CLEMSON, S.C. — In a game dominated by both defenses, a nine-point fourth quarter gave the White team a 15-7 victory over the Orange team in Clemson’s 2022 Spring Game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. White team head coach Kyle Richardson (and honorary head coach Austin Bryant) earned the victory by defeating the Orange squad under the guidance of Mike Reed (and honorary head coach Christian Wilkins).
Clemson’s veteran defensive line starred in the first half, as the two teams combined for nine sacks in the first half alone. Defensive end K.J. Henry led the White team with 3.5 sacks among his six tackles in the first two quarters, while defensive end counterpart Myles Murphy posted three sacks for the Orange squad in the first half.
The White team began its opening possession on the Orange 11-yard line and opened the scoring with a 29-yard field goal from placekicker Jonathan Weitz for the only score of the opening frame. Running back Phil Mafah scored the game’s first touchdown in the second quarter, plunging ahead for a six-yard scoring run to give the Orange team a 7-3 lead that it would carry into halftime. Mafah finished the first half with 61 all-purpose yards, including 24 yards on eight carries and 37 yards on four receptions.
Weitz cut the Orange advantage to 7-6 with a 36-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Later in the frame, an interception by midyear enrollee Sherrod Covil Jr. — the game’s first takeaway — gave the White team the ball at the Orange 10-yard line. Three plays later, fellow midyear enrollee Cade Klubnik hit wide receiver Hamp Greene for a seven-yard touchdown pass to give the White team a 12-7 lead.
Weitz tacked on his third field goal of the game — a 40-yarder — with 1:21 remaining. The Orange team drove into White territory, but an incompletion on a final pass into the end zone brought the final score to 15-7.
Tight end Jake Briningstool recorded an impressive performance for the White squad. The sophomore recorded a game-high seven receptions for 58 receiving yards.
The contest offered Clemson fans an initial glimpse of the 2022 Tigers, who completed their 15-session spring practice window with the scrimmage. Clemson now awaits the arrival of 11 more signees from its 2022 recruiting class this summer in advance of fall camp starting in August.
Season ticket requests for the 2022 season remain open. Fans wanting to be a part of Clemson’s bid to extend the Tigers’ historic streak of consecutive 10-win seasons can request season tickets and learn more at ClemsonTigers.com/FootballTickets. After being limited to six home games by the pandemic in 2020 and playing six home games (plus a marquee neutral-site contest) in 2021, Clemson season ticket holders will once again have access to a seven-game home slate in 2022. Clemson’s 2022 home schedule starts with its home opener against Furman on Sept. 10 and culminates on Nov. 26 with South Carolina’s first visit to Death Valley since Clemson’s 2018 national championship season.
In addition to providing a developmental opportunity for players on the field, the contest offered a similar opportunity for the game’s officials. Led by NCAA National Coordinator of Officials Steve Shaw, Clemson hosted the 2022 Diversity Developmental Clinic on Friday and Saturday. Nearly 50 minority current and aspiring college football officials, principally from the FCS, D-II and D-III levels, attended the two-day clinic, which aimed to expand the pipeline of minority officials for Power Five conferences and the National Football League. The event, which was funded by the NFL and sponsored by the ACC and SEC, culminated with the group rotating as officials for Saturday’s scrimmage.
Prior to the scrimmage, Clemson honored its team award-winners from the 2021 season. A complete list of award-winners honored Saturday is included below.
Danny Lee Ford Scholarship Award: Max May, David Cote, Will Brown
Bank of America-Hamilton Offensive MVP Award: Davis Allen, Jordan McFadden, Will Shipley
Morrow-Wiley Defensive MVP Award: Andrew Booth, Myles Murphy, James Skalski, Baylon Spector, Nolan Turner
Edisto Clemson Club Offensive Football Player of the South Carolina Game Award: Jordan McFadden, Will Shipley
IFC Defensive Player of the South Carolina Game Award: Andrew Booth Jr.
Joe Francis Football Leadership Award: Matt Bockhorst, Will Brown, Justyn Ross, James Skalski, Nolan Turner, Mario Goodrich, Baylon Spector, Will Spiers
Renwick-Flanders Most Improved Football Player Award: LaVonta Bentley, Mario Goodrich, Ruke Orhorhoro, JayIn Phillips, Trenton Simpson, Xavier Thomas, Dacari Collins, Sage Ennis, Hunter Rayburn, Mason Trotter, Ruke Orhorhoro
Coffman Cup, presented by the Nieri Family Student-Athlete Enrichment Center: Offense