Darling day for Kegel

<p>PULLMAN -- The Washington State starting offense has had its troubles this spring but with the No. 1 defense on the same side today it could do little wrong as the Crimson -- made up of projected starters and key reserves -- defeated the Gray, 36-3, in the annual spring scrimmage finale.</p>

Head coach Bill Doba, presiding over his first spring fling as head coach, gushed afterward that the entire month unfolded in "awesome" fashion and that he was particularly impressed by the intensity of his troops.

The Crimson team got on the board early and took a 16-3 lead into halftime. Their slow third quarter was offset by a 20-point effort in the fourth that gave Crimson another lopsided victory.

The Crimson squad added some extra toppings to the score with their execution of the two-minute drill. Crimson quarterback Matt Kegel threw five consecutive short-route passes, before unloading a 40-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Moore to put Crimson ahead 29-3.

Wide receiver Devard Darling caught four of those five short-route passes, finishing with seven grabs for 107 yards and a touchdown. Moore wasn't too far behind, snagging two passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

Marty Martin caught two for 30 yards and tight end Troy Bienemann caught three for 26 yards.

"We (the offense) had a slow start this spring but really kicked it into gear these last few practices," Kegel, who tallied 273 yards on 15-25 passing, said.

Gray quarterback Josh Swogger had his share of troubles against the No. 1defense. The freshman started for Gray in place of sophomore Chris Hurd who was out with a knee injury. Swogger completed 7 of 22 passes for 37 yards and no touchdowns. During one point in the game, Swogger played quarterback for both Crimson and Gray, going just 1-5 and gaining only half a yard during that stretch.

"I've been in Josh's shoes for four years, it's tough to play against that No. 1 defense," Kegel said. "He has a bright future though."

Despite his struggles, Swogger said he is feeling more confident with the amount of reps he has gotten in the last week.

"It was rough going against the No. 1 defense," Swogger said. "We ran some real basic stuff."

The first play of the game was representative of the entire game for the Gray team. Swogger tried to hit Robert Franklin on a short pass, but Franklin was hit hard by cornerback Jason David and fumbled the ball. Al Genatone then picked it up, running it back for a touchdown.

On the next drive Gray was greeted by more resistance from Crimson. Swogger was sacked and linebacker Will Derting denied running back Allen Thompson from a needed first down. A bad punt gave Crimson the ball on the 44-yard line and it didn't take long for Kegel to find Moore for the second Crimson touchdown of the day, a 44-yard pass.

Crimson then received two points by default when a bad snap went sailing into the end zone.

Overall, both offenses had a sloppy first half.

Up 14-0, Kegel drove the Crimsons offense to the 12 yard line but MKristo Bruce pushed him back to the 19 with a sack. Kegel then threw an incomplete pass and Drew Dunning missed a field goal from 25 yards out.

The Crimson offense was slow to warm up, but as soon as it did it was lethal. Kegel connected on passes of 13 and 16 yards to Jonathan Smith and Bienemann before Jermaine Green busted through the end zone for the third Crimson touchdown.

Crimson then went into their two-minute drill, which provided the most entertainment on the day. Kegel hit Darling and Martin to drive his squad 52 yards to the Gray 40-yard line, before hooking up with Moore for a touchdown.

The Cougars continued to have problems with a reliable snapper. Dunning's extra point attempt was botched when the snap rolled on the ground and right past him. Dunning recovered the ball at about the 30-yard line but threw a wobbly ball that sailed over any intended receiver's head.

Kegel and Darling capped the scoring for the day with less than a minute left when they connected on a 35-yard strike.

"The defense always has a tough time with that drill, because we always know what we're doing as soon as we get to the line," Kegel said. "They're usually running around trying to figure it out. I'm going to find any glitch in there that I can."

On defense, Scott Davis, Derting and Bruce were nothing short of impressive. Derting had a game high five tackles, including one behind the line. Freshman Bruce a 6-6, 235-pound defensive end, recorded three tackles, including a sack, and had one pass deflection. Davis, a freshman linebacker from Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, tallied four tackles, including a tackle for loss, and recovered a fumble.

Kicker Alex Oyer accounted for all of Gray's points, kicking a field goal from 27-yards out in the second quarter.

One notable note on offense was the starting center for the Crimson. Walk-on senior Mike Shelford of Shoreline beat out true sophomore Nick Mihlhauser for the starting job. JC transfer Keola Loo, however, figures to make a run for the job when he arrives in August.

PASSING (Completions-Attempts/Yards/Touchdowns)

Crimson Matt Kegel (16-25/273/3); Josh Swogger (1-3/1/0)

Gray Josh Swogger (6-19/36/0)

RUSHING (Carries/Yards/Touchdowns)

Crimson Jermaine Green (7/20/0); Jonathan Smith (5/13/0); Matt Kegel (2/-3/0)

Gray Allen Thompson (8/14/0); Blair Hawkins (2/9/0); Kealan Smith (1/0/0)

RECEIVING (Receptions/Yards/Touchdowns)

Crimson Devard Darling (7/107/1); Sammy Moore (2/83/2); Marty Martin (2/30/0); Troy Bienemann (3/26/0); Jonathan Smith (2/17/0); Trandon Harvey (1/10/0); Jermaine Green (1/1/0)

Gray Jesse Taylor (2/41/0); Allen Thompson (2/0/0); Robert Franklin (1/-2/0); Jevon Miller (1/-3/0)


7-0 CRIMSON - 18-yard fumble return by Genatone (Dunning kick)

14-0 CRIMSON - 43-yard pass to Moore from Kegel (Dunning kick)

16-0 CRIMSON - Ball snapped over punter's head for safety

16-3 GRAY - Oyer 27-yard field goal

22-3 CRIMSON - 2-yard run by Green

29-3 CRIMSON - 40-yard pass to Moore from Kegel (Dunning kick)

36-3 CRIMSON - 35-yard pass to Darling from Kegel (Dunning kick)

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