SCRIMMAGE: D turns it up, takes offense down

PULLMAN – The Cougars' second scrimmage of fall camp showed that the defense means business as all three units took it to the offensive players. But that didn't mean that the offense didn't go down fighting. “At times some guys tried to do a little too much, but overall pretty good effort today,” coach Mike Leach said.

The first series saw Peyton Bender and the second-team offense take on the first-team defense. The closest it came to scoring was when Tavares Martin Jr. caught a short pass from Bender and lunged for the end zone, but the ball popped out.

Luke Falk had a little more luck with the first-team offense against the second-team defense, which featured a few pass breakups and tackles for short gains. Gerard Wicks broke off a 19-yard gain, but it was called back for holding. Falk was able to hit Dom Williams for a 5-yard score in the back of the end zone on the last play of his first series.

Tyler Hilinski came in with the third-team offense against the third-team defense. James Williams ripped off several runs of 6 or more yards, and had a 2-yard touchdown run. There were several penalties against the offense, including two false starts and some offsetting penalties, right before Williams’ touchdown. The defense also forced its first fumble when Colton Teglovic stripped Nick Begg, allowing Nnamdi Oguayo the chance to recover the ball.

“Practice was good, but there is room to improve,” Williams said. ”I think I did okay, but I’m still getting used to the speed of the game.”

Falk returned to lead the second-team offense against the first-team defense, but a tenacious defense prevented the offense from finding a rhythm. Darryl Paulo had a sack and a tackle for loss. Ivan McLennan was unblocked and easily sacked Falk near the end of the drive. Kache Palacio sacked Falk on the second-to-last play of the series. Hercules Mata’afa caused a bad throw from Falk and on a different play Shalom Luani hit D.J. Thompson so hard you could probably hear it from Beasley Coliseum.

“I had a tough time getting things going during the second series,” Falk said. “I thought I could have played better, but I did all right.”

Bender returned with the first-team offense facing the second-team defense. Gabe Marks had a few nice plays including a 17-yard catch, and Paris Taylor (pictured above with Darius Lemora [28]) had a nice series with a tackle for loss and a swat on third down to keep the offense from converting.

Hilinski returned against the third-team defense. It was another strong series from the defense as Kingston Fernandez had two sacks and Oguayo also picked up one. Calvin Green and Kameron Powell nearly each had an interception. Hilinski hooked up with Xavius Boone twice for good yardage.

“I thought the running game was a little hit and miss,” Leach said. “We could have played better early, but we did play better late.”

Bender returned with the second-team offense against the first-team defense. On the first play, River Cracraft caught the ball for a short gain, but fumbled it out of bounds. Later, Martin had a nice catch, but appeared to fumble the ball, however the ref said he was down by contact. Peyton Pelluer covered Cracraft on the next play, and Bender recognized the mismatch and hit the inside receiver for an easy 18-yard touchdown. However, after the TD pass, Bender struggled. He missed Kyle Sweet and was sacked two times, by Mata’afa and Paulo.

Falk finished the scrimmage strong, checking into three straight run plays including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Morrow. Marks fumbled, but it went out of bounds, so the offense kept possession.

Lemora had a nice hit on John Thompson, who held on for a short gain. Falk was also able to connect with Marks on fourth-and-goal, who toe-tapped in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, between several defenders.

“I thought we finished well, a few nice runs here and there,” Falk said. “I was pretty happy with it, but we had a lot more to offer.”

Falk finished 22 of 29 for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Bender finished 18 of 23 for 129 yards and a touchdown. Hilinski went 8 for 13 for 80 yards and no touchdowns. Cracraft led the receivers with 85 yards and a score. Martin finished second with 39 yards and the fumble, and Marks had 32 yards and a score. Dom Williams was the only other receiver to score. Morrow finished with 38 yards and a touchdown. James Williams had 29 yards rushing and his one score.

  • Erik Powell and Brett Schafer each had kicks during the scrimmage. Powell made his only attempt, a 32-yarder, while Schafer finished made it from 26 yards and missed from 50.

  • Charleston White and Dylan Hanser were in pads but did not play in the scrimmage. C.J. Dimry, Daniel Ekuale, Keith Harrington and Pat Porter were not in pads and did not participate. Tyler Baker was not seen at practice.


    QB: Luke Falk/Peyton Bender
    RB: Gerard Wicks (Jamal Morrow)
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Cole Madison
    X: Dom Williams (Kyrin Priester)
    Y: John Thompson
    Z: Gabe Marks
    H: Robert Lewis

    DE: Darryl Paulo
    NT: Robert Barber
    DT: Destiny Vaeao
    Rush LB –Ivan McLennan/Kache Palacio
    WIL LB – Jeremiah Allison
    MIKE LB – Peyton Pelluer
    NICKEL CB: Isaac Dotson
    CB: Darrien Molton
    CB: Marcellus Pippins
    FS: Taylor Taliulu
    SS: Shalom Luani


    QB: Bender/Falk
    RB: Morrow
    LT: Andre Dillard
    LG: Cody O’Connell
    C: Eduardo Middleton/B.J. Salmonson
    RG: Salmonson/Jacob Seydel
    RT: Seydel (Madison)
    X: Priester
    Y: River Cracraft
    Z: Tavares Martin Jr.
    H: Kyle Sweet

    DE: Jeremiah Mitchell
    NT: Ngalu Tapa
    DT: Hercules Mata’afa/Reggie Coates
    LB: Chandler Leniu/Nnamdi Ogyuao/Frankie Luvu/Reggie Coates
    NICKEL CB: Darrius Lemora
    CB: Kirkland Parker
    CB: David Bucannon
    FS: Willie Roach
    SS: Hunter Dale


  • Cougfan Top Stories