Blue tops Red for Grove Bowl title

The quarterback competition may have been dead even entering Saturday, but Seth Adams made sure that a leader emerged over the course of the 2007 Grove Bowl.

Adams took the field with the first-team offense for a spectacular afternoon as the Red Team bested the Blue Team 23-21 behind a 16-for-20 passing outing for 159 yards from the senior including one score in front of an announced 17,000 attendance.

"I threw the ball well and thought I had a consistent day being able to complete some passes," Adams said. "It is big to get the ball in our playmakers' hands and control the clock. That is a major part of what I am asked to do."

The signal caller's main playmaker on this day was rising sophomore Cordera Eason. The Meridian High School product scampered for 104 yards on 12 carries in place of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who sat out for several reasons.

"I wanted to give Cordera an extended chance to run the football, and I thought he did terrific today," head coach Ed Orgeron said. "BenJarvus is fine, but there isn't a reason to risk injury."

Bruce Hall was a viable counter to Eason with 47 yards on 10 carries.

Also joining Adams at quarterback for the Blue Team was red-shirt freshman Michael Herrick. The California native only completed one of five passes with an interception.

2006 starter Brent Schaeffer and transfer Jevan Snead took the snaps for the Red Team and were able to manufacture three touchdown drives.

Snead impressed with a 7-12 passing day and scrambled for a big second-half first down. Schaeffer had a limited throwing afternoon, completing two of five passes for 13 yards. Each Red Team quarterback had a touchdown.

"Brent had an ok day and has had an ok spring," Orgeron said. "Jevan stood in the pocket and threw the ball well. I was really proud of him for coming back after throwing an interception and performing well."

The Red Team ground attack saw momentary flashes from Hiram White, who sprinted 14 times for 68 yards.

Orgeron continued to comment on how Snead has looked since getting to Oxford.

"I received his grades, and he was making straight A's," Orgeron added. "That is what I would expect out of my quarterback. He is an outstanding young man that is a great person to represent our team. He is what we are looking for in a quarterback. He has all the things that point toward being able to lead us to a championship."

The blue team highlighted the day on offense, but a Red Team defensive player stole the show on that side. Dustin Mouzon registered 10 solo tackles which was two better than Kentrell Lockett, who locked seven solos and an assist. Two of Lockett's tackles resulted in nine yards of losses.

Red Team member Marcus Tillman contributed 2.5 tackles for a total of eight-yard losses including a 1.5 sacks.

The Blue Team was paced by a dynamic performance from defensive end Greg Hardy. The rising sophomore had two sacks costing the Red Team 20 yards and a forced fumble.

Brandon Thomas produced from his linebacker position with six solo and seven total tackles.

The scoring didn't take long to get started as Joshua Shene chipped in a 22-yard field goal with 6:29 remaining in the first quarter for the Blue squad. It capped a long 13-play drive of 61 yards.

The Blue got the ball back a short time later and created a two-score advantage. Adams found Marshay Green for a nine-yard score. An extra point later, it was 10-0.

Brent Schaeffer answered with a long drive of his own on the ensuing possession. Schaeffer hooked up with Josh Zettergren from five yards out for his lone touchdown of the day. Justin Sparks added the PAT.

The first-half festivities were capped off by another Blue drive with 2:49 remaining. Fullback Jason Cook found a hole and rushed in on an eight-yard score. The halftime score was 16-7 because of a botched snap and hold on the extra point.

Snead saw his first extended action in the third quarter and manipulated a seven-play, 55-yard drive and capped it off with a two-yard pass to Mike Hicks. And Keen connected the point after.

The Blue Team's last points were supplied by Eason on an eight-yard burst in the early part of the fourth quarter.

The last scoring change of the spring occurred on a Hiram White run of 17 yards with 6:08 remaining. The run brought the score to 23-21 when Keen kicked his second PAT.

"We were able to establish some balance and looked good in the short-range passing," offensive coordinator Dan Werner said. "Seth looked good and running the football like we did led to an efficient offensive day."

All in all, Orgeron was pleased with the afternoon gave insight to what he hopes for in the fall.

"We are at a point where we need to have a winning season," Orgeron said. "Is that our goal? No, we always try to go to the Sugar Bowl, but we need to have a winning season, go to a bowl and win it. We'll take it one game at a time, but that is the next step in progressing the program."

Red Team

Passing: Jevan Snead (7-12-1, 56 yards and one score. Long of 17); Brent Schaeffer (2-5-0, 13 yards and one score. Long of 8)

Rushing: Hiram White (14 for 68 and once score. Long of 17); Brent Schaeffer (4 for 28 and a long of 24)

Receiving: Josh Zettergren (5 for 38 and once score. Long of 14); Andy Hartman (3 for 29 and a long of 17)

Defense: Dustin Mouzon (10 tackles); Kentrell Locket (8 tackles, 1 forced fumble and one sack); Jamarca Sanford (7 tackles and one interception); Jamie Phillips (five tackles and one forced fumble) Marcus Tillman (four tackles, one forced fumble and one and a half sacks.)

Blue Team

Passing: Seth Adams (16-20-0, 159 yards and one score. Long of 18); Michael Herrick (1-5-1, 11 yards. Long of 11.)

Rushing: Cordera Eason (12 for 104 and one score. Long of 32.); Bruce Hall (10 for 30. Long of 13.)

Receiving: Shay Hodge (5 for 65. Long of 17.); Mike Wallace (5 for 41. Long of 18); Marshay Green (3 for 27 and one score. Long of 9)

Defense: Brandon Thomas (7 tackles); Greg Hardy (6 tackles, one forced fumble and 2 sacks.); Allen Walker (5 tackles); Ashlee Palmer (four tackles and one sack); Bryan Kendricks (three tackles and one sack)

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