Cougars Will Play Spring Football Game In Spokane Saturday

April 26, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State Cougars, who have not played a football game at Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium since the 1983 season, will make the trip Saturday to play the annual spring game.

The annual intrasquad game, which will end four weeks of practices that began April 3, will be played at 2:00 p.m. and will be free to the public.

'The Cougars are Spokane's football school,' head coach Mike Price said. 'We want to put a product on the field that the fans can enjoy. Our goal is to get as big of a crowd as possible and to pay back Spokane for all the times they drive to Pullman.'

There is a new format for this year's game as the Gray will consist of the first team players while the Crimson will be everyone else. The Gray squad will have 10 backups, including quarterback Matt Kegel who will play behind Jason Gesser and wide reciever Mike Bush who sits behind Collin Henderson on the depth chart. The Gray team will also keep all four kickers. In the past the teams have been picked in a draft run by the seniors.

'I wanted the team, the offense and the defense, to come together as a unit,' Price said about his decision to put the first team together. 'There has been a lot of animosity between the offense and defense with the rivalry. I want them to do good in Spokane, so the people of Spokane can see them do good.'

The game will consist of four 12 minute quarters. In the first three scrimmages the defense has combined for eight interceptions, including three by corner Marcus Trufant.

A coaching clinic for junior high and high school coaches in the Spokane area will be held Friday night before the game at a local hotel, according to Price, and a barbecue for the teams and public will be held at the stadium following the game.

There will also be an autograph session after the game where posters will be handed out. There is a possibility that former players will make an appearance as well including Chad Eaton and Robbie Tobeck of the Seahawks as well as former professional players Mark Rypien and Shane Doyle.

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