Air Raid On Full Display in Crimson Bowl 2

Sophomore quarterback Chase Holbrook completed 22 of 30 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Crimson team, comprised of mainly starters, to a 42-24 victory over the White squad in the second annual Crimson Bowl intrasquad game Saturday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

The White team was also productive as redshirt freshman quarterback Scott Grantham (El Paso, Texas) threw for 319 yards and a TD and freshman wide receiver Jahmeel Hobson (El Paso, Texas) caught eight passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. Grantham also played a series for the Crimson team and tossed a third TD pass on that drive.

The White team, comprised of second- and third-string players, started the evening with a 14-0 head start and, after a scoreless first quarter, extended the lead to 21-0 when Grantham capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Hobson.

The Crimson team began its roll to victory on the ensuing possession as Holbrook directed the first string 70 yards down the field in eight plays, hooking up with senior transfer wide receiver Akieem Jolla (New Orleans, La.) on a 20-yard touchdown pass.

Sophomore kicker Matt Pratt (Blooming Grove, Texas) booted a 36-yard field goal for White on the next drive to make the score 24-7. Grantham and Hobson teamed up for a 37-yard pass to highlight that drive.

The Crimson offense got the ball back and began clicking, closing the first half with a late touchdown. On consecutive plays, Holbrook hit junior WR Derek Dubois (Colonia, N.J.) and Jolla for 23 and 22 yards respectively, the second of which was a touchdown.

Crimson added two more touchdowns in the third quarter and early in the fourth to go up 28-24. Holbrook led the offense 61 yards in seven plays to score with 4:47 left in the period, starting the drive with a 24-yard pass to Dubois and completing it with a 16-yard touchdown strike to senior Tim Tolbert (Las Cruces, N.M./Mayfield HS). On the final drive of the quarter, which started after a 51-yard interception return by sophomore defensive back Gerald Gurrier (Irvington, N.J.), the Crimson offense made it down to the White five-yard line by quarter's end. Junior running back Justine Buries (Mesquite, Texas) then punched it in from one yard out on the second play of the final stanza.

A missed field goal early in the fourth quarter put Crimson back on offense and Holbrook quickly zipped the Aggie starters 78 yards in six plays, helped by a 45-yard completion to junior wideout Brandon Allen (Phoenix, Ariz.) on the drive's first play. Holbrook tossed his fourth and final TD of the evening to Dubois from 16 yards out to put his team ahead 35-24.

Grantham eventually switched sides to the Crimson team in the fourth quarter and led them on a short four-play, 30-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a nice over-the-shoulder grab on a fade route by junior Jared Kaufman (Littleton, Colo.).

Junior Francisco Rincon (Stockton, Calif.) took the last series of snaps at quarterback for White and tossed a 45-yard catch and run to sophomore Doug McDaniel (Albuquerque, N.M./Rio Grande HS) to get his squad into the red zone.

Buries led all rushers with 33 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Sophomore Jeremiah Williams (Raleigh, N.C.) gained 22 yards for Crimson while the staunch Crimson defense only allowed White sophomore tailback Chris Nwoko (Mesquite, Texas) to gain 12 yards on 10 carries.

Hobson, the White team's main target, led all NMSU receivers with eight catches and 211 yards while McDaniel finished with five receptions for 83 yards. Jolla had six grabs for 62 yards and two touchdowns to lead Crimson while Dubois had five catches for 82 yards and a TD. Crimson tight end Ryan Franzoy (Hatch, N.M./Hatch Valley HS), a redshirt freshman, caught three passes for 76 yards.

Freshman safety Matt   Jones (El Paso, Texas) led all Aggies with 11 tackles for the White team while sophomore linebacker Danny Harmon (Albuquerque, N.M./La Cueva HS) had eight tackles. White picked up two sacks of Holbrook, recorded by redshirt freshman linebacker Sam King (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore defensive lineman David Niumatilolo (Kahuku, Hawai'i). Freshman linebacker J.D. Dowling (McKinney, Texas) had an interception.

Defensively for the Crimson team, senior linebacker Tim McManigal (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) had a squad-high seven tackles and three sacks. Redshirt junior defensive end Maurice Murray (Long Beach, Calif.) and freshman linebacker Ross Conner (Las Cruces, N.M./Mayfield HS) had two sacks each while freshman linebacker Jamar Cotton (Irvington, N.J.) had 1.5 sacks. Five other Crimson defenders were credited with half a sack each. Gurrier had two interceptions which he returned for a total of 69 yards while junior cornerback Alex Bernard (Las Cruces, N.M./Mayfield HS) also picked off a pass. Senior cornerback Courtney Bryan (San Jose, Calif.) broke up a game-high three passes.

New Mexico State will open the 2006 season Thursday, August 31 at Aggie Memorial Stadium against D-IAA Southeastern Louisiana.

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