April 21, 2017
THE FLATS – Brady Swilling hauled in a 61-yard touchdown catch from Chase Martenson with 1:32 remaining in the game to lift the Gold team to a 21-16 come-from-behind win over the White team in Georgia Tech football’s annual Spring Game on Friday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The Gold squad trailed 16-7 going into the fourth quarter but scored twice in the final 5:44 to rally for the victory.
The comeback began when redshirt freshman Lucas Johnson led a 15-play, 70-yard drive that he capped with a 23-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman A-back Xavier Gantt to cut the deficit to 16-14 with 5:44 to go.
The Gold defense forced a punt on the ensuing series and on the first play after the change of possession, Martenson found a wide-open Swilling down the left sideline. Swilling, a fifth-year senior B-back, hauled in the pass from the junior quarterback, eluded one would-be tackler and dragged several more into end zone for the go-ahead score.
The White made things interesting in the final minute when redshirt freshman Jay Jones drove the squad into Gold territory but his final pass was intercepted in the end zone by junior safety A.J. Gray as time expired.
Martenson completed 2-of-3 attempts to lead all passers with 75 yards while Swilling’s 61 receiving yards were also a game high. Johnson accounted for 128 yards (69 passing, 59 rushing) and two scores (the 23-yard pass to Gantt and a 70-yard run in the first quarter) for the Gold.
Jones led the White with 41 passing yards and a game-high 81 rushing yards. Sophomore B-back KirVonte Benson added 57 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Defensively, junior linebacker Brant Mitchell recorded seven tackles, including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage, and forced a fumble for the Gold. Senior cornerback Lance Austin matched Mitchell’s game-high seven stops and senior defensive end Antonio Simmons added six tackles (all solo), three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble in the win.
Junior defensive lineman Tyler Merriweather and sophomore linebacker Tyler Cooksey led the White with six tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack apiece.
Sophomore place kicker Shawn Davis booted three field goals for the White (38, 35 and 33 yards).
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
Head coach Paul Johnson