Alums, Marathon Tribute Part Of Football Spring Game
April 20, 2013
A day for alumni along with a tribute the Boston Marathon made the 2013 UMass Football Spring Game a special one for all in attendance on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium.
The day began with a breakfast for former team captains with the current senior class and was followed by an autograph session, a youth clinic and then the Spring Game. During the halftime, fans gave a standing ovation to runners from the Boston Marathon as they ran a lap around the stadium to cross a ceremonial finish at the 50-yard line.
The Spring Game began with a first half featuring Alumni Players mixed in with current Minutemen before moving to a traditional intra-squad scrimmage after halftime.
Quarterback Mike Wegzyn finished the day going 8-of-14 for 97 yards, while A.J. Doyle was 3-of-6 for 23 yards. Matt Quinn made his only pass of the day at touchdown as he hit tight end Brandon Howardfor a three-yard score.
On the ground, Jordan Broadnaxpicked up 20 yards on six carries and a touchdown. Broadnax also had two kick-off returns including a 98-yard touchdown to highlight the game.
The game also featured several tributes to the Boston Marathon and those who were effected by the tragic bombing last Monday. Four members of the squad wore name plates honoring those who died in the attacks, while captain Rob Blanchflowerwore #BostonStrong instead of his name on the back of his jersey.
In a nod to the Boston Bruins, the national anthem was the recording of the fans singing from the TD Garden along with photos displayed on the video board.
However, the most emotional part of the game was to see six competitors who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon take a lap around McGuirk Stadium before coming towards a finish line at midfield. As the players came around the North endzone, they ran through a tunnel made of fans, children and UMass football players to cross the line as a group. From start to finish, the runners received standing ovations from the crowd on hand.