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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

White team defeats Maroon team in 2018 A&M spring game

The+two+teams+competing+in+the+Spring+game+are+Maroon+and+White%2C+each+team+was+drafted+prior+to+the+start+of+the+game.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

The two teams competing in the Spring game are Maroon and White, each team was drafted prior to the start of the game.

In front of a crowd of 48,129, a new era of Aggie football begun as the Maroon and White teams squared off at Kyle Field marking the end of Spring Football. The White team defeated Maroon, 30-24.
“I was very proud of both teams,” Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “At the end, I thought guys made plays to win the game instead of not making plays and having the other team win by default. I thought the game got very competitive, I thought there were some nice hits in the game.”
The play of the game came late in the fourth quarter for the White team, when sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond connected with sophomore Kendrick Rodgers on a 32-yard reception. The play led to a 4-yard touchdown between Rodgers and Mond with 39 seconds remaining, which would be the deciding factor.
With 39 seconds left in the game, redshirt sophomore Nick Starkel could not put his team into the end zone after leading the Maroon team deep into the white team’s territory on the following drive.
“We had run that play three or four times, and I had hit the out route both times,” Mond said. “Kendrick had been open most of the time on almost every single one…With those type of guys, you’ve just got to give them a chance, and if they get their hand on the ball, their almost going to catch it every time.”
In the opening half, the White team struggled to move the ball, despite leading by four points after two quarters. Of their eight first half drives, six ended with punts, while the other two went for touchdowns.
After punting on their first four possessions, the White team capitalized on an interception by Roney Elam, who returned the ball to the four-yard line.Mond found tight end Ryan Renick on a short pass to tie the game at seven.
On their following drive, senior running back Kwame Etwi burst out of the pack to deliver a 55-yard touchdown run for the White team, giving them a seven-point lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
On the other side of the field, the Maroon offense struggled to piece together drives. Maroon punted on their first possession and lost the ball on their second drive, after junior running back Trayveon Williams fumbled while the offense was in the red zone.
Fisher said the only two dark spots of the spring game were the two possessions in which the Maroon team didn’t protect the ball.
“The only two things I didn’t like were the two turnovers,” Fisher said. “We had the ball first and ten and just dropped a pitch going in to score. Then you’re backed up with a seven-point lead and you’ve got to work the other side of the field on a read and try to force a ball…That’s not a time to do that. I think those two things, when you look back at it, cost the Maroon team as much as anything.”
The Maroon offense did score first when Starkel connected with tight end Jace Sternberger in the left quarter of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter.
The Maroon offense continued to struggle over the next four drives. In the closing minutes of the first half, Maroon went on an 11 play, 67-yard drive to set up 30-yard Daniel LaCamera field goal, cutting White’s lead 14-10.
After an entertaining halftime Legends game headlined by former Heisman trophy winner and quarterback Johnny Manziel.
During the second half, the game was altered for the game to 15 minute quarters with a running clock. In the first half, the clock was ran the exact same way a normal game would function.
In the second half, the White team continued to , as Mond led the offense on a 9 play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Camron Buckley.
After a Maroon punt, Drew Riethman converted a 37-yard field goal attempt to give the White team 14-point lead nearing the end of the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, sophomore Connor Blumrick came in to play quarterback for the Maroon for one series. The freshman quarterback found sophomore running back John Clark for a 20-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to seven and give the Maroon team almost a full 15 minutes to work with.
The two sides traded punts for the majority of the quarter until Starkel connected with tight end Sternberger on a 65-yard touchdown that tied the game with 3:02 remaining in the game. After the White team took the lead shortly afterwards, Starkel led his team down the field, but couldn’t punch the winning score in.
“[Nick] came out in the second half and played well and had that big drive to take the team down and tie it and then comes right back again,” Fisher said. “I’m not disappointed in Nick’s performance, but there are some things we’ve got to get cleaned up.”
Sternberger, who was named this spring’s MVP, was the leading receive ended the game with 147 yards and two touchdowns. His play left head coach Jimbo Fisher impressed.
“You see why he was our MVP of the spring,” Fisher said. “He’s kind of done that every day. He’s been a workhorse as far as his attitude, his work ethic, everything. Every day he brings it. When your tight end can get vertical and make plays down the field, it really can change you on offense.”
Starkel said he also believes that Sternberger can be a key piece of the offense in 2018.
“He can be very valuable,” Starkel said. “He’s a playmaker. He’s been making those plays everyday ever since he got here. Coach Brewster is on him really hard every day because he sees the potential in him, and I see the potential in him.”
The starting quarterbacks for each squad had multiple touchdowns. Mond ended the game throwing 19-for-26, with 180 passing yards, and three touchdowns. Starkel went 26-for-42, with 373 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Fisher said he was not ready to name a starter after watching both play today.
“We are not ready to name a starter at all because I think Kellen has done a great job, but I think Nick has too,” Fisher said. “I think we have two quarterbacks here…I thought [Nick] played well early then hit a little lull, and he had that critical mistake when he was backed up, but he rebounded from that.…I thought Kellen did a nice job. There’s no way that we can name a starter right now. It’s too early. Both of them haven’t had enough work, and we are just now getting into the offense.”
With the spring season coming to an end, the Aggies will work through the summer and look toward their first regular season game on August 30 when they will host Northwestern State. Overall, Fisher said he was pleased with the work the team got done in his first Aggieland spring.
“Spring is over,” Fisher said. “I liked the progress we made as far as understanding how we want to compete and deal with adversity and deal with success. I think you saw that probably in the second half of this game. One team was down, the other one battled right on back.”

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