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Montana impresses
Malamute, 1 May 2010

True freshman Nick Montana, son of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, led the Purple team to a 14-13 victory over the White team in the  Washington Huskies' annual spring game.

Please don't call Nick Montana, "Montlake Monty," which is a terrible alliteration for what, on the surface, seems to be a natural sobriquet.

I won't, if you won't.

Oh, yes, "Nick pick" and "pick Nick" are also off limits for the remainder of what should be a stellar career for Nick Montana at the University of Washington.

Anyway, Montana led the Purple team on a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive with 4:05 to go. In what was a contrived finish, there was no time left on the clock when Eric Guttorp made good on the try for point that sealed the victory.

Contrived? Ask the coach about this one -- but entertaining for the estimated 15,000 fans in attendance.

I thought the game was over -- a 13-7 White victory -- when Montana threw incomplete into the end zone. But the refs said there was one second remaining. Montana then ran in from two yards out. But head coach Steve Sarkisian said that didn't count because quarterbacks weren't allowed to run inside the 5-yard line. Then Montana hit Luther Leonard in the end zone for the prelude to the final deciding tally.

Montana was 21 of 34 for 156 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 pick. His passing efficiency was 113.84.

The game matched the ones (White) against the twos (Purple), that is, the number one offense and number two defense against the number two offense and number one defense.

As you would expect the defense had the better of it, having worked against the offense in the 14 previous practices, which includes two scrimmages. Also, it was cold and windy and it began to rain in the second half. The White offense struggled against the Purple defense, registering just 142 total yards.

Playing for the White team, QB Jake Locker was 3 for 7 and 15 yards on the night, with a meaningless PE of 60.86. Playing most of the game, his replacement Keith Price threw 9 passes and completed 4, for 38 yards and one pick, an interception that killed a scoring drive near the goal line. His PE of 57.69 is also meaningless, considering the less than ideal playing conditions and the format of the game.

The White and Purple teams rushed for 89 and 79 yards, respectively. Playing for the White team, Johri Fogerson ran for 50 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry. His Purple counterpart, Demitrius Bronson, tallied 72 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. The White's Deontae Cooper, another true freshman, lugged the ball 13 times for 27 yards. Like RB Chris Polk, who didn't play, Cooper hails from Riverside County.

Commenting on Bronson, Sarkisian said, "I thought this was probably his best day of the spring. He settled and ran the football and I think he got over worrying about it if he was going to hold onto it. He was going to hold onto it. So now he can go in and run the ball, and I thought he ran physical. I think it was huge for him, in all honesty it was big for him. He can go into the summer knowing he's a capable player at this level and good things are still ahead of him.'' (Quote from Bob Condotta's blog, Seattle Times).

Perris's (Perris, California) Cooper hit pay dirt from one yard out to give the Whites their first score and a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.  The touchdown drive was setup by CB Anthony Boyles who returned a Purple fumble to the Purple's 27.

Montana evened the score at 7-7 in the third quarter when he connected with Marek Domanski on a 31-yard pass, on what appeared to be blown coverage.

In the fourth quarter, the ubiquitous Boyles intercepted a Montana pass for a pick 6, a 26-yarder that gave the Whites their 13-7 lead, with Erik Folk missing the PAT.

The Montana-led drive sealed the deal for the Purple, which culminated in their 14-13 victory.

The following are very unofficial passing stats for this spring, which include 2 scrimmages and the spring game:



Jake Locker

17 35 231 2 0 122.87

Keith Price

15 26 149 0 1 98.14

Nick Montana

28 52 213 2 1 97.1


60 113 593 4 2 105.32

Though unofficial, note the combined rating of 105.32 compares most favorably with the Huskies' pass defense efficiency rating of 139.8, which ranked ninth in the Pac-10 last season. The year before, in the 0-12 season, the rating was 155.6, the worst in the league.

Although the defensive pass efficiency is tempered by the fact that two of the quarterbacks are young and inexperienced, note that Locker's 122.87 is less than his rating last season, which was130.1.

While looks can be deceiving, Montana appears to be closer in size to Keith Price than Locker, who is listed at 6-3, 226 over at gohuskies.com. Price comes in at 6-1, 184, while Wikipedia says Joe is 6-2, 205.

Whatever his stature may be, Nick throws well on the run and appears to have the same quick release his father exhibited in his playing days.

Reference Bob Condotta's position-by-position analysis of the roster, as determined by the spring practices. (Link).

Also, see Ted Miller's post-spring power rankings for the Pac-10. (Link). He has Stanford winning the second-tier championship -- the other contenders being the Bears, Huskies, Wildcats, Bruins, and Sun Devils -- which is a mini-conference sandwiched in between the top three (Trojans, Ducks and Beavers) and everybody's last place Cougs.

Did you know -- and most likely will want to forget -- that the chemical symbols, taken from the Periodic Table, appearing  in the word Huskies spell Huskies: H hydrogen, U Uranium, S Sulfur, K Potassium, I Iodine and Es Einsteinium. Same for the Bruins: B Boron Ru Ruthenium I Iodine N Nitrogen S Sulfur, in that the symbols spell Bruins. The Huskies have more unique, non-repeating chemical symbols in their nickname (six) than any other team in the conference? "It's elementary, my Dear Watson," so said Sherlock.;-)

I listened to the game on KJR, Friday, and watched it Monday night on FSNW at 10 PM.

Huskies H Hydrogen U Uranium S Sulfur K Potassium I Iodine Es Einsteinium
Cardinal C Carbon Ar Argon I Iodine N Nitrogen Al Aluminum
Sun Devils S Sulfur U Uranium N Nitrogen V Vanadium I Iodine
Wildcats W Tungsten I Iodine C Carbon At Astatine S Sulfur
Bruins B Boron Ru Ruthenium I Iodine N Nitrogen S Sulfur
Trojans O Oxygen N Nitrogen S Sulfur
Cougars C Carbon O Oxygen U Uranium Ga Gallium S Sulfur
Beavers Beryllium V Vanadium S Sulfur
Ducks U Uranium C Carbon K Potassium S Sulfur
Golden Bears O Oxygen N Nitrogen Be Beryllium Ar Argon S Sulfur



Team 1 2 3 4 Total
White 0 7 0 6 13
Purple 0 0 7 7 14

Time Team How Player (s) Score
2nd qtr        
6:46 W TD Deontae Cooper, 1-yard run; Erik Folk Kick. W, 7-0
3rd qtr        
9:46 P TD Nick Montana 31-yard pass to Marek Domanski; Folk boot. T, 7-7
4th qtr
12:17 W TD Anthony Boyles 26-yard interception return; Folk, kick failed W, 13-7
0:00 P TD Montana 2-yard pass to Luther Leonard; Eric Guttorp kick. P, 14-13


Statistic White Purple
Total First Downs 8 14
  Rushing 4 3
  Passing 3 7
  Penalty 1 4
Total Net Yards 142 235
Net Yards Passing 53 156
Net Yards Rushing 89 79
Completions-att-int 7-16-1 21-34-1
Sacks by (number, yards) 1-2 2-17
Third-down conversions 2-11 3-12
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 1-26-1 1-3-0
Penalties, no., Yards 4-34 6-34
Fumbles; number/lost 0-0 2-1
Time of Possession  35:50 24:10
Passing cmp att yds tds int
Jake Locker 3 7 15 0 0
Keith Price 4 9 38 0 1
Nick Montana 21 34 156 2 1
White Rushing No. yds tds long  
Johri Fogerson 8 50 0 14  
Deontae Cooper 13 27 1 10  
Keith Price 10 12 0 14  
Jake Locker 3 0 0 6  
Purple Rushing No. yds tds long
Demitrius Bronson 11 72 0 24  
Cole Sager 6 11 0 4  
Nick Montana 2 -4 0 0  
White Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
James Johnson 4 31 0 14  
Devin Aguilar 2 16 0 12  
Kavario Middleton 1 6 0 6  
Purple Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
Jordan Polk 7 46 0 24  
William Chandler 5 32 0 12  
Luther Leonard 4 27 1 9  
Marlion Barnett 2 12 0 6  
Marek Domanski 1 31 1 31  
Demitrius Bronson 1 10 0 10  
Cole Sager 1 -2 0 0  
Attendance: 15,000          

Richard Linde can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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