Monday, April 2, 2012.
If there were any nicks on the quarterbacks in Boise State’s closed scrimmage 10 days ago, it’s assumed they’d be healed after a week of spring break rest. Spring football resumes tomorrow for the Broncos, and who gets the No. 2 spot in August is almost as important as No. 1. Kellen Moore spent four years avoiding the rush (with an undeniable assist from his offensive line), camping in the pocket and shredding defenses. The four quarterbacks competing to succeed him, Joe Southwick, Grant Hedrick, Jimmy Laughrea and Nick Patti, can all run—and they’ll be expected to by offensive coordinator Robert Prince. With that comes an increased likelihood of injury, so the backup best not be wearing a ball cap on the sidelines. With that said, Boise State’s last running QB, Jared Zabransky, was remarkably durable.
As seniors in high school, Southwick, Hedrick, Laughrea and Patti combined for more than 2,800 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns. Hedrick was the most accomplished on the ground, with more than 1500 yards and 17 scores in 2009 at Central High in Independence, OR. As previously chronicled here, Moore’s career rushing totals were minus-133 yards and three TDs. The offense is indeed going to take on a different look in 2012.
Ahead of the NFL Draft, Moore is going to be enjoying some kick-back time in Boise after an incredibly busy winter. His dad, Tom, says Kellen’s been on 16 airline trips since the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. Moore is scheduled to sign autographs at the Blue & Orange Store at Boise Towne Square on Saturday, April 21. They may need to get some shuttle buses arranged for that soiree. That’ll be just five days before the draft, which starts three weeks from Thursday.
Boise State has its reasons for this spring of secrecy. But Idaho held its first scrimmage of spring football Saturday, and—how about that—we have numbers. Those numbers seem to indicate that Dominique Blackman has the early edge in the Vandals’ quarterback duel. The large lefthander was 8-of-11 for 108 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow junior Taylor Davis went 6-of-15 for 51 yards (that completion percentage has been Davis’ Achilles). But Davis had two TD throws called back because of penalties, and coach Robb Akey is still considering the competition a dead heat. The Idaho defense, with a lot more experience returning than its offensive compadres, amassed six sacks, six pass breakups and one forced fumble.
The Idaho Steelheads got the forward surge they were looking for going into the Kelly Cup Playoffs by taking the final two games of their series against Stockton. A pair of one-goal victories were keyed by Bryan Hince’s performances between the pipes, leaving the heavily-worked Jerry Kuhn refreshed for tomorrow night’s opening of the postseason. Hince got the start both nights for the Steelies, making 52 saves in the two wins. He has been seldom-used—his record is just 3-1 since joining Idaho two months ago. But the Steelheads’ confidence in utilizing Hince in the playoffs has been immeasurably boosted.
The Kelly Cup Playoffs will begin on home ice for the 7th-seeded Steelheads, with 2nd-seeded Ontario coming into CenturyLink Arena tomorrow night and Wednesday night in a best-of-five series. The final three games, if they’re all necessary, will shift to Southern California this coming weekend. The Steelheads are just 1-5-1 against the Reign this season, but four of the seven games produced one-goal decisions. It’s the first time Idaho and Ontario have ever played in the postseason. The Steelies hope to fare as well this spring as their youth hockey namesakes did yesterday. The Idaho Junior Steelheads beat the Dallas Ice Jets to win the Western States Hockey League championship, and the Junior Steelheads’ Bantam AA team defeated Oklahoma City to win the USA Hockey national championship.
You’ve gotta hand it to the Idaho Stampede. They could have mailed it in yesterday after being routed by 32 points in Reno the night before. But the Stampede put together a big start and a big finish to beat the Bighorns 108-99 in the finale of the two-game series. The Stamps scored 34 points in the first quarter and 32 in the final 12 minutes to win their final road game of the season. Marcus Banks continued his hot hand by pouring in a game-high 25 points—he had scored 36 in Friday night’s loss. Paul Carter had 21 points, bouncing back from a five-point game the previous night.
Boise State men’s tennis coach Greg Patton feels the Broncos’ 4-3 win over rival Fresno State Saturday solidifies a team berth in the NCAA Championships. The victory is a quality one, as the Bulldogs came into the Appleton Center ranked No. 26 nationally. The Broncos had to do it the hard way in taking down the team that had ousted them in the semifinals of last year’s WAC Tournament. Fresno State handled Boise State in doubles to take the first point of the day, and the Bulldogs won the No. 1 and No. 2 singles. But the Broncos swept the final four singles matches, all in straight sets. Elsewhere, Boise State won the Idaho Cup track and field meet at Northwest Nazarene, beating Idaho State, NNU and the College of Idaho.
It was a frustrating Friday for Graham DeLaet, who could have really used some weekend money at the Shell Houston Open and had appeared poised for it. But after a first round 67 that had the former Boise State star in the hunt on the leaderboard, DeLaet ballooned to a four-over 76 in the second round and missed the cut. He now has 17 tournaments left on his medical exemption to make the remaining $494,449 he needs to keep his PGA Tour card.
This Day In Sports…April 2, 1983:
Three weeks after leading Virginia during the first-ever NCAA Tournament visit to the BSU Pavilion, 7-4 center Ralph Sampson wins the Adolph Rupp Award as college basketball’s Player Of The Year. Sampson was the first one to win the honor three years in a row. Later that spring he would be the first pick in the NBA Draft, going to the Houston Rockets. The Cavaliers, by the way, got out of the Boise Bracket and into the Elite Eight that year before falling by a point to eventual national champion North Carolina State.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)