Final UW Scrimmage report

Cody Pickett hit Paul Arnold for a 41-yard touchdown to ignite the Purple squad to a 27-17 victory over the second team White squad this afternoon in Husky Stadium. Senior tailback Braxton Cleman had two touchdown runs and John Anderson converted all three of his field goal attempts, including one from 52 yards out.

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With the ones wearing Purple and the twos wearing white, Washington held it's final scrimmage of the spring this afternoon at Husky Stadium.

The game began with the White offense opening up against the Purple defense. Quarterback Taylor Barton opened quickly, hitting WR Matt Griffith for a seven-yard gain, however two Chris Singleton runs were stuffed for little gain. The second team offense in front of Barton was Robin Meadow and Ryan Brooks at the tackles, Aaron Butler and Dan Dicks at the guards, and Brad Vanneman at center. Joe Toledo was the tight end and Matt DeBord was the other receiver. In front of Singleton was fullback Adam Seery.

The Purple defense was Josh Miller, Jerome Stevens, Manase Hopoi, and Houdini Jackson on the line, Tim Galloway, Joe Lobendahn, and Jafar Wiliams at the linebackers, and a secondary of James Sims, Evan Benjamin, Sam Cunningham, and Derrick Johnson.

The Purple first team offense sputtered mightily out of the gates. With a line of Reeves and Barnes at tackle, Elliott Zajac and Nick Newton at the guards, Dan Dicks at center, they opened with a two-tight end set with Kevin Ware and Joe Toledo. The receivers were Paul Arnold and Reggie Williams and the backfield was Braxton Cleman and Zach Tuiasosopo with quarterback Cody Pickett. On first down Pickett was nearly intercepted by cornerback Domynic Shaw. He missed Cleman on a screen on second down and was sacked by defensive tackle tackle Josh Miller on third down.

McLaughlin's punt was blocked when the up-man James Sims was pushed back into the path of the ball. The block was recovered by Derrick Johnson for a touchdown and the white team was on top 7-0 at the 10:04 mark.

The Purple offense then got untracked with a 21-yard run by Rich Alexis and then a 9-yard completion from Pickett to Arnold. Fullback Zach Tuiasosopo bounced outside and picked up five yards but fumbled. The Purple team retained possession but it bogged down when two Alexis runs went for little gain and a third down bullet intended for Arnold sailed high. Anderson converted a 28-yard field goal to slice into the White lead at 7-3.

Joseph Lobendahn showed why he's likely going to be the starter at WIL linebacker when he got into Barton's face and knocked the ball backwards. Terry Johnson and Houdini Jackson were able to sack Barton on third and long to kill the drive.

With punter Ryan McLaughlin resting a sore ankle, Garth Erickson's short punt gave the Purple team the ball back at the White 41-yard line.

It took one play to take advantage, as Pickett threw deep to Arnold, who had gotten behind cornerback Eric Shyne. Arnold had to wait for the ball but he was so open that he turned and made the catch before Shyne could reach him to give the Purple a 10-7 lead.

Casey Paus entered the game on the next series for the White team. His first throw as a dart to Matt Griffith for seven yards and a first down. However on third and eight he was sacked by Lobendahn for an 8-yard loss to kill that drive. That play ended the first quarter.

A big defensive play in the second quarter came when Manase Hopoi busted through the second team line and drilled Singleton for a four-yard loss. Hopoi arrived just as Barton was handing the ball off and engulfed the tailback.

When the Purple team returned, Casey Paus took the controls. The third team offensive line was Mike Thompson at center, Brandon Leyritz and Jonathan Kovis, and Francisco Tipoti and Justin Booker at the tackles. Jelani Harrison and Dan McCourtie were in the backfield. They were unable to move the ball.

The next series put the twos back in against the ones. Defensive end Manase Hopoi once again crashed through, beating Robin Meadow to sack Barton. Singleton was met again by Hopoi on the very next play for a four yard loss. On third down Hopoi crashed around Aaron Brooks to sack Barton once again.

Barton entered to run the first team offense with 4:48 remaining in the half. He broke a 15-yard keeper on the option on his first play. He then threw a deep out to Reggie Williams for 24 yards. Barton took full advantage of the first team offensive line, which gave him all day to find TE Kevin Ware for a 22-yard pickup across the middle. From the six yard line, Cleman bulled down to inside the one. On his next carry Cleman followed Zach Tuiasosopo into the end zone for a touchdown to move the Purple team ahead 17-7.

The final possession of the half for the twos ended with the first team defense harassing them mercilessly. Terry Johnson was very active on that drive, sacking Paus and hurrying him on another play.

That left the first team offense with just under a minute from their own 37-yard line. Pickett found Arnold for 22 yards and then again for 24 yards to set up John Anderson's 35-yard field goal to put the Purple on top 20-7 at the half.

The second team offense got rolling with their first possession of the third quarter. Chris Singleton ran for some tough yards and aided by a pass interference penalty on Tim Galloway against Joe Toledo, Barton moved the ball into Purple territory. A four-yard pass to FB Adam Seery set up third and six from the 37-yard line. Barton picked up 10 on a scramble to move the chains. Terry Johnson then came up with his third sack of the game, forcing the White team back to the 33-yard line. A 10-yard Barton to DeBord completion set up third and seven. From the 27, Barton scrambled to buy time and found Chris Singleton across the middle. Singleton took it inside the one before being stopped. One play later he followed his fullback Adam Seery into the endzone to push the White team closer at 20-14.

The score woke up the Purple team, as they responded quickly. A Pickett to Cleman connection went for 30 yards. Pickett found TE Kevin Ware for 25 more yards to move the ball down to the three. Cleman bulled through Derrick Johnson and into the endzone to make it 27-14.

The fourth quarter nearly had fireworks when Paus lofted a gorgeous bomb intended for WR Clayton Ramsey, but Ramsey dropped it. The White team shook it off , however. Jelani Harrison was able to pick up big yards on a run and a screen pass to move the ball deep into Purple territory. John Gardenhire had a 9-yard run to move the ball down to the Purple 14-yard line but a fumbled pitch resulted in a 19-yard loss. Defensive end Mike Savicky sacked Paus to further stall the drive. John Anderson finished the drive by nailing a 52-yard field goal right down the middle to make it 27-17 with 3:44 remaining.

Neuheisel emptied the benches at that point to complete the scrimmage.
Game stats and quotes from coaches and players will follow later this evening.

Game Notes:

Thunder foot: Before the game, John Anderson was out testing the wind and nearly connected from midfield on a field goal. The kick was true but just a hair short. At halftime Anderson was able to nail one through the pipes that would've been good from 65-yards. Even though his opening kickoff fluttered out of bounds on the seven-yard line, his rekick went through the endzone.

Die-hard Dawgs: Despite the entire stadium being open, a band of about 20 Husky fans sat above and around the tunnel.

Charles to return? – word from the inside is that wide receiver Charles Frederick will return to the footfall team in the fall. He still has some work to do but communication between Frederick and Neuheisel has been ongoing.

Oh Boy, Hopoi! – On one series, the defensive end from Sacramento came through to sack Taylor Barton on three consecutive plays. The 6-3 250-pound sophomore to be could be the starter when fall rolls along. That would allow Tim Hundley to move Terry Johnson inside to tackle if he wishes.

Tui on the turf: With 1:28 remaining in the third quarter, Zach Tuiasosopo was speared in the back and stayed on the turf for several minutes. He bounced back up and was disappointed he wasn't allowed to stay in the game and return the favor.

Who's running the clock? - The third quarter lasted an eternity, easily the longest quarter in UW spring football history. It eclipsed the 37-minute marathon quarter from the 1985 spring scrimmage. That team went 6-5 and won the Freedom Bowl over Colorado. Sensing that the fans were reaching their tolerance limit, they let the clock run throughout most of the fourth quarter with few stops.

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