Spring football camp for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights concluded Saturday with the annual Scarlet-White game. However, it was a bit different this year. Due to all the injuries the team has endured, there was no tackling. So for a second, the game was a bit more of a throwback to high school gym class. Two hand touch anyone?
The scarlet team defeated the white team, 16-13. However, the white team, which is really the second team was given 13 points prior to the start.
In all, Rutgers offensive action was lacking. There was not one touchdown scored until the fourth quarter. That touchdown came with a little over a minute left in the game, a 28-yard pass to Damon Mitchell from Gio Rescigno. The rest of the points, were scored on field goals.
This leads us to one of the stars of the game. Kicker Gavin Taggerty, with just a few seconds left in the game kicked a 41-yard game winning field goal. The walk-on kicked two other field goals and was a big glimmer of hope for the scarlet team.
The offense was without two key playmakers, Janarion Grant and Jawuan Harris. Grant is recovering from his season-ending ankle injury last season, while Harris is out in Iowa catching some fly balls and stealing some bases. The star wide receiver plays centerfield for the Rutgers baseball team.
The running game showed some sparks during the spring game. Josh Hicks, whose role diminished last season came out with a little extra pop in his step. The senior rushed 18 times for 72 yard. Robert Martin on the other hand had just six carries because he’s nursing a quad contusion.
Entering his second season as head coach, Chris Ash said the main goal of the Scarlet-White game was to remain healthy. This is because of the spring injuries. Wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell tore his ACL early during spring camp, while quarterback Zach Allen tore his ACL last week.
“We made a decision to go “ thud tempo” and it was all about player safety and making sure that we got through it clean and healthy,” Ash said after the game.
That thud tempo sort of set the tone for the game and the atmosphere at High Point Solutions Stadium, where the rain literally put a damper on the mood and tempo of the game.
Back to the quarterback situation, Rescigno, put on an okay performance. He finished the spring game 18 for 30 with 198 yards and one touchdown. The quarterback also showed he can run, rushing for 12 yards.
Ash said after the game that the junior is still their guy, however come the fall, it could be a whole new game with incoming freshman Johnathan Lewis.
“Gio is the number one guy,” Ash said. “But Johnathan Lewis will be here in the fall and definitely will be here to compete.”
As for Gio, he says he has things he has to work on, but he’s ready to bring it come the summer.