Dawg Blog - Spring Game

Here's the Dawg Blog for the Washington Spring Game, Saturday April 22, 2006. It's the Purple squad versus the Gold team. Can they outdo 2005's 3-0 defensive battle royale? We'll see.

25 minutes before kickoff: The linemen come out of the tunnel, and the full team starts to go through their warmup routine. Watching the kickers early, problems between the snapper (Danny Morovick) and the holder (Carl Bonnell).

10 minutes before kickoff: A quick glance on the sideline shows Chris Izbicki, Emeka Iweka Vonzell McDowell and Quinton Richardson among roughly 60 recruits on the sidelines. Rainier Beach sophomore OL Alameda Ta'amu is also there, one of roughly eight or so Vikings at spring game. He's only 15, but already looks like a beast. Signees like Marcel Reece, Jake Locker, Cody Habben, Ryan Tolar, Cameron Elisara and Jake Merrill have also been spotted.

3 minutes before kickoff: Former UW kicker Ryan Fleming is one of the referees for the spring game, as he's trying to work his way toward being a Pac-10 ref. Captains for both teams come out. Stanley Daniels, Dashon Goldson, Greyson Gunheim and Isaiah Stanback are the purple captains, Scott White, Carl Bonnell, Brandon Ala and Sonny Shackelford are the captains for the gold team. Hard to call them the 'gold team', as they are basically wearing the away white jerseys and gold pants.

Kickoff: Roy Lewis with a 23-yard return, tackle by Desmond Davis and Caesar Rayford. There will be a running clock for this game.

11:40/1: The Purple makes it look easy, marching 77 yards in five plays, capped off with a 43-yard bomb from Stanback to Anthony Russo. Russo got in behind Shelton Sampson, and Stanback threw a perfect strike that was never in doubt. The purple team is basically the offensive ones, and if they can be that surgical in the fall, look out...very impressive.

7:52/1: The Gold is taking it right at the Purple, and outside of a batted ball by Greyson Gunheim look every bit as solid. Carl Bonnell is completing passes and J.R. Hasty runs for eight yards on his first carry.

6:07: Just as I sing the Gold's praises, they implode. Two incompletions and a sack for -8 courtesy Wilson Afoa. Alex Mercier, who has impressed the UW coaches all spring, returned a Ryan Perkins kick 22 yards. It only takes two plays for Stanback to find another wide open receiver up top, this time it's Chancellor Young. It goes for 55 yards, with Durrell Moss the only DB for the Gold team close to the play. Stanback is now 4-4 for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

End of First Q: Purple team looks great on both sides, Gold looks bad on defense, touch-and-go on offense. All three QB's look so much better than they did in the last scrimmage we were able to watch, but the weather had something to do with that too. No complaints about today's weather; it's perfect out, just a little breeze, but nothing these guys can't handle.

12:31/2: DuRocher is switching between purple and gold, and isn't having a ton of luck with either. Outside of a juggled pass Johnie Kirton was able to snag for a gain of 16, he hasn't moved either team. He fumbled the snap while on the purple team, and the gold's Erick Lobos recovers deep in purple territory.

10:01: Felix Sweetman mans the gold offense, but can't move the team any further than the UW 6 yard line. Michael Book hits a 23-yard FG, putting the gold team on the scoreboard. Purple 14-3.

7:35/2: DuRocher is still struggling, throwing three straight incomplete passes. There's pretty much no doubt as to the pecking order right now at QB, it's Stanback, Bonnell and DuRocher, and it's pretty well defined, IMHO. Rayford ran into Ryan Perkins and the UW punter has yet to get up. Doesn't look good right now.

7:00/2: Perkins is helped off the field, he is not putting any weight onto his right leg. Carl Bonnell breaks off a big 36-yard run to give the gold team some life. Hasty is also running hard, always picking up positive yardage. On his last two runs, he was tackled by former Bellevue teammate E.J. Savannah. Nice to see Savannah putting the lick on some guys today.

3:43/2: Bonnell can't get the gold team in the end zone, as a last-ditch effort wide to Sonny Shackelford is foiled by Dashon Goldson. Goldson and Roy Lewis are playing well on the corners. Goldson is also lighting up some players on special teams.

1:50/2: Perkins is carted off, and Wilson Afoa is in the front seat, not sure what's up with Afoa. DuRocher continues to try and move the purple team, but just moves backward instead. On third down, a poor snap leaves him stranded. For the final two minutes of each half, it's a real clock, so now it's up to Bonnell and the gold team to get a late score.

:48/2: Three and out for the gold, so Mercier is back for the purples to receive a punt, but they kick it wide of him, giving him an awful lot of respect. Stanback is now in to see if he can move the purple to a late score, but is immediately sacked by Walt Winter for a loss of 6. Purple calls TO.

:10/2: In a drive that lasted thirty seconds, four plays and 62 yards, Kenny James plows in from a yard out to put the purple ahead 21-3. He threw a perfect long strike to Cody Ellis, who was running free in the slot. If you are Tim Lappano, you could hardly ask more of Stanback for a first half, as he went 5-6 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, no interceptions. He did force one pass, one that should have been picked by Chris Hemphill, but got away with it and made the gold pay on the next play with the bomb to Ellis.

Halftime: Purple 21-3 and while Willingham wouldn't tell you it's a ones versus twos, it's pretty much been that way. They are taking a 15-minute break and have actually gone back into the locker room for halftime. Here are some quickie halftime stats. Stanback 5-6 for 184 yards and two scores, Bonnell 4-11 for 25 yards, DuRocher 3-8 for 29 yards. Rushing: Hasty 6 for 21, long of 8, James 6 for 16, long of 10. Russo 2 catches for 54 yards and one score, Corey Williams 2 catches for 13 yards, Charles Smith 2 catches for 16 yards, Sonny Shackelford 2 catches for 16 yards, Hasty 2 catches for 1 yard, Kirton 1 catch for 16 yards, Ellis 1 catch for 67 yards and Chancellor Young 1 catch for 55 yards and one score. Second half will comprise of 12-minutes quarters instead of 15-minute quarters.

9:34/3: Sweetman opens up for the gold, and goes three and out. Mercier goes back to return the punt and Sampson forces a fumble that is eventually recovered by the purple. Willingham is switching things around now, as Bonnell is QB'ing the purple team.

9:07/3: Louis Rankin busts out a 30-yard run, but a downfield hold takes it back ten yards. Bonnell was in the perfect position to spring Rankin for six, but didn't come up with a clean block.

6:17/3: Bonnell's drive stalls and Braunstein connects on a 35-yard field goald. Purple extends their lead to 21. 5 plays, 28 yards, taking up 3:36. Purple 24-3.

2:30/3: DuRocher goes for another three-and-out, but a third-down screen pass to Hasty had promise but Hasty's foot went out of bounds before a first down was reached. UW may have found a punt returner in Alex Mercier. He always seems to make the first guy miss.

End of the third Q: Bonnell is heading up the purple team. Could Stanback be done for the day? It's doubtful the coaches need to see much more, other than maybe another two-minute drive.

11:01/4: Sweetman tries the flea-flicker, and he had Johnie Kirton initally streaking right down the middle, but by the time Sweetman could fire the ball down the field, Goldson is there to pick it off. And in the 'one bad turn deserves another dept.', Stanback comes back in for the first time in a while and is immediately picked off by Chris Hemphill on the south sideline.

8:32/4: Sweetman comes right back and throws a strike to Marlon Wood along the north sideline for 26 yards, a very nice throw. It's been the Felix Sweetman show so far in the fourth Q.

7:10/4: The purple is guilty of pass interference in the end zone, so the gold gets the ball on the 2. Hasty coughs it up trying to stretch into the end zone and Jason Wells recovers it, as the purple defense joyously runs off the field.

6:10/4: It's spring for the refs too, as they miss a clear pass interference on the gold defense. Oh well.

4:48/4: Stanback cannot muster a first down from basically his end zone, but moves it out to the 10 before Douglas punts. For as well as he played in the first half, the second half for Stanback hasn't been all that good.

1:58/4: It hasn't been a game DuRocher would want to write home about, but he's been harassed all day long by a pressuring purple D, especially from the edges. The tackles - Nate Flowers and Morgan Rosborough - have had a rough day. But he's hanging in there and trying hard to stay solid in the pocket. He hooks up with Sho Yoshinaga for a 16-yard gain.

:41/2: Again, things break down on the edge, and DuRocher has to scramble - not his strong suit. He gets 'sacked' by Chris Stevens for a loss of 12 and the gold calls timeout. Willingham just wants to see if DuRocher can get his offense in a position to get some points, simulate a successful 2-minute drill. He completes another pass to Yoshinaga for 14, but Yoshinaga stays in bounds. The gold calls another TO. Roy Lewis has had a monster day for the purple defense; 7 tackles, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

:15/4: Mesphin Forrester puts the final nail in the gold's coffin, breaking up a pass intended for Tim Williams. The purple runs one play and that's your spring game. Purple 24, Gold 3.

Post-Game: I think Willingham has to be pleased with the big-play effort put in by Stanback and his receivers, mostly against second-teamers in the secondary. The running game was average, no one player really stood out. The game was played in a very crisp manner, the only serious injury appears to have occured when Ryan Perkins went down, so while that's not a good injury to have, Willingham basically accomplished his goal of getting through the game healthy. The team gathers at the giant 'W' at midfield and takes a knee, with Willingham in the middle. Now they are intermingling with the fans on the field, always a cool sight to see from the press box.

Some final Stats to chew on: These are just a few of the final stats, we'll have more with Scott Eklund's game wrap. Rankin led the game in rushing with 50 yards on 6 carries, followed by Hasty's 30 on 10 carries and Bonnell's 28 yards on 2 carries. Passing, Stanback finished 6-9 for 190 yards, two scores and one interception. Bonnell went 4-12 for 25 yards and DuRocher went 6-16 for 65 yards. Hasty caught the most passes - three - for 7 yards, while Cody Ellis had the most yards receiving - 67 - for the day.

Defensively, Roy Lewis led the purple charge with 7 tackles, while Chris Hemphill and Jordan Murchison had four each to lead the gold.

Dawgman.com Top Stories