Rams go head-to-head for spring Green vs. Gold football game


Collegian | Avery Coates

The Colorado State University football team plays against each other during the Green vs. Gold spring game in Canvas Stadium April 22.

Mike Walsh

Kaden Porter, Staff Reporter

Colorado State University football returned to Canvas Stadium for their annual Green vs. Gold spring game April 22. The game saw the green team beat the gold team 34-24, wrapping up a weekend that included the second annual Grit Run 5k and a free kids’ football clinic.

The spring scrimmage format included rule changes such as no kickoffs or tackling the quarterback. The gold team, made of mostly nonstarters, started the game with a 21-0 lead over the green team to add an extra factor of difficulty to the team of starters. Offensive lineman Jacob Gardner acted as captain for the green team while quarterback Jackson Stratton was captain for the gold team.


“Overall, I just really like the attitude of our football team, and I think that we’re headed in the right direction.” -Jay Norvell, CSU football head coach

The green team started the game with possession and quickly drove down the field with a long catch-and-run by wide receiver Justus Ross-Simmons. Running back Vann Schield capped off the drive with a short touchdown run to close the gap to 21-7.

The gold team slowly drove down the field themselves on their first possession of the game, ending their drive with a 37-yard field goal from redshirt freshman kicker Bryan Hansen. Schield scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on the green team’s next drive, but a missed extra point brought the score to 24-13 in favor of the gold team at the end of the first quarter.

“I think we started out super hot — we scored really quickly on those first few drives,” quarterback Clay Millen said. “Overall I think it was a good day. Everything with the offensive line and (Schield) today, they did a great job running the ball.”

The offense for both teams slowed down in the second quarter, with the quarter opening with a missed 47-yard field goal by the gold team, followed by multiple punts by both teams. Punter Paddy Turner handled punting duties for both squads.

Halfway through the second quarter, Millen found receiver Louis Brown on a beautiful pass that shrunk the green team’s deficit to 24-20. Following another gold team punt, Schield powered his way into the end zone for his third touchdown of the half, handing the green team their first lead of the game 27-24.

Stratton replaced Millen for the green team late in the second quarter and drove the team down the field to attempt a 47-yard field goal to end the half, but it was missed wide right, and the score remained at 27-24 in favor of the green at the half.

The game switched to a running clock for the second half, and both quarters went by quickly without either team scoring. The only score of the second half came from tight end Vince Brown, who grabbed a one-handed catch for the green team as the game clock expired. The green team won 34-24, coming back from the 21-point deficit at the start of the game to win by 10.

Schield’s performance stood out as the most dominant on either team’s offense, with the redshirt sophomore recording over 100 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the game. He started the game for the green team in the middle of last year’s starting running back Avery Morrow’s suspension from the program due to legal issues.

“I’ve been pleased all spring with our offensive line — I think we’ve improved tremendously,” said head coach Jay Norvell. “We’ve been able to run the ball consistently all spring, and it starts there.”


With Morrow suspended from the team indefinitely, CSU currently has no scholarship running backs on the roster.

The Rams will next return to Canvas Stadium in the fall when they host Washington State University for the season opener Sept. 2. By then, though, the team may have a new look as Norvell and his staff continue to bring new players into the program.

“Overall, I just really like the attitude of our football team, and I think that we’re headed in the right direction,” Norvell said. “We’re going to add a whole bunch of guys here this summer. I think we have 43 scheduled to come in right now, and we’ll probably add a half-dozen to that, so I’m really excited with where we’re going.”

Reach Kaden Porter at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @kqporter5.