Offensive Grove Bowl

The Blues got the best of the Reds Saturday in the annual Grove Bowl game, won by the Blue team 49-28 on a beautiful spring day in Oxford. The teams combined for 824 total yards.

The Blue team was basically the No. 1 unit on both sides of the ball, and the Red squad the rest of the team.

The Blue team got the ball first and took no time in scoring. Brandon Bolden ran 57 yards on first down, and then Nathan Stanley found Markeith Summers on a 23-yard pass for a touchdown. Bryson Rose was good on the extra point and the Blues were up to stay.

Enrique Davis

"We had a very good spring," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said. "I was really proud of what we accomplished this spring. We knew that we had to work very, very hard with all the people that we lost."

After the Reds had to punt, the Blues drove down for another score, a 10-play, 64-yard drive capped by a 2-yard run by Enrique Davis. Stanley to Lionel Breaux was a big play in the march for points, a 36-yard gainer. Rose was good on the PAT.

The Red team was awarded a touchdown at the end of each period, so at the end of one it was 14-7 Blues in the lead.

Early in the second quarter, Thomas scored again for the Blue team, this time from 4 yards out, capping a 79-yard drive. Rose was good again on the extra point.

Stanley found the going rough on the next drive as he quarterbacked the Red team but was sacked for a 17-yard loss and followed that up with an interception by Charles Sawyer. After the pick, Thomas scored from six yards out and David Hankins was good on the conversion making it 28-7 Blues.

Raymond Cotton hit Melvin Harris on a 61-yard pass play for a touchdown for the Reds on the next drive, which took just three plays. John Hall was good on the extra point to cut the Blue lead to 28-14.

"I wasn't surprised," Cotton said of his final spring performance. "I knew I could go out there and throw. I still have velocity on the ball. I'm glad I still have that. I just tried to go along with the pain and just work it out."

The next drive took even less time as Cotton hit Jesse Grandy on a first-down touchdown pass of 80 yards. Andrew Ritter kicked the extra point and it was 35-14 Blues.

That's the way the first half ended, with the Red team being awarded a touchdown for a 35-21 score at the half.

In the first half, Cotton was 5-of-7 for 180 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Stanley was 2-for-6 for 59 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

In the third period the Blue team added a score on a nine-play, 70-yard drive with Stanley hitting E.J. Epperson on a 1-yard pass. Rose connected to make it 42-21.

Charles Sawyer

With the Reds getting their freebie to make it 42-28, the Blues went to work to add to their point total. Derrick Herman rushed for 11 yards for a touchdown with Stanley at the controls, and Hankins converted the point after. And that was the final score.

Stanley finished the day 11-of-16 for 165 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. He actually drove his team downfield four times for scores.

Cotton was 5-for-7 for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

Herman had eight carries for 140 yards and a touchdown. Thomas carried the ball seven times for 26 yards. Davis had 53 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

Grandy had three receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown. Breaux and Richie Contartesi had two receptions each, Breaux for 41 yards and Contartesi for 22 yards.

Ole Miss opens the season against Jacksonville State in Oxford Labor Day weekend.


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