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Utah State Aggies football: Offense ekes out win over defense at Spring Game

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The Utah State Aggies Football team gave their fans a final look at the offense and defense during the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 12. Before 6,000 fans at Romney Stadium in Logan it came down to the last play, a 39-yard field goal from Nick Diaz to give the offense, or Blue team, a 78-77 win over the White.

Employing a special system of scoring Saturday, players were rewarded in an interesting way. If the Blue team, or offense scored a touchdown it got six points -- and the game was scored accordingly if it got a one-or-two point conversion. The points system for smaller plays was even more unique. The offense also got two points if it ran for a play of 15 yards or more -- or passed for 20 or more yards on a given play. It also got one point for a first down.

Conversely, the White team, or defense also got six points for a TD and one or two points for respective conversions. But, it also got five points if it forced a turnover, three points if it forced a three-and-out, three points for a blocked field goal, two points for a drive it stopped -- or a sack, tackle or loss.

Using that unique scoring system, the teams went to work Saturday. Touchdowns were at a premium for the offense early. The Blue team opened the scoring with two straight field goals before quarterback Darell Garretson found receiver Brandon Swindall for a 29-yard touchdown.

On the next series with Craig Harrison in at QB for the Blue, cornerback Devin Centers stepped in front of a Harrison pass, returning it 80 yards. The nightmare wasn’t over there for the Utah State Aggies Football offense because the White team defense forced six consecutive three-and-outs into halftime -- and another four to open the second half.

The offense finally settled back into its groove after that, scoring two straight touchdowns on two possessions led by Garretson on the first, an 86-yard scoring drive. Sophomore running back Kennedy Williams, who had 95 yards on 19 carries, scampered for a four-yard TD on the next drive.

The defense stiffened on the next two series, forcing a fumble and an interception. But Diaz’ field goal to end the spring game was enough for the offense to win by a narrow margin on Saturday.

Quarterbacks Darell Garretson and Craig Harrison got all the work with Chuckie Keeton still healing. Garretson threw for 221 yards on 11-of-26 attempts and two touchdowns. Harrison went 13-for-27 for 145 yards, didn't throw for a TD and threw one interception.

Utah State Aggies Football also got surprising production from red shirt freshman receiver Nick Markosian who had five receptions for 60 yards -- while three other receivers including junior Brandon Swindall had three catches apiece.

Perhaps the most surprising output at the Spring Game came from the running backs, where Utah State Aggies Football minus Joe Hill went to work. Junior Rashad Hall had 124 yards rushing on 15 carries and sophomore Kennedy Williams had 95 yards on 19 carries -- including a touchdown.

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