Monday, April 21st, 2008
Boeckman leads Scarlet to 20-7 victory over Gray
By Gary R. Rasberry
Ohio State quarterback and St. Henry High School graduate Todd Boeckman fires a. . .
COLUMBUS - Todd Boeckman got his 2008 season, albeit in scrimmage form, off to a decent start.
Boeckman had some good moments as the Buckeyes wrapped up their spring practice schedule with the annual Scarlet and Gray Game at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
The St. Henry graduate, who also picked up his degree from OSU as well in the offseason, ran for a touchdown and drove the Scarlet down the field for a half-ending field goal en route to helping the Scarlet win 20-7 over the Gray on a rainy afternoon.
On his first drive as the Scarlet went on offense first, Boeckman, wearing the black "No-Tackle" jersey, was looking to air it out to favorite receiver Brian Hartline. On a first-and-10 from the Scarlet 35, Boeckman looked deep and fired a good pass near the Gray 20. All of a sudden, Kurt Coleman caught up with the speedy Hartline and caught the slightly underthrown ball for the interception.
Boeckman's next possession resulted in a punt, but paydirt was finally struck on the third possession. On a second-and-seven, Boeckman went deep again to Hartline, putting the Scarlet at the Gray 2. After a carry by Dan Herron for one yard, Boeckman got to call his own number, punching it in for the opening score of the game.
"They called that quarterback sneak and I was like 'Coach, you serious? I have the black jersey on'," said Boeckman with a laugh. "You always got to expect that."
During the third possession, Boeckman worked the clock, putting together an 11-play drive that saw Boeckman convert a third-and-four and later a fourth-and-two to get down to the Gray 16. On second-and-12 after a holding call, Boeckman went over the middle for Hartline, but found Coldwater grad Ross Homan for the interception.
"The second one, I think I had a little pressure in my face, probably should have taken the sack," said Boeckman. "I didn't have any power on the ball."
Boeckman was able to help add three points at the end of the first half with a solid two-minute drill, getting the ball on his own 30 with 2:49 to go and driving to the Gray 30, where kicker Aaron Pettrey nailed a 48-yard field goal as time expired to put the Scarlet up 10-7, ending Boeckman's day as he was scheduled to play just the first half.
Boeckman's numbers were 12-of-17 for 145 yards and two interceptions over five series in the first half.
"I thought Todd played solid," said OSU head coach Jim Tressel in the postgame press conference. "I thought the (first) interception he threw, Kurt Coleman made a great play. It wasn't that far underthrown and I don't think B-Hart (Hartline) knew he was that close. I think the other interception, I thought Todd was trying to force it a bit."
Boeckman spent the rest of the day working the sidelines, calling plays for the two guys in camp looking for playing time in Antonio Henton and Joe Bauserman. Henton, who split time between the Scarlet and Gray, was a combined 6-of-12 for 73 yards passing and added six yards rushing.
Bauserman, the redshirt freshman who spent three years playing professional baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system, made an impression, throwing for a first-half score on a 51-yard strike to Taurian Washington in what would be the lone score for the Gray. Bauserman was 7-of-14 with 125 yards and no interceptions.
"They're getting better each and every day out there," said Boeckman. "I think from the start of the spring they've grown a lot to now. They've done a lot of great things out there, learning in the film room and out on the field."
Also impressive was redshirt freshman Herron, who rushed for 30 yards to lead both teams and scored a touchdown.
Hartline paced the receiving corps, which was missing Brian Robiskie, who sat out due to injury, with six catches for 82 yards. Ray Small added five snags for 74 yards.
Homan, who missed much of last year with turf toe, and received a medical redshirt, added two tackles - one unassisted, one assist - to his interception in splitting time with Marcus Freeman at the "Will" linebacker spot. Homan was not made available to the media after Saturday's game.
Gray 0 7 0 0 - 7
Scarlet 7 3 7 3 - 20
Scarlet - Boeckman 1 run (Pettrey kick), 1:37
Gray - T.Washington 51 pass from Bauserman (Pretorius kick), 2:49
Scarlet - FG 48 Pettrey, 00:00
Scarlet - Herron 1 run (Pettrey kick), :23
Scarlet - FG 24 Mattimoe, :41