Offense gets upper hand in Red-White
Redshirt Kupp leading receiver as EWU’s spring camp winds down
Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp makes a catch in last Saturday’s Red-White Game football scrimmage. While Kupp caught this ball out of bounds, he did have eight catches for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Officially it was the Red-White Spring Football Game, but last Saturday’s final scrimmage of spring football for Eastern Washington University might as well be called Cooper Kupp’s coming out party.
Kupp, a redshirt freshman and a 2012 graduate of Davis High School in Yakima, caught eight passes for 119 yards and two scores. Those came on back-to-back possessions by the White team near the conclusion of the contest at Roos Field.
One of Kupp’s scores came on a 27-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Vernon Adams while the other was thrown by freshman Jordan West for 26 yards. Those two, along with Anthony Vitto, combined for 256 yards and four touchdowns
Adams, the returning starter, completed 9 of 15 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and had a pass intercepted by senior cornerback Ronald Baines. Vitto, the team’s backup, was 10 of 15 for 72 yards and scored on an 8-yard run. West was 5 of 10 for 79 yards and had two TD tosses.
“Overall, I am happy with the progress we made this week,” Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said.
The offense scored three times in the first half, with each quarterback leading one TD drive each. Adams led the starting offense on a nine-play, 68-yard drive, capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass to Cory Mitchell.
Vitto led the White team on a seven-play, 25-yard red zone touchdown, with Vitto capping the drive with an 8-yard TD run. And on the final possession of the first half, West led the White on a 7-play, 62-yard drive, and found Terry Jackson for a 24-yard score.
Junior running back Quincy Forte rushed for a team-high 49 yards, and senior Ashton Clark added four catches for 43 yards.
“We have been challenged more than ever having a new group developing timing with 20 to 25 mile winds,” Baldwin said. “It adds to the challenge. It is not an excuse, but it makes it that much tougher (to get timing).”
Senior linebacker Ronnie Hamlin led the Eastern starting defense with five tackles. Hamlin and his Red teammates held the offense to 105 rushing yards on 35 carries. Reserve linebacker Zachariah Storms led all tacklers with six.
The offense finished with five touchdowns and 361 yards on 76 total plays.
Eastern has a slightly different spring practice schedule this year. Normally the Red-White game concludes spring ball but this year three additional practice days were injected into the end of the session.
The Eagles’ final practice is today, (May 2) at 4 p.m. Eastern opens the 2013 season on Aug. 31 in Corvallis at the Pac-12’s Oregon State.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.