LeFors, Gates lead potent attack in spring game

A record crowd of 12,200 witnessed an offensive explosive as the Red team defeated the White team, 49-10, in the Cardinals annual spring game.

A record-setting crowd of 12,200 witnessed an offensive explosion from senior quarterback Stefan LeFors and running back Lionel Gates at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Friday night in the University of Louisville's annual spring game.

LeFors, the 2003 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, completed 30-39 pass attempts for 424 yards and four touchdowns, as the Red (first team) defeated the White, 49-10. Gates, who has been impressive all spring, carried 16 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns on the night.

"Overall I thought it was a good spring for us," University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino said. "And tonight was a good way to finish it off. Our execution was good on offense."

"Stefan's real comfortable with running our offense," Petrino continued. "He's always done a good job doing what we've coached him to do and he just distributes the ball to alot of different receivers."

As for Gates, Petrino thinks added confidence is the reason for his senior backs stellar play this spring.

"I think he appears a lot faster and quicker because he's more confident," Petrino explained. "He knows the offense and he really feels confident in what he's doing. He's done a nice job all spring."

The first unit defense performed well, limiting the white offense to just one touchdown and allowed just 233 total yards in 55 plays from scrimmage.

"Defensively, I thought we showed we have speed," Petrino said. "We flew around out there and I thought our defense played pretty well out there overall."

"I think we're fast on defense and we've got a lot of guys that can run," Petrino continued. "And I thought our two inside guys played good. Montavious [Stanley] and Amobi [Okoye] got a lot of penetration, did a good job on their slants and really caused some havoc out there."

If LeFors and Gates are the present stars of the U of L offense, perhaps redshirt freshman wide receiver Harry Douglas emerged as a future great with a superb effort. Douglas, a standout this spring with his elusiveness and execellent hands, made five receptions for 93 yards and scored the White team's only touchdown early in the second quarter.

"I was happy to see Harry make a few plays," Petrino said of his emerging threat at wide out.

But Douglas wasn't the only receiver on the field making plays. Senior J.R. Russell (Red) caught 11 passes for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Red teammate Joshua Tinch caught 6 passes for 138 yards and two scores.

With an offense full of diverse and numerous weapons and a defense that displayed solid signs of improvement throughout the spring, Petrino said his team's focus will now turn to working hard and improving over the summer.

"I think we'll come out of this with the offense being real confident about their execution and understanding what we'll do," Petrino said. "I think the defense feels good about flying around and making hits and plays."

"Really what this needs to do is set the tone for the summer," Petrino continued. "Our guys will be done with school here in a couple weeks and they've got to have a great work ethic all summer. We're trying to get ready for that first game on September 5."

NOTES

  • Running back Eric Shelton injured his shoulder during the scrimmage and missed considerable game action. "He got a little dinger on his shoulder but it's nothing serious," Petrino said. "He was itching to get back in but with something like that we just keep them out."

    Shelton carried 11 times for 42 yards and one touchdown prior to the injury.

  • The Red offense was impressive the entire night against the second team defense. Not only did the unit score 49 points, but they also converted five of seven third downs and their only fourth down conversion.

    In all, the Red team racked up 609 total yards, 35 first downs and scored seven offensive touchdowns (4 pass, 3 run).

  • Several U of L signees and prospect recruits were in attendance at Friday night's spring game, including Breno Giacomini, Mario Uruttia, Drew Steinmetz and Bobby Buchanan.

  • The Inside The Ville tailgate was extremely successful and a good time had by all. More than 80 persons stopped by the ITV tent, including former U of L and Houston Oilers standout Earnest Givens.

    Inside The Ville wants to thank Rick and Jeff Tours for sponsoring our annual tailgates. For all of your travel needs to road U of L games, be sure to check out what Rick and Jeff Tours has to offer!

    STATS

    RED
    Rushing: Gates, 16-134,2, Shelton, 11-42,1
    Passing: LeFors, 30-39, 424, 4 TD, 0 INT
    Receiving: Russell, 11-125,2, Tinch, 6-138,2, Clark, 5-62, Jones, 3-31, Riles, 2-30

    WHITE
    Rushing: Spencer, 8-36, Bradshaw, 10-19
    Passing: Rascati, 17-27, 197, 1 TD
    Receiving: Jones, 7-71, Douglas, 5-93,1, Bradshaw, 3-12


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