Gold and Precious Metals

Gold Knocks Off Blue, 17-10, in 2024 Pitt Spring Game

PITTSBURGH — Who said there aren’t stakes (actually, steaks) in a Pitt spring game?

As the Gold team ran back to the sideline following Kenny Johnson’s 18-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter, Yarnell stood on the Blue sideline talking to Kade Bell. Blue trailed 17-3, and while Yarnell coming back into the game probably didn’t have anything to do with “winning” the game, it certainly made things more exciting.

Yarnell led the game’s second touchdown drive, capping an 80-yard drive with a beautiful 34-yard touchdown toss to Lamar Seymore. But ultimately, the Gold team managed to squeak out a 17-10 win at Acrisure Stadium — and secure a steak dinner this week.

It was a sloppy game, which is to be expected in windy conditions with uncommon teammate pairings, but Yarnell (12-of-16 for 108 yards and a touchdown) and Eli Holstein (10-of-23 for 128 yards with a touchdown and an interception) flashed potential in a game designed to be bland.

Gold received the ball first, and Holstein marched down the field — fueled by a steady dose of targets for Kenny Johnson — and set up Sam Carpenter for a 44-yard field goal.

But it became quite clear that the offensive installation is still a work in progress. Narduzzi wanted to keep the offensive play-calling vanilla, but even with what was called (a heavy dose of quick-hitting screens), the offensive work was sloppy. And the turnover bug that plagued the offense all spring reared its ugly head.

Holstein looked for Johnson on a throw over the middle but it sailed a bit on him, bounced off Johnson’s outstretched hand and fell right to Javon McIntyre — who said earlier this spring that it was his goal to create more splash plays. But a 9-play, 1-yard drive from the Blue team resulted in just three points.

Ben Sauls’ 50-yarder was the highlight of the first half.

Or it would’ve been if not for a Gold touchdown drive to end the first half. Holstein settled in for a two-minute drill and utilized Gavin Bartholomew’s catch-and-run ability to work a 12-play drive inside the 10. A quick screen to Daniel Carter (who had to score his annual spring touchdown) went for six just before the halftime break.

Christian Veilleux (Blue) and Ty Dieffenbach (Gold) started the second half at quarterback, and Pitt fans in attendance were greeted with back-to-back-to-back-to-back three-and-outs.

It took a while for either the Gold or Blue to even complete a pass, but when Dieffenbach finally led a scoring drive (Johnson turning a quick screen into an 18-yard touchdown), it resulted in the Blue team reinserting Yarnell into the lineup.

The Blue team, led by walk-on David Lynch, had one final chance to come back and tie the Gold team with just about a minute-and-a-half in the fourth quarter but ultimately fell short.

Pitt will not be back in action until the season opener against Kent State on Aug. 31 at Acrisure Stadium.

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