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Published: 4/15/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Toledo's Dantin makes push to become No. 1 quarterback

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Adonis Thomas breaks through the line for a touchdown yesterday during the first quarter of the University of Toledo's spring game. Adonis Thomas breaks through the line for a touchdown yesterday during the first quarter of the University of Toledo's spring game.
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Ross Madison, bottom, can't keep Cordale Scott from scoring a touchdown during UT's spring game at the Glass Bowl. Ross Madison, bottom, can't keep Cordale Scott from scoring a touchdown during UT's spring game at the Glass Bowl.
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Austin Dantin couldn’t stop smiling after Friday night’s spring intrasquad football game at the University of Toledo.

The junior quarterback, who’s locked in a fierce position battle with sophomore Terrance Owens, completed 11 of 16 passes for 127 yards and helped lead the Gold team to a 35-14 victory over the Blue squad in front of approximately 500 spectators who braved frigid temperatures, strong winds and occasional precipitation at the Glass Bowl.

But Dantin wasn’t merely ecstatic because of his solid performance that will keep him penciled in as the No. 1 signal caller for the Rockets entering summer workouts. Just the chance to get his first taste of competition since late October, when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury at Eastern Michigan, would have been enough.

“It was incredible,” said Dantin, still beaming from ear-to-ear. “Being able to get out here with my brothers, really, and to be able to play again, it was a great feeling.”

Dantin also rushed for 34 yards and reached the end zone twice on long runs, although both carries were called back due to the officials ruling him down because of contact by a defender. Per coach Tim Beckman’s wishes, quarterbacks were off limits to tacklers, so they were “tackled” by a one or two-hand tap.

Dantin vehemently protested both calls and often showed the most passion of anybody on the field.

“I was extremely fired up,” he said. “When I’m able to get out there and run like that, you know, regardless of being touched or not, it was just great to be running around out there again.”

As far as the quarterback competition between Dantin and Owens, nothing has been officially decided yet and won’t be until fall camp in August.

“I don’t believe that I’ve solidified anything yet,” Dantin said. “There’s a lot that I still need to prove and a lot of things that I need to work on. That’s what the summer is for and that’s what two-a-days are for. I’m looking forward to that, and hopefully then I can solidify something.”

Owens was 8-of-17 passing for 82 yards and a touchdown, an 18-yard toss to junior receiver Cordale Scott in the first quarter that gave the Blue team a 7-0 lead just 4:03 into the contest. He also fumbled once and was sacked twice.

“Things went pretty well,” Owens said. “We had our ups and downs. We just have to continue to get better. It’s only the spring game, so we still have a lot to work on.

“There really wasn’t any pressure or anything. I just had to execute and manage the offense.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to see more photographs from Toledo's spring game.

Gold team quarterback Austin Dantin throws the ball Friday during Toledo's spring football game.
Gold team quarterback Austin Dantin throws the ball Friday during Toledo's spring football game.
THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Beckman stood on the field about 15 yards behind the quarterbacks on every play of the first half and saw plenty of positives from both Dantin and Owens.

“They’ve both been very successful, but my belief as a head football coach is that you cannot lose your position based on injury,” Beckman said. “[Dantin] had an injury and again, he’s won some excellent football games and so has T.O. We’ll use summer, and we’ll use two-a-days to determine who’s the best.”

SPEEDY REEDY: Sophomore receiver Bernard Reedy had one of the top outings of any player on either squad, finishing with 143 yards on eight catches, and also teamed up with redshirt freshman Dwight Macon for the play of the game in the second quarter.

Reedy hauled in a 53-yard touchdown pass from Macon to put the Gold team up 21-7 at the half after Macon scrambled out of the pocket and found Reedy streaking down the right seam.

“It was supposed to be a screen play,” Reedy said, “but it got broken up. Me and Dwight, we’re roommates, so I looked at him, and we winked, and then he knew when to throw it.”

STEAK AND EGGS: Members of the Gold team will be rewarded with a meal of steak and eggs this weekend, while the Blue squad will be served rice cakes.

Contact Zach Silka at: zsilka@theblade.com or 419-724-6084.



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