April 6, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. --- The Washington State football team ended the first week of spring practice with a 70-play scrimmage at Martin Stadium, highlighted by Jeremy Bohannon and Marty Martin touchdowns.
"That was awesome and exciting," Cougar Head Coach Mike Price said. "That was a great play."
Freshman Marty Martin provided the morning's other big play, taking a pass from Josh Swogger near the sideline, making one defender miss, and then racing 60 yards for a touchdown. The Puyallup native caught six passes on the day for 82 yards.
Quarterback Jason Gesser began the first of three Saturday scrimmages on fire, connecting on four of his first five passes for 68 yards, but cooled to finish eight of 17 for 87 yards.
The play of backup signal callers Matt Kegel, Chris Hurd, and Swogger was also encouraging. Kegel hit on 10 of 15 passes for 65 yards, while Hurd was four of 10 for 37 yards. Swogger, who enrolled at WSU in January, was four of six for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Senior John Tippins and junior college transfer Jermaine Green provided the Cougars with a solid one-two punch at running back during the 90-minute session. Tippins carried the ball eight times for 67 yards and also caught three passes for 13 yards. Green, who is another January enrollee from Butler County Junior College in Kansas, rushed eight times for 49 yards, including a spectacular 36-yard scamper against the first-string defense.
"I thought Tippins ran really well," Price said. "Green also ran well. Offensively, we just need to make some catches down field. The quarterbacks really threw the ball well."
Redshirt freshman Rafael Bolton provided the scrimmage's only rushing touchdown, a short plunge from the one-yard line.
Martin led the scrimmage with 82 receiving yards, but several other players were frequent targets for Cougar quarterbacks. Senior Jerome Riley caught three balls for 28 yards, while walk-on Scott Faries also hauled in three passes for 48. Florida State transfer Devard Darling and tight end Mark Ahlberg both caught a pair of passes for 23 and 37 yards, respectively.
Not to be overshadowed, the defense was disruptive all morning, flushing the quarterbacks out of the pocket and forcing them to throw on the run.
"The guys on defense that we thought were players, are players," Price said. "Marcus Trufant is as good a cornerback as anybody in the country and Rien Long is almost impossible to block. Kevin Sperry (linebacker) is very aggressive, he can run and hit, just needs to learn how to use it."
Defensive ends Isaac Brown and redshirt freshman Bryan Boyer each tallied a sack. Brown also recovered a fumble.
All-Pac-10 kicker Drew Dunning converted three of four field goal opportunities, with assistant coach Aaron Price holding on two of those, while redshirt freshman Graham Siderius was good on one of his three attempts.
Punter Kyle Basler, the heir apparent to Alan Cox, uncorked a 62-yarder that rolled into the endzone for a touchback.
"I'm very pleased with Kyle Basler and the way he is punting. He really caught the ball well and has a very strong leg," Price said.
Offensive linemen Derrick Roche and Tyler Hunt did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage. Roche is expected to sit out the entire month, while Hunt could return next week. Both players are recovering from injured shoulders.
The Cougars continue spring practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday of this week, with another scrimmage on Saturday. The Crimson & Gray game will be April 27 in Pullman.
Scoring Summary Bohannon 72-yard interception return, Bolton 1-yard run, Martin 60-yard toucdown catch from Swogger.
Rushing: Tippins 8/67, Green 8/49, Anderson 1/9, Chris Hurd 2/8, Bolton 3/7, Smith 2/6, Hawkins 2/6, Ryan 3/-3, Miller 2/-3
Passing: Gesser 17/8/1/87/0/25, Kegel 15/10/0/65/0/15, Hurd 10/4/0/37/0/12, Swogger 6/4/0/104/1/60
Receiving: Martin 6/82/60, Faries 3/48/32, Ahlberg 2/37/25, Riley 3/28/15, Darling 2/23/16, Anderson 2/19/15, Tippins 3/13/8, Harvey 1/12/12, Green 1/10/10, Faries 1/9/9, Tupai 1/3/3
Sacks: Brown 1, Boyer 1
Interceptions: Bohannon 1