CHARLESTON, S.C. – Derek Hatcher and Malcolm Dixon combined to throw for 411 yards and four touchdowns as the offense defeated the defense, 37-16, in the 2012 Charleston Southern Football Memorial Blue and Gold Spring Game at Buccaneer Field on Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Perera and Chris Theodore were the main beneficiaries of the aerial attack, as Perera made six catches for 133 yards and a touchdown, while Theodore snagged seven balls for 70 yards and a score.
Hatcher hooked up with Perera on a 30-yard pass play down the left sideline to help set up the first touchdown of the day, as Anthony Simmons plunged in from two yards out to give the Blue (offense) the advantage.
The defense secured a highlight for itself several minutes later, as Zac Johnston deflected a pass into the hands of Matt Hardy for an interception. Mike Chocholousek also came up with a pick later in the game, as Defensive Coordinator Shawn Quinn’s unit racked up 16 points on the strength of interceptions, three and outs, sacks, and tackles for loss. Senior defensive back Kenny Johnson and redshirt senior defensive end Cornelius Sterling paced the White (defense) with six tackles, while 14 others made multiple stops. Sterling also got to the quarterback for one of the Bucs two sacks on the day, while redshirt junior end Brad Spivey came up with the other.
Hatcher and the offense provided most of the fireworks on the afternoon, however, as the redshirt junior signal caller hit on 17-of-26 attempts for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. One of Hatcher’s prettier plays accounted for the Blue’s second touchdown of the day, as he sidestepped pressure and connected with Kevin Glears for a 59-yard score.
Dixon, a junior who started eight games for the Bucs last season, was also sharp in completing 11-of-15 passes for 162 yards and two scores. Dixon found Corvaughn Archie twice on one touchdown drive, lofting a pretty 29-yard pass down the right sideline for his senior target, before finding him again the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard hookup.
Dixon found Perera for the longest play of the day later on in the scrimmage, as the 2011 First Team-All Conference selection got behind the defense for a 70-yard touchdown down the left sideline.
Theodore found pay dirt for the final time of the day in the third quarter (game concluded after 3 quarters), as Hatcher threw him open for a 21-yard touchdown.
Per tradition, Head Coach Jay Mills and his staff used the halftime break to recognize the players who had improved the most during spring practice. In addition to the player awards, Jon Davis was honored with the Distinguished Service Award, while redshirt junior defensive back Austin Wald earned the 2012 Edward A. Gadson Memorial Scholarship. This marked the seventh year for the Gadson Scholarship, which is given each year to a deserving walk-on who shows the same heart and work ethic that Gadson displayed for the Bucs before passing away prior to CSU’s 2005 Big South Conference Championship season. A full list of the award winners can be found below.
CSU begins the 2012 season with a rivalry game at The Citadel on Saturday, September 1.
2012 Edward A. Gadson Memorial Scholarship Winner
Redshirt Senior DB, #27 Austin Wald
2012 Distinguished Service Award
Most Improved Running Back: Junior, #44 Keelyan Bryant
Most Improved Wide Receiver: Senior, #9 Mike Davis
Most Improved Kicker: Redshirt Junior, #34 Tyson Pryor
Most Improved Offensive Lineman: Redshirt Freshman, #73 Mose Countryman
Most Improved Tight End: Redshirt Junior, #34 Tyson Pryor
Most Improved Quarterback: Redshirt Junior, #19 Derek Hatcher
Most Improved Linebacker: Redshirt Freshman, #22 Zack Johnson
Most Improved Defensive Lineman: Senior, #54 Isaac McKenzie
Most Improved Defensive Back: Junior, #5 Demaris Freeman