VIDEO: UCF Knights Football Team Concludes April Practice Sessions With Successful Spring Game
By Daniel Forcella, UCF Knights // April 24, 2017
UCFierce Tops UCFast, 35-28 in Spring Game
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights of the 2017 University of Central Florida Knights Spring game. UCF Fierce took down UCF Fast, 35-28, in the 2017 spring game at the UCF Festival. (UCF Knights video)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – The 2017 UCFastival and Spring Game put a cap on an exciting spring season for the UCF football team Saturday night, as Team UCFierce defeated Team UCFast by a score of 35-28 at Spectrum Stadium.
“I was pleased with the game,” UCF head coach Scott Frost said. “I thought the enthusiasm was good. Our culture was so much better. Our guys are enjoying football and playing together, and that’s good.
“We made a ton of progress over the course of spring. I think some of that showed up tonight. This team is in a lot better place than it was.”
The progress over the course of the spring showed up immediately for Team UCFast, which consisted of mostly of first-team players.
The squad in anthracite took a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play.
ABOVE VIDEO: Hear what the Knights had to say following their final practice for the spring season.
Senior Shaquem Griffin, last year’s American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, intercepted a pass in the end zone, which kept UCFierce off the board. UCFast followed up the turnover with the first score of the game.
Sophomore quarterback McKenzie Milton led an 80-yard drive, highlighted by a 25-yard pass-and-catch with Cam Stewart. The possession resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Milton to junior tight end Jordan Akins.
“The next series I was joking when I told him I’ve never seen anything like it, because he caught it like he had both his hands,” sophomore Brandon Moore said. “I was just like wow. That’s what really got the game turned up.”
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) April 23, 2017
ABOVE VIDEO: Head coach Scott Frost gives a brief speach to the Knights sending them off into the summer.
Milton then led another drive to give UCFast a 14-0 lead, as sophomore running back Adrian Killins, Jr. ran free up the middle to finish off the 54-yard drive with a 15-yard score.
“A year of growth has definitely made me feel more comfortable with my reads, my progressions, the o-line has been doing a better job, so I feel more comfortable sitting in the pocket,” Milton said.
“Also, the chemistry with the receivers has grown so much, I feel like we’re all getting towards a point where were all on the same page.”
UCFierce came roaring back to tie the game at 14-14 in the second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes from senior Pete DiNovo. He hit wide receiver Tristan Payton for a 26-yarder, before hooking up with tight end Michael Colubiale for a 12-yard touchdown to even things up.
Before the half, UCFast took the lead once again when junior Taj McGowan broke free for a 37-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 and give his team the lead heading into the break.
With a running clock, and most of the first teamers on the sideline, Team UCFierce took the advantage with three straight touchdowns in the second half.
ABOVE VIDEO: Following the final practice of the spring last Wednesday, UCF head football coach Scott Frost, Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander and linebacker Shaquem Griffin spoke to the media.
A late 1-yard touchdown run by Cedric Jordan-Williams cut it to 35-28 with less than 30 second to play, but wasn’t enough.
Milton finished the night 17-of-27 through the air with 166 yards in just one half of play. McGowan and Jawon Hamilton led UCFast on the ground with six rushes for 60 and 38 yards, respectively.
Case Harrison led all players in the game with 75 receiving yards on three catches, playing for UCFierce.
“My advice to them just now was to use that as a platform to have a great summer and keep building on the progress they’ve made,” Frost said.
“If we have a great summer, I’ll feel really good about where we are going into fall camp with this team, and this program, and we’ll try to take some steps forward.”
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