Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The University of Georgia's center David Andrews (61) a Wesleyan School graduate and Dallas Lee (64) a Buford graduate listen to a lineman coach during the G-Day spring football game at Sanford Stadium in Athens Saturday.
ATHENS -- In what many would consider an upset, the Black team beat the Red team by scoring 16 unanswered points in the second half in Georgia's annual spring game Saturday, 23-17, at Sanford Stadium.
The matchup pitted the Black team consisting of Georgia's No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense against the Red team, which was the Bulldogs' No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense.
"We didn't really see it as an upset," said Josh-Harvey Clemons, a member of the Black team. "We came in with the expectation that we were going to win. The Red team came in with that same expectation."
Wesleyan grad Kyle Karempelis led the way on the ground, gaining 89 yards on 13 carries, while also catching three passes for 35 yards. While he didn't score a touchdown, his runs did lead to two of the Black team's three field goals in the second half.
"Kyle ran the ball well," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "We saw a lot of things we liked."
The Red team got things going early, scoring on its first drive.
Aaron Murray found Rontavious Wooten for 24 yards before two runs for 20 yards by Todd Gurley set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Justin Scott-Wesley for the game's first score.
The Red team added a 32-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan early in the second quarter to take a 10-0 lead.
However, the Black team made sure it would be a good game.
Hutson Mason had a run of 24 yards and completed four passes, including a 20-yard strike to Jonathan Rumph (four catches, 98 yards) to bring the Black team to within 10-7 with 1:01 to go in the half.
Not to be outdone, Murray came back and led the Red team down the field in three plays. A 33-yard pass to Rhett McGowan and a 37-yard pass to Scott-Wesley, set up another connection between Murray and McGowan. This time it was from four yards and the Red team had a 17-7 lead heading into halftime.
"It just goes to show you the depth we have at receiver," McGowan said. "We have a lot of guys that can do the job well."
However, that would be the last time the Red team scored.
The Black team scored on three plays to open the second half, with Parker Welch connecting with Rumph from 37 yards out to make the score 17-14.
From there, the Black team added three field goals and stopped the Red team multiple times.
The biggest came on fourth down with less than five minutes to go in the game when Keith Marshall was stopped in the backfield by Tray Matthews, turning the ball over.
The Black team added a 35-yard field goal from Thomas Pritchard to make the final score 23-17.
"There were a lot of things to like about the scrimmage," Richt said. "The main thing you don't want to do is get anyone hurt. We'll go back and look at the film and go from there."
Murray finished the game 12-for-18 for 200 yards and two touchdowns, while Mason was 16-for-27 for 191 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Kosta Vavlas led the Red team with 12 total tackles, while Quincy Mauger had eight. John Taylor got to the quarterback twice, picking up two sacks.
For the Black team, Ramik Wilson led the way with eight tackles, including one sack, while James DeLoach and Amarlo Herrera each had six tackles.