Luck Leads White Team to 42-17 Victory Over Cardinal in Annual Spring Game

April 13, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - Redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Luck completed 18 of 25 passes fr 352 yards and five touchdowns to lead the White team to a 42-17 victory over the Cardinal in the annual Cardinal and White Spring Game tonight at Stanford Stadium.

Luck, who is competing with fifth-year senior Tavita Pritchard for the starting quarterback duties, tossed touchdown passes of 41, 16, 20, 4 and 32 yards. Two of the touchdown passes went to Richard Sherman, who also shined on defense for the White team, finishing with eight tackles.

Luck also completed five other passes for 30 or more yards, including a 55-yard hook up with junior Cory Gatewood in the third quarter.

Pritchard, quarterbacking the Cardinal team, completed 15 of 27 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Ryan Whalen led the White team in receiving, catching four of Luck's passes for 78 yards. Whalen totaled 67 of his 78 yards on two receptions--a 33 yarder in the first half and a 34 yard reception in the second period.

Fifth-year senior Josh Catron caught four passes out of the backfield for 56 yards.

Sophomore Alex Debniak, who is battling junior Will Powers for a starting position at the 'sam' linebacker position, also turned in an impressive performance, albeit at running back.

Debniak, who is one of a handful of players who head coach Jim Harbaugh is considering using on both sides of the ball come September, rushed four times for 91 yards, breaking off a 59-yard run to set up a White touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

'We knew he was a powerful runner, but tonight he showed a little speed, as well,' said Harbaugh.

Sherman, who has spent the last three seasons compiling impressive numbers as a wide receiver, continues to make strides in transitioning to cornerback. The senior finished with eight tackles to take team-high honors, along with Austin Yancy.

Ekom Udofia finished with seven stops for the White while Max Bergen had six.

Junior Chike Amajoyi finished with 10 tackles for the Cardinal team while Kris Evans contributed six.

The Cardinal team opened the scoring with 47 seconds left in the first period, as Travis Golia connected on a 35-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive.

The White team took a 7-3 lead at the 4:48 mark of the second period, as Luck connected with Richard Sherman for a 41-yard touchdown pass. Debniak carried twice during the drive, breaking off runs of 16 and 11 yards while Luck completed 3-of-4 passes for 66 yards.

The Cardinal regained the lead when Pritchard capped an eight play, 70-yard drive with a one yard TD pass to fullback Owen Marecic. The score was set up on an end around play, as Griff Whalen completed a 32 yard pass play to Chris Owusu down to the one yard line.

The White team bounced back to take a 14-10 lead right before intermission, as Luck connected with Sherman for a 16-yard touchdown pass, capping a six play, 80-yard drive. The touchdown was preceded by Luck's 38 yard completion to Catron down to the 16 yard line.

The White team increased its lead to 28-10 by scoring on its first two possessions of the third quarter. Luck connected with Gatewood on a 55-yard pass play down to the three-yard line, setting up a Jeremy Stewart touchdown at the 13:35 mark.

Luck connected with Doug Baldwin for his third TD pass of the night at the 8:35 mark of the third quarter, a 20-yard strike that gave the White a 28-10 lead. Luck and Baldwin also connected on a 40-yard pass play during the drive.

After Pritchard's three-yard TD pass to Blaise Johnson cut the White lead to 28-17 at the 3:00 mark of the third quarter, Luck came back to toss two more TD passes in the fourth quarter for the final 42-17 count.

Two plays after Debniak broke loose for a 59-yard run down to the eight-yard line, Luck connected with Ryan Whalen for a four-yard TD pass that gave the White team a 35-17 lead with 11:05 left.

Luck's 32 TD pass to Coby Fleener with 3:57 left closed out the scoring.

'I thought I played pretty well after a slow start,' said Luck. 'I made some mistakes early but the receivers made me look a lot better than I actually was.'

Stanford opens the 2009 season on September 5 at Washington State. Season tickets are currently on sale at the Stanford Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-Stanford. Individual game tickets will go on sale in August.

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