Vick-led White team knocks off Maroon in annual spring game
By Jimmy Robertson
April 24, 2004

The passing and running of quarterback Marcus Vick, the punting of Nic Schmitt and a terrific day by the defenses of both teams highlighted the annual Maroon-White spring game played on a glorious Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium. Vick quarterbacked the White team to a 20-0 victory over the Maroon team.

Tech's coaching staff divvied up the players so as to create a competitive game. No trick plays were allowed, and the quarterbacks could not be tackled. Also, no kicks could be blocked unless in the case of a bad snap.

Vick, a redshirt sophomore from Newport News, Va., completed 9-of-17 for 110 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Though he did not throw any touchdown passes, he made big plays with his arm and his feet to set up the White's two touchdown drives.

In the second quarter, with the White leading 3-0, Vick found David Clowney for a 36-yard gain to the Maroon 6. Receiver-turned-tailback Justin Hamilton scored on the next play and John Hedge's extra point gave the White a 10-0 lead.

In the third quarter, Vick scrambled out of the pocket for what appeared to be a 48-yard touchdown run. But the officials called the play dead at the Maroon 20 and Vick got credited with a 28-yard gain. That drive ended two plays later when Clowney scored on a 2-yard run on a reverse that gave the White a 20-0 lead.

"I was hatin' that no-contact rule right then," Vick said. "But Coach Beamer put it in, so I had to abide by it.

"I think I've had a good spring. I'm more confident now and I know what's going on. I feel comfortable with we're doing offensively."

Hedge, a redshirt freshman from Pulaski, Va., helped his cause in the battle with Brandon Pace for the kicking duties, booting field goals of 39 and 45 yards to account for the White team's other two scores. Pace missed from 32 yards on his lone attempt.

Schmitt, a redshirt sophomore from Salem, Va., took the breaths away of the Tech fans in attendance with his punting. Schmitt averaged 52.6 yards per punt on five punts. In contrast, Vinnie Burns averaged a respectable 44 yards per punt on seven punts, but he got the benefit of some nice rolls off of short punts.

Neither team, though, amounted much of a consistent offense against the defense. The Maroon and the White defenses combined for 11 sacks - and most of them would have been sacks even without the no-contact rule. Roland Minor, Brandon Manning and Jim Davis notched two sacks each, with Darryl Tapp, Noland Burchette, Jimmy Williams, Carlton Powell and Barry Booker. The two offenses combined for just 256 yards of total offense (145 for the White, 111 for the Maroon), and the White team rushing attack led the way, but only amassed 35 yards of rushing. In addition to his two sacks, Minor finished with a game-high 10 tackles.

Bryan Randall, Tech's senior quarterback, started for the Maroon team and completed 7-of-18 for 107 yards, with one interception. In fairness to Randall, he played with just two of Tech's projected starting offensive linemen and two freshmen receivers in Josh Hyman and Justin Harper (Clowney and Chris Clifton played on Vick's squad). Hyman paced all receivers with four catches for 40 yards, while Harper, Clowney and Clifton caught three each.

"When you're passing the ball, you're going to have guys bust routes," Randall. "As a quarterback, that can be frustrating. You've just got to be patient. I like those young guys and they're getting their experience now. Hopefully, it'll work out for the better in the long run."

The spring game concluded spring drills for the Hokies. Tech opens the season with a mighty chore - a game against defending national champion Southern Cal on Aug. 28th in the BCA Football Classic.

"I thought we had a good spring," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "Just how we've produced and how we've worked together, I think we've gotten better. We've got good chemistry. I like what we're doing, but we've got a ton of work to do between now and when we play Southern Cal."