Texas A&M Biletnikoff Award candidate Ryan Swope scored on a pair of long touchdown catches to help the White (offense) to an exciting 48-44 victory over the Maroon (defense) at the Maroon & White Game presented by Wells Fargo on Saturday at Kyle Field.
Swope, who set school records with 89 catches for 1,207 yards in 2011, turned in touchdown catches of 63 and 50 yards as more than 15,000 Aggie football fans got their first extended look at first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin’s offense. Swope finished the day with a game-high eight catches for 156.
The White team rolled nearly up nearly 600 yards of total offense using Sumlin’s high-octane, fast-tempo offensive scheme. The Aggies’ first- and second-team offensive units combined to run 105 plays in the first half alone.
Also scoring a touchdown through the air for the Aggies was sophomore-to-be Malcome Kennedy, who connected with quarterback Jameill Showers on a 63-yard scoring strike.
The Aggies received a trio of rushing touchdowns with junior Ben Malena scoring on a one-yard plunge and sophomore Will Randolph chipping in with 12- and 13-yard TD runs.
The Aggies’ top two passers combined for over 350 passing yards with Showers connecting on 20-of-31 passes for 203 yards and two TDs with no interceptions and redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel completing 13-of-27 attempts for 154 yards with one TD and one INT.
Malena led the Aggie rushing attack with 117 yards on 11 carries, and Randolph added 86 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore transfer Brandon Williams had 35 yards on nine carries, including a 36-yard run.
The Aggie passers spread the ball around with 14 receivers grabbing at least one catch. Swope was the receiving standout, but the Aggies also receiving strong outings from senior Kenric McNeal (4-50), junior transfer Derel Walker (4-26), Kennedy (3-73) and junior Nate Askew (3-50).
Leading new defensive coordinator Mark Snyder’s defense in tackles were sophomore Donnie Baggs with eight and senior Steven Jenkins with nine stops. Senior Jonathan Stewart, sophomore Domonique Patterson and sophomore Johntel Franklin contributed six tackles and senior Sean Porter had a pair of sacks.
2012 Maroon and White Game Statistics
White (offense) 48, Maroon (defense) 44
Offensive Scoring Summary
Kyle Serres 51-yard field goal
Ryan Swope 63-yard pass from Johnny Manziel (Serres kick)
Taylor Bertolet 36-yard field goal
Ryan Swope 50-yard pass from Jameill Showers (Bertolet kick)
Ben Malena 1-yard run (Bertolet kick)
Malcome Kennedy 63-yard pass from Showers (Bertolet kick)
Will Randolph 12-yard run (Bertolet kick)
Randolph 13-yard run (Bertolet)
Passing Comp/Att-Yds TD/Int
Jameill Showers 20-31-203 2/0
Johnny Manziel 13-27-154 1/1
Matt Joeckel 6-10-36 0/0
Matt Davis 1-2-3 0/0
Ben Malena 11-117-1
Will Randolph 13-86-2
Brandon Williams 9-35
Garrett Graham 3-9
Ryan Swope 1-6
Ryan Swope 8-156-2
Kenric McNeal 4-50
Derel Walker 4-26
Malcome Kennedy 3-73-1
Nate Askew 3-50
Uzoma Nwachukwu 3-31
Ben Malena 3-25
Michael Lamothe 2-13
Brandal Jackson 2-11
Mike Evans 2-9
Garrett Graham 2-5
Brandon Williams 2-1
Punting Att-Yds-Avg Long
Ryan Epperson 7-241-34.4 46
Drew Kaser 6-218-36.3 53
Donnie Baggs 8
Steven Jenkins 7
Jonathan Stewart 6
Domonique Patterson 6
Johntel Franklin 6
Sean Porter 2 (both sacks)