Shockley provides spark in defense-dominated G-Day

ATHENS, Ga. - <b>D.J. Shockley</b> showed Saturday why there is room for two quarterbacks to play for Georgia - even when the other quarterback is a first-team all-SEC pick.

Sharing time with David Greene on the Red team, D.J. Shockley led the only touchdown drive of the day at Georgia's G-Day spring game and showed off his arm strength by firing a pass 75 yards after scrambling away from a pass rusher.

The pass from Shockley, intended for Damien Gary in the end zone, was incomplete. But on a day when the two teams combined for only 260 yards, even the hint of offense was enough to create a stir in the Sanford Stadium crowd of 17,500.

Shockley completed passes of 10 and 13 yards to Reggie Brown and 20 yards to Gabriel Galt to highlight an 80-yard touchdown drive and lift the Red to a 10-7 win over the Black. Fullback Jeremy Thomas, who has secured his starting job this spring, scored from the 1 to cap the drive.

The only other touchdown of the day came on a 29-yard interception return by linebacker Odell Thurman for the Black team.

David Greene, who played the first half  for the Red, was 6-for-12 passing for 76 yards and threw the interception returned by Thurman.

Though quarterbacks wore green jerseys and were not allowed to be hit, Greene tried to prevent the touchdown by hitting Thurman near the goal line.

Said Thurman: "I believe (Greene) got the bad end of that deal.''

Shockley played the second half for the Red team and was 5 for 7 passing for 58 yards. Shockley created a stir on his touchdown drive in the third quarter when he scrambled away from defensive end Will Thompson and ran left before stopping and throwing toward Gary. The pass was too deep, but the buzz from the crowd carried over to postgame quotes from Coach Mark Richt, who was as impressed by Shockley's time spent passing from the pocket as on the play when he scrambled before hurling the long incomplete pass.

"I thought D.J. did a very nice job of standing in the pocket and being patient and finding his receivers and being accurate,'' Richt said. "People like to tag D.J. as a guy who can run, and he can, but I think you saw today he can stand in there and throw strikes, too.'' Added Richt, who watched the long incomplete pass from the press box: "I knew it landed in the end zone and he was standing on about the 30 when he threw it. It should remind our receivers that even on a broken play, they need to keep running, because he can launch it. It didn't shock me, but anytime you see a ball go over 70 yards, that's a good chunk.''

Greene, the 2002 all-Southeastern Conference first-team pick by the SEC coaches and The Associated Press, will continue to share time with Shockley in 2003. Richt said Friday he expects Shockley to receive an increase in playing time, though Greene remains the starter.

Third-string quarterback Joe Tereshinski III played most of the game for the Black team and was 6-of-15 passing for 42 yards. The leading rushers were Tyson Browning (seven carries for 43 yards for the Black) and Tony Milton (10 carries for 28 yards for the Red). Reggie Brown led all receivers with four catches for 78 yards.

Two top players - defensive end David Pollack and tight end Ben Watson - were held out to give coaches a chance to see other players.

Sean Rivas, a senior cornerback from Duluth named the team's outstanding defensive walk-on of the spring, recorded nine tackles, including one of four sacks for the Red. Ray Gant, Derrick White and Robert Geathers also had sacks for the Red defense.

Thomas Davis, who has earned a starting job at outside linebacker, led the Black defense with 10 tackles and two sacks. Thompson and Ken Veal added sacks for the Black.

Billy Bennett kicked a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter for the Red team, but the Black led 7-3 at halftime after Thurman's interception return.

NOTES: Defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder said cornerback Tim Jennings, perhaps the overall standout of the spring, has earned a starting job. Van Gorder would not say where  Jennings will start. Cornerbacks Bruce Thornton and Decory Bryant are returning starters. Thornton and Bryant missed the G-Day game with injuries.

There were 15 signees and approximately 100 prospects at the game. There were no injuries reported, which may have been the best news for Richt. Defensive tackle Darrius Swain was ejected after trading shoves with offensive tackle Daniel Inman. The Red team's players and coaches will be rewarded for their win with their traditional meal of steal and lobster today. The Black team has to eat beans and franks.

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