PULLMAN — Yes, the format of the scrimmage performed a job within the Crimson’s rally from a 25-point deficit. But let’s not discuss in regards to the format of the scrimmage. It was problematic from the beginning.
Suffice to say Cameron Ward’s offense performed beautifully throughout a lot of its restricted look within the Crimson and Gray spring sport Saturday at Gesa Field, and the Cougar protection took revenge on his understudies.
Then the fourth- and fifth-string quarterbacks got here in and received the sport 56-51.
The particulars had been much less vital than the broad outlines, considered one of which was the quick-strike potential of Ward and his receivers, together with a quickly self-realizing junior Lincoln Victor, and the sturdiness of a depleted offensive line.
“Early on, we were just getting the ball out in space to our playmakers, and just letting the work do itself,” Victor stated. “Commend Cam. Commend the O-line for holding up — we only have about nine O-linemen running right now.
“It’s definitely a testament to our hard work. It will spark us going into the fall, into fall camp, and really show the world and show the Pac-12 that the North is ours to take.”
Overshadowed final season by the now-departed Calvin Jackson Jr. and Travell Harris, Victor exulted within the limelight and used his route-running dazzle to catch six passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Ward confirmed his deep familiarity with offensive coordinator Eric Morris’ model of the Air Raid offense, discovering Drake Owen and Victor for ridiculously wide-open early landing passes and ending 21-for-30 for 246 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Ward, a sophomore, had performed for Morris for 2 years at Incarnate Word in San Antonio earlier than their success opened twin doorways to the Power Five. They beat the protection with their fundamentals, and made it look unique.
“We were very vanilla today,” new coach Jake Dickert stated, “just getting back to some base things that our guys are really, really comfortable with. And you just tell, Cam is comfortable.”
But the format of the scrimmage awarded factors to the protection for numerous coups, so interceptions of third-team Xavier Ward by Sam Lockett III and Travion Brown, along with picks of No. 2 Emmett Brown by Alphonse Oywok and Dylan Clinton, allowed the protection to construct a 46-21 lead within the second quarter.
“At defensive back, we’re still young,” Dickert stated, “and we’re making young mistakes. I’d rather learn from those right now than during the season.”
Then got here a mini-carnival of extracurricular passes by former WSU quarterbacks Ryan Leaf and Luke Falk, plus Leaf’s mid-action interview of Dickert for tv. The interview was proven reside on the Jumbotron as Ward wrapped up a scoring drive capped by a brief throw to De’Zhaun Stribling.
Also readily available was beloved former coach Bill Doba, who oversaw the opening coin toss.
Chris Irvin’s 9-yard scoring cross to CJ Moore minimize the Crimson’s drawback to 49-35, then fifth-stringer Luke Holcomb directed two scoring drives. Finally, Irvin whipped up a 50-yard scoring cross to Tsion Nunnelly for the game-winner as time expired.
A reporter prompt to Dickert that he’d pushed a situational button or two to permit this Crimson miracle to occur.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he replied, not attempting to maintain a straight face.
RUSHING — Kannon Katzer 4-53, Djouvensky Schlenbaker 11-34, Jaxon Sawyer 5-10, Kson Miska 3-10, Nakia Watson 1-5, Dylan Paine 1-10, Lincoln Victor 1-5. Totals 26-117.
PASSING — Cameron Ward 21-30-246-4-0, Chris Irvin 9-12-148-2-0, Luke Holcomb 13-18-144-2-0, Emmett Brown 5-12-86-0-2, Xavier Ward 2-4-32-0-2. Totals 50-76-656-8-4.
RECEIVING — Lincoln Victor 6-95, Tsion Nunnelly 5-77, Anderson Grover 3-75, Josh Meredith 8-66, Dylan Paine 3-60, Jake Bowen 4-58, De’Zhaun Stribling 5-36, Donovan Ollie 2-35, Drake Owen 3-28, Billy Riviere 1-28, Leon Neal Jr. 2-22, CJ Moore 2-22, Moon Ashby 1-20, Tre Horner 1-14, Kson Mika 2-7, Cooper Mathers 1-7, Nakia Watson 1-6.
SACKS — Ahmir Crowder 2, Joshua Erling, Travion Brown, Antonio Pule, Nusi Malani ½, Gabe Lopez ½.