Good D' highlights USM's day
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
April 14, 2002
HATTIESBURG Southern Mississippi fans got to see first-hand the three-headed monster that will be its quarterback situation come fall.
Success in Saturday afternoon's annual Black-Gold Spring game had a lot to do with who was doing the blocking. Behind the first-team offensive line, Long Beach sophomore Mickey D'Angelo had the better day completing eight of 10 passes for 154 yards.
The Golds, meanwhile, had to put up with a ferocious pass rush from the Golden Eagles' second-team front-seven. The unit recorded seven sacks and it was the final one that preserved the Blacks' 14-7 victory.
Defensive end DeMarcus Bonner sacked Zac White on the game's final play. White had rallied the Golds to the Black 10-yard line to set up the final play.
USM head coach Jeff Bower liked how all three of the quarterbacks performed but was noncommittal about who's ahead.
D'Angelo pretty much agreed with Bower.
As for the rest of his team, Bower said the Golden Eagles have solid depth in a lot areas.
One of those is former East Mississippi product Carlos Crusoe who saw his first game action since suffering a bad leg injury.
White, who quarterbacked for both teams, led the Blacks to its opening score. A 19-yard pass to Chris Johnson helped set up a one-yard TD run by Derrick Nix with 2:24 left in the first quarter. Curt Jones booted the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
A great punt by Mark Haulman pinned the Golds back inside their own two. After a three-and-out, a short punt had the Blacks at the Gold 40.
The Blacks covered the distance capped by a one-yard run by James Walley with 8:52 left in the second quarter. Jones' kick made it 14-0.
The Golds' offensive highlights were limited to a 47-yard kickoff return by Cleveland freshman John Eubanks and punter Luke Johnson had a 40-yard run after a bad snap forced him to take off. Dustin Almond opened at quarterback for the Gold and was 4 of 11 passing for 44 yards.
In the second half, White took most of the snaps as the Gold quarterback. He led them on two solid drives into Black territory.
The first drive was set up by a pair of good runs by Anthony Harris of 10 and 20 yards. But the drive stalled inside the Black 15 resulting in a turnover on downs.
On the next possession, White led the Gold to its lone touchdown. A 25-yard pass to tight end Patrick Barker carried the Gold to the seven. That set up a seven-yard TD run by Lorenzo Young. Don Urquhart kicked the extra point to make it 14-7 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
D'Angelo's 154 yards passing led the Black team. Kenneth Johnson was the top receiver with five catches for 67 yards. LeRoy Handy had five receptions for 45 yards and Chris Johnson had 45 yards on three catches.
Nix led the Blacks in rushing with 49 yards on 16 carries. Haulman averaged 46.2 yards on his punts and had three land inside the Golds' five-yard line.
White was a combined 14 of 25 for 165 yards. Nine of the completions for 104 yards were for the Golds. Rocky Harrison led the Gold receivers with three receptions for 37 yards. Harris paced the rushers with 64 yards on 12 carries.
The Black defense was led by Darrell Bennett who had eight tackles. Tootie Myers had six. Barner finished with two sacks and a fumble recovery while Myers intercepted a pass.
The Gold defense was led by Alex Ray who had 11 tackles. Linebacker Rod Davis had eight stops.