Alumni Game brings back players, fans and a dramatic finish


PROVO, Utah – A walk-off interception from Spencer White gave Team Navy a 26-20 win over Team Royal in BYU football’s second-annual Alumni Game Friday evening. The game capped off Alumni Day festivities that brought approximately 300 alumni, their families and more than 5,000 fans back to Provo and LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Earlier in the day, BYU legends and former players gathered for breakfast, joined head coach Kalani Sitake for a team meeting and met with teammates of different eras at a luncheon at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe and Sitake addressed the alumni and their families, spreading a message of unity and brotherhood.

Before the Alumni game, players met at the 50-yard line to join Patti Edwards, wife of Hall of Fame head coach LaVell Edwards for a photo. Patti Edwards led the coin toss to kickoff the game. 

More late-game drama followed up last year's inaugural contest. The fourth quarter ended in a sudden-death format that saw Team Navy go ahead after a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Beck to BYU's all-time leading receiver Cody Hoffman that broke a 20-20 tie. White, a defensive back from 1999, 2002-05, then ended Team Royal’s chance at extending the game with an interception of Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer that bounced off a receiver’s hands.

The interception was White’s second of the game. His first came on the game’s opening drive and eventually led to Beck connecting with fullback Manase Tonga for the first score of the evening. Team Royal would lead 14-13 at the half thanks to touchdown passes from Detmer and the Cougars' winningest quarterback in Max Hall. Detmer added another touchdown in the second half, but Team Navy answered with scores from the 2001 team quarterback Brandon Doman to running back Algie Brown and the connection between Beck and Hoffman.

Player Highlights – Team Navy

  • John Beck – 24-of-34 passing for 235 yards, 3 TDs
  • Cody Hoffman – 8 catches for 100 yards, 1 TD
  • Mitch Matthews – 3 catches for 42 yards
  • Spencer White – 2 INTs

Player Highlights – Team Royal

  • Ty Detmer – 14-of-22 passing for 187 yards, 1 TD
  • Max Hall – 5-of-7 passing for 70 yards, 1 TD
  • Colby Pearson – 4 catches for 93 yards
  • Kaipo McGuire – 3 catches for 32 yards, 1 TD
  • Bronson Kaufusi – 1 TD

Watch on BYUtv

The Alumni Game followed Friday afternoon’s spring football scrimmage, a part of BYU’s ongoing preparations for the 2023 season and inaugural Big 12 campaign.

Following the game, several alumni spoke to the media about the game and Alumni Day. Read comments from Spencer White, John Beck and Bronson Kaufusi below.

Defensive back Spencer White (1999, 2002-05)

On playing against Ty Detmer

"That was fun. I grew up watching Ty. I was here in LaVell Edwards Stadium for the win over No. 1 Miami in 1990. It was awesome to talk with him before the game and then play against him."

On the competitive nature of the Alumni Game

"Guys are going into thinking they're going to take it easy but once the competitive juices start flowing, that's when we start getting hurt. That's when we start pulling hamstrings."

Quarterback John Beck (2003-06)

On the Alumni Game experience

"It takes you back. It doesn't feel like it's been 20 years since we threw the ball together. It was really cool to convert some 3rd downs with old teammates. We got to do this way back then, and we are today again."

On the competitive nature of the Alumni Game

"I'm not going to lie, it's competitive. I wanted to play well and I wanted the guys around me to play well. At the same time, you're playing against fellow Cougars. So, there's a lot of laughs and smiles."

On playing against Ty Detmer

"I grew up watching him. I told him during breakfast this morning that when I played flag football as a kid, I wore number 14 like him. The first year I played tackle football, the coaches assigned met number 12 and I was furious. I wanted to be like Ty Detmer. It was cool to share the field with him, to be in this stadium with a guy I totally idolized as a kid. He played the game with a huge heart, he was a fiery competitor. I fell in love with the quarterback position because of that guy."

His message to other alums who have yet to play in the Alumni Game

"I remember sitting in my garage last year, watching it on TV and thinking, 'that looks like a lot of fun.' I'm so glad I got to do it this year. If you haven't done it yet, you need to come back and experience it. To stand on the field with your teammates and play football again, it was just awesome, it was just great."

Defensive lineman Bronson Kafusi (2012-15)

On playing in LaVell Edwards Stadium again

“It’s just awesome. So many feelings and emotions come back to you after putting so much time, sweat, blood into the game and it’s just great to be back with the guys again.”

On pursuing professional football

“Yeah, I’m done. I had such a great time and football has been a huge blessing for my family and I. I’m grateful for every moment that I had, but everyone has to hang it up at some point and for me it’s all gratitude.”

On BYU’s readiness for the Big 12

“Oh yeah. They’ve been ready. It’s funny because I got word when I was on my mission that we were going independent. I always thought that it would be awesome when we get back in a conference because now those conference rivalries and the guys you go against every year will be back which will be really fun. I’m excited for the team and what’s coming with the Big 12.

“Being in a conference changes things. Every game is a big game and the opportunity to compete for a conference championship is huge.”