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Important players were not participating in CSU's yearly Green and Gold spring game

The Colorado State football team concluded its spring schedule of 15 practices with its annual Green & Gold spring game on a chilly and snowy day at Canvas Stadium.

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State football wrapped up its spring season of 15 practices with its traditional Green & Gold spring game on Saturday in cold and snowy conditions at Canvas Stadium.

The outcomes and responses were mixed from the coaches and players, as they aimed to conclude the spring practices positively.

As in each of head coach Jay Norvell’s seasons at CSU, the game followed the format of 1s (Green) vs. The World (White), with the World team starting with a 21-0 lead.

Following four quarters of game-like conditions, the World emerged victorious with a score of 28-17, but in essence, the 1s outscored the World (mostly substitutes) by 17-7.

The game featured several key players sitting out, including multiple offensive linemen and defensive players. A few players expected to have significant roles in the upcoming season also had limited participation, such as receiver Tory Horton and running back Kobe Johnson.

“Today, as I was observing our kids, half of them were in pennies and the other half were in a different color jersey,” Norvell commented. “It’s difficult to establish continuity with a shortage of offensive linemen. I felt that, particularly offensively, we were not as sharp today. However, I'm very pleased with the progress of our team.”

With various players sidelined and others having limited playtime, it presented an opportunity for younger players and transfers who have already enrolled to gain exposure, and a number of them seized that opportunity.

Colorado State's Damian Henderson is tackled by Niko Lopez during the Rams' annual Green & Gold spring game Saturday at Canvas Stadium. (Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald)
Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald captured Damian Henderson being tackled by Niko Lopez during the Rams’ traditional Green & Gold spring game at Canvas Stadium.

The teams kicked off with two 15-minute quarters, during which neither team made much headway. The first-team offense finally started to show signs of life in the second quarter.

A lengthy pass to Caleb Goodie from Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi helped the 1s advance to a first-and-goal situation, but on fourth-and-goal from inside the 5-yard line, the Rams’ quarterback threw an incomplete pass.

After forcing a punt, the 1s finally scored at the conclusion of the first half. Passes to Goodie and Donovan Ollie put their team in field goal range, where Jordan Noyes kicked a 47-yard field goal, resulting in the only points of the initial 30 minutes.

“I believe today was a significant step for us, both offensively and defensively, to experience a live situation,” Fowler-Nicolosi remarked. “We've had two scrimmages, but having fans and distractions all around us requires focus and concentration on the task at hand. Today was a major progression for us in getting those reps, and I feel that it was a pretty solid scrimmage offensively and defensively.”

The second half — consisting of two 12-minute quarters — saw the 1s offense becoming more effective. The 1s launched their first drive of the third quarter with a 25-yard pass from Fowler-Nicolosi to Ollie, and after another pass from Fowler-Nicolosi to Jamari Person brought them to the 12-yard line, Fowler-Nicolosi located Ollie for the initial touchdown of the game, from 6 yards away.

On the following possession for the World, Buom Jock recovered a fumble for the 1s and returned it to the 5-yard line, where Damian Henderson ran it in for a touchdown. This brought the 1s to a score of 21-17.

Once again, the 1s defense made the other team punt, and Fowler Nicolosi got a chance to reduce the 21-point difference. However, after moving close to the opponent's end zone, the 1s lost the ball on fourth down.

With two minutes left, the 1s got the ball again at their 23-yard line. But four consecutive incomplete passes resulted in the World team gaining possession, and they quickly scored on a run by Ryan McConnell, increasing their lead to 28-17.

With 57 seconds remaining, the 1s had one final opportunity to attack, but Fowler-Nicolosi's pass was intercepted by Jace Bellah, allowing the World team to run out the clock and end the game and spring training for the Rams.

Now the team will have some time off before regrouping in August to prepare for the start of the fall season, which kicks off with a trip to Texas on August 31.

Norvell commented, “I believed it was a successful spring. It's always positive to finish up while keeping people relatively healthy. We have been very specific about our training and approach. I truly believe our players did well in embracing what we asked of them, and we are really enthusiastic about our progress.”

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