Gold Beats Purple, 10-7, In Spring Game
April 26, 2008
By Christian Caple
Its most exciting player was under wraps, as well as a good part of its playbook --- but fans in attendance at Washington's annual spring football game on Saturday perhaps saw something even better.
There was plenty of defense to go around.
With the teams split fairly evenly --- the number one defense was on the Gold team and the number one offense played on the Purple squad ---the Gold team used a late touchdown pass by Ronnie Fouch to come away with a 10-7 win in a game that was highlighted by solid defensive play by both sides.
'Probably the thing that I think we talked about earlier this week is our defense, especially up front, might have been pushed around by our more experienced offensive line,' said UW head coach Tyrone Willingham. 'And you didn't see that. I think you saw them hold their own.'
The Gold offense was held to 191 yards by the second team defense, and the first team defense held the Purple offense to 250 yards ---two totals that when combined may have very well equaled the total offensive output of a UW opponent last season.
'It was another day of good work in spring practice,' said first-year defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. 'When there's good competition you learn more and more about your team.'
The only points scored in the first half came off the foot of freshman walk-on kicker Cory Rutkowski, who booted a 39 yard field goal to give the Gold squad a 3-0 lead with 3:35 to play before halftime.
An interception by Quinton Richardson of the Gold team deep in his own territory late in the second quarter was the closest that the Purple squad came to getting on the scoreboard in the first half.
Jake Locker, limited in his arsenal due to no-contact rules, completed six-of-10 passes for 94 yards in the half, and was 'sacked' --- quarterbacks were off limits, so he was never actually tackled --- three times. He finished the day a respectable 13-17 for 159 yards for the Purple team, adding that he was happy with the way the offense performed despite the low numbers on the scoreboard.
'I thought we moved the ball well,' Locker said. 'We had some things that kind of killed our drives. Besides that I felt we did pretty good as an offense.'
Locker finally put his team on the scoreboard with 3:19 to go in the third quarter when he connected with D'Andre Goodwin from 11 yards out for a touchdown. The standout quarterback from Ferndale, WA was 7-for-7 passing on the drive to account for all of his passing yardage in the second half.
The Gold squad answered back on its next possession, as Devin Aguilar hauled in a 13 yard pass from Fouch for what proved to be the game's winning score. Fouch, who also took a few snaps with the first team offense on the Purple squad, finished 16-for-33 total for 153 yards.
Goodwin was the favorite target of UW's quarterbacks on the afternoon, hauling in seven catches for a game-high 109 yards. Charles Hawkins caught five passes for 34 yards for the Gold squad, and Chris Polk made four catches for 25 yards. Polk also carried the ball five times for 20 yards.
Willie Griffin was the game's leading rusher, taking 20 carries for 71 yards.
'Hopefully we have an understanding with what we've done and of where we need to go,' said Willingham. 'We had an education take place this spring that will benefit us in all areas.'
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