Bentley shines in South Carolina spring game

Photo Courtesy: ALLEN SHARPE/SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS

Courtesy: South Carolina Athletics

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – Jake Bentley threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Black team to a 35-24 win over the Garnet in front of a sun-drenched Williams-Brice Stadium crowd estimated at 12,345 on Saturday afternoon. The annual Garnet & Black Spring Game traditionally wraps up the squad’s spring drills.

Bentley looked sharp all day, completing 19 of his 31 pass attempts. On the second play of the game, he connected with Bryan Edwards on a go-route down the right sidelines for a 68-yard score, then found Edwards again from 21-yards out in the second quarter to put the Black team on top, 17-0. Edwards finished the day with four receptions for 111 yards and two scores. Bentley hooked up with tight end Jacob August on a 33-yard scoring pass late in the third stanza for his final TD pass of the game.

Bentley was helped by a solid run game, as the Black unit carried the ball 19 times for 157 yards. Ty’Son Williams led the way with 11 carries for 83 yards, including a four-yard touchdown burst. Overall, the Black team produced 477 yards of offense on 58 plays, an average of 8.2 yards per play.

Michael Scarnecchia, who figures to be the Gamecocks’ No. 2 quarterback heading into the fall,  completed 17-of-29 passes for 203 yards for the Garnet squad, including a 40-yard scoring strike to Jared Washington. He also completed 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards for the Black team. Tight end Kiel Pollard was a popular target, catching eight passes for 91 yards for the Garnet squad and finished the day with 10 receptions overall for 107 yards.

Caleb Kinlaw led the Garnet ground attack with 14 carries for 66 yards, including a one-yard touchdown plunge. With just seconds remaining in the contest, Bailey Hart connected with OrTre Smith on a 42-yard scoring strike to wrap up the scoring. The Garnet squad amassed 431 total yards on the afternoon.

Defensively, Kaleb Chalmers posted a game-high eight tackles. Jaylin Dickerson, Hassan Belton and Rashad Fenton all had interceptions in the contest.

Freshman placekicker Alexander Woznick had a busy day, kicking for both sides. Woznick showed a strong leg, hitting from 47, 48 and 50 yards out.

Head coach Will Muschamp dipped deep into his bag of tricks late in the third quarter. After August’s touchdown reception, Joseph Charlton took the snap on the extra point attempt and found Elliott Fry in the end zone for the two-point conversion. Fry finished his Gamecock career last fall as the school’s all-time leading scorer.

At halftime, head coach Will Muschamp handed out the spring awards:

Offensive Player of the Spring – Jake Bentley Defensive Player of the Spring – D.J. Wonnum Special Teams Player of the Spring – D.J. Smith and Bryson Allen-Williams Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete – Hayden Hurst Harold White GPA Award – Offense – Bryan Edwards Harold White GPA Award – Defense – Daniel Fennell Harold White GPA Award – Special Teams – Alexander Woznick

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