Purple Dominates Spring Game

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State fans got their first peek at the new Bill Snyder era at the annual Purple-White Spring Game on Saturday with the Purple team dominating play from kickoff until the final whistle. The Purple team outscored the White 45-0, but in a twist created by Snyder the final score officially was 28-17 in front of a strong showing of 12,804 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.


In an effort to force the Purple team to face a game situation of battling back from behind late in a game, Snyder had the halftime score flipped so the White team suddenly was in the lead.


The day started off strong for the Purple defense, forcing a three-and-out on the first possession of the game. The defense forced a sack on a third and long situation to make the quick turnaround and get the Purple offense on the field.


On his first play from scrimmage in the game, quarterback Carson Coffman ran for 27 yards on a zone read play to the left side breaking a tackle on the gain. Keithen Valentine capped the drive off for the Purple to open up an early lead with a nine-yard touchdown run to the left corner of the endzone.


Purple moved the ball 63 yards on seven plays in just over three minutes on its first possession of the game. Valentine accounted for 25 of those yards on four carries for the Purple squad.


Coffman played the entire game for the Purple team tallying up some good numbers for the day. The junior connected on 25-of-36 passes for 334 yards and three touchdown strikes. Two of his favorite targets were Brandon Banks and Attrail Snipe as Banks finished the afternoon with 141 yards on six catches and one touchdown. Snipes tallied eight receptions and 76 yards with a score.


The ground attack was balanced until late in the game for the Wildcats on the Purple team with Valentine pounding out 92 yards and two scores on 20 carries. Jarell Childs rushed for 44 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.


The day was highlighted early on by the defense as both offenses struggled to move the ball. Both teams combined for three consecutive three-and-outs following the initial Purple touchdown.


The Purple defense dominated much like its offense did all day. The White offense garnered just 123 yards of total offense getting outgained by 360 yards. The Purple defense tallied two interceptions, recovered its only forced fumble and had five sacks for a loss of 34 yards.


Alex Hrebec led the Purple’s dominating performance on defense with 19 tackles including one for loss. Defensive end Brandon Harold had nine tackles, including four for loss and three sacks to be a force up front for the Wildcats.


Both offenses continued to struggle throughout the first half as the defenses were able to shut down the run. The Purple offense got back on track near the end of the first half with a big gain by Banks on a pass from Coffman.


The Purple broke into the red zone for the second time in the half with just under four minutes to play and got first and goal on a completion to Braden Wilson with Wilson running over Mark St. Felix on his way to the six yard line. Coffman attempted to go to Wilson again on third and goal, but the pass was low. The Purple team instead kicked a field goal by Josh Cherry from 20 yards to take a 10-0 lead.


From that point on it was all Purple for the Wildcats.


On the White team’s first play on the ensuing drive, Trey Scott threw an interception as Courtney Herndon jumped the route to return the pick 20 yards to the 12-yard line giving the Purple a chance to tack on more points before halftime.


Coffman found Jeron Mastrud in the back of the endzone on the second play of the drive with 22 seconds remaining for his first touchdown pass of the game. With the extra point the Purple took a 17-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.


In a twist to the usual spring games, the score was flipped at halftime. The Purple team suddenly found itself trailing 17-0 coming out of the locker room. The move forced the Purple squad to face the situation of having to come from behind in a game situation and bring that mentality to the second half.


Purple kicked to White to open the second half, and on second down Brandon Harold forced a fumble with the defense recovering to spark the Purple’s comeback. Coffman and the Purple team struck quickly scoring in five plays to pull within 10 points. Coffman connected with Attrail Snipes from 13 yards on a quick slant for his second TD pass of the game.


The Purple defense capitalized on the momentum shift with an interception on a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage. That momentum would quickly be deflated, however, as Snipes fumbled the ball at the two-yard line after a long gain on the first play of the drive. The ball rolled into the endzone and was recovered by the White team for a touchback.


Coffman connected with Banks midway through the third quarter on a skinny post as Banks scooted by the secondary with a cut back up the middle for a 64-yard touchdown. The score pulled the Purple team within striking distance as they trailed by just three points.


The Purple team continued to open up the offense in the second half with a quick first strike to Lamark Brown for a 37-yard gain on first down following another three-and-out by the defense. That play was followed by a nine-yard rush by Jarell Childs to the 22-yard line. Childs set up another touchdown by stretching to the one on a 12-yard run, and he capped off the drive up the middle to score the Purple team’s third touchdown of the third quarter and pull ahead 21-17.


Another touchdown was added by Childs as he flipped into the endzone bouncing off a would-be defender for his only score of the day and extend the lead to 28-17 officially.


Snyder also announced the captains for the 2009 season before the game along with a number of spring practice awards. The captains for the first year of the new Bill Snyder era will be tight end Mastrud, linebacker Hrebec, offensive lineman Nick Stringer and quarterback Coffman.


The Purple-White Spring Game concludes the Wildcats’ spring practices until the team reports for training camp this summer. Season tickets are on sale now for the six home games of the 2009 season. To inquire about ticket prices or to order season tickets call the K-State Ticket Office at 1-800-221-CATS