A 60-yard touchdown toss from Michael Hughes to Mahlon Medley proved to be the difference as the Blue Team narrowly edged out the White Team, 19-18, at the annual Tennessee State Spring Game on Saturday.
Hughes, who split time with rising senior Ronald Butler, completed 5-of-10 passes for 97 yards including the fourth-quarter score.
Despite coming away with the loss, the defense looked in midseason form – only allowing the one touchdown and forcing three sacks in the contest.
Junior Latrelle Lee and sophomore Quintis Maddox made several plays along the defensive line and limited Tiger running backs to just 94 yards on the day, 32 in the first half.
The Blue Team used eight different rushers in the game, but rising sophomore Andrew Knox had the most production, totaling 28 yards on just four carries.
The defensive secondary was just as stout as the front four and caused havoc from the outset. Redshirt senior Ezra Robinson broke up a long pass on third down early in the game and David Kamara jarred another pass loose with a big hit on senior Chris Sanders-McCollum later in the game.
Sanders-McCollum led TSU in receptions with five for 37 yards. Ronnie Killings also turned in a fine performance with three grabs for 20 yards.
A 46-yard boot from junior kicker Lane Clark provided the only real points for the offense during the first half as the White Team went into the locker room ahead, 11-7, at the break.
Clark later missed a 41-yarder, but long drives by the TSU offense in the second half led to more points thanks to the unique scoring system.
The White Team was down by just a handful of points when Hughes found Medley running a seam route on fourth-down. Hughes made up for missing an open receiver on a similar play earlier in the day by firing a dart to Medley. The tight end did the rest by racing to the end zone and providing an exclamation point to the game and to TSU spring football.