Gamecocks offense flies for more than 500 passing yards

The Black team outscored the Garnet team 17-7 in the second half on its way to claiming a 44-30 victory on Saturday afternoon in the annual Garnet and Black Spring Game in front of 35,218 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Garnet grabbed a 30-27 lead midway through the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brendan Nosovitch to Jeff Homad, but the Black squad took control down the stretch, scoring 17 unanswered points.

The Black team rolled up 393 yards of total offense, including 244 passing. The Garnet did most of its damage through the air with only 12 of its 291 yards of total offense coming on the ground.

Nosovitch put the Garnet team on the board first as he connected with Jerell Adams for a 23-yard touchdown pass at he 8:30 mark of the first quarter, but Black answered on the ensuing possession with a seven-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Black quarterback Dylan Thompson capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown strike to Shaq Roland to knot the game at 7-7 with 6:02 left in the first quarter.

Garnet regained the lead on a 35-yard field goal by Nick St. Germain, but Black running back Mike Davis, who finished the day with two carries for 40 yards, gave his team a 14-10 lead heading into the second quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run.

At the end of the quarter, the teams each attempted a 40-yard field goal, with St. Germain (Garnet) and Landon Ard (Black) connecting on their respective attempts to make it a 17-13 ballgame to begin the second quarter.

The Black defense got into the scoring action to open the second quarter. On a first and 10 at the Garnet 3, Garnet running back Devin Potter fumbled at the 7, and Black defensive back Kyle Fleetwood recovered the fumble and darted into the end zone to give Black a 24-13 advantage.

The Garnet pulled to within 24-20 on another big play by Adams with less than two minutes left in the half. On first and 10 from the Garnet 41, quarterback Connor Mitch fired a pass across the middle to Adams, who hauled it in and broke a pair of tackles on his way to a 59-yard touchdown reception. Adams led all receivers on the day with three receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

After Jake Joyner (Black) and Caleb Kelly (Garnet) each made a 40-yard field at the end of the quarter, the Black took a 27-23 lead into the locker room.

The Garnet looked strong coming out of the half, as Nosovitch found Homad for a 12-yard touchdown pass to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive to give his team a 30-27 lead midway through the third quarter. Nosovitch had a stellar day, completing 11-of-15 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Black then outscored the Garnet 17-0 the rest of the way to secure the win. Kendric Salley added a 5-yard touchdown run, and Ard then drilled a 40-yard field goal to give the Black a 37-30 lead heading into the final quarter. Black quarterback Austin Hails capped the scoring late in the fourth quarter as he connected with Matthew Harvey for an 8-yard touchdown pass.

All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was involved in this year’s traditional “receiver off the sidelines” play as he came off the sidelines in the fourth quarter and caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Mitch.

Perry Orth completed 7-of-15 passes for 125 yards and threw one interception for the Black, while Mitch was 5-of-9 for 133 yards and a touchdown for the Garnet. Salley led all rushers with 47 yards and a score on 12 carries.

Garnet receivers Kwinton Smith and Shamier Jeffery added 63 and 47 yards receiving, respectively, while Roland finished with four receptions for 44 yards for the Black.

Defensively, defensive back Sidney Rhodes led the way with eight tackles, while defensive end Mason Harris tallied two sacks. Safety Chaz Elder and defensive back Jessie Dukes each had an interception.

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