Cantwell leads Red explosion in spring game

Hunter Cantwell led the Red team to a 49-7 win over the White team Friday night in Louisville's annual spring game at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium. The 6-5, 225-pound sophomore threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns as 11,200 fans and an ESPNU television audience looked on.

Even without Heisman candidate Brian Brohm, the first team offense still scored 49 points in the University of Louisville's annual Red-White spring game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Without Brohm, who is still recovering from off-season knee surgery, the Red team, comprised of the first team offense and defense, easily handled the White team in front of 11,200 Cardinals fans and an ESPNU audience.

Sophomore quarterback Hunter Cantwell was on target most of the night. The 6-5, 225-pound Cantwell completed 20-30 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one interception.

Cantwell got the Red team started in a big way, hitting 6-6 sophomore Mario Urrutia for a 67 yard touchdowns strike just minutes into the two hour scrimmage. Later in the first quarter, senior running back Michael Bush scored from three yards out to cap a 13 play, 80 yard drive to put the Red up 14-0.

The White team, comprised of both the second team offense and defense, scored their only touchdown of the contest 31 seconds into the second quarter when redshirt freshman fullback Joe Tronzo plunged into the endzone from the one yard line to cut the Red lead to 14-7. Tronzo's touchdown capped a 14 play, 70 yard drive. Duke transfer Corey Thompson and freshman JuJuan Spillman each caught two passes on the White team's scoring drive.

After the White team's touchdown, the Red team quickly regained control, scoring two touchdowns before the break. Cantwell hit sophomore fullback Brock Bolen on a swing pass for a 13 yard score to cap a 10 play, 91 yard drive. Moments later, Kolby Smith scored from 1 yard out to give the Red team a decided edge just before halftime.

Pat Carter, a versatile transfer from Georgia Tech, led the Red team to two third quarter touchdowns. Carter completed 3-3 passes for 63 yards, guiding the Red to scoring drives of 35 and 57 yards. The 6-4 Carter also caught 3 passes for 20 yards.

Mario Urrutia made plenty of big
plays for the Red team Friday night.

"It was good to get Carter in there and see him run around," Petrino said. "He could present some problems for defenses."

Harry Douglas ended the scoring with 1:58 remaining in the third when he hauled in a 41 yard touchdown reception from Cantwell in the endzone.

Behind a revamped offensive line, the Red team rushed for 174 yards and 5.4 yards per carry. Michael Bush led the way with 72 yards on 11 carries. Bush also scored a touchdown. Smith carried 11 times for 48 yards, while George Stripling rushed 9 times for 49 yards.

"We were a little bit sloppy early in the game, I thought," said Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, alluding to Michael Bush's first quarter fumble. "You don't like to see us put the ball on the ground, but it was good to see Michael and Kolby get back out there and get the rust off. I thought both of them got better the more they carried the ball."

The Red defense proved stingy against the run, allowing the White team to rush for only 43 yards on 32 carries. That number was aided heavily by the seven sacks of White team quarterback Bill Ashburn. Sophomore running back Sergio Spencer carried 17 times for 71 yards.

"Our defense is getting better," Petrino said. "I think we're getting better on defense. We tackled better, and played the ball in the air a little bit better, but I didn't like them giving up the one touchdown drive."

Brandon Cox, a junior defensive end, led the way for the Red defense. Cox had four sacks, four tackles for loss, and 6 total tackles. Zach Anderson, Earl Heyman and Adrian Grady all recorded sacks for the Red team. Mozell Axson led the White team with five tackles, while Daniel Covington picked off an errant Cantwell pass.

Mario Urutia picked up where he left off last season, making big plays all over the field. Urrutia caught five passes for a game-high 143 yards, including the 67 yard touchdown catch and run on the game's first series. Cantwell was generous with the ball, completing passes to 10 different receivers. Harry Douglas caught 3 passes for 81 yards and a score.

White team quarterback Bill Ashburn completed 13-23 passes for 127 yards, but threw three interceptions. Rod Council, Terrence Butler, and William Gay each recorded interceptions for the Red team.

Corey Thompson led the White with 6 receptions for 61 yards.

With spring practice now complete, Petrino said his players will turn their attention to school work and final exams next month before returning to the field in June to begin their voluntary summer workouts for the 2006 season.

"I think we had a good spring overall," said Petrino. "We've got a long way to go, and a lot of things to address. Sometimes we miss the experience that we lost, but our guys are hungry and very motivated. We have a chance to be a very good football team."

Prized recruits Deantwan Whitehead, Aundre Henderson and Anthony Allen attended the game, as did more than one dozen prospective student athletes.

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