Whitmer shines in annual spring game
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 12:04
UConn’s white team defeated UConn’s blue team, 14-5, Saturday afternoon at Rentschler Field in front of an estimated 5,500 people, concluding this spring football season.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw a pair of touchdown passes to redshirt senior tight-end John Delmonte and redshirt freshman tight-end Sean McQuillan in the second and fourth quarters, respectively. Whitmer finished 18 for 27 with 187 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, proving to have the best day of the many quarterbacks involved in the fall’s expected competition. White’s sophomore Michael Nebrich and blue’s redshirt senior Johnny McEntee and freshman Casey Cochran are also competing.
“Chandler did well, made a lot of plays and they got the W,” said redshirt freshman running back Max DeLorenzo. “He definitely proved himself today.”
In the first quarter, redshirt junior kicker Chad Christen put the blue team out in front with a 36–yard field goal. In the next possession, on a 3rd and 32 on blue’s seven yard line, redshirt senior defensive tackle Ryan Wirth sacked Nebrich for a safety to make the score 5-0. Wirth finished with 4.5 sacks and seven total tackles.
In the second quarter, the white team drove 52 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the second quarter. Whitmer connected with Delmonte in the end zone to put white up 7-5 after the extra point.
Whitmer tossed McQuillan a touchdown pass in the back right of the end zone and a good extra point in the fourth quarter to make the final score 14-5.
The running game for both teams were ineffective, as white rushed for negative 36 yards, and blue gained four.
The teams had some restrictions, however. “We didn’t show too much because it was on TV and we didn’t want to give anything away,” DeLorenzo said.
Redshirt senior running back D.J. Shoemate was unable to play as a shoulder injury forced him to end his collegiate career. He was still on the sidelines for the white team.
“It was fun. It’s always going to be hard watching your boys go out there and play the game that you love,” Shoemate said. “Of course I want to go out there and contribute physically, but it’s good to be a part of it and to be able to end this experience here in the Rent.” Seen as a leader of the team during his two–year tenure as a Husky, Shoemate spoke to the running backs unit before the game.
“I just try to tell them to cherish this game. You never know when it’s going to go. You never know when you’re not going to play again,” Shoemate said. “I told them I appreciate all the memories. I really appreciate what you guys have done for me in helping me grow as a person.”