Peasley’s Gold Team wins Wyoming’s Spring Game, 17-10
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The annual Brown and Gold Spring Game was an exciting one for the Wyoming Cowboy Football team on Saturday.
Fans enjoyed 60-degree weather under sunny skies as they watched their Cowboys put on quite a show. In the end, the Gold Team prevailed with a 17-10 victory.
“I thought it was a really exceptional day. We were blessed to have really good weather. Our players have worked hard,” said head coach Craig Bohl. “Spring Games are never going to be perfect, but it’s an opportunity for our players to experience a game and go out and play. We think those things are important. Many times you try to replicate things in practice but when you get into a game it’s a little different.
“I was certainly encouraged by our play-making ability. Wyatt Wieland (graduate wide receiver) did some great things. I really think in the secondary we did some really good things there too. On the lines of scrimmage, we were thin today (due to injuries). We held some other guys out. We watched how many reps Treyton Welch (tight end) got. Harrison Waylee (running back) is going to have some surgery. We think it is going to be somewhat simple, but we held him out today.
“Overall, I was pleased with the effort. I think our tackling has improved from last fall. We made that a point of emphasis, and we ball hawked the ball fairly well today. Up until the tail end I thought we pass protected pretty well. It was a real good day for the Cowboys. Now our guys will transition to preparing for finals and summer workouts as we get ready for Texas Tech to start next season.”
There were strong performances by players on both sides of the ball Saturday. The Gold offense, led by returning starter Andrew Peasley at quarterback, generated 229 yards of total offense on 44 plays and averaged 5.2 yards per play. That included a balanced attack of 124 passing yards and 105 rushing.
The Brown offense was quarterbacked by a combination of sophomore Evan Svoboda and junior Jayden Clemons. Svoboda threw for 50 yards for the Brown offense before he was inserted as the QB for the Gold offense for its final two possessions of the game. He threw for 24 yards for the Gold Team to total 74 passing yards on the day between the two teams. Clemons threw for 102 yards -- all for the Brown Team.
The Brown offense accounted for 171 total yards -- 152 passing and 19 rushing.
Peasley was asked after the Spring Game what he thought the Cowboy offense could be next fall once they get all their players back healthy.
“I think it's going to be something special,” replied Peasley. “The Spring Game is kind of weird because people are out (due to injury) and we’re not showing all our offense, but I thought we did well today. Our offense was productive. Obviously too many turnovers. I threw two picks and all the fumbles on the other side (Brown Team). That’s unacceptable and we have to keep improving on that.”
Peasley engineered two first-half scoring drives for the Gold Team -- one on a five-play, 42-yard touchdown drive to give Gold the lead at 7-0, with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter. Running back Jeremy Hollingsworth scored that first TD of the game on a two-yard run.
Peasley also guided his team on a 10-play, 71-yard TD drive in the second quarter that was capped off by an eight-yard touchdown run by running back L.J. Richardson, with 6:58 left in the half to give Gold a 14-0 lead.
Richardson would be the leading rusher in the game, with six carries for 52 yards and one rushing TD. Hollingsworth carried eight times for 29 yards and scored one touchdown. Brown Team running back Sam Scott had 11 carries for 21 yards.
The top receiver in the game was sophomore wide receiver Isacc Sell from Laramie. He caught eight passes for 79 yards for the Brown Team. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Charlie Coenen caught five passes for 33 yards also for the Brown Team.
The Gold Team spread its completions over four main receivers. Graduate wide receiver Wieland had four receptions for 31 yards. Sophomore tight end John Michael Gyllenborg had two catches for 31 yards. Graduate tight end Welch caught two passes for 28, and redshirt freshman wideout Caleb Merritt had two catches for 17 yards.
Defensively, both defensive units were successful at forcing turnovers on the day.
The No. 1 Brown defense intercepted three passes on the day. On the final play of the first half, cornerback Tyrecus Davis intercepted Peasley and returned the interception 42 yards for a Pick Six to pull Brown within a touchdown at 14-7, heading into halftime. Cornerback Kolbey Taylor picked off Peasley in the third quarter and safety Buck Coors intercepted Svoboda in the fourth quarter when Svoboda was quarterbacking the Gold Team.
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The Gold defense’s specialty was forcing fumbles by the Brown offense.
The Gold defense forced a total of four fumbles and recovered three of those, resulting in three forced turnovers. The three fumbles were forced by redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jaden Williams, redshirt freshman safety TJ Urban and sophomore linebacker Brent VanderVeen. The Brown defenders who recovered the fumbles were sophomore defensive end Keelan Cox and sophomore linebacker Nic Talich.
Talich was credited with two of the three fumble recoveries.
For the Brown Team, defensive tackle Williams led all defenders in tackles (6), tackles for loss (4.0) and sacks (2.0) to go with his one forced fumble. Redshirt freshman nickel back Malique Singleton tied Williams for the most tackles (6) for Brown and also had a pass break-up. Redshirt freshman safety Koa McIntyre added five tackles for the Brown defense. Coors was the leading tackler for Gold with five tackles to go with his interception.
The only second half points for either team came off the foot of Wyoming’s All-America place-kicker John Hoyland. The junior was a perfect 2 for 2 in field goals for the day. He made a 27-yarder for the Gold Team with 6:00 left in the third quarter to give Gold a 17-7 lead, and he converted a 32-yard field goal for Brown with 36 seconds remaining in the third to make the final score Gold 17 and Brown 10. There was no scoring in the fourth quarter.
Gold Team punter Ralph Fawaz averaged 48.5 yards per punt on two punts, including a 56-yard boot. Brown Team punter Clayton Stewart averaged 46.7 yards on three punts, with his long punt going for 54 yards.
The first quarter saw the two defenses starting strong as the Gold defense recovered a fumbled snap by quarterback Svoboda at the Brown 25-yard line. But the Brown defense turned right around and held on a fourth down and one attempt by the Gold offense and Brown took over on downs at its own 16-yard line. Brown would take the ball out to the 42-yard line with the big play being a 15-yard pass completion from Svoboda to wide receiver Coenen. But on a fourth and two at the 42, Svoboda’s pass attempt fell incomplete under pressure from the Gold defense.
The first scoring drive of the game came on Gold’s ensuing possession. After a two-yard rush by running Richardson, quarterback Peasley completed three consecutive passes of seven yards to wide receiver Ryan Marquez, six yards to wideout Wieland and 25 yards to tight end Welch that took the ball down to the Brown two-yard line.
Running back Hollingsworth carried the ball in untouched on the next play to give Gold a 7-0 lead with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter.
The Gold defense forced Brown into a three-and-out on its next series. Following a 46-yard punt by Clayton Stewart, Gold took over at its own 29-yard line. Peasley would proceed to lead his Gold offense on a 10-play, 71-yard drive highlighted by a 27-yard pass from Peasley to tight end John Michael Gyllenborg that put the Gold on the Brown eight-yard line. Running back Richardson broke through the line on first and goal and gave Gold a 14-0 lead at the 6:58 mark of the second quarter.
Brown inserted quarterback Clemons into the lineup for its next series. Brown began the drive on its own 35-yard line after the kickoff went out of bounds. Clemons targeted wide receiver Sell on five pass attempts on the drive, connecting with the sophomore on four passes for a total of 32 yards.
Running back Scott carried three times for 16 yards and running back Mitchell Anderson carried once for six yards. With the ball down at the Gold 25, Scott carried for a fourth time but he was hit by Gold defensive tackle Williams who knocked the ball loose and the fumble was recovered by defensive end Cox at the Gold 37.
Brown’s defense forced Gold into a three-and-out on its next series and following a 56-yard punt by Gold punter Fawaz into the end zone Brown took possession at its own 20-yard line.
Svoboda re-entered the game at quarterback for Brown. He completed passes of five yards to running back Scott and 30 yards to Sell. After an incompletion, Svoboda found tight end Isaac Schoenfeld for nine yards to the Gold 36-yard line, but Gold linebacker VanderVeen knocked the ball loose and fellow linebacker Talich recovered at the 35-yard line with only 13 seconds remaining in the half.
On first down from its 35, Gold QB Peasley threw an incompletion on first down. On second and 10, Peasley attempted a long sideline pass across the field to wide receiver Marquez, but Brown cornerback Davis broke in front of Marquez and intercepted the ball and took it to the end zone with no time remaining on the clock to pull Brown to within a touchdown at 14-7 headed into halftime.
To begin the second half, Gold extended its lead to 17-7 on its first possession of the half. The scoring drive went 66 yards on 11 plays fueled mainly by its rushing attack. Richardson had a 17-yard run that included a 15-yard facemask penalty at the end of it. Peasley added a 15-yard run and Hollingsworth had runs of six and three yards. On a fourth and seven from the Brown nine-yard line, Hoyland came in a booted a 27-yard field goal, building the Gold lead to 17-7.
Late in the third quarter, cornerback Taylor for the Brown Team intercepted Peasley, giving his Brown Team the ball at the Gold 39.
Clemons guided the Brown offense on an eight-play, 24-yard drive with two pass completions to Coenen of 12 and six yards combined with runs of seven and two yards by Scott. Facing a fourth down and 11 at the Gold 15, Hoyland made his second field goal of the day -- a 32-yarder -- and Brown narrowed the lead to 17-10.
That was as close as they would get, and with neither team scoring in the fourth quarter the game ended with Gold winning, 17-10.
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