IU Coach Tom Allen didn’t hesitate to send the Hoosiers’ spring game to overtime when regulation ended with the score knotted at 36.
Allen said he wanted to create as many game situations as possible, and an overtime period after a comeback bid by the Cream side that tested the resolve of the players and coaches for both the Cream and Crimson squads was the perfect end to the contest.
Rising junior running back Alex Rodriguez, who was the only running back defensive line coach Mark Hagen’s Crimson squad used, scored the touchdown to give Crimson the 42-36 win. He ran the ball in on Crimson’s first possession of overtime after fellow rising junior running back Ricky Brookins, who played for offensive coordinator Mike DeBord’s Cream team, fumbled the ball away on Cream’s first possession.
“It’s interesting that the game ended in a tie to go into overtime because when I went through and graded the draft, it came up even,” Allen said. “I had both sides have the same number of positions I thought that they won.”
Allen did pull some strings to get the game closer to overtime. As Cream drove, down 36-28, and attempted to tie the game in the fourth quarter, a big play that was originally called back due to a penalty was reinstated. Allen revealed he was the reason why.
Rising sophomore husky Marcelino Ball, a free agent selection by Hagen and his staff in the lead up to the spring game, didn’t think it should have even gotten that close. He said the Crimson squad didn’t make as many plays as it should have, especially with tackling.
“We’re family, but I feel like we should have blown them out,” Ball said. “We just missed tackles and did stuff that we shouldn’t have done, but we won, so that’s good.”
Ball said he felt a lot of responsibility in his selection as one of the two free agents for Crimson before the spring game draft. Although he didn’t have the day he wanted to Thursday, overall said he was happy with his performance during spring practices. Rising senior tight end Ian Thomas was the other pre-draft free agent selection for Crimson.
Thomas was also confident that Crimson would pull out the victory and clinch a steak dinner to be served by the Cream squad .
“I thought, personally, that we were going to come out on top because, I mean the Cream team was talking a lot of stuff on Twitter and a bunch of that, but I knew we were going to come out on top,” Thomas said.
Brookins didn’t see as much of a disparity as his fellow Hoosiers. He agreed with Allen’s take that both sides came in with strengths.
“We had competitors on both sides,” Brookins said. “We had a really good defensive line but we also had, basically, a lot of the starting offensive guys, but then again they’ve got really good players on their side.”