Spring Ball: Day Fourteen

PULLMAN -- The Cougars closed out their final practice before Saturday's Crimson & Gray Game with one last scrimmage. The 60-play affair featured the No. 1 offense and defense squaring off against one another, and the D came out on top.

The offense couldn't manage a score in three drives, although Heisman candidate quarterback Jason Gesser did complete a nice crossing pattern to Mike Bush for a 30-yard gain in the first possession.

The No. 2 offense, with Matt Kegel at the helm, didn't score either. In fact, the only group to score a touchdown was the No. 3 offense, with Chris Hurd throwing a 2-yard strike to Brian Winter.

It appears doubtful that receiver Devard Darling will play in Saturday's game, although it is still a possibility. He sat out practice again Wednesday after injuring his ankle in last Saturday's scrimmage. Another player bitten by the injury bug is running back Jermaine Green, who hurt his ankle Wednesday. He will probably play on Saturday.

Head coach Mike Price has compared Green's prowess carrying the pigskin to legendary Cougar Steve Broussard. Price also is quoted in the current edition of ESPN Magazine as saying if Darling, formerly of Florida State, is indicative of the caliber of athlete at FSU then it's little wonder Bobby Bowden's such a good coach.

The Crimson & Gray game kicks off this Saturday at 2 pm in Martin Stadium. The game will be replayed on Fox Sports Northwest Sunday, April 28, at 11 a.m.


Tight end Troy Bienemann looks to be the leader to fill the much-publicized vacancy at long snapper.

After a rocky start, defensive lineman Tomasi "King" Kongaika has shown improvement at the position, but knee problems have hampered his mobility. Trying Kongaika out at long snapper wasn't an idea that popped out of thin air, however. As a high school student in Anchorage he was named to the All-State team as both an offensive and defensive lineman, and as a long snapper.

Of course, the long snapping issue won't really be settled until summer, when freshman Billy Petrick arrives in Pullman. Petrick is said to have NFL-type speed in getting the ball to the punter.


Price and his staff will put on a coaching clinic at WSU on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the Cougar staff, the clinic will  feature head coaches Vic Randall of Ferndale High, Jeff Chandler of Eastlake High, Mike Morgan of Colfax High, and John Tulley of Whitworth College.

The cost is $30 and is open to all coaches. Registration is from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Friday, with the clinic running until 1 p.m. Saturday. Coaches can earn 10 clock hours through the WIAA at $1 per hour. For more information, call 1-800-335-0250.

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