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By Sam Walters

The Clemson Football 2024 Spring Game occurred Saturday afternoon, with the Orange Team defeating the White Team 27-12.

While the White Team started by scoring the first points with a field goal by kicker Nolan Houser, the Orange Team responded on both sides of the ball. Garrett Riley’s squad sealed the deal after redshirt sophomore Jahiem Lawson intercepted freshman Christopher Vizzina on their two-yard line at the end of the 3rd quarter. 

While failing to score after the turnover, the stifling Orange Team defense killed the White Team's momentum, and they could not lead a counterattack. The Orange Team regained possession, killed the clock, and nailed a field goal to round off the 15-point lead and end the game.

The defense of the Orange Team led the way for their victory, creating two turnovers while earning nine sacks and 14 tackles for loss. Led by defensive lineman Stephiylan Green and A.J. Hoffler, who combined for five sacks and six and a half TFLs, they held the White Team offense to only 180 total yards. Defensive end Jahiem Lawson also had a day, earning a sack and two TFLs for the Orange. The biggest play for the Orange Team came from a pick-six by linebacker Jamal Anderson in the second half, snagging the ball off of a short Vizzina pass. 

“Jamal Anderson, today, had an outstanding day,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “That was an unbelievable play that he made.”

In conjunction with the defense, the Orange Team’s offense showed sparks. With a combined 271 passing yards between quarterbacks Cade Klubnik and freshman Trent Pearman, they took over the scrimmage offensively. Antonio Williams and Adam Randall led in receiving yards for the Orange, combining for 147 and contributing heavily to their scoring drives.

“I wanted to continue to keep my confidence and build off what I built last year,” Randall commented on his expectations for the game. “I wanted to build on my leadership skills, bringing it every single day.” 

Pearman was the center of attention; in his total stats across both teams, he threw 13-18 for 141 yards and a touchdown while rushing eight times for 60 yards and a score, which was earned off a huge 49-yard run for the White Team in the first half.

Offensively, nothing could get going for the White Team besides the scoring run from Pearman. Tight end Josh Sapp led the team with sixty receiving yards, including an incredible snag over safety Walt Smith in the third quarter.

While falling in the end, the White Team’s defense still showed talent. Freshman star linebacker Sammy Brown led the White Team in leading tackles with eight while earning a sack and TFL, while fellow linebacker Wade Woodaz sat right alongside Brown with eight. Additionally, they created a turnover themselves, with cornerback Tavoy Feagin earning an interception.

The Tigers head into the summer to continue to work, strengthen, and prepare for the upcoming 2024 season.

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