Apr 292010
Authors: Stephen Meyers

It wasn’t by the power of his foot, but kicker Ben DeLine preserved a win Thursday night at the Rams Superstars competition.

With the offense leading 11-7, DeLine and punter Pete Kontodiakos faced off in a winner-take-all bout of tug-of-war.

Games always come down to special teams and DeLine prevailed with his final tug of the rope, giving the offense the 16-7 win.

“I’d much rather kick a field goal because that’s what I do,” DeLine said. “But this was a fun event and an exciting way to finish it.”

The offense dominated the night, beginning with the bench press.

Defensive tackle Guy Miller and guard Jake Gdowski renewed their rivalry in the 225-pound bench press.

Gdowski defended his title from last year’s competition, ripping off 32 reps.
“I felt good out there. It’s always good to defend your title,” said the 6-foot-3 inch, 299-pound Gdowski.

The event of the night, though, belonged to high-flyers Mike Orakpo and Vernon Scott.

The “Tower of Terror” is a stack of boxes in which the players with a running start jumped onto.

Higher and higher the boxes went as the two flew high back and forth for five jumps. Both easily cleared 44, 48, 52 and 60 inches.

They raised the boxes to 64 inches –– more than five feet high.

Scott narrowly missed his attempt, falling off the box when he landed.

Orakpo, though, nailed his, landing and the crowd of about 200 people erupted in applause and cheer as he conquered the “Tower of Terror.”

“Vernon gave me good competition; we were going at it,” Orakpo said. “I was definitely feeding off the crowd, and it was cool how much energy there was. I could have gone two more inches if I had to.”

Following the contest, fans had the chance to come to the floor to meet the players and collect autographs.

Head coach Steve Fairchild said this was a good way to end the spring season.
“It’s always a lot of fun and we got some fierce competition between the offense and the defense,” Fairchild said.

The offense earned the bragging rights this year and will enjoy steak dinners served by the defense, which will have to settle for “franks and beans.”

“This was a really good event to interact with the community. It gave us the opportunity to show ourselves and show people that we’re real students and you can approach us,” DeLine said. “No one on this team views themselves as just a football player.”

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

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