By ANDY WOLF
Dezujwann Robinson isn’t really that big of a steak fan.
Given the choice over hot dogs, though, it’s definitely steaks.
The University of Findlay freshman defensive back recorded the defense’s only takeaway that loomed large in defeating the offense 24-20 during Saturday’s annual spring football game at Donnell Stadium.
As is UF spring game tradition, the winning squad feasts on steaks while the losers settle for hot dogs.
“We did pretty good,” Robinson said of the defense’s win. “We had a couple bad times but, overall, we did pretty good. We came together at the end for the dub.”
In the second year of the format, the defense was spotted a 21-0 lead with the offense getting 12 drives to outscore them. The possessions alternated between the first and second units.
The defense could only score via takeaways and did from Robinson’s interception of Brevin Renollet off a deflection on the eighth offensive series.
“I was just where I was supposed to be,” Robinson said.
The defense also prevailed 33-31 last year to earn the finer delicacy for back-to-back years.
As was the case last year, Saturday’s scrimmage came down to the final play of the final drive.
Adam Bertke’s intended pass to Jacob Hill over the middle sailed high on a fourth-and-16 try from the offense’s 39-yard-line.
Because of the dramatic way the game ended, UF head coach Rob Keys came away pleased. He said he was happy about the constant pressure and physicality applied by his defense and being able to get multiple players involved on offense.
“We sat down in the staff room a couple years ago and talked about it. We kept saying if we can get it to where the 12th series is going to have meaning in the game, then it’s perfect,” Keys said.
Michael Campbell’s 30-yard touchdown run up the gut on the sixth play of the game gave the offense some early momentum, pulling it within 21-7 after one series.
Campbell, who had a breakout junior season with 870 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, only carried three times for 30 net yards.
“It took the O-line, our whole line just to execute, to play at one time and make it happen,” Campbell said.
Campbell felt the game was a representation of the natural offense/defense rivalry that’s been so thematic of the Oilers’ spring practices.
The postgame meal is an added bonus.
“They’re going to brag about it all the time,” Campbell said of the defense winning again. “It’s competitive nature. We wanted the steaks bad.”
Campbell was one of six running backs to get at least three carries. Lance Mitchell had 48 yards on seven carries while Demondre Blanks had 31 yards on six attempts.
Nine players caught a pass, led by Derek Lynch’s 40 yards on five catches and Jacob Hill’s 40-yard catch.
Bertke, the first unit’s quarterback, completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown to a wide-open Nathan Densel on the ninth series of the game.
The score pulled the offense within 24-17.
Chris Demler and Tristan Meyer each kicked 43- and 31-yard field goals on the sixth and 10th drives.
Parker Gdula connected on 9 of 11 passing attempts for 91 yards.
Starting quarterback Rhys Gervais didn’t play in the spring game for the second straight season.
“Rhys will be back in the fall,” Keys said.
Senior running back Chauncey Bridges also saw one carry for 0 yards. A 1,000-yard back in 2016, Bridges only played the first two games in 2017 before missing the rest of the season and UF’s playoff run due to injury.
“It’s still up in the air, but he’s really close to having everything completed for him to be back in 2018,” Keys said.