Purple Rallies To Post 38-37 Win at Annual Spring Game

Junior quarterback Collin Klein threw for five touchdowns in the annual K-State Spring Game.

April 30, 2011

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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Fans got their first look at the 2011 Kansas State football team on Saturday at the annual Spring Game, as the Purple rallied in the final minute to post a 38-37 win over the White squad before 8,594 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

With five seconds left in the game, junior wide receiver Chris Harper pulled in a catch in the corner of the end zone from junior quarterback Collin Klein to tie the game at 37 points apiece.  The extra point put the final touch on the game with Purple defeating White, 38-37, on the day. 

Klein tallied 358 passing yards for the Purple team completing 25-of-37 passes with five touchdowns.  His favorite targets on the day were sophomore wide receiver Tramaine Thompson and senior wideout Sheldon Smith.  Thompson pulled in seven catches for 106 yards and two TDs, while Smith had five receptions for 138 yards and one score.

The game-winning drive was set up by Purple making a comeback in the second half after tying the game up at 31-31 with just over 10 minute remaining with sophomore running back Bryce Brown punching the ball in from two yards out after a costly interception by junior quarterback Justin Tuggle and return by junior cornerback Nigel Malone.

With White leading by three points after a 40-yard field goal by junior place-kicker Anthony Cantele into a stiff wind, senior defensive back Marc St. Felix picked off a pass by Klein across the middle, tipping it in the air to himself, and returning it 47 yards all the way to the Purple 28-yard line and less than five minutes to play.

Following the interception, White stalled in the red zone then a bad snap on third down forced the Wildcats to take a 45-yard field goal into the wind.  Junior place-kicker Brandon Klimek drilled it home this time to put the White team ahead 37-31 with 1:52 left in the game.

Leading the Wildcats defensively were junior linebacker Arthur Brown for the Purple and redshirt freshman defensive back Kelo Webster and junior defensive end Brandon Harold for the White.  Brown tallied a game-high 14 tackles, including one for loss, while Webster and Harold each posted six tackles.  Harold also had 2.5 sacks on the day.

The ground game was led by newcomer Brown.  He carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards and two scores on the afternoon.  Sophomore running back John Hubert also had a strong day for the Purple squad gaining 78 yards on eight carries and a score.  Hubert had 44 of his yards come on one play when he ran all the way for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to pull Purple within seven points.  Sophomore running back Robert Rose had 48 yards rushing for the White squad.

Senior quarterback Sammuel Lamur, playing possessions from both the Purple and White teams, posted 173 yards passing on 17-of-32 attempts on the day.  Most of his action came for the White, where he tossed for 156 yards on 16-of-27 attempts.

On the opening drive, Lamur led the White squad down the field 46 yards before stalling at the 30-yard line.  Klimek came in and split the uprights for a 46-yard field goal to start the scoring.

Klein and the Purple team responded quickly with a deep post to Thompson for 50 yards and a touchdown on the third play of the drive to go up 7-3.  The Purple defense held that momentum with a sack on first down followed by a forced fumble on second down.  Third down saw Purple flush Lamur out of the pocket to throw the ball away for a three-and-out.

Purple took advantage of the three-and-out with another scoring drive this time with a strike from Klein to junior wide receiver Brodrick Smith on a crossing pattern from 13 yards out to stretch the lead to 14-3.  Purple continued to pour it on in the first half with another deep pass to Sheldon Smith for 61 yards and a touchdown to go up 21-3.  A field goal by Cantele from 53 yards made it 24-3 with 2:06 remaining in the half.

As is typical, the score was flipped at halftime to put Purple into a situation where they had to come from behind.  That effort got underway quickly with a touchdown on Purple's first possession of the second half with a TD pass from Klein to Thompson to make it 24-10.

The White answered with a scoring drive of its own.  The drive was capped off by a run from Lamur from 11 yards out to give White its first actual touchdown of the game and pull ahead 31-10.  Brown found the endzone for the first time as the third quarter came to a close for Purple to pull within 14 points at 31-17.

The Wildcats open their season this fall at home against Eastern Kentucky on September 3 when the Colonels come to Manhattan.  Season tickets are on sale now online at k-statesports.com.  Fans also may call 1-800-221-CATS for more information on all the ticket options for the 2011 season with seven homes contests on the schedule.