Offense Puts Up 52 Points At Spring Game

<p>Beutjer throws for 296 yards, three touchdowns; Defense picks up three sacks, one turnover.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Illinois' offense totaled 52 points Saturday afternoon at the squad's annual spring game in front of 5,612 fans at Memorial Stadium. Those in attendance saw a balanced Illini offense score on both long plays and long drives as the Blue team defeated the White team 31-21.

After a first quarter in which both offenses were held scoreless, sophomore Marcus Mason put up the first points with a one-yard touchdown plunge that capped an 11-play 65-yard drive. On the following drive, running back E.B. Halsey countered with a rushing touchdown of his own, breaking in from two yards out. The sophomore tailback rushed six times on the drive for 41 yards.

Junior placekicker Steve Weatherford opened the scoring in the second half with a 28-yard field goal. That was followed by a 56-yard touchdown pass from Chris Pazan to redshirt freshman wide receiver DeJaun Warren.

In the next series, Jon Beutjer found sophomore receiver Lonnie Hurst for a 25-yard touchdown reception to complete a seven-play 75-yard drive.

Freshman running back Brock Bolen was next to find the end zone, rushing in from two yards out for the White team's final score. Bolen was the featured back on the drive, catching two passes for 24 yards and rushing three times for 17 yards.

On the ensuing drive, Beutjer hooked up with senior wide receiver Ade Adeyemo on a 70-yard scoring strike. It was Beutjer's second touchdown of the day. His third score was the final one of the contest, a 36-yard pass to junior fullback Jason Davis. On the drive, the Illini's third sophomore running back, Pierre Thomas ran four times for 27 yards. He finished as the day's leading rusher, racking up 73 yards on 14 carries.

On defense, linemen Lee Robinson, Arthur Boyd and Cyrus Garrett each picked up a sack and linebacker Joe Mele recovered a fumble. He also made six tackles. Fellow linebacker Antonio Mason led the team in tackles with 11.

At halftime, Fighting Illini head coach Ron Turner handed out the Bresee award to the most improved player over the course of the spring. On the offensive side of the ball, junior wide receiver Kendrick Jones was the honoree. Senior Kelvin Hayden, who switched from wide receiver to cornerback this off-season was the defensive winner while punters Matt Minnes and Steve Weatherford shared the special teams award.

Story courtesy of U of I SID office.

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