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Published: Saturday, May 1, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

Do-overs help Purple stop White in Huskies’ spring game

Sophomore kicker is hero in ragged scrimmage; Locker struggles

  • Quarterback Jake Locker scrambles out of the pocket in the first quarter.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Quarterback Jake Locker scrambles out of the pocket in the first quarter.

  • Husky quarterback Jake Locker runs the white team during the spring game.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Husky quarterback Jake Locker runs the white team during the spring game.

  • Quarterback Nick Montana (left) hands off to running back Cole Sager in the first quarter.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Quarterback Nick Montana (left) hands off to running back Cole Sager in the first quarter.

  • Husky quarterback Nick Montana throws out a pass in the first quarter.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Husky quarterback Nick Montana throws out a pass in the first quarter.

  • Head coach Steve Sarkisian watches as Jake Locker runs the white team in the first quarter.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Head coach Steve Sarkisian watches as Jake Locker runs the white team in the first quarter.

  • Husky tailback Demitrius Bronson (in purple) carries the ball against the white team during the second quarter.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Husky tailback Demitrius Bronson (in purple) carries the ball against the white team during the second quarter.

  • Starting quarterbacks Jake Locker (center) and Nick Montana (right) greet each other after taking the coin toss before the start of the spring game. A...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Starting quarterbacks Jake Locker (center) and Nick Montana (right) greet each other after taking the coin toss before the start of the spring game. At left is back-up quarterback Keith Price.

SEATTLE — It figured, on a night when Jake Locker struggled, and the most effective offensive player was actually a defensive player, and the final seconds were mired in controversy, that the University of Washington’s spring game would come down to someone like Eric Guttorp.
The sophomore kicker, who hadn’t attempted a single field goal during a month of spring practices, capped off UW’s spring game by being hoisted on the shoulders of teammates late Friday night after hitting the game-winning extra point.
“It sent a good message to the football team: always stay prepared,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said after Guttorp’s kick lifted the Purple team to a 14-13 win over the White team in the annual intrasquad scrimmage. “Eric stepped in and made it.”
Guttorp’s extra point came after time expired in a slow-building game that came down to a fantastic finish — or two.
Freshman quarterback Nick Montana got several chances to finish in style, thanks in part to the referees and some creative do-overs awarded by the UW coaching staff.
Montana threw three incomplete passes into the end zone in the final 10 seconds, yet still had a chance to win it in the end. He badly missed Jordan Polk at the goal line, then had a pass go through the arms of William Chandler in the end zone with five seconds to play. A pass-interference call on the latter pass gave Montana and the Purple team another shot from the 2-yard line, and he overthrew Polk again as time expired.
But game officials ruled that one second be put back on the clock, and Montana actually got two more shots from there. He rolled out and appeared to score on a scramble, only to have Sarkisian rule the play a do-over because quarterbacks are not subject to tackling in scrimmages. Ruling that it was an unfair play call — freshman linebacker Victor Burnett probably could have hit Montana before the goal line — Sarkisian gave Montana one more chance.
The true freshman and early enrollee rolled out again, hitting Luther Leonard with a pass in the end zone. The touchdown capped off an 80-yard drive and tied the score at 13 as time expired. After that, Guttorp was summonsed to attempt the extra point because, in Sarkisian’s words: “I tried to make things as interesting as possible.”
After being iced by a timeout, Guttorp finally lined up for the game-winner. Twelve minutes after kicker Erik Folk sent an extra point wide right, Guttorp made his attempt and got lifted up by celebrating players from the Purple team.
“That’s good for him,” said senior Cameron Elisara, a defensive lineman on the Purple team. “He hadn’t kicked one all spring, and he came out and kicked the one when it counted.”
The fantastic finish helped make up for an otherwise ragged scrimmage. Both offenses struggled for most of the day, and not even the star quarterback was immune.
While engineering a White offense that was without top weapons Chris Polk and Jermaine Kearse, Locker completed just three of 7 passes for 15 yards in less than a half of action in his final spring game.
Both offenses got off to a slow start. It took 15 snaps before the Huskies got a first down. It took 23 before either team crossed midfield. Through one quarter of play, both offenses combined for 68 yards on 24 plays.
The first big play came on the opening play of the second quarter, and it was a 25-yard gain by cornerback Anthony Boyles after he picked up a fumble. That led to the first points of the game, although it took nine plays — the longest of which was a 15-yard penalty on the defense — for the White team to go 27 yards and score on Deontae Cooper’s 1-yard dive.
The most impressive offensive performance actually came from Boyles, a defensive player who used to play receiver. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 27-yard interception return with 121/2 minutes remaining. Boyles also had one of the biggest hits of the day when he drilled Polk for a four-yard loss.
“I had a great time,” Boyles said afterward. “It shows that hard work and dedication really pays off.”
Running back Demitrius Bronson had a game-high 73 yards while filling in at halfback for the Purple team.
Montana struggled for much of the day but did have 31-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marek Domanski to account for the Purple team’s first score. He also converted a fourth down with a pass to Chandler on the final drive.
Montana, the son of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, completed 21 of 34 passes for 156 yards. His competition for the backup job behind Locker, redshirt freshman Keith Price, completed four of 9 passes and threw an interception into the end zone.
Notes
Among the injured players who sat out Friday’s scrimmage were Polk (shoulder), Kearse (foot), right tackle Cody Habben (shoulder), cornerback Desmond Trufant (groin) and receiver D’Andre Goodwin (hamstring). Receiver Jordan Polk appeared to suffer a concussion in the closing seconds and had to be helped off the field by a team trainer. … Strong safety Will Shamburger, cornerback Anthony Gobern and freshman running back Deontae Cooper were among the starters. … Cornerback Quinton Richardson did not start at cornerback because he was being punished for missing a team meeting.






Story tags » Huskies Football

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