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Eagles wrap spring football with annual Blue-White game

Spring football has officially come to an end in Statesboro with the annual blue and white spring football game- the first game day under new head coach Clay Helton.
Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 7:00 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) -Spring football has officially come to an end in Statesboro with the annual blue and white spring football game- the first game day under new head coach Clay Helton.

The day began with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Anthony P. Tippins Family Indoor Practice Facility behind Bishop Field House.

According to a release from the university, the $12.3 million facility will serve all 17 NCAA-sponsored athletic programs, and is slated to be complete in early 2023.

From there, the game action got underway.

The offense put up 677 yards, 409 through the air, while scoring on the first three drives. The White team (first team offense) topping Blue (first team defense) 51 to 28.

“I thought it was a great balance. I thought Ellis really mixed in run and pass really well, and that’s what we want,” Helton said. “We want to be able to keep defenses off kilter. It’s a really hard offense, in my opinion, to stop. Especially with the number of quality players that we have. You know, the decision making by number six today, and the quarterbacks-- really not a turnover by the quarterbacks today, and when you look at that number of plays to secure the ball and make good decisions, that’s a good day. You walk out a happy football coach.”

Kyle Vantrease, a 6-2 sixth year quarterback transfer from Buffalo threw for 217 yards and a score.

“We’ve got people making plays all over the field. I trust throwing the ball to every guy out there,” Vantrease said. “I trust handing the ball to every guy out there. We’ve got a great offensive line, because that’s where it all starts. The offensive line did a great job today. They’re the ones that truly make the plays, because, you know, everything starts up front on the line of scrimmage, but all of the guys that were out there making plays, down to the 2-deep, 3-deep, 4-deep, you know, so it was really cool to see that.”

Defensively, Jeffrey Smyth, a transfer redshirt linebacker, led the defense with nine tackles. Smyth is a Beaufort, South Carolina native.

Around 4,000 fans came out to see this new era of Eagles football with some new faces both on the field and the sidelines, and the day ended with an autograph session.

The team will now focus on summer workouts before taking the field officially again in August for preseason camp. The next time we see the Eagles suited up in Paulson Stadium, it counts. Southern opens their 2022 football season at home against Morgan State on September 3.

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