White Team Defeats Crimson Team, 17-14, in Golden Flake A-Day Game
Ala. – Before a crowd of 78,315, the White team defeated the Crimson
team, 17-14, in the annual Alabama Football Golden Flake A-Day Spring
Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in perfect weather conditions Saturday
Sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon, playing for the
White team, earned the Dixie Howell Award given to the game’s most
valuable player, after totaling 129 yards on the day (69 rushing, 60
receiving), including the game-winning touchdown. Yeldon led all
players in rushing and receiving yardage on the day. It marked the
second consecutive year for Yeldon to win the honor.
center Ryan Kelly of the White team earned the Dwight Stephenson
Lineman of the Game Award given to the game’s most valuable lineman.
team quarterback AJ McCarron finished the day completing 19 of 30
passes for 223 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. McCarron
led the White team to 335 total yards. The Crimson team totaled 285
total yards on the day. The teams combined for nine turnovers,
including five by the Crimson team and four by the White team.
biggest thing I was concerned about was how the team would go out there
and what would be their energy, their enthusiasm, and their attention
to detail,” UA head coach Nick Saban said. “I don’t think that there
were enough guys that answered that question in a positive way to my
liking. But I’m never satisfied.”
The White team took the early
lead in the first quarter on a 40-yard pass from AJ McCarron to Kenny
Bell with 12:05 remaining. Cade Foster’s kick gave the White a 7-0
lead. The pass capped a 70-yard drive in four plays. A short time
later, the White upped its lead to 10-0 on a 29-yard field goal by Cade
Foster with 7:09 left in the first period. That field goal was set up
by a 42-yard interception return by Nick Perry of a Blake Sims pass to
set up the White at the Crimson 12.
The scored remained 10-0
until the last play of the first half. On a first-and-10 at the Crimson
39, White team quarterback AJ McCarron’s pass down the left sideline
was intercepted at the Crimson 14 by Crimson safety Vinnie Sunseri who
took the pass and raced diagonally across the field on an 86-yard
interception return for a touchdown. Sunseri’s score narrowed the White
team’s halftime lead to 10-7 following Adam Griffith’s conversion kick.
second half was a deadlock until the late going. The Crimson team took
a 14-10 lead with 2:01 remaining on a 55-yard fumble recovery return
for an interception by safety HaHa Clinton-Dix with 2:01 remaining in
the fourth quarter. Clinton-Dix scooped up a fumble caused by
cornerback Deion Belue who stripped the football from the hands of
tight end Brian Vogler at the Crimson 45-yard line after an 8-yard
completion. Griffith’s extra-point kick gave the Crimson the four-point
lead late in the game.
The White team stormed back on a
game-winning drive to take the lead just 57 seconds later, moving 70
yards in only four plays. McCarron led the march, completing three
consecutive passes to set up the winning touchdown. He started the
march with a four-yard pass to Amari Cooper then completed a nine-yard
pass to Yeldon to the White 43. The biggest play of the game followed
as McCarron hit Christion Jones on a deep flag route down the middle of
the field for 50 yards to the Crimson 7-yard line. Yeldon took it from
there, taking a handoff from McCarron on a draw play over left guard to
pay dirt with 1:04 remaining. Cade Foster’s conversion kick gave the
White team a 17-14 lead.
Quarterback Alec Morris led the Crimson
team downfield in the final seconds, but threw incomplete in the end
zone for Chris Black on the game’s last play.
Four players saw
time at quarterback for the Crimson team. Alec Morris completed 10 of
18 passes for 141 yards without an interception or a touchdown. Blake
Sims completed 5 of 10 for 52 yards with two interceptions. Cooper
Bateman was 1 of 3 with two interceptions for three yards. Luke Del Rio
completed 2 of 3 for 38 yards without throwing an interception or a
For the White team, Phillip Ely and Parker McLeod saw
action behind starter AJ McCarron. Ely completed 2 of 4 passes for
eight years while McLeod completed 1 of 2 for 19 yards.
Yeldon led the Crimson team with 69 yards rushing on 15 attempts and
scored a touchdown, Kenyan Drake led the White team with 33 yards on 8
carries. Yeldon also led all receivers with 7 catches for 60 yards.
Drake led the Crimson team with 4 catches for 18 yards. Kenny Bell of
the White team led all receivers with 71 yards on 3 catches, including
a 40-yard catch. DeAndrew White led the White team with 62 yards on 3
catches. Christion Jones of the White team had 3 catches for 55 yards,
including a game-long 50-yard catch.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley of
the Crimson team had a game-high 9 tackles and a fumble recovery while
linebacker Tana Patrick had 8 stops. Defensive back Landon Collins led
the White team with 5 tackles. Cody Mandell had an outstanding day
punting for both teams. He punted 7 times for an average of 48.3 yards
per punt with 338 total yards. Three of Mandell’s punts were downed
inside the 20-yard line.
The attendance of 78,315 is the
sixth-largest spring game attendance total at Alabama. More than
592,000 fans have attended the seven A-Day games during Saban’s tenure
as head coach, including 90,000 plus in three of the seven years.