Coug O leaves lasting impression on final day

PULLMAN — That's a wrap for Washington State spring ball. One last chance to polish up mistakes from the Crimson-Gray game. One last chance to show coaches who ought to get playing time come fall. The Cougar offense left a final impression, though not a decisive one, defeating the defense in one of the closest team scrimmages during the five-week spring practice session.

“It was real nice (to get the win),” wide receiver Dom Williams (pictured above) said after practice. “Defense thought they were going to get it, but it was bad for them.”

The Cougar offense prevailed over the defense 24-20. There weren’t as many big plays compared to previous scrimmages this spring. However, Williams did make the biggest play of the scrimmage, hauling in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Luke Falk. Williams ran a vertical route up the middle of the field, then won a one-on-one battle between himself and the defender for a first-team touchdown.

Williams, a fifth-year senior, said this spring was a lot more competitive than other springs he’s been a part of.

“We were actually getting after it (this spring),” he added. “Everybody was competing on both sides of the ball. You couldn’t really tell on any given day who did better than the other side. It was good just to compete.”

During the team scrimmage, there wasn’t much separation between Falk and second-year freshman Peyton Bender. Both quarterbacks looked comfortable running the offense, and did a nice job of checking the field and not trying to do too much.

“I really couldn’t tell (the difference),” Williams said. “They’re both great quarterbacks, and I’m glad they’re battling for the position.”

Bender completed 11 of 14 passes for one touchdown. The second-team offense lined up in the red zone and Bender threw a pass across the middle to D.J. Thompson, who ran a slant route. Overall, Bender tried to keep it simple with his throws during the scrimmage, instead focusing on making the correct reads.

Falk finished completing 8 of 10 passes for two touchdowns during the scrimmage. Falk’s second touchdown pass went to running back Gerard Wicks, who was wide open in the left corner of the end zone.

Wicks also ran for a 35-yard touchdown during the team’s mini-scrimmage during the middle of practice. Wicks lined up next to Falk on the right side of the field, and found a hole on the left side of the field. This scrimmage primarily focused on running the ball, but in order to keep the defense on its toes, passing plays were incorporated.

During 7-on-7s, Bender and Falk looked nearly identical. Bender completed 10 of 15 passes for three touchdowns. Fourth-year junior wide receiver Gabe Marks caught two of Bender’s scoring passes. Falk completed 18 of 21 passes for four touchdowns.

The defense ended up losing the drill to the offense, which resulted in up-downs for the unit. Once the drill concluded, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch pulled his unit aside for a couple minutes to discuss what had occurred.

“Basically we can’t get complacent,” senior WILL linebacker Jeremiah Allison said. “That was just a reminder that we can’t get complacent and we know where we want to be, so we can’t get complacent.”

Allison said he plans to work hard this summer of grasping full knowledge of Grinch’s defense, which as a leader, he hopes to be able to pass on to incoming freshmen later this summer.

“I still got a lot of stuff to work on. I’m going to be in his (Grinch’s) office as much as possible, but I got to grasp the concept of it," Allison said.

Asked who on defense impressed him the most this spring, Allison gave two names.

Patrick Porter, he came out and had a good spring, and Peyton Pelluer as well,” Allison said. “He pushed me as well, so I got to tighten up my game.”

Allison added there’s always constant competition on the field between him and Pelluer.

“One thing that he do is he pushes me,” Allison said. “So it’s just trying to find that next boost to my game, try to outshine him a little bit.”

  • Players who were limited in practice today included Brett Bartolone, Nick Begg, River Cracraft, Destiny Vaeao, Jeremiah Mitchell.

    Senior BUCK linebacker Kache Palacio, and sophomore linebacker Dylan Hanser each recorded a sack during the team scrimmage.

  • Fifth-year senior kicker Quentin Breshears, and third-year sophomore kicker/punter Erik Powell each took reps at kicking field goals today. Senior safety Taylor Taliulu blocked a field goal today. Marks was the only player returning punts today.

    Running with the ones:

    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Gerard Wicks and Keith Harrington
    X: Dom Williams
    Y: Tyler Baker
    H: Robert Lewis
    Z: Gabe Marks
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Cole Madison

    E: Darryl Paulo
    NT: Daniel Ekuale
    T: Hercules Mata’afa
    BUCK: Kache Palacio
    WILL: Jeremiah Allison
    MIKE: Peyton Pelluer
    CB: Marcellus Pippins
    CB: Charleston White
    DB: Darius Lemora
    S: Taylor Taliulu
    S: Isaac Dotson

    Running with the twos:

    QB: Peyton Bender
    RB: Jamal Morrow and Keith Harrington
    X: Daniel Lilienthal
    Y: John Thompson
    H: D.J. Thompson
    Z: Calvin Green
    LT: Brandon Evers
    LG: Cody O’Connell
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: Moritz Christ
    RT: Jacob Seydel

    E: Kingston Fernandez
    NT: Ngalu Tapa
    T: Reggie Coates
    BUCK: Ivan McLennan
    WILL: Paris Taylor
    MIKE: Chandler Leniu
    CB: Pat Porter
    CB: Brendan Hay
    DB: Colton Teglovic
    S: Sulaiman Hameed
    S: Willie Roach

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