Defense Dominates Spring Scrimmage

April 8, 2006

SEATTLE - Defense Dominates Spring ScrimmageSEATTLE -- Defensive end Greyson Gunheim notched three sacks and safety Chris Hemphill returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown as the Washington defense got the best of the offense Saturday during the team's second scrimmage of the 2006 spring practice season at Husky Stadium.

After a week of nothing but sunny weather, wind and rain battered the field Saturday, limiting the options for the Husky offense. More than the weather, however, it was a big-play defense that limited the Husky offense to just 182 yards on 87 plays, including just 34 yards through the air

'There were some good hits today,' Willingham said, 'A few where you could really say, `Yeah, it's noisy out here.' That's the first thing you have to have to be a good defense.'

Gunheim dominated on the line, breaking into the UW backfield for tackles on five separate occasions, including his team-high three sacks. Defensive tackle Donny Mateaki also excelled, with two tackles-for-loss -- both sacks -- and pass defense, knocking down an early attempt by junior quarterback Johnny Durocher.

In the secondary, Hemphill made the day's most significant play, returning a DuRocher pass 96 yards for the defense's lone score of the afternoon. Junior cornerback Roy Lewis also came up with an interception, of junior quarterback Carl Bonnell, while senior Dashon Goldson made the hit of the day in his debut at cornerback, stopping wide receiver Chancellor Young in his tracks after a six-yard catch.

'We have a theme for our defense of ... getting every man to run and fly to the football, because what that has a tendency to do is to make up for a lot of mistakes that you might make,' Willingham said. 'It's amazing sometimes how one guy might make a mistake that you'll never even notice, because someone else is covering it up with hustle.'

Senior quarterback Isaiah Stanback was a bright spot for the offensive unit, scoring twice on running plays while completing five of 12 passes for 33 yards. Redshirt freshman tailback J.R. Hasty also impressed with 78 yards on just 12 carries, including a 43-yard scamper down the left sideline that brought an appreciative roar from the 150-200 former Huskies in attendance as part of the annual Big 'W' Club Alumni Luncheon.

'I thought there were some bright spots in the running game -- Louis Rankin, Kenny James and J.R. Hasty all had some good breaks in their runs, and that means our offensive line is opening up some holes,' Willingham said. 'But sit's not at a consistency that I'm happy with or satisfied with, and I certainly think they'll be disappointed with what they saw on those occasions.'

Now at the midway point in spring practice, Willingham says there are things the team must improve upon over the remaining six practices, in advance of the annual Purple-White Game on Apr. 22.

'Today was our eighth practice, and when you reach that point, you start to expect a little more execution and fundamental soundness, and today we probably didn't get all of that,' Willingham said. 'We probably took a minor step back in some areas, but that just leaves us plenty of room to work and improve.'

NOTES: Saturday's scrimmage marked the first opportunity for many to watch the Huskies' newest players: on the offensive side, redshirt freshman J.R. Hasty look strong with 78 yards on 12 carries, while sophomore wide receiver Chancellor Young did well to hold onto the ball after a hard hit from cornerback Dashon Goldson; newcomers also impressed for the defense, with JC transfer Jason Wells making six tackles at the safety spot, and sophomore Trenton Tuiasosopo earning six tackles and a pass defense ... Saturday's practice included an estimated 150-200 former Husky football players, on hand for the annual Big 'W' Alumni Luncheon -- representatives from eight decades of Husky football were on hand, including current NFL players Tony Parrish, Marques Tuiasosopo and Lawyer Milloy, as well as legends like Chuck Nelson and Warren Moon, who will enter the NFL Hall of Fame later this year.

Final Statistics
Spring Scrimmage - Husky Stadium - Apr. 8, 2006

Passing (Att-Comp-INT-Yds-TD): 34-10-2-44-1 (Stanback 12-5-0-33-0; DuRocher 14-3-1-12-0; Sweetman 2-1-0-3-1; Bonnell 6-1-1-(-4)-0).
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD): 53-148-3 (Hasty 12-78-0; Stanback 7-45-2; James 7-33-0; Rankin 15-28-0; Palaita 2-3-1; Kravitz 1-0-0; Sweetman 1-(-3)-0; DuRocher 5-(-17)-0; Bonnell 3-(-19)-0).
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD): 10-34-1 (C. Williams 2-15-0; Ellis 2-11-0; James 2-(-2)-0; Kravitz 1-7-0; C. Smith 1-6-0; Young 1-4-0; Gottlieb 1-3-1).

80 (Forrester 11; Gunheim 7; Wells 6; Tuiasosopo 6; Reffett 6; Fountaine 4; Goldson 4; Stevens 4; Howell 3; Lewis 3; Jones 3; Mateaki 3; Hemphill 2; White 2; O'Connor 2; Afoa 2; Te'o-Nesheim 2; Harris; Murchison; Trew; D. Davis; Savannah; Gage; Bomar; Atkins; Rayford; Winter).
Tackles For Loss (Total-Yds): 12-56 (Gunheim 5-19; Mateaki 2-18; Goldson 1-6; Tuiasosopo 1-6; White 1-4; Reffett 1-2; Wells 0.5-4; Te'o-Nesheim 0.5-4).
Sacks (Total-Yds): 6-38 (Gunheim 3-14; Mateaki 2-18; Goldson 1-6).
Interceptions (No.-Yds): 2-119 (Hemphill 1-96t; Lewis 1-23).
Fumbles Caused: 1 (Bomar).
Fumbles Recovered 1 (Te'o-Nesheim).
Passes Defended: 4 (Stevens, Howell, Tuiasosopo, Mateaki).

Special Teams
Field Goals (Att-Conv-Long):
2-1-21 (Perkins - 21 (good), 32 (no good))
Punting (Att-Yds-Long): 3-134-49 (Douglas 2-95-49; Perkins 1-39)
Kickoff Returns (No.-Yds): 2-62 (Lewis 1-40; Hasty 1-22)
Punt Returns (No.-Yds): 3-115 (Ellis 1-74t; Wood 1-36; Mercier 1-5).

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