards led the Orange team.

Florida opens the 2003 season on Aug. 30 when San Jose State comes to the Swamp.

Spring Awards:

  • Orlando TD Club John MacBeth Award (character): Todd Johnson
  • Best Effort Offense: Billy Griffin
  • Best Effort Defense: Travis Harris
  • Most Improved Offense: Lance Butler
  • Most Improved Defense: Darrell Lee
  • Most Improved Walk-On: Zephrin Augustine & Billy Latsko
  • Greg See Most Courageous Award: Willie Green
  • President's Award (Best GPA): Todd McCullough
  • Bob Bryan Student-Athlete Award: Max Starks

Game Notes:

  • Today's attendance of 31,000 is tied for the second highest mark for an Orange-Blue spring game since 1984; the most attended spring game occurred in 2002 as 39,500 fans were in attendance
  • Jason Hunter's punt of 54 yards in the second quarter was the longest punt in a spring game since 1996
  • Chris Hetland's 45-yard field goal in the second quarter was the second longest field goal in a spring game since 1996
  • Blue's 68 net rushing yards in the first half were 23 more than the average of 45.07 net rushing yards averaged per team since 1996
  • Deshawn Wynn's carries and rushing yards were the most in Orange-Blue Game since 1996…Wynn had 22 carries for 91 yards, breaking Ran Carthon's record of 77 yards on 18 carries.

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