Gibson Scores Twice in Cougars Final Spring Scrimmage

April 14, 2007


Junior Brandon Gibson scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Washington State offense during the final spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon at Martin Stadium.

'Defensively I think we picked it up a little bit and offensively it was a beautiful throw and catch that Alex threw down to Brandon Gibson,' said WSU head coach Bill Doba. 'Overall, offensively it probably wasn't our best showing of the spring but this time the defense needed a little moral support, so it was nice to see that. In their defense there were a lot of offensive linemen hurt so we need to get that front shored up and get those linemen back and healthy.'

In front of a Mom's Weekend crowd of roughly 1,000, Gibson opened the scoring when he hauled in a 39-yard pass from senior Alex Brink. Gibson caught the ball over his outside shoulder down the right sideline just across the goal line.

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Lopina, seeing his first scrimmage action of the spring after battling a hamstring injury, found redshirt freshman Greg Walker for a 28-yard scoring strike to account for the only other offensive score. The final Cougar touchdown came when Gibson fielded a kickoff on his own 11, raced up the middle before going past kicker Romeen Abdollmohammadi and down the right sideline into the end zone.

Brink saw the most action of the four Cougar quarterbacks as he finished the afternoon 7-of-12 for 67 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Lopina was 3-of-4 for 37 yards and the score while Cole Morgan was 4-of-5 for 21 yards. Junior quarterback Gary Rogers was just 1-of-9, though he was the victim of three dropped passes.

WSU rushed only 14 times during the scrimmage with junior Ian Bell carrying three times for 22 yards. Senior Kevin McCall gained 18 yards while redshirt freshman Marcus Richmond (13) and sophomore Dwight Tardy (10) were the only other ball carriers.

Gibson led all receivers has he finished with four catches for 54 yards and the score. Benny Walker hauled in three passes for 20 yards while Walker had a pair of grabs for 35 yards and the touchdown, his first of the spring.

Defensively the Cougars applied consistent pressure to the quarterback for the first time in three scrimmages. Junior Cory Evans had back-to-back sacks late in the day while Michael Graise, Asly Jean-Jacques and Kevin Kooyman also recorded sacks. Additionally, seniors Husain Abdullah and Brian Williams registered interceptions, with Abdullah intercepting a Brink pass in the end zone while Williams' theft of a Rogers pass was also in the end zone.

Senior Dwayne Patterson sophomore Brady Emmons each had four tackles to lead the defensive as 25 different players made stops on the day.

'Defensively we established a base the first two weeks and stayed real simple,' said Doba regarding what the Cougars were able to accomplish during spring ball. 'We looked at some different types of zone pressure, some man pressure, cover 2 and cover 4. Defensively we accomplished quite a few things.

'Offensively the receiving corps looked solid,' he continued. 'The quarterbacks looked good, it was nice to see Lopina throw that ball downfield, the first time he had chance to practice this spring. Overall we just have to get healthy, that's out biggest problem now but we have plenty of time.'

When asked about the biggest accomplishment of the spring, Doba emphatically replied, 'How about those kickers? The top two kids (Abdollmohammadi and Loren Langley) made all their attempts. The kickers seemed to get better, a little more consistent (throughout the spring).'

The scrimmage was the conclusion of spring practice for WSU as the Cougars will open their 2007 schedule Sept. 2 at the University of Wisconsin.

Rushing - Ian Bell 3/22, Kevin McCall 4/18, Marcus Richmond 3/13, Dwight Tardy 4/10.
Passing - Alex Brink 7/12/1/67/1/39, Gary Rogers 1/9/1/7/0/7, Cole Morgan 4/5/0/21/0/8, Kevin Lopina 3/4/0/37/1/28.
Receiving - Brandon Gibson 4/54 (TD), Benny Ward 3/20, Greg Walker 2/35 (TD), Anthony Houston 2/9, Michael Bumpus 1/7, Charles Dillon 1/6, Scott Selby 1/1, Dwight Tardy 1/0.
Scoring - Brink 39 pass to Gibson, Lopina 28 pass to Walker, Gibson 89 kickoff return.
Field Goals Made - Romeen Abdollmohammadi (27, 22, 45), Loren Langley (27, 22, 45), Carlin Birrell (22)
Punting - Darryl Blunt 4/151/37.8, Reid Forrest 3/129/43.0.
Interceptions - Husain Abdullah, Brian Williams.
Sacks - Cory Evans 2, Mike Graise, Kevin Kooyman, Ansley Jean-Jacques.
Tackles - DeWayne Patterson 4, Brady Emmons 4, Mike Graise 3, Brian Walker 3, Andrew Kreutz 3, Ryan Kensok 3, Cory Evans 3, Brian Williams 2, Greg Trent 2, Jason Stripling 2, Andy Mattingly 2, Ansley Jean-Jacques 2, Jason Walters 2, Tali Talakai 2, Alex Hamill, Matt Eichelberger, Ropati Pitoitua, Adam Hineline, Markus Dawes, Husain Abdullah, Bob Hilgert, Toby Turpin, Sam Tennant, Geoff Kirkwood, Preston Brooks.

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