Back on turf after championship win
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 17:04
After the release of the “2011: The Road to Frisco” DVD on Friday night in the Fargodome, the team that will be trying to get back to Frisco next January played their first game in the Fargodome. The game itself wasn’t the highlight of the afternoon, but the ring ceremony, and the familiar faces of the historic 2011 team caught the eye of Bison faithful.
Gene Taylor addressed the crowd of 5,824 before the opening ceremonies, to which he accredited the team’s national championship last season to the players, the coaches and the fans in that order. Following the speech from Taylor and Bison coach Craig Bohl, the team was presented with their national championship rings.
Members of the 2011 national championship were brought back, a few exceptions being Matt Voigtlander, John Pike and Dan Eaves being a few notables that weren’t in attendance.
“It was great, it was a great experience to see all those guys,” Brock Jensen said. “There were a lot of hugs out there. It’s a special group of guys, and a special bond that we’ll share forever.”
The experience with old teammates turned into a new chapter started with a new group of teammates. With the green and gold going against each other for the first time in front of a crowd, the new-look Bison showed off what the Bison teams of old always have had: defense.
“You can’t really expect much,” Ryan Smith said. “We go against each other every single day, they know what we do, and we know what they run.”
If expectations were high they were quickly lowered, as the only points of the game came off of an Adam Keller field goal with just over five minutes left to go in the fourth quarter.
“Every spring game is different, the big decision was whether we had to do overtime,” coach Craig Bohl said. “It was good to see him [Adam Keller] go out there and make a field goal in a pretty pressurized situation.”
The biggest difference of this year’s spring game was the crowd.
“It’s great to see everyone get our here,” Smith mentioned. “It’s good to get the community out here.”
The 5,824 people that were in attendance doubled the largest crowd for a spring game that was set at last year’s spring game. A silent auction and the chance to get autographs from Bison players was one highlight to entice fans to get out and watch.
“Sometimes I sit back and look where we were even at several years ago, I came out in a pair of sweat pants and there were a couple hundred people in the stands,” Craig Bohl said. “It’s an outpouring of support, we recognize the recognition is high.”
Alex LaVoy led the Gold team with tackles on the afternoon with seven total. Alex Enyi had six and Deshawn Dinwiddie and Bryan Shepherd both had five on the day. The Green team was led by Grant Olson in tackles with six. Carlton Littlejohn and Colton Heagle both had five tackles on the day.
Matt Jones led all rushers with 28 yards on the day for the Green team, and Derrick Land and Sam Ojuri both had 21 yards for the Gold team. Esley Thorton was 6-11 for 34 yards for the Gold team, and Ryan Stanford was 10-18 for 72 yards for the Green team.