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Zenon Thornton

Zenon Thornton

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Sour Apples; Cougs Fall to UW

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Jake Brown threw for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns, and the Husky running game added 168 yards as the Huskies use a huge first quarter to dominate their 3rd straight Apple Cup 42-17 in Pullman.

In possible the biggest Apple Cup in history, the stage was set for the #5 rank Huskies and #23 Ranked Cougars to battle in a classic for the right to go to the Pac-12 Championship.  This Apple Cup was everything but that, the Cougs came in like a team who had nothing to play for and just looked over matched both offensively and defensively.

In the Huskies opening drive the game, quarterback Jake Browning drove the huskies 76 yards sparked by a 50 yard pass from receiver Dante Pettis to Darrell Daniels and Myles Gaskin punched to in from two yards out to give Washington the early 7-0 lead. On the Cougs first possession, Jamal Morrow fumbled the ball and the Huskies had the ball Cougar territory.  A few plays later, Browning found Pettis from 18 yards out to put the Dawgs up 2 touchdowns.  On the following Husky drive, Browning found Pettis in single coverage and the corner Darrien Molton fell down and Pettis strolled into the end zone for the 60 yard touchdown.  Browning then found John Ross from 6 yards out on the next drive to put the Huskies up 28-3 after the first quarter.

It sprinkled in the first and second quarter, and for some reason, the past two seasons this team just has trouble getting anything going offensively in the rain.  The way this Husky offense came out of the gate early, the Cougar offense needed to match scores, but they just couldn’t get the flow like they have the majority of the season.  On the Huskies first put of the game, Jamal Morrow returned the punt 64 Yards to the Cougar 6 and the Cougs were in business.  Wazzu ran on 4 straight plays, and on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line, Gerard wick was stopped, and the Cougs came up empty.  Following a John Ross fumble, Jamal Morrow punched it in from a yard out to give the Cougs some life.  As it seemed to go all game, the Huskies had an answer for everything that the Cougars brought.  Browning marched the Huskies right down the field in just under 2 minutes, ending in a Lavon Coleman 22 yard touchdown run.

In the last minute of the half, the Cougs were trying to score on consecutive drive, but Falk’s Pass in the end zone on 2nd down was intercepted, and the Huskies led 35-10 at half time.  The Cougs came out of the half with hopes of getting back in the ball game.  Their opening drive of the half marched the ball down in just over 6 minutes and Falk connected with Gabe Marks from 9 yards out, to give WSU some life.  Following a Husky punt, the Cougs had a chance to really put this game in reach, but on 4th and goal from 1, Gerard Wick was stuffed.  That was the last Cougs gasp to try and get back in the game, but the UW defense was just too tough on this day.

Coach Leach, Gabe Marks, and Luke Falk and said that their execution wasn’t where it needed to be.  This is the Cougs 7th Apple Cup loss in the last 8 years.  The game that is usually competitive, just hasn’t been the last 3 years, and with some of the best Cougar teams in history.  The Cougs right now are looking at the Vegas Bowl, KRAFT Fight Hunger Bowl, and a repeat trip to the Sun Bowl.  This Will be the Gabe Marks and possible Luke Falk’s final game; so next year’s Cougar team will have a different look to it.  Something to take away from this game would have to be the defense.  The defense just doesn’t seem to be able to stop top 25 teams and look weaker.  It will be good to get a gauge on how they are going to fix this problem and who they have coming in later this winter.

High School AP Football Rankings

The final high school football state rankings by the Associated Press, voted upon by a statewide panel of media members.

Class 4A

  1. Camas (6)                           9-0    69
  2. Sumner (1)                          9-0    56
  3. Richland                            9-0    49
  4. Graham-Kapowsin                     8-1    44
  5. Lake Stevens                        9-0    41
  6. Woodinville                         9-0    37
  7. Chiawana                            8-1    28

(tie) Gonzaga Prep                      7-2    28

  1. Skyline                             7-2    17
  2. Todd Beamer                         9-1    9

Others receiving 6 or more points: none.

Class 3A

  1. O’Dea (7)                           9-0    70
  2. Eastside Catholic                   8-1    59
  3. Squalicum                           9-0    57
  4. Kamiakin                            7-2    50
  5. Ferndale                            8-1    41
  6. Bonney Lake                         7-2    22
  7. Bellevue                            5-1    21
  8. Peninsula                           8-1    20
  9. Garfield                            8-1    14
  10. Timberline                          9-1    13

Others receiving 6 or more points: Lincoln 10.

Class 2A

  1. Archbishop Murphy (6)               9-0    69
  2. Tumwater (1)                        8-1    61
  3. Ellensburg                          8-1    49
  4. Lynden                              8-1    47
  5. Prosser                             8-1    40
  6. North Kitsap                        9-0    31
  7. River Ridge                         7-1    26
  8. Liberty (Issaquah)                  8-0    24
  9. Franklin Pierce                     8-1    22
  10. Sedro-Woolley                       7-2    8

Others receiving 6 or more points: none.<

Class 1A

  1. Royal (7)                           9-0    70
  2. Mount Baker                         9-0    56
  3. Connell                             8-1    55
  4. Montesano                           9-0    50
  5. Cascade Christian                   9-0    42
  6. LaCenter                            8-1    33
  7. Zillah                              8-1    28
  8. King’s                              6-2    23
  9. La Salle                            8-1    12
  10. Okanogan                            8-1    10

Others receiving 6 or more points: none.

Class 2B

  1. Napavine (7)                        9-0    70
  2. Toledo                              9-0    59
  3. Asotin                              8-1    56
  4. Liberty (Spangle)                   8-1    46
  5. Northwest Christian (Colbert)       8-1    43
  6. Adna                                7-2    35
  7. LaConner                            7-1    30
  8. Dayton                              8-1    20
  9. Tonasket                            8-1    10
  10. Pe Ell/Willapa Valley               7-2    7

(tie) Rainier                           8-2    7

Others receiving 6 or more points: none.

Class 1B

  1. Lummi (5)                           8-0    68
  2. Odessa-Harrington (2)               8-0    64
  3. Neah Bay                            7-0    57
  4. Tacoma Baptist                      9-0    47
  5. Almira/Coulee-Hartline              8-1    32

Others receiving 6 or more points: Sunnyside Christian 12.

Cougs Rally Past Beavs - Bowl Eligible

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Luke Falk led the Cougars to a furious 2nd half rally erasing a 24-6 halftime deficit to beat the Oregon State Beavers 34-31 in Corvallis.  Falk finished 33-46 with 415 yards and 5 touchdowns and propelled the Cougs to their 2nd straight season of becoming bowl eligible.

The Cougs got off to a slow start in Corvallis being forced to put on their first 3 possessions.  This has been a theme the last 3 games, where the Cougs and their air-raid offense has been shut out in the first quarter.  Oregon State on their 2nd possession gave the ball to Ryan Nall who broke an 89 yard touchdown run to put the Beavs up 7-0.  Third string Beaver quarterback Marcus McMayrion followed that up with a 14 yard pass to Nall to put OSU up two scores in the first quarter.  After being shut down offensively, Falk sparked the offense late in the 2nd down 21-0.   Falk hit receiver Tavares Martin Jr. on a crossing pattern that went 33 yards for a Cougar touchdown. 

Coach Mike Leach said after the game, “In the first half, we got out coached and we got outplayed.”  The second half, the Cougs played like a totally different team.  After giving up 399 yards in the first half, the Cougar defense held the Beavers to under 100 yards in the 2nd half.  That is a major difference the past two years compared to prior years, the resiliency of this team has got them through some tough games.

The Cougs came out blazing in the 2nd half.  On their first drive, Falk connected with Jamal Morrow for a 66 yard touchdown pass and connected on the two point conversion to pull the Cougs within two touchdowns.  Then next drive, Falk dodged a couple of tacklers and completed a Hail Mary type pass to Gabe Marks for a 37 yard touchdown pass.  The following possession, Falk connected with Marks again in the back of the end zone for a 28 yard connection to put the Cougs up for good.

Falk Finished the game with 415 yards on 33 of 46 passing and 5 touchdowns.  The running game was able to get back in stride with 137 yards of total rushing after finishing with minus 52 last week against ASU.  The Cougs will be at home this weekend when they play the 2-6 Arizona Wildcats at 1:00.

Cougs Trap Bruins 27-21

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In a rainy night in Pullman, the Cougs used 4 defensive turnovers including an interception with under a minute to go to give the Cougs a 27-21 win over UCLA.
After a huge win at Stanford last week, WSU was looking to add one to the win column in the last game they play against UCLA in 3 years.
After getting big run games the last 3 games, the Cougs start the game through the air, looking to put points on the board early.  The Cougs were slow to get their offense going after quarterback Luke Falk’s pass to River Cracraft was completed for a touchdown but was ruled incomplete because he didn’t complete the process of the catch.  That seemed to take the air out of their sales and they were only able to muster a field goal and 60 yards of offense in the 1st quarter. 
UCLA’s offense wasn’t any better as their highly touted quarterback Josh Rosen was out because of some hits he took last week against Arizona State.  That brought in Red-Shirt senior Mike Fafaul to make his first ever start.  The Bruins have one of the worst run defenses in the country so they were going to rely on Fafaul to beat the Cougars with his arm.  The Coug defense was able to hold UCLA to 100 Yards of offense in the first half.  WSU got in the end zone late in the second.  Faulk drove the Cougs down the field for a 19 play 91 yard drive ending in a Gerard Wicks 1 yard touchdown run.  Cougs held a 10-0 lead at the half.
The Cougs picked it up in the 2nd half after UCLA scored a touchdown off a Luke Falk fumble.  Falk drove WAZZU down in 7 plays and Wicks ran it in again from the  1 yard line to put the Cougs up 17-7 midway through the third.
Just when the Bruins looked down and out behind 24-7 in the fourth,  Fafaul put together a 15 play 75 yard drive ending in a 5 yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley  to pull the Bruins within 10.  After a WSU field goal, on the following possession, Fafaul drove the Bruins down again and found Darren Andrews for a 4 yard touchdown pass to pull the Bruins within 6.  That was as close as it would get.  With the Bruins backed up at their own 2 yard line, the pressure of the WSU defensive line forced Fafaul into a bad pass that Charleston White intercepted and ended the scare.
The Cougs looked a little down this game, but got the win.  This can be chalked up to a cold rainy grind out win that they can learn from.   This was Luke Falks first game without a touchdown pass in his career as they are starting to rely more on the run game inside the 5 yard line. The Cougs have won four in a row after losing their opening two games.   Next week, they go on the road to Tempe to battle the 5-2 Arizona State Sun Devils who were pummeled by the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday 40-16 in Boulder.

Chopping Down Trees - Cougars Dismantle Stanford

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The Cougs hold last year’s Heisman runner up Christian McCaffrey to 40 yards of total offense, and they pour on the offense at The Farm as the Cougs role past number 15 ranked Stanford 42-16.

After starting the season 0-2, the Cougs were going to need a big win at the 15th ranked Stanford Cardinal to right the ship from the early hole they put themselves in.  Missing their top 2 corner backs, the Cardinal were trying to stop the Cougar passing attack short-handed.  On Wazzu’s first drive of the game, quarterback Luke Falk was intercepted by Stanford’s Dallas Lloyd, and Stanford appeared to have the momentum.  But the Cougs D answered the call and forced the Cardinal to a 3 and out ending in a Ukropina missed field goal.

Through the last 2 seasons, one thing that we have learned is that when Luke Falk faces adversity, he responds. A few drives later, Falk put together a 6 play 80 yard drive ending in a Tavares Martin 5 yard touchdown pass from Falk to put the Cougs up 7-0 in the first. He followed that with a 9 play, 75 yard drive again to Tavares Martin from 29 yards out.  The Cougs took a 14-3 lead into the locker room and never looked back.

Falk managed the clock well and finished with 30 of 41 passing with 2 interceptions and 4 touchdowns.  One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown.  So other than allowing a touchdown on the final play of the game, the Cougs defense came up huge on Saturday night holding the Cardinal to 295 yards of total offense and putting themselves three games away from being bowl eligible with seven games to go.

WSU takes on UCLA next Saturday at home in a 7:30 game before finishing their tough string of games at 5-1 Arizona State. 

Cougs Blast Vandals

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Washington State gets a boost from the special teams in the form of a 72 yard field goal block return by Marcellus Pippins in route to a 56-6 thrashing of the Idaho Vandals.

On a rainy day in Pullman, which spelled doom for the WSU last year against Portland State and Stanford last season,  the Cougs were looking to jump out of the gates early and often as a 25 point favorite. 

Reminiscent to the Cougars teams under quarterback Connor Halliday, the Cougs didn’t get on the board until 22 seconds left in the 1st quarter when redshirt freshman James Williams ran it in the end zone from 2 yards out to give the Cougs a 7-3 lead.   With the Cougar offense struggling,   the Vandals set up for a 22 yard field goal, which was blocked by Robert Barber and returned 72 yards by Pippens to give the Cougs a 14-3 lead.  On the next Cougar possession, after a Vandal fumble,   Luke Falk found Gabe Marks from 8 yards to put the Cougs up 21-3 going into the locker room.

The Cougs had found their rhythm both offensively and defensively and cruised to a 50 point victory over the Vandals.  The Cougs had their first 100 yard performance by a Cougar running back in the Leach era.  James Williams had 14 carries for 126 yards, and the Cougs as a team had 35 carries for 228 yards.  This is something foreign to the Air Raid system, but the last 3 games, teams were playing with a 3 man front and forcing the Cougars to run.  They used 3 running backs to really control the tempo and the game.

Coach Leach, who has gotten after his team for their effort after the Boise State game, comparing them to a junior college softball team said  , “I thought we’ve had better focus throughout the week.  The biggest thing about this week is that we played better.”

Falk was 21-36 with 226 yards and 3 touchdowns which is far off of his per game average of 450 yards.  With over 200 yards of rushing and a good passing game, this was the most balanced attack they have had under Leach. “To have a game finally where we put it all together for a majority party of it, felt really good” Falk said.

The huskies beat the same Idaho team by 45, so the Cougs putting it together this game for the last 3 quarters, showed us what they are capable of. The Cougs have a much needed bye week before coming home to play a flurry of tough teams starting with Oregon, then go on the road to face Stanford, and face UCLA at home the following week.

The Most Wonderful Season of All

Football season is back!  College games have already begun, NFL is finishing up the pre-season, and High School Football is set to return this weekend!

There are several story lines across those many levels:the Seahawks make a return bid for the Super Bowl, the Cougars and Huskies both look to make noise in the Pac-12 North (and nationally), Luke Falk is a legitimate Heisman contender, the 3A HS level does not have the spectre of Bellevue (being banned from state play), and new favorites will emerge across all classifications.

We will bring you some unique and exclusive content all year long!  It should be fun!

NCAA's come to Spokane

ncaa-tournament-television-ncaa-tournament

The NCAA returns to basketball crazy Spokane, while the Zags advance to the 2nd round.

Correspondent Shafer Murray is on the scene all weeknd taking in the action. Follow Shafer on Twitter at @ShaferMurray

Associated Press Preseason Football Rankings

12 preseason rankings

August 27, 2014

CLASS 4A

  1. Bothell (6) 0-0 92
  2. Chiawana (2) 0-0 89
  3. Skyline (1) 0-0 75
  4. Federal Way (1) 0-0 74
  5. Camas (1) 0-0 57
  6. Union 0-0 49
  7. Gonzaga Prep 0-0 49
  8. Graham-Kapowsin 0-0 45
  9. Ferris 0-0 32
  10. Lake Stevens 0-0 18

Others receiving 6 or more points: None.

CLASS 3A

  1. Bellevue (11) 0-0 110
  2. O'Dea 0-0 91
  3. Eastside Catholic 0-0 86
  4. Marysville-Pilchuck 0-0 60
  5. Shadle Park 0-0 59
  6. Lakes 0-0 37
  7. Mt. Spokane 0-0 30
  8. Columbia River 0-0 21
  9. Peninsula 0-0 18
  10. Glacier Peak 0-0 14

Others receiving 6 or more points: 11, Kamiakin 13. 12, Kennedy 12. 12, Meadowdale 12. 14, Auburn 9. 15, Central Kitsap 8. 16, Ferndale 7.

CLASS 2A

  1. Lynden (12) 0-0 120
  2. Tumwater 0-0 107
  3. Ellensburg 0-0 94
  4. Prosser 0-0 80
  5. Mark Morris 0-0 47
  6. W. F. West 0-0 36
  7. Lindbergh 0-0 31
  8. Othello 0-0 31
  9. Hockinson 0-0 20
  10. Liberty (Renton) 0-0 18

Others receiving 6 or more points: 11, East Valley (Spokane) 16. 12, West Valley (Spokane) 13. 13, North Kitsap 11. 14, Lakewood 9. 14, Sedro-Woolley 9.

CLASS 1A

  1. Freeman (12) 0-0 120
  2. Cascade Christian 0-0 107
  3. Royal 0-0 79
  4. LaCenter 0-0 75
  5. Montesano 0-0 49
  6. Connell 0-0 46
  7. Mount Baker 0-0 43
  8. King's 0-0 41
  9. Cashmere 0-0 36
  10. Tenino 0-0 28

Others receiving 6 or more points: 11, Zillah 16. 12, Meridian 8.

CLASS 2B

  1. Lind-Ritzville Sprague (5) 0-0 100
  2. Napavine (5) 0-0 97
  3. Colfax 0-0 76
  4. Waitsburg-Prescott (1) 0-0 68
  5. Toledo 0-0 64
  6. Adna 0-0 50
  7. Morton White Pass 0-0 43
  8. Raymond 0-0 28
  9. Reardan 0-0 25
  10. White Swan 0-0 17

Others receiving 6 or more points: 11, North Beach 16. 12, DeSales 7.

CLASS 1B

  1. Lummi (7) 0-0 97
  2. Neah Bay (3) 0-0 87
  3. Touchet 0-0 75
  4. Liberty Christian 0-0 72
  5. Colton 0-0 15

Others receiving 6 or more points: 11, Odessa-Harrington 12. 11, Naselle 12.

Fever Star Holding Family Football Camp

lionel singleton

Parents… Are you ready? Come get a workout with your kid in the first ever Family Camp hosted by former FIU and Tri-City Fever Football star Lionell Singleton.

Activities for kids 7 and under
6 fifteen minute drills for adults.
Multiple stations for youth to improve skills.
Ages 5-14 are welcome to join the camp!

Lampson Stadium, Kennewick

Friday July 25. 7-9 P.M.

Only $10 individual or $25 for family!

2-4 members are included in family cost

www.netcamps.com/events/188-lionell-singleton-family-camp

Register at the link below or call 440.3502

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