Robert E. Lee kicker Lumi Kaba kicked what first-year head coach Darrell Piske hopes is the first of many game-winning field goals.
The junior booted a 36-yarder in the final seconds to give Red a 19-17 win over White on Thursday in the annual Red-White spring game at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The White took the lead with 2:36 remaining on a 4-yard touchdown run by Nicola Willis. Starting from the 30, the Red team drove 41 yards in seven plays before turning it over to Kaba.
“I’ve seen him kick under pressure and Lumi doesn’t care,” Piske said. “I would have let him kick a 62-yarder.”
The spring game was played without starting quarterback Jordan Richardson, who suffered an injury last week at practice. Returning tailback LaQuintas Wallace was held out with returning fullback Marcus White carrying three times for 4 yards.
“Your returning starters don’t play much in the spring game; we already know what they can do,” Piske said. “This was for the young guys.”
Bryce Wilkerson led all players in rushing thanks to one big play. The White team running back helped spur a 13-point comeback when he broke loose for a 70-yard touchdown run. Kaba, who kicked for both teams, made the PAT to make the score 16-10 with 26 seconds to play in the third quarter.
A muffed punt by the Red team put it deep in its own territory with the White getting the ball back at the Red 42. On first-and-10, White quarterback Trevor Carr and Triston Richards produced the biggest pass play of the night, covering 34 yards, to set the White team up with first-and-goal. Willis finished it off, putting the White team up 17-16 before the Red rallied in the final minutes to win the game.
The Red grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first quarter when Deontay Walker tackled the White ball carrier in the end zone for a safety. The Red made it 9-0 on a 12-yard scoring run by Juwan Banks. The White got on the board midway through the second quarter on a 26-yard field goal by Kaba.
Kaba tried a 54 yarder for the Red team into the wind on the final play of the half, but it was short.
The Red team pushed its lead to 16-3 in the final minute of the third quarter when Teddy Matlock, who led all quarterbacks with 82 yards, connected with a wide-open Josh Bice for a 20-yard touchdown.
Wilkerson responded seconds later with his long scoring run to help set up the final dramatics of the fourth quarter.
It was Lee’s first spring under Piske and he said the Red Raiders looked good and now prepare for the fall.
“We through a lot at them and it was a lot of stuff in just four weeks and the biggest thing was just getting it all in,” Piske said. “Now we’ve got it all in and we just polish it up, get in the weight room with strength and conditioning during the summer and we’ll be ready to go.”
Red 19, White 17
Red-White Spring Game
At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium
White 0 3 7 7 — 17
Red 9 0 7 3 — 19
RED—Safety, Deontay Walker tackles ball carrier in the end zone, 6:36.
RED—Juwan Banks 12 run (Lumi Kaba kick), 3:16.
WHITE—FG Kaba 26, 6:20.
RED—Josh Bice 20 pass from Teddy Matlock (Kaba kick), :44.
WHITE—Bryce Wilkerson 70 run (Kaba kick), :26.
WHITE—Nicola Willis 4 run (Kaba kick), 2:39.
RED—FG Kaba 36, :00.