BLUE 37, WHITE 0
at Beaver Stadium, State College
RUSHING — WHITE, Jack Haffner 4-11, Deron Thompson 1-1, Brandon Johnson 2-(minus-3), Adam Geiger 2-(minus-3), Austin Whipple 2-(minus-5), D.J. Crook 5-(minus-26). BLUE, Cole Chiappialle 9-63, DeAndre Thompkins 1-22, Akeel Lynch 4-9, Bill Belton 1-1, Michael O’Connor 5-(minus-3), Christian Hackenberg 1-(minus-6).
PASSING — WHITE, Crook 10-17-2-68, Whipple 1-6-1-7. BLUE, O’Connor 11-16-0-81, Eugene Lewis 1-1-0-56, Hackenberg 4-10-0-43.
RECEIVING — WHITE, DeShawn Baker 2-8, Johnson 1-13, Haffner 1-11, Thompson 1-10, Geiger 1-8, Tom Pancoast 1-7, Gregg Garrity 1-6, Brent Wilkerson 1-5, Luke Vadas 1-4, Jonathan Warner 1-3. BLUE, Kyle Carter 4-34, Matt Zanellato 2-68, Chiappialle 2-17, Richy Anderson 2-16, Lynch 2-16, DaeSean Hamilton 2-8, Jesse James 1-13, Thompkins 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS — WHITE, None. BLUE, Trevor Williams 1-34, Matthew Baney 1-28, Ryan Keiser 1-19.
A — 72,000.
BLUE — Sam Ficken 26-yard field goal, 9:26. Drive: 8 plays, 52 yards, 3:12. Analysis: Christian Hackenberg may be entrenched as the starting quarterback, but this is still his first Blue-White Game. As such, there’s a little rust to knock off. His biggest gain in the early going comes on a nifty little slip screen to Akeel Lynch, who jukes his way for 13 yards. Walk-on running back Cole Chiappialle — who drew praise from James Franklin earlier this spring — then lines up in the Wildcat and take the direct snap through a gaping hole in the middle for 19 yards. The Blue squad has first-and-goal from the 10, but Hackenberg can’t connect with DaeSean Hamilton in the end zone and Ficken comes on for the field goal. BLUE 3, WHITE 0.
BLUE — Cole Chiappialle 1-yard run (Ficken kick), 2:00. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards, 4:20. Analysis: Hey, at least the weather’s nice. Both offenses open up a combined 0-for-12 on third downs, with five sacks and 10 punts between the two squads as the second quarter winds down. Not pretty. The Blue team gets something going when true freshman quarterback Michael O’Connor scrambles for 7 yards on third down to finally move the sticks. He then hooks up with tight end Kyle Carter and, in a cringeworthy moment, walk-on linebacker Drew Boyce gets flagged for a personal foul for tackling him well out of bounds. From there, it’s Chiappialle running the show out of the Wildcat, finally scoring on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1, plowing through a tackle attempt. BLUE 10, WHITE 0.
BLUE — Chiappialle 23-yard run (Ficken kick), 1:19. Drive: 1 play, 23 yards, 0:06. Analysis: After taking nearly the entire half for the first touchdown, the second comes just seconds later. Walk-on quarterback D.J. Crook throws an ill-advised pass down the sideline and safety Ryan Keiser reads it all the way for the interception. That comes after he jarred a ball loose for a fumble that was recovered by Jesse Della Valle earlier in the half. Once again it’s Chiappialle in the backfield, and the Pittsburgh-area native spins off a weak tackle attempt and races alone down the left sideline for his second score of the day. BLUE 17, WHITE 0.
BLUE — Matthew Baney 28-yard interception return (Ficken kick failed), 8:28. Analysis: Baney had been a surprise starter on defense for the Blue squad next to first-teamers Mike Hull and Brandon Bell as Nyeem Wartman and Ben Kline both did not play. The walk-on makes his presence known on the first series of the second half as White team quarterback Austin Whipple is hit as he throws. The ensuing duck wobbles right toward Baney, who easily plucks it out of the air and crashes through some light resistance at the goal line for the score. A bad snap leads to a missed extra point. BLUE 23, WHITE 0.
BLUE — Matt Zanellato 56-yard pass from Eugene Lewis (Ficken kick), 4:27. Drive: 1 play, 56 yards, 0:46. Analysis: Lewis had plenty of easy touchdown throws while playing quarterback at Wyoming Valley West. Add this one to the list. The former WVC star took the ball on a reverse, ran to his right and pulled up when he saw Zanellato some 30 yards away from the nearest defender downfield. No issue for either man on the play and the team’s most senior wideout strolls into the end zone. It’s the longest play of the day for either side. BLUE 30, WHITE 0.
BLUE — Akeel Lynch 3-yard run (Ficken kick), 0:25. Drive: 9 plays, 63 yards, 4:55. Analysis: O’Connor gets one last drive with a handful of first-teamers and pieces together the game’s longest drive to punch in one final touchdown with the clock nearly expired. Kyle Carter makes two catches to set up the score, making up for losing a fumble earlier in the quarter. This time it’s Lynch converting on first-and-goal to close out the game. BLUE 37, WHITE 0.