LEWISTON, Idaho – Washington State football practiced in full pads for the first time this season, working out for two hours at Sacajawea Middle School Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars opened practice by working through their similar routine of individual position workouts, a 1-vs.-1 drill while the lines went against each other in the running game drill, 7-vs.-7, before working punt coverage, kickoff coverage and wrapping up with 11-vs.-11 team.
In the team session, quarterback Connor Halliday opened the series with three straight first-down completions to wide receivers River Cracraft, Isiah Myers and Dom Williams. The defense settled in for was one of their most impressive practices as linebacker Cyrus Coen blew up a screen play for a tackle-for-loss and BUCK linebacker Kache Palacio followed with a sack. The next play saw cornerback Daquawn Brown also disrupt a screen play by pushing his blocker back into the pass catcher. Halliday and offense countered with a long touchdown pass to wideout Kristoff Williams who got behind the defense and running back Theron West later added an explosive 20-plus yard carry up the middle.
Later in the drive, defensive lineman Darryl Paulo stuffed a run play and fellow d-lineman Xavier Cooper continued his solid camp with a sack. Halliday once again bounced back, showing some touch with a nice soft throw over a defender to wideout Robert Lewis for a short touchdown pass and followed with another perfectly placed throw to Cracraft for a five-yard score. The defense finished the series with a goalline stop as the offense tried to punch one in on the ground.
The defense controlled much of the second series despite a couple nice 10-plys yard carries by running back Gerard Wicks. Quarterback Luke Falk later converted a simulated third-down situation with a completion to Dom Williams in traffic and threw his only touchdown to Myers, squeezing the ball in between two defenders. Despite the two scores, the defense shined in the second series, forcing a couple throwaways and getting a couple pass break-ups from cornerback Pat Porter and safety Sulamain Hameed.
The Cougars continue fall camp Friday at 2:30 p.m.