Blue downs Gold 17-3 in spring game

The defenses dominated, combining for nine sacks and 18 tackles for loss while holding the offenses to a 5-for-21 mark on third down.
Published: May. 1, 2021 at 10:28 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Notre Dame Athletics) - The Fighting Irish football team capped off the spring practice season with its traditional Blue-Gold game on Saturday afternoon at a sunny, windswept Notre Dame Stadium, with blue defeating gold, 17-3.

The defenses dominated, combining for nine sacks and 18 tackles for loss while holding the offenses to a 5-for-21 mark on third down.

Jack Kiser led Blue with eight total tackles (5 solo), while Marist Liufau led gold with five tackles (all solo). Shayne Simon (blue) and Justin Walters (gold) each added an interception.

At quarterback for team blue, Drew Pyne was 11-for-23 for 146 yards while Tyler Buchner finished 6-for-9 for 140 yards. The blue team also had the game’s top two receivers in terms of yardage, including Lawrence Keys III (115 yards) and Braden Lenzy (88 yards).

Quarterback Jack Coan was 18-for-32 for 197 yards for gold, with Avery Davis totaling 84 yards on five catches.

How It Happened

Drew Pyne and blue got on the board first with an 11 play, 66-yard drive that resulted in a 27-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer at 2:59 of the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter with gold on the move, Shayne Simon jumped a quick out and intercepted Jack Coan at the 22-yard line to stifle the drive.

Then Justin Walters picked off Pyne at the blue 40, setting up a short field for Coan and gold that resulted in a 37-yard Harrison Leonard field goal to tie it at 3-3 with at 1:25 of the second quarter.

Pyne was able to connect with Lawrence Keys III for a 41-yard completion but it did not result in any points and time expired in the first half.

Tyler Buchner and team blue got the ball to start the second half. He posted three straight completions of 20+ yards to Mitchell Evans (23 yards) and Keys III (23 and 22 yards) and then capped the four-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Harrison Leonard added the extra point for a 10-3 Blue lead at 13:18 of the third.

On Buchner’s next drive, he had a 37-yard completion to Braden Lenzy at the 1-yard line. Leo Albano converted the one-yard touchdown run and Leonard added the PAT to give blue a 17-3 lead with just under nine minutes remaining in the fourth (running clock). All told, it was a five play, 56-yard drive that took 3:10 to cap the scoring in the game.

Nana Osafa-Mensah strip sacked Buchner and also made the fumble recovery with just under 2:30 left in the game for one final defensive highlight for team gold.

The 2021 Blue-Gold game is now available on demand via Fighting Irish TV.