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SALT LAKE CITY -The outcome of the annual Red-White game was all but predetermined on Wednesday, when the Ute coaches decided to pit the starters and key backups against the rest of the team. Still, the coaches and an estimated 8,000 fans in attendance at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday afternoon were thoroughly pleased by the dominating performance of the Red team, which blistered the White squad, 59-7.
Quarterbacks Brian Johnson (7-of-8 for 145 yards and a touchdown) and Tommy Grady (11-of-12 for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns) were nearly perfect while passing to a variety of receivers. For the White squad, Chad Manis connected on 4-of-6 passes for 53 yards, which included a 12-yard touchdown pass when he crossed over to the Reds late in the game.
The biggest cheers were for Johnson and receiver Brent Casteel, who teamed up for a number of big plays early. Casteel scored the game's second touchdown on a flashy 68-yard touchdown run and later in the first half broke free for a 75-yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown pass from Johnson. Casteel finished with 91 yards receiving and 81 yards rushing. He also scored on an 11-yard pass play from Grady.
Casteel wasn't the only receiver with a big day - in fact, he didn't even lead the team. Bradon Godfrey took game honors by catching six balls for 106 yards - most of them over the middle. Brian Hernandez had four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown and Freddie Brown made some nice grabs in a 47-yard day.
With injured starting running back Darryl Poston watching from the sidelines, backups Darrell Mack and Ray Stowers took turns for the Red team. Mack, especially, impressed by leading all rushers with 108 yards and two touchdowns. One of his nine rushes resulted in a 51-yard touchdown sprint. Stowers didn't have as much success, gaining 16 yards on four carries.
The Red defense also turned in a dominating performance. Cornerback Joe Dale stood out with an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery. Recording pass breakups were Brice McCain and Alex Puccinelli. The Reds totaled three sacks.
Utah's kickers were perfect, with Louie Sakoda making a 47-yard field goal on his only attempt and all eight PATs. Ben Vroman and David Carroll were both 1-of-1 on PATs.
The Red-White game signaled the end of spring camp for the Utes, who came out mostly unscathed on the injury front. "The best thing about this camp was we made progress, got some things accomplished and didn't suffer a lot of injuries," said head coach Kyle Whittingham. "Even though the (Reds) were playing against the backups, the players still need to execute. Brian and Brent are developing a rapport with each other and all of the receivers played really well. I saw some good things today."