April 22, 2006

Rowan stars in spring game

MADISON, Wis. - Redshirt freshman running back P.J. Hill worked hard all spring for this moment. Finally, it was the 5-foot-11, 235-pound bruising runner's opportunity to show fans of the Wisconsin Badgers what he's made of as he represented the running back quintet as the starter in Saturday's 1 p.m. Cardinal (ones) and White (rest of the team) scrimmage at Camp Randall Stadium.

But Hill took just two handoffs and gained seven yards in front of the 10,139 fans in attendance before being knocked out of the Cardinal victory, 19-14. The play was a 3-yard gain by Hill on the Cardinal's second series that ended in tackle by sophomore defensive tackle Mike Newkirk.

"P.J. (Hill) had some repeated stinger problems just in the last week… and today he just re-did it," said UW head coach Bret Bielema after the spring game. "We were cautious coming in just because we knew if he got a straight shot on it again he'd have a little bit of an issue, but it shouldn't be anything that takes very long to recover."

With Hill sidelined, Bielema went to his reserves and called on Dywon Rowan. The 5-foot-9, 243-pound senior shined in Hill's absence, finishing with 50 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

"It's unfortunate that (Hill) went down, but I just saw my chance to get in there and open the coaches' eyes, you know, just try to work my way into the No. 1 spot," Rowan said.

Behind Hill and Rowan, junior Jamil Walker started on the White team while redshirt freshmen Jerry Butler and Dion Foster were the backups. But Walker's time with the White squad was limited because of Hill's injury and he moved over to the Cardinal team where he out-rushed Rowan with 54 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

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