April 22, 2006
NEW ORLEANS - Behind the play of Tulane starting quarterback Lester Ricard and starting running back Matt Forté, the Green team overcame four early turnovers and an 18-0 deficit to tie the White team 18-18 in the 2006 Green Wave Football Spring Game. The contest marked the end of 2006 spring drills for the Tulane football team.
Ricard, a senior from Denham Springs, took all the snaps for the Green team and completed 16-of-26 passes for 170 yards. Two of his completions went for touchdowns as he hit Brian King, who led all Tulane receivers on the day with five catches, on a 13-yard scoring play, and completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Preston Brown to tie the score at 18.
"Lester looked good after he settled down," said Tulane Head Coach Chris Scelfo, a member of the White coaching staff on Saturday. "I was very pleased with the way he played today. He and Forté are on the same page and it was good to see them come back and play well after a rocky start. Matt has had the best spring since he's been here."
Forté, the only tailback in action for the Green Team, carried the ball 19 times for 156 yards and scored Green's first touchdown on a 45-yard run. He broke off several long runs and caught three passes for 13 yards.
King, a sophomore from Slidell, caught five passes for 71 yards while Brown, Tulane's leading returning receiver, caught three passes for 26 yards. A pair of receivers on the white team also reached the end zone as Jeremy Williams' three catches for 99 yards included a 55-yard score on a halfback pass from running back Ray Boudreaux for the first score of the day. Charles Harris caught four passes for 38 yards and his 13-yard touchdown reception from White QB Anthony Scelfo gave the White team a 12-0 lead.
"The kids got after it today," Scelfo said. "The players were excited about the game. They really have appreciated being at Tulane University and back in New Orleans this spring and wanted the chance to play in front of our fans. I thought there were some hard hits today, and that always gets the team going."
The White team had the early advantage as they scored on the halfback pass from Boudreaux to Williams, who hooked up again later in the game on a 31-yard completion, and then got excellent field position on their second drive on a botched snap on a punt attempt, leading to Scelfo's TD toss and a 12-0 lead.
White extended its lead to 18-0 when Taurean Brown tipped a Ricard pass at the line of scrimmage and Frank Morton caught the ball and rumbled 27 yards for the score. Morton had one-and-a-half sacks on the day, while Avery Williams collected one sack.
Defensively, Scelfo praised the efforts of Jordan Ellis, who collected three tackles and recovered a fumble, and James Dillard, who tallied five stops. Terrence Peterson led all defensive players with eight stops. Shreveport's Antonio Harris added five tackles, forced a fumble and had two tackles for loss. Safety Joe Goosby broke up three passes, made four stops and collected the other interception off a tipped pass.
"[Safety] Joe Goosby seemed to take charge back there today," said defensive coordinator Eric Schumann, who led the Green team along with offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo. "The effort on both sides was great today and I saw a lot of solid hits."
Boudreaux led the White team in rushing with 17 carries for 30 yards in addition to his 2-of-2 passing day. Scott Elliott completed 2-of-7 passes for 15 yards and Anthony Scelfo hit all four of his pass attempts for 43 yards.
Tulane will return to the practice field again in August before the 2006 season gets underway on Sept. 9 at Houston. The Green Wave play the first three games of the season on the road before opening their five-game home schedule Sept. 30 "Back Home in the Dome" versus SMU. For information on Tulane season tickets, contact the Green Wave Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE.
-- Roll Wave --