Kansas sophomore running back Tony Pierson and senior quarterback Dayne Crist highlighted the day in the annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, as the Blue squad won in convincing fashion, 45-0.
An estimated crowd of 15,000 at Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium, saw KU cap its first spring football workouts under new head coach Charlie Weis.
Pierson led all rushers with 141 yards on just seven carries and a touchdown. For his efforts, Pierson was named the offensive most vaulable player. Sophomore running back Marquis Jackson racked up 76 yards on 10 carries and a game-high three touchdowns.
Jackson's three touchdowns came from three, seven and 15 yards out.
Crist led all quarterbacks with 156 yards on 11-for-19 passing, while redshirt junior Jake Heaps threw for 106 yards on 7-for-10 passing with a touchdown. Kale Pick led all receivers with 82 yards on four catches and senior Daymond Patterson hauled in a game-high five receptions for 64 yards.
It was a relatively quiet day for the White team as junior running back James Sims led the way with 58 yards rushing on 14 attempts.
Pierson excited KU fans as he blazed his way to an untouched 88-yard touchdown run, giving the Blue team a 31-0 lead over the White team midway through the third quarter. Pierson picked up 113 of his 141 yards in the second half.
Sophomore linebacker Michael Reynolds earned defensive MVP honors with his five tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss on the afternoon. Senior cornerback Corrigan Powell led all tacklers with eight stops for the White team.
Crist led the Blue squad down the field on the opening drive and was capped off by a 30-yard field goal from junior Ron Doherty, in his only attempt for the game.
After forcing a three-and-out the Blue team picked up right where it left off from the opening drive as senior D.J. Beshears ran a reverse 28 yards for the first touchdown of the game and giving the Blue team a 10-0 lead.
Beshears then earned his second touchdown of the first half on a pass from Heaps from six yards out. The play before, Heaps connected with Pick on a flea-flicker for a 46-yard pick up to set the ball on the six-yard line, giving the Blue team a 17-0 lead.
After one half of play, the Blue team held a 17-0 lead over the White squad. Crist led the Blue team with 90 yards on 6-for-11 passing. His favorite target proved to be Pick. Heaps split time with Crist and also finished with 57 yards on 3-for-5 passing and a touchdown in the first half. Beshears and Pierson each had 28 yards rushing at intermission.
The day began with the `Train Like A Jayhawk' clinic for kids grades 1-6 on the football practice fields adjacent to the southeast corner of Memorial Stadium. The clinic, in which stations were directed by KU football players, went from 10-11 a.m. and had more than 400 youths participate.
Then the University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence held a ceremony for the renaming of stretches of two streets after former KU football coach and player Don Fambrough. The ceremony, which featured KU officials, Lawrence City Commissioner Hugh Carter and Fambrough's son Preston, at what is now the intersection of 11th and Maine Streets.
The festivities were far from over, as various other events took place like the fourth annual bike rodeo in the parking lot just south of the KU practice fields.
Kansas will begin the 2012 season on September 1 vs. South Dakota State. The Jayhawks will also host non-conference opponent Rice (Sept. 8) before Big 12 foes TCU (Sept. 15), Oklahoma State (Oct. 13) Texas (Oct. 27/Homecoming, K-Club Weekend, Parents Weekend) and Iowa State (Nov. 17) visit Lawrence.