Black Squad Blanks White Squad, 23-0, In Beavers' Spring Game

April 27, 2002

CORVALLIS - Backup quarterback Adam Rothenfluh passed for one touchdown and tailback Steven Jackson ran for another as the Black squad rolled to a 23-0 victory over the White squad as Oregon State completed its spring drills in front of 10,182 fans at Reser Stadium on Saturday.

Rothenfluh had a strong performance, completing 11 of 17 passes for 108 yards, while Jackson ran for 73 yards on 18 carries. The Black squad also scored on three field goals. Ryan Cesca was good his only two attempts, the first from 48 yards and the second from 21 yards. Freshman John Dailey kicked the third field, a 39-yarder.

The Beaver coaching staff, evenly divided, drafted players for their respective teams and most observers figured the White squad, led by Derek Anderson, OSU's No. 1 quarterback would have the advantage.

It didn't work out that way as a very strong defensive unit on the Black squad shut down the White squad's offense. Anderson was intercepted three times, twice by safety Brandon Catenese, a junior college transfer battling for the starting free safety position.

Rothenfluh has been in a battle with another sophomore, Ryan Kanekeberg, all spring for the backup quarterback job and he took a big step forward on Saturday. Kanekeberg also had his moments in relief of Rothenfluh. Ryan completed 4 of 6 passes for 70 yards.

Anderson was plagued all afternoon by dropped passes and wound up completing only 7 of 30 attempts for 111 yards. Dwight Wright topped the White squad on the ground with 88 yards rushing on nine carries. Wright had the longest run of the day with a 51-yarder.

Overall Coach Dennis Erickson was pleased with the spring in general and the effort on Saturday.

'I thought Adam (Rothenfluh) played really well today,' said Erickson. 'We have been looking for somebody to be the second quarterback and he really stepped up this spring and did a great job.'

Oregon State's secondary, which should be one of the strongest in the country this year, showed why on Saturday with four interceptions.

'I thought the secondary played very well,' said Erickson. 'We have made a lot of improvement in that area. We are pretty strong with our corners (Dennis Weathersby and Terrell Roberts) returning, and I am encouraged by the way Lawrence Turner and Brandon Catenese have emerged at the safety positions. The secondary has had a great spring.'

The defensive units of both teams made a lot of big plays on Saturday. The winning Black squad recorded five sacks and the White defensive unit also had five sacks. Veteran defensive end Noah Happe had a pair of sacks to lead all defenders in that department.

Flanker James Newson had a tremendous afternoon catching the football for the winner Black team. He caught six passes for 80 yards to lead all receivers.

'It is still a game to James, and that is the way it is supposed to be,' said Erickson.

Erickson felt that overall his Beavers had a very good spring.

'It was a great spring for Oregon State football,' said Erickson. 'We made a lot of improvement from the start earlier this month to this scrimmage, and that is what you really look for. I think we're tired of hitting each other, so it's time to start preparing for a real game. When you beat on each other every day it gets old. Overall, I thought the team stayed focused all spring.

Oregon State got through its final Spring Game without suffering any injuries and was pretty much injury-free the entire spring.

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