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April 8, 2009

G-DAY Game: 25 Years Ago

As Georgia's G-Day game quickly approaches, I'm reminded of my first memory of the team's annual spring game--the unusual one that occurred a quarter-century ago. Leroy Dukes (photo--Georgia Sports Communications), who passed away less than a year ago, stole the show in an unconventional match-up which I doubt we'll ever see again for a G-Day. The following is a "Bulldog Bite" from my book "About Them Dawgs!" describing the game in 1984. Alumnus Bobby Poss' answer to what the game's point spread should have been is as classic as the game itself!
Spring Fling of '84: Unlike the more common and current annual Georgia spring game, the G-Day game of 1984 was the first which countered Georgia’s varsity against an alumni squad. The alumni team included George Patton (1964-1966), Kent Lawrence (1966-1968), Buzy Rosenberg (1970-1972), head coach Bill Hartman (1935-1937), and 69-year old Andy Roddenberry (1935-1937)—the oldest player present. The game was played on April 21 in front of 20,785 in attendance. It was the same day of the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall’s ground-breaking ceremonies while the point spread, according to alumnus Bobby Poss (1969-1971), was “two—two kegs.”
The game was shockingly tied at 10-10 at halftime before the Varsity shut out the Alumni in the second half and eventually won, 38-10. The Alumni’s touchdown was set up by a 63-yard pass from Tommy Lewis (1983) to Lawrence. Ronnie Stewart (1977-1978, 1980-1981) scored on a 1-yard plunge. The highlight of the game was when ex-linebacker Leroy Dukes (1962-1964) entered the game the instant his son, freshman David, came in to quarterback the Varsity. Before David could receive his first snap, Leroy jumped offside, untouched by the Varsity offensive line, and grabbed his son. David was pushed back by the elder Dukes but the youngster could not be brought down by his “old man.”

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