Utah Football - Henry-Cole's Two TD's Lead Red Past White, 20-10

Published on April 15, 2017 at 03:12PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah sophomore running back Devonta’e Henry-Cole rushed for 50 yards on 11 carries and registered a pair of touchdowns to lead the Red team past the White team, 20-10, during the Utah football team’s annual spring game Saturday at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

In all, four different running backs combined to rush for 103 yards on the day, which also included Justin Tatola gaining 31 yards on seven carries and a game-high 4.1 yards-per-attempt.

“It was a pretty good showing today,” said Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham. “We had limited numbers as everyone does in spring-ball and then when you sit out close to 12 of your starters, it is difficult to field a couple of teams, so relative to that I think it was a good day.

“It was good to see a lot of what the young guys could do today,” said Whittingham. “So far, spring has been very productive. We have one more practice on Tuesday and that will be a wrap. Julian Blackmon played well at corner today. In fact, the secondary on both teams played great and tackled well. “Henry-Cole played very well today. Cooper Bateman showed up and played really well today. He is in a three-way battle with those other quarterbacks. Overall, a lot of good things today.”

Tyler Huntley was a perfect 4-for-4 during a first drive that eventually led to a three-yard rushing touchdown from Henry-Cole and gave the Red team an early 6-0 lead. Hayes Hicken capped off the eight-play, 65-yard drive with his extra point to make it 7-0 with 7:46 to play in the first quarter.

The Red team’s Chris Hart sacked White team quarterback Troy Williams for a six-yard loss on the ensuing drive and the White squad was forced to punt in its first drive after netting a total of -9 yards in three plays.

Both squads were forced to punt in each of the team’s second drives of the first quarter. Caleb Repp registered a sack for a loss of nine yards for the White team, while Nick Heninger of the Red team countered at the other end of the field with a sack that went for a loss of eight yards.

The Red team was forced to punt again during a third drive that netted just six yards on three plays. The White team managed to pick up its first, first down of the game during its third drive when Williams connected with Troy McCormick, Jr. for a six-yard pass-and-catch.

The White team closed out the first quarter netting 20 yards on a total of six plays, but then turned the ball over on downs to begin the second quarter when Zack Moss rushed for no gain on 4th-and-1.

The Red team took over with the ball at the White 45-yard line and later managed to get out of a 4th-and-11 jam when Huntley found Demari Simpkins for a 16-yard gain and a new first down at the 19-yard line. Henry-Cole followed with runs of five yard, four yards and then a two-yard touchdown run to give Red a 13-0 lead. Hicken’s PAT was no good though and White took over with 5:48 left to play in the second quarter.

The White team again turned the ball over on downs netting just eight yards in four plays during its next drive. Williams’ pass attempt on 4th-and-2 was incomplete to McCormick after Connor Haller managed to get a hand on the ball and break of the pass.

The Red team took over at the 5:01 mark of the second quarter, but Huntley’s pass on 2nd-and-9 was intercepted by Cameron Taylor, who returned it for 17 yards. A personal foul on the play pushed the ball back and the White team began its next drive at its own 24-yard line with 4:17 left to play in the half.

The White team managed to drive down to the Red 19-yard line before a sack from Leki Fotu and Maxs Tupai of the Red team dropped Williams down to the 24-yard line with :02 left on the clock. Following a timeout, Cristian Antezana capped off a 14-play, 52-yard drive as he nailed his 42-yard field goal attempt as time expired and give the White team its first points of the day.

Despite the score, the Red team managed to take a 13-3 lead into halftime.

The White team opened the second half getting a first down when Justin Tatola rushed for 13 yards, but later turned the ball over on down when quarterback Drew Lisk failed to complete a pass on 4th-and-3.

Following a three-and-out from the Red team on its next drive, the White team took over from its own 15-yard line and proceeded to 35 yards over the next seven plays before the third quarter came to an end.

Lisk opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back incomplete passes and the White team was forced to turn the ball over on downs. The Red team took over with 8:30 left to play and in just four plays, the Red squad scored its third touchdown of the game when Cooper Bateman found Jameson Field from 30 yards out. Hicken’s PAT was good and the Red team pushed its lead to 20-3 with 6:51 left in the contest.

The White team found pay-dirt for the first time in the game when they managed to go 65 yards in just two plays for a score. Following a 22-yard pass from to Tyler Bell to open the drive, Lisk later found McCormick, who proceeded to find the end zone 43 yards later. Antezana capped off the two-play drive with his PAT to make it a 20-10 game in favor of the Red team.

Both squads got one more possession over the final four minutes of the game, but neither team managed to find the end zone. Lisk was intercepted by Shawn Hansen and Henry-Cole was tackled for a loss by Mark Kruger to end the game.

Despite being on the losing end of the game, the White team did manage total more first downs (11 to 9) and net more offensive total yards (204 to 147) than the Red team on the day. The Red team outrushed the White team (29 to 13), but the White team notched 191 yards through the air to the Red team’s total of 118 yards.

Huntley led the way for the Red team connecting on eight of his 12 pass attempts for a total of 65 yards and one pick. Bateman was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day for 53 yards and the one touchdown pass. Meanwhile, Lisk led the White team through the air with 118 yards on 7-of-15 passing with a TD and one interception. Williams passed for 73 yards going 9-for-15 on the day.

McCormick led the wide receiving corps with 61 yards on five catches for the White team. Tatola added 34 yards on four catches and Siaosi Wilson collected a pair of catches for 32 yards for the White team. Field led the Red team with 39 yards on two catches, while Jordan Howard and Henry-Cole both tallied four catches for 23 yards each.

Mitch Wishnowsky managed punting duties for both teams on Saturday, registering five punts for 227 total yards and a 45.4 yards-per-punt average. He registered a pair of 50-plus yard punts and two punts inside the 20-yard line.

Repp led the White team with five total tackles and 1.5 sacks on the day. Christian Drews recorded five tackles and Konnor Anderson came away with four total tackles for the White team. Blackmon and Pita Tonga both accounted for five total tackles each, while Trevor Horlacher and Shawn Hansen both totaled four tackles each for the Red team.

Hart was all over the field for the defense as he posted a game-high three sacks for a total of 23 loss of yards. He forced a fumble and registered a pass break-up, as well.

Utah will open the 2017 season on Thursday, Aug. 31, at home hosting North Dakota.