Scrimmage reveals who may start for Cougars

  • By Jacob Thorpe The Spokesman-Review
  • Saturday, August 9, 2014 9:19pm
  • SportsSports

LEWISTON — The depth chart has changed more than the roster since Washington State’s 2013 spring football practices ended.

The Cougars scrimmaged for 62 plays on Saturday and coaches said that the starters and backups reflected how the snaps would shake out if a game were held today, providing hints at answers to questions about who has parlayed a good fall camp into a starting spot and which freshmen may see the field.

So, if the Cougars took the field against Rutgers tomorrow you’d see redshirt freshman Darius Lemora lining up at safety next to Taylor Taliulu.

Tracy Clark, a senior who made no tackles last season and has just nine in his career, would start at cornerback opposite Daquawn Brown, although freshman Pat Porter from Alabama would see plenty of time as a backup.

“We’re pretty competitive at a lot of positions,” head coach Mike Leach said after practice. “So they’re fighting like crazy to hang onto it’s been really competitive at those positions and you have guys really pushing each other.”

That competition is evident at receiver and running back when Gabe Marks and Marcus Mason — last year’s leaders in receiving and all-purpose yards, respectively — scrimmaged with the third string on Saturday. Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks have demanded reps with their play at running back after redshirting last season, while senior Theron West is currently No. 1 on the depth chart.

Marks sat out the spring with an undisclosed injury and is still trying to reclaim his Z receiver position, but Isiah Myers and Kristoff Williams aren’t making it easy for him.

“I think Myers is playing really well and so is Kristoff,” Leach said. “And then the other thing is they got really good work this summer and I think they’re playing really well. That’s been a competitive position but Myers has been really hot lately.”

Williams led all receivers with 36 receiving yards on three catches. While Mason did not get a carry in the scrimmage, he did have four catches for 26 yards.

Marks made a pair of catches against an underclassmen defense, but his helmet came off after a hard hit by freshman linebacker Chandler Leniu and he did not return to the field.

The scrimmage was also the first true test of whether the players who looked good enough in drills to see the field could show that talent in a game situation.

The Cougars were in full pads for just the second day of fall camp, and it was the first time the tackles were live.

“There’s nothing like hitting someone else who’s not your teammate,” linebacker Darryl Monroe said. “But it still feels good because you know you’ve got those players who all look good in just jerseys and whatnot but when the pads come on, that’s when you get like the closest to in-game feel and you can just get the right examples and stuff and know what you really need to correct.”

The scrimmage affirmed that the defensive line is a strength of the team, accounting for three sacks while holding the running backs to 10 yards on nine carries.

“It’s key, it’s just like offense,” said defensive coordinator Mike Breske after practice. “Everything starts with the offensive line and it’s the same on the dark side, everything starts on the defensive line.”

In addition to giving a glimpse of how the team currently looks, a few plays were devoted to showing what the Cougars will look like in the future.

Leniu’s hit on Marks came just one play after he intercepted quarterback Connor Ennis on the first play of the series. On the following play he ran across the field to tackle Mason, stopping what could have been a big gain.

Perhaps no young player showed more than quarterback Peyton Bender, who entered the first 11-on-11 setting of his collegiate career and completed his first six passes, including two for touchdowns.

More in Sports

Everett’s Stephan Erosa, left, competes against Arlington Brantly StupeyThursday night at Arlington High School in Arlington on January 18, 2018. The Eagles won 37-25.(Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Arlington wrestlers scrap to 37-25 win over Everett

Aggressive lineup moves pay off for the Eagles in a big Wesco 3A North win over the Seagulls.

Huskies fall to Utah 70-62 for 2nd straight Pac-12 loss

Washington shoots just 38.5 percent from the field in defeat.

Thursday’s prep scores, links to recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Northwest 2A Anacortes 71, Lakewood 52 Northwest 1B Grace Academy… Continue reading

Additions of Murray, Sharp give Silvertips depth

After a ‘crazy busy’ week upon being traded to Everett, the new duo is finally settling in.

No. 13 Gonzaga falls to rival Saint Mary’s 74-71

Jock Landale scores 26 points as the Gaels take sole possession of first place in the WCC.

POLL RESULTS: Edgar Martinez is getting in the Hall of Fame

Fifty-nine percent of responders believe the Seattle Mariners legend will be elected this year.

Coupeville boys basketball celebrating 101st anniversary Friday

The Coupeville High School boys basketball program is celebrating its… Continue reading

Lakewood’s Perry earns WIAA Athlete of the Week honors

Lakewood girls basketball star Jelly Perry earned Athlete of the Week honors… Continue reading

Kamiak senior’s 52-point outburst this season was historic

Carson Tuttle’s performance was one of the best in the history of current Wesco 4A and 3A schools.

Most Read