On a beautiful, sun-splashed afternoon, the Rockets played their annual scrimmage without their top two quarterbacks and top three running backs, all of whom were nursing injuries or recovering from off-season surgeries. Senior quarterback Phillip Ely, junior QB Logan Woodside, junior running backs Kareem Hunt and Damion Jones-Moore, along with sophomore running back Terry Swanson, all cheered on their teammates from the sidelines.
The Blues trailed, 5-0, until sophomore quarterback Michael Julian hit sophomore Cody Thompson for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The Gold Team’s final drive made it to the Gold 40-yard line before time ran out.
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Julian saw most of the action at signal-caller for the Blue Squad, connecting on 4-of-13 passes for 52 yards. Redshirt freshman Brad Smith led the Blues with 17 yards rushing on nine attempts.
The Gold defense dominated the first half, picking off two Julian passes and forcing a safety to give its side a 5-0 halftime lead. Senior cornerback Cheatham Norrils, playing in the Glass Bowl for the first time since last year’s spring game, picked off a deflected pass in the second quarter, setting up a 30-yard field goal by junior punter Nick Ellis. Moments later, Connery Swift came up with a pick. This time, Ellis’ attempt from 46 yards was no good.
The Blue team’s game-winning TD was set up on the third interception of the afternoon, this time by junior Delando Johnson with 7:20 left in the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Julian hit Thompson in the end zone for the game-winning score.
Saturday’s game wraped up the spring practice season for the Rockets. Toledo opens its 2015 season at home vs. Stony Brook on Thursday, Sept. 3.