Rams football shows out in Green and Gold spring game

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Collegian | Reuel Indurkar

The Colorado State University Rams play in their spring game during Green and Gold weekend April 23.

Madeline Davis

Braidon Nourse, Sports Reporter

The new Colorado State University Rams football team was in action this weekend for the Green and Gold spring game. The intrasquad scrimmage was the conclusion of a weekend that consisted of tailgating, the inaugural Grit 5k run, a free youth football camp following the game and much more for the Ram football community.

The nontraditional format of the game included the White Team, consisting mostly of non-starters, starting the game with 21 points, giving a challenge to the Green Team, mostly starters, to mount a comeback. Also, the defensive units were not allowed to tackle any quarterbacks, as hits to the quarterbacks were limited to two-hand-touch.

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Freshman Sammy Norris takes his helmet off during a break in the Green and Gold Weekend game
Freshman Sammy Norris (61) takes his helmet off during a break in the Green and Gold weekend game April 23. (Collegian | Reuel Indurkar)

The beginning of the first quarter was all about defense. The first series by the White Team ended with an interception, and the very next series ended with a three-and-out. Later on in the quarter, quarterback Clay Millen of the Green Team was picked off by White Team defensive back Brandon Guzman, who took it to the house to increase the lead to 28 following kicker Jonathan Terry’s extra point.

With around 30 seconds left in the quarter, Millen found wide receiver Melquan Stovall on a 17-yard fade pass to put the Green Team on the board. The much anticipated “Fort Air Raid” offense did not seem to be in full effect, as the wind at Canvas Stadium was steady around 30 miles per hour with even harder gusts. 

“Rams fans should expect the connection between Millen and Stovall to be a special one this season.”

The only points in the second quarter for the White Team came from the leg of Terry, with two field goals under 40 yards to push the lead to 34-7. Then, as the half came to a close, Millen found wide receiver Dante Wright for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 34-14 going into halftime.

Right out of the gates in the second half, Millen used the high wind to his advantage and found receiver Tory Horton for a deep score. Kicker Michael Boyle’s extra point cut the deficit to 34-21. Then, on the Green Team’s next series, Millen tossed to another receiver on a screen pass for an additional score, making it a one possession game at 34-28.

With around four minutes left in the third quarter, A’Jon Vivens ran in a short touchdown to take the lead for the Green Team after Boyle drilled the extra point, 35-34. On the next Green Team drive, Millen threw another interception, this time to defensive back Langston Williams, to set the White Team up for a chance to take the lead back. The White Team went on to take a 37-35 lead thanks again to a Terry field goal from under 40 yards out, closing out the third quarter.

Vivens struck again for the Green Team nearly halfway through the fourth quarter on another short run to score a touchdown and take the lead back again from the White Team, 42-37. Later on in the quarter, it was quarterback Giles Pooler for the Green Team who found receiver E.J. Scott to push the lead to 49-37. 

This was the last score for either team, as the Green Team was able to surmount their 21-point deficit to win by 12.

A member of the Colorado State University Golden Poms cheers on the sideline during Green and Gold Weekend
A member of the Colorado State University Golden Poms cheers on the sideline during Green and Gold weekend April 23. (Collegian | Reuel Indurkar)

Millen looked undoubtedly comfortable in the pocket with his new offense. Despite the two interceptions he threw, the whole unit of starting offensive players looked confident. The mishaps on offense on both teams could be attributed to the unusually powerful wind and are likely not going to be commonplace come time for the regular season.

Rams fans should expect the connection between Millen and Stovall to be a special one this season, and it will all start Sept. 3 when the Rams travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on the University of Michigan to begin the 2022-23 campaign. 

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Reach Braidon Nourse at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @BraidonNourse.