Billing the final scrimmage of VMI fall football practice as the Red-White Classic, the intrasquad game turned out to be just that as the White Team held on to defeat the Red Team in OT, 21-20, Nov. 14 at Foster Stadium in Lexington.
The Red team rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to tie the game at 14-14 and answered a White team overtime touchdown when junior running back Korey Bridy ’22 plowed 4 yards behind a wall of blockers into the end zone to pull his team within 21-20. The Red team went for a game winning two-point conversion but came up short when quarterback Seth Morgan’s [’23] pass to the right corner of the end zone sailed incomplete.
Morgan had earlier engineered a Red Team rally from a two-touchdown deficit with touchdown strikes to freshman receiver Chance Knox ’24 (18 yards) and sophomore receiver Max Brimigion ’23 (11 yards). The White team, behind quarterbacks Chance Newman ’22 and Collin Ironside ’24, built a 14-0 lead after three offensive possessions.
Newman engineered an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive on the first White possession that was capped by 15-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman Tice Toomey ’23. Ironside scampered in front 5 yards out on an option keeper to extend the White lead to two scores.
Several veteran players, including senior quarterback Reece Udinski ’21, were held out of the scrimmage for precautionary reasons, giving several newcomers a chance to showcase their skills on the Foster Stadium turf. Morgan completed 10 of 13 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 24 yards. Knox led the Red team receivers with four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. Newman completed eight of 12 passes for 70 yards and two TDs while adding another 45 yards in the ground. Ironside completed all five passes for 62 yards. A favorite target for the White Team was freshman Travis Buchanon ’23, who caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in overtime. Defensively, linebacker Stone Snyder ’23 had four tackles and a sack for the Red Team while free safety Tre Akande ’23 topped the Red defensive charts with four stops. Place kicker Jerry Rice ’23 knocked through all five extra-point conversions.
The entire Red-White Classic is available on-demand to watch for subscribers to ESPN+.
“I was very pleased it came down to a two-point conversion to win the game because I think in order to compete for the Southern Conference Championship those are the way games are going to come down. Whether it’s overtime, a last second field goal, a two-point conversion. I was glad the way both teams competed,” said Scott Wachenheim, VMI head coach. “I was very impressed the way all the young men competed all 15 practices. A lot of good tape for us to go out and evaluate and see how guys play in the stadium and see how they play when we are actually tackling.
“I actually think our quarterbacks needed to get tackled today because I think it was eye opening for them early when they thought they could hang out there all day in the pocket and they realized they couldn’t. There was a huge improvement in our tackling by our defense from the first tackling scrimmage to this elongated game-like scrimmage. Very happy we got that in. We need to do a couple more before we open up against Chattanooga (next February).”
“I thought Chance Knox made a good catch one time out there. I thought Collin Ironside came and played his best he had all spring. A couple of freshman O-lineman were out there against some good competition. … I thought Alex Oliver pretty much played shutdown defense all day out there at corner.
“Our guys need to finish the semester strong and make plans to stay in shape and come back in the best shape of their lives with great grades recorded in the fall and ready to attack the spring SoCon championship,” Wachenheim concluded, looking toward the spring season.
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