Randall shines in Maroon-White game
By Jimmy Robertson
April 20, 2002

Rising sophomore Bryan Randall, playing on both the Maroon and the White team, completed 21 of 38 passes for 211 yards and scored the game's only touchdown, leading the Maroon team to a 12-0 victory in the Hokies' annual Maroon-White game held Saturday at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.

Randall played on both teams because of injuries to Grant Noel and Will Hunt. Noel, the fifth-year senior who was going to go into next season as the starter, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee this past Wednesday in a scrimmage. Hunt sat out with a shoulder injury.

Randall did not throw any touchdown passes in the game and he threw one interception, but he did score on an 8-yard run at the end of the second quarter. And he made nice passes all day to keep both offenses moving.

"It was hectic," said Randall, who changed jerseys after each possession. "We were running people in and out. But it was fun. I felt a lot more comfortable out there this spring and I think I improved. But I've still got a lot of improving to do."

"We wanted to give him the opportunity to make some plays and he did," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "He's throwing the ball a lot better. He threw the interception early in the game, but he put it behind him and came back and made some plays. It was a big day for him."

Interestingly, a Randall interception set up the first score of the game. On the opening possession of the day, Randall attempted a pass that was batted in the air and intercepted by defensive end Lamar Cobb, giving the Maroon team the ball at the White 40.

That led to a six-play drive, which ended with a 39-yard field goal by Carter Warley. The big play came on second-and-6 from the 36 when Randall found Keith Burnell for a 16-yard gain to the 20.

The Maroon took a 9-0 lead near the end of the second quarter on the 8-yard touchdown run by Randall. The extra point attempt was foiled because of a poor snap.

Things went well for the Hokies on this day, with the exception of special teams. Two poor snaps and a dropped snap led to two missed field goals and an extra point. And Kevin Jones, playing for the White team, misplayed a punt that actually hit him and resulted in a turnover.

"We'll have to get that squared away," Beamer said. "In all fairness to Kevin, we just put him back there this week to see what he could do. I think, in the end, DeAngelo [Hall] or Ronyell [Whitaker] will be back there."

Vincent Fuller led the White team defense with six tackles. Cols Colas and Mark Costen each recorded a sack for the White team. For the Maroon squad, Blake Warren led the way with five tackles, including one for a loss, and Nathaniel Adibi finished with three tackles, including two for a loss.

Jones led the White team with 35 yards rushing. Justin Hamilton caught four passes for 44 yards and Ernest Wilford caught two for 44 for the White squad. Cedric Humes rushed for 28 yards to lead the Maroon, while Chris Clifton caught two passes for 18 yards.

"I thought this was the best day of the spring for our receivers," Beamer said. "Sometimes that happens in game-like situations. That's an area where we need to play better, and if we play like we did today, we'll be alright."

Tech opens the season Aug. 25 against Arkansas State. Kickoff time hasn't been determined.

Paul Torgersen Award (top newcomer) - Justin Hamilton, Blake Warren
Dr. Richard Bullock Award (most improved player) - Bryan Randall, James Miller, Vegas Robinson
Frank O. Moseley (top hustler) - Cedric Humes, Billy Hardee
George Preas Award (most valuable performer) - Jake Grove, Jim Davis, DeAngelo Hall
President's Award (outstanding leadership) - Nathaniel Adibi