MUNCIE, Ind. – The weather proved to be perfect on Saturday afternoon as the Ball State football team played its annual Spring Game in Scheumann Stadium. Both offense and defense proved to be strong in this year’s outing.
“What a great day,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “I appreciate the fans coming out today especially considering we were sandwiched between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Most importantly, we had a day where our guys came out and competed. As a head coach, you want to see good things happen on both sides of the ball. I think we did that.”
Junior running back James Gilbert started things off with a bang by scoring on the first play of the game. On a play designed to go to the left, Gilbert cut back to the right and found a huge hole. He raced up the middle untouched for 65 yards. Gilbert also scored on the last play of the game with a five-yard run. The native of Indianapolis, Indiana, went on to rush for 77 total yards on eight attempts.
Along with Gilbert’s touchdown, the first half brought other impressive highlights. Junior kicker Morgan Hagee connected on what would have been a career-best 52-yard field goal. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Wyatt Plate had back-to-back big catches to set up a sophomore Ryan Rimmler‘s 27-yard field goal. Plate finished the game with 71 yards on three catches.
Following a quick halftime intermission, the defense stepped up with some key plays. Early in the third quarter, the defense made a fourth down stop at midfield. A few minutes later, sophomore safety Romero Wade stepped in front of a third down pass and scampered 55 yards untouched to the end zone.
Along with the interception, the defense racked up six sacks for a total loss of 38 yards. Seniors Anthony Winbush and Kevin Willis both recorded two sacks while sophomore Akeem Hutchinson and redshirt freshman Frank Burton III each added one.
Senior quarterback Jack Milas had a good showing in his last spring game with seven completed passes on 15 attempts for 94 yards, including a 33-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jordan Hogue. Hogue led all receivers with five catches for 73 yards. Sophomore quarterback Zack Blair threw the longest pass of the day, a 36-yard rocket to Plate. Sophomore running back Malik Dunner chipped in with 28 rushing yards on eight attempts.
This year’s spring game format had the offense take on the defense in a four-quarter game with a running clock.