Team Scarlet defeats Team White in Rutgers football's annual spring game
Yesterday, the Rutgers football team played its annual Scarlet-White spring game at SHI Stadium on Busch campus. Team Scarlet defeated Team White by a score of 21-19 in the game. The conclusion of the game marked the end of spring practice for the Scarlet Knights.
In the spring game, the team was split in half, with one side joining Team Scarlet and the other joining Team White. The much-anticipated spring game for Rutgers kicked off with some misty rain that would persist throughout the afternoon.
All eyes were on the quarterback battle between junior quarterbacks Gavin Wimsatt and Evan Simon. Wimsatt started for Team Scarlet, and Simon started for Team White.
Wimsatt got off to a good start and led Team Scarlet down the field on the first drive, completing his first two pass attempts for 52 yards. Junior running back Al-Shadee Salaam took over from there, getting six straight rushing attempts that ended with him punching the ball into the endzone on a one-yard rush. After sophomore placekicker Jai Patel converted the extra point attempt, Team Scarlet took a 7-0 lead with 10:33 left in the first quarter.
Wimsatt had an up-and-down game for Team Scarlet, completing 10 of his 20 pass attempts for 124 yards, throwing for 1 touchdown and one interception.
Though Wimsatt overthrew and underthrew some balls in the rain, he showcased good chemistry with junior wide receiver Max Patterson, who he connected with in the fourth quarter for an eight-yard touchdown.
Simon also struggled for consistency in the inclement weather. The player completed nine of his 17 pass attempts for 71 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Both quarterbacks excel at rushing the ball, but in the spring game, Simon got the better of Wimsatt on the ground, rushing for 21 yards on six carries. Simon also rushed for a touchdown on a clever read-option play.
When both Wimsatt and Simon were asked about the competition between them for the starting role, they had the same answer.
"We don't compete against each other. We compete with each other," Wimsatt and Simon said.
Many people also had an eye on the running back unit heading into the spring game, as the unit is a perceived strength for the Knights.
Salaam and freshman running back Ja'shon Benjamin got the majority of the workload for Team Scarlet. After battling an injury-riddled 2022 season, senior running back Aaron Young got the majority of the workload for Team White.
Salaam had a strong game rushing for 55 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushing attempts and excited the crowd in the process. Young also performed well for Team White, rushing for 76 yards on 14 rushing attempts.
Salaam, Benjamin and Young all showcased their physicality with multiple runs that kept going after initial contact.
The speed and aggression of the defense were on full display as well. One of the standout players of the spring game was junior defensive lineman Stanley Dennis II. Dennis II totaled six tackles, with one sack, one and a half tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
Awards for spring practice were handed out at halftime of the spring game. Senior wide receiver Christian Dremel was named most improved offensive player, senior defensive lineman Mayan Ahanotu won most improved defensive player and senior offensive lineman Reggie Sutton was given an award for showing extraordinary mental and physical toughness.
"Overall (it's been a) productive spring, we got better," Schiano said.
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