HOUSTON, Texas -- Behind 147 yards and four touchdowns by senior running back Leif Penn, the White team defeated the Red team, 35-10, this afternoon in the annual Red-White Spring Game held by the University of Houston to conclude its spring drills. An estimated crowd of 1,000 was in attendance at John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.
Despite having only two quarterbacks-senior Alvin Lee and junior Kelly Robertson-available for spring drills, UH head coach Dana Dimel was pleased not only with the spring game, but the entire three-and-a-half weeks of spring practice.
"We got about 110 or 115 reps in today," said Dimel. "I thought the offense did extremely well. I was looking for a game with very few unforced errors, (and we) tried to eliminate the penalties. I thought we did a good job of keeping the penalties to a minimum.
"In the general, overall execution of assignments of the football team was really good. We got through without any major injuries, except for a slight MCL sprain (by junior defensive tackle Bryan Hill). Basically, we got through spring without any major injuries, so we head into the summer at full strength.
"In the spring offense did some great things, and the defense responded and did some good things. In a game like this the offense has a bit more success just because the offensive depth is a little bit stronger than our defensive."
The White team jumped on the board first when Penn culminated a six-play, 72-yard drive with a four-yard burst up the middle. Freshman kicker Dustin Bell added the extra point for the 7-0 first quarter lead.
Lee scored what would be the Red's only touchdown on the afternoon, when he ran the option on an inside fake for a one-yard touchdown. Senior Jeff Patterson tacked on the extra point, and the Red team had tied the game up at seven.
The White team countered with 28 unanswered points to take command of the annual scrimmage. Senior fullback Tommie Baldwin ran nine yards for a score, capping a nine-play, 80-yard drive right before the half. Penn then took over with three straight scores, including runs of eight, six and one for paydirt.
The Red time finished out the scoring, as Patterson nailed a 25-yard field goal after a White turnover.
On the afternoon for the Red team, junior Joffrey Reynolds added 82 yards on seven carries, while another junior, Chris Robertson, tacked on 30 yards on just six totes. Baldwin had 36 yards on five carries for the White behind the game-leading 147 for Penn.
Through the air Kelly Robertson, playing for both teams, connected on 16 of 27 attempts for 186 yards and two interceptions, while Lee completed four-of-10 for 46 yards in another dual role. Sophomore Choni Francis chalked up a team-leading three catches for 55 yards for the White Team, while Chris Robertson led the Red squad with three catches for 19 yards.
Defensively, junior Hanik Milligan paced the White team with eight total tackles, while sophomore Heard Robinson provided the sole interception and freshman Kendrick Goss recovered a fumble. Over on the Red side, junior Adrian Lee and senior Hamin Milligan shared top tackle honors, registering five stops a piece. Senior Jason Parker had the lone interception.
The Cougars will open the 2001 season by playing host to cross-town
rival, Rice University, on September 1, at 7 p.m. at John O'Quinn Field at