Lincoln - After falling behind 14-3, the Nebraska Whites scored 13 unanswered points, but Kody Spano's one-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Hill with 7:28 left gave the Reds a 21-16 victory in front of 77,936 fans at 2010 Spring Game Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Taylor Martinez connected on 5-of-9 passes for 79 yards in the first half and rushed nine times for 60 yards to help the Reds jump to a 14-3 lead eary in the second quarter. Martinez was effective from the start, engineering a 10-play, 52-yard scoring drive on the opening possession. The Corona, Calif., found fullback Tyler Legate for a six-yard touchdown pass that gave the Reds an early 7-0 lead.
Two of Martinez's completions went for touchdowns, including a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Brandon Kinnie that put the Reds up 11 points with 9:52 left in the first half. Kinnie drew contact from the Whites near the 10-yard line, but drove the pile into the end zone to cap an eight-play, 72-yard drive in just under five minutes.
I-back Rex Burkhead also helped the Reds on their successful early drives, carrying six times for 36 yards.
Cody Green sparked a comeback for the Whites on the next drive by hitting Will Henry on a 79-yard scoring strike down the middle of the field to pull within 14-10 with 6:13 left in the half. Green finished the day 8-of-15 through the air for 155 yards. He also rushed five times for 12 yards.
Niles Paul led all receivers with five catches for 103 yards on the day for the Whites, including a spectacular 31-yard reception on a pass from Mike McNeill after a bounced lateral from Green late in the second quarter. However, that play did not lead to points for the Whites, as the drive stalled and Adi Kunalic missed a 52-yard field goal wide right.
The Reds carried the 14-10 lead into the locker room at halftime, before the Whites capitalized on a Red team fumble that set them up at the Reds 11-yard line. Four plays later, Kunalic knocked in a 21-yard field goal to trim the Reds' edge to 14-13 with 9:29 left.
After Whites got a quick stop on the next drive, LaTravis Washington engineered an 11-play, 47-yard drive that was capped by Kunalic's 32-yard field goal to give the Whites their first lead of the day at 16-14 with 0:53 left in the third quarter. Washington finished an efficient day by completing 6-of-8 passes for 65 yards, while leading all rushers for the Whites with six carries for 38 yards.
Spano then led the Reds to victory by guiding the team on a 13-play, 69-yard march that consumed 8:18 with a continuous clock in the fourth quarter. Spano went 6-for-6 on the drive, including four connections for 47 yards to Kyler Reed, a 14-yard pass to Austin Jones and a one-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Hill to seal the win.
Spano finished the day 7-of-8 threw the air for 66 yards and the winning touchdown. Spano's favorite target - Reed - closed with four receptions for 47 yards, all coming on the game's decisive drive.