Penn State’s Annual Blue-White Game Gave Fans a Glimpse as to What’s to Come in 2019
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Blue team defeated the White team on a beautiful mid-April afternoon for Penn State’s annual Blue-White game.
On the first drive for the Blue team, which is the team comprised of the projected starters, they went three and out as they could only muster up a yard of offense. For the Blue team defense, they allowed freshman duo of Ta’Quan Roberson and Noah Cain to get a couple of good gains on the ground before forcing a punt.
On the ensuing drive for the Blue team offense, on a third and four, tight end Nick Bowers had an impressive catch in traffic for a 19-yard gain to move the chains. Later Bowers came in clutch on third down again as Sean Clifford found the tight end up the seam for 34 yards. After an 11-yard reception by Ricky Slade, Slade pounded one in from the one-yard-line to give the Blue squad a 7-0 lead.
To start the second quarter the Blue was led by Will Levis but couldn’t do much as they went three and out after White team safety Justin Neff broke up a pass down the sideline that was intended for Daniel George. For the White team offense, they were led by the other freshman quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. who had a couple of nice throws to wide receiver Henry Fessler to get the White team into the red zone as the drive was finished off by a two-yard touchdown run for Noah Cain.
For Cain, it was an impressive debut. He finished the day with eight carries for 41 yards and a touchdown. It’s clear that Cain could have a very bright future ahead after showing the way he played today as a true freshman as coach Franklin is excited to see where he can go.
“Noah does a good job knowing whom he is and playing to his strengths,” Franklin said. “He’s going to get stronger, he’s going to get more explosive, he’s going to get faster, he’s going to get quicker.”
Later in the quarter, the Blue team nearly went three and out for the third straight drive, until Sean Clifford was able to pick up a first down with an 11-yard scramble. After a 6-yard run for Clifford, kicker Jake Pinegar put the 27-yard attempt through the uprights to make a 10-7 Blue team lead at halftime.
To start the second half, there was a series of punts for both sides, until Levis found wide receiver Dan Chisena for a 16-yard completion and a first down. On the next play, Will Levis threw deep to Dan Chisena for the 59-yard touchdown. Immediately after the play, it was announced over the PA that Chisena just got offered a scholarship, as the whole team mobbed Chisena in celebration. It was a great moment for Chisena who earned his scholarship after leaving the game of football for track before returning to football.
“We really like Dan. We recruited Dan really pretty hard, but the track team “stole” him. Left his track scholarship to come back to football.” Franklin said. “He was one of the fastest guys on the team... He just had a really consistent spring.”
After the third quarter, several members of the local Special Olympics were joined by former quarterback Trace McSorley for one play. McSorley threw a pass to one of the members of the local Special Olympics team who weaved his way into the end zone for a touchdown.
To start the fourth quarter, the Blue team had a fourth-down conversion after Clifford ran for eight yards to move the chains. Then, Clifford found Noah Cain in the flats, who broke a few tackles as he got into the end zone for the Blue team touchdown to make it 24-7 with 1:26 left in the game. After a few Ta’Quan Roberson scrambles the clock ran out on this year’s Blue-White game.
After the Game head coach James Franklin made it clear although it was a good spring, there is still lots of work to be done.
“I thought overall we had a really good spring,” Franklin said. “We got a lot of work to do between now and the first game.”
Coach also gave an update on presumed starting quarterback Tommy Stevens. He said that Tommy hasn’t been named the starter as coach Franklin is big on competition.
“Tommy’s done everything right. Our coaching staff has all the belief in Tommy, but we also have belief in all the other guys," Franklin said. “I’d like to name one [a starting quarterback] as soon as I can.”
Mitch Broder is a freshman majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. To contact him, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.