foLed by an impressive performance by sophomore quarterback Benji Kamrath, the Maroon team downed the White team 24-19 in the annual Minnesota spring football game at the Metrodome. Listed third on the Golden Gopher depth chart at quarterback, Kamrath led the second- and third-team offense with an 11-for-22, 215-yard and three-touchdown outburst. Meanwhile, senior Travis Cole and sophomore Asad Abdul-Khaliq split time as playcallers for the White team, with each performing admirably with the first-team offense. The first-team defense on the Maroon team held the White team offense to a lone touchdown and four Dan Nystrom field goals.
Cole, 7-of-14 for 122 yards on the day, started the scoring off with a 32-yard scamper to put the White team off to an early 7-0 lead. Nystrom, kicking for both squads, then put the Maroon squad on the board with an 18-yard field goal, set up by a 47-yard Kamrath pass to freshman Demetrus Johnson. Nystrom booted a 35-yarder for the White team later in the first quarter to push the score to 10-3.
The White team then added another field goal, a 23-yard Nystrom kick, early in the second quarter. Maroon responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kamrath to senior Elvin Jones midway through the second quarter. The White team failed to get into the endzone again, but put three points on the board with a 34-yard Nystrom field goal to move the score to 16-10. Maroon grabbed the lead for the first time with a 50- yard Kamrath strike to Johnson. Johnson ended the game with three catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. The White team regained the lead at 19-17 at the end of the first half with a 26-yard Nystrom field goal.
The third quarter came and went with no scoring for either team. But the Maroon squad took the lead for good in the fourth stanza behind a 20-yard Kamrath pass to Jones to make the score 24-19. Jones finished the day with five catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
As expected, the Golden Gophers' top two quarterbacks, Cole and Abdul- Khaliq, saw equal playing time with the first-team offense. Abdul- Khaliq ended the day with a 15-for-21, 160-yard throwing performance. Several notable Minnesota athletes were held out of the spring game due to injuries, providing younger Golden Gophers the opportunity to showcase their abilities.
In addition to Jones' and Johnson's stellar receiving, sophomore Keith Matthews shined with the White team, hauling in nine passes for a game- high 169 yards. Junior Antoine Burns also performed well at wide-out, catching five passes for 75 yards. Clearly, the Minnesota wide receiver corps is one to be feared, especially with the return of All-Big Ten senior Ron Johnson.
On the ground, junior Tellis Redmon ran for 49 yards on 10 carries to lead all rushers. Defensively, several Golden Gophers performed admirably. Senior free safety Jack Brewer and junior cornerback Mike Lehan led the first-team defense with nine tackles. Lehan also had a forced fumble, two tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Freshman safety Dominique Sims led the White team with five tackles and a fumble recovery. Freshmen Justin Fraley and Andy Merrill each had an interception for their respective squads.
Minnesota opens its season August 31, 2001, at the University of Toledo. The Golden Gophers' first home game is September 8, versus UL Lafayette at the Metrodome.