Apr 252010
Authors: Stephen Meyers

After two years of campaigning for a real game to cap off the spring season, the Colorado State football team got what it wanted Saturday –– a whole lot of fun.

The Green and Gold Game had it all: A fake field goal, reverse toss touchdowns, a two-point conversion to win the game and even dancing on the football field.

Named “The Prowler,” the Green team’s offense broke the huddle and busted some moves. Linemen and wide receivers performed somersaults while quarterback Nico Ranieri and wide receiver Matt Yemm did the wheelbarrow.

And like a choreographed dance team, the unit lined up in place and snapped the ball.

“It’s just supposed to throw the defense off a little bit and just have some fun,” Yemm said.

That wasn’t the only trick up their sleeve.

Trailing 7-6, the Green team lined up for a field goal. Yemm, the holder and former quarterback at Fort Collins High School, took the snap and found a wide open Pete Kontodiakos, the Rams’ punter, in the corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.

“Actually, I didn’t know why Pete (Kontodiakos) was on the field. I was yelling at him to get off the field,” Yemm said. “I just realized that the coaches had something up their sleeves and no one was covering him, so I just threw it to him.”

The team decided before the game that there would be no fake field goals, so head coach Steve Fairchild, acting as commissioner, awarded the Gold team one extra series to go for the win.

Receiver Tyson Liggett scored for the Gold team on a reverse from 16 yards out to bring the score to 17-16.

This game wasn’t going to end in a tie.

The Gold team then lined up for a two-point conversion. Leonard Mason took the handoff and gave the ball to Liggett on essentially the same play as ran before to go in for the score and the 18-17 win.

Liggett scored two touchdowns on the day.

“To come out here and have a little fun and a have some competition was a great time,” Liggett said.

With a starting quarterback position to fill, Fairchild saw two good performances out of his young gunslingers, Ranieri and Pete Thomas.

Ranieri went 7-10 for 73 yards and Thomas completed two passes for 46 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown to Liggett.

Fairchild said, most likely, it will be one of those two players to take the field at INVESCO Field in the season opener against CU-Boulder.

“I think we’re going to be very good at the quarterback position here pretty quick,” Fairchild said.

The 49-play intrasquad game, CSU’s first in Fairchild’s three springs as head coach, concluded the Rams’ 15 offseason practices allowed by the NCAA.

“I was really pleased with this spring. I think players on both sides of the ball worked so hard and made progress. I think all the coaches would tell you it was very positive,” said defensive coordinator Larry Kerr.

Football Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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