DURHAM, N.C. – Anthony Boone and Jamison Crowder hooked up for two touchdown passes to lead the Blue team to a 27-12 win over the White team in the annual Duke football spring game at a sun-splashed Wallace Wade Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Boone, a rising redshirt junior, completed 18-of-30 passes for 273 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His scoring passes to Crowder covered 22 and four yards, as the All-ACC wideout finished with four catches for a team-high 71 yards.
“I was pleased with the number of snaps that we got – it was about right,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “What we did in the game was, obviously, put our top offense against our top defense, and our backups played each other. Everybody on our team got to play, which is a real positive. From a spring training standpoint as a coach, this has been the most willing squad – not just here at Duke – that we’ve had go to work every day, so I felt like every player on our team deserved to get some fairly significant playing time.”
The Blue team compiled 409 yards of total offense, including 136 on the ground. Running back Josh Snead rushed for 67 yards on 11 carries, including a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Shaquille Powell rushed for 46 yards on five carries, including a 30-yarder that set up one of Ross Martin’s two field goals.
Martin was perfect in the kicking game, connecting on field goal attempts of 25 and 30 yards.
“We made a lot of plays, but we left a couple plays on the field," quarterback Anthony Boone said. "But we executed fairly well. It’s the 15th practice, so the defense is all over a lot of plays, but for the most part I felt like our offense was very efficient, making a lot of plays. A lot of guys all over the field were making a lot of plays. We had a couple of guys step up - Anthony Nash, Max McCaffrey, Erich Schneider. All of our backs did very well hitting the holes, and our linemen did a great job.”
“There was some good on both sides of the ball,” Cutcliffe said. “Anthony [Boone] suffered a couple of turnovers, but the defense was creating a little more and that’s been a little bit of the story this spring. I thought Anthony came back, and his consistency was outstanding. I think one of the things you see is this team has a lot of playmakers on offense.”
True freshman quarterback Parker Boehme, who graduated from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., this past December, led the White team and completed 11-of-13 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions. Boehme connected with wide receiver Jack Wise for a 24-yard touchdown pass in the closing minutes of the first half for the White team’s only touchdown.
Wise finished with six catches for a game-high 68 yards.
Boone shook off two first-quarter interceptions by Jeremy Cash and Quay Mann and responded by connecting with Crowder on a pair of scoring passes for a 14-3 lead in the first half. Martin extended that margin to 17-3 following a 25-yard field goal, but Boehme responded with his scoring strike to Wise with 1:14 remaining to cut the deficit to 17-9 heading into halftime.
Martin and Jack Willoughby traded field goals in the third quarter to run the score to 20-12, but the Blue team defense shut out White the rest of the way. Snead added his three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
“I like where we’re headed,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re building some depth. I think we can be a more energetic defense. The big thing is focusing on why we give up big plays, but trying to play defense, trying to force longer drives. It’s going to be interesting film to study. We got a lot out of this game.”
Duke opens the 2013 season at home on Saturday, August 31, against N.C. Central. Tickets are available at www.GoDuke.com/tickets or by calling (919) 681-BLUE.