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August 17, 2006

Cougar offense finds a groove

After the Washington State defense held the upper hand in the season's first scrimmage last Saturday, the Cougar offense evened things up by scoring five touchdowns in Wednesday night's scrimmage at Martin Stadium.

Junior Alex Brink and sophomore Gary Rogers each threw two touchdown strikes and sophomore DeMaundray Woolridge ran for another to lead the WSU offense.

"I thought we caught the ball well tonight, it makes a difference when (Alex) Brink is healthy," said WSU Head Coach Bill Doba, referring to his quarterback who missed all but a few series of the first scrimmage with a virus. "DeMaundray Woolridge made a good run and I thought Darrell Hutsona played well."

Woolridge opened up the scoring on his first carry of the night, a 60-yard burst up the middle. After breaking through the line, the sophomore back made a nice cut to the outside at the 40-yard line then outran the defense to the end zone.

The next offensive possession resulted in the second score of the night as Rogers led the unit down the field, capping the drive with a 19-yard pass to Brandon Gibson. Rogers also engineered the final scoring drive of the night, culminated by a four-year touchdown strike to junior Finas Rabb.

Not to be outdone, Brink hit senior Chris Jordan with a 21-yard scoring pass over the middle, the first of his two touchdowns. On a third and 16, Brink then found senior Jason Hill on a 33-scoring strike, one of three Hill receptions Wednesday.

"The offense decided after last week that they had better step it up a little bit," said Doba. "We didn't go real hard this morning, keeping them fresh for tonight."

Defensively the highlight was freshman Andy Mattingly's 57-yard interception return of a Kevin Lopina pass. Junior defensive tackle Ropati Pitoitua added a pair of sacks while freshman Asly Jean-Jacques also registered a sack.

"Defensively we did some good things to," said Doba. "We'll be okay when we get everybody back."

Brink and Rogers saw most of the action under center, with Brink finishing the night 14 of 20 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Rogers went 12 of 21 for 116 yards and two scores. Redshirt freshman Cole Morgan was 0 for 3, although two of those passes were dropped.

On the ground Woolridge led the way, gaining 75 yards on seven carries, while redshirt freshman Dwight Tardy gained 19 yards on five carries. Junior Kevin McCall had three rushes for 16 yards while Hutsona's three carries resulted in 17 yards.

Twelve different receivers combined for 26 receptions, led by Jordan, who hauled in six passes for 74 yards and a score. Gibson had four catches for 85 yards while Hill finished with 33 yards on three receptions.

Doba was pleased with the kicking game, as juniors Romeen Abdollmohammodi and Loren Langley each connected on two of four field goals. Sophomore Darryl Blunt sent three of his four punts over 40 yards, including a 55-yarder from deep in his own end zone. "I thought our kicking game improved. Our kickers got a little better, the snaps were better and the punts were better."

The Cougars are slated to hold their scrimmage this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Scoring - Woolridge 60 run, Gibson 19 pass from Rogers, Jordan 21 pass from Brink, Mattingly 57 interception return, Hill 33 pass from Brink, Rabb 4 pass from Rogers.

Rushing - Woolridge 7/75, Tardy 5/19, Hutsona 3/17, McCall 3/16, Bell 1/10, Ivory 1/-1.

Passing - Brink 14/20/0/164, Rogers 12/21/0/116, Morgan 0/3/0/0, Lopina 0/2/1/0.

Receiving - Jordan 6/74, Gibson 4/85, Hill 3/41, Woodard 2/10, McCall 2/13, Collins 2/14, Rabb 2/14, Hutsona 1/4, Thompson 1/6, Bumpus 1/4, Dillon 1/12, Woolridge 1/2.

Interceptions - Mattingly

Sacks - Pitoitua 2, Jean-Jacques.

Punts - Blunt: 48-22-43-55, Brayton: 37-41-30.

Field Goals - Langley 2 of 4 (long 38), Abdollmohammodi 2 of 4 (long 38).



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