Double-duty kicker Dean Janikowski lifts Crimson over Gray in Washington State spring football game

Apr. 28—A 75-yard trick play on the first play of the game, a kicker playing for both teams clinching the win and a coach throwing a pass and booting a punt were among the highlights from Washington State's Crimson and Gray game Saturday at Gesa Field.

The Cougars used a new format for their spring football game, with both the Crimson team and Gray team featuring a mishmash of starters and reserves on both sides of the ball instead of the traditional format of the first-team offense going against the first-team defense.

Double-agent kicker Dean Janikowski, who was kicking for both teams, drilled a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give Crimson the 22-21 victory.

"It was a really positive day," WSU coach Jake Dickert said. "It's a day for our guys to really celebrate a lot of hard work, obviously come out here to Gesa Field, put on the real jerseys, get in front of some fans and just see how we perform."

Here's how the scrimmage went down:

A trick play to get things started

It didn't matter that WSU offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle didn't tell his quarterbacks they'd be opening the scrimmage with a trick play, nor did it matter that they'd only practiced the play the day before.

It paid off anyway.

Gray team quarterback John Mateer received the snap, handed it off to running back Djouvenskey Schlenbaker, the RB pitched the ball back to sweeping wide receiver Josh Meredith and he tossed it back to Mateer, flea-flicker style. Then, Mateer hit wide-open tight end Billy Riviere deep down the sideline with a blocker in front of him and the senior scampered in for the 75-yard touchdown.

"It's a great way to start it," Mateer said. "Too bad we only scored two touchdowns after it — I wish we could've moved the ball more — but coming out like that was great."

Quarterback breakdown

It was an overall up-and-down day for WSU's two starting quarterbacks, sophomore Mateer and senior Zevi Eckhaus of the Crimson squad.

Mateer went 11-of-24 (46%) for 194 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Eckhaus was 19-of-30 (63%) for 196 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

There were also several dropped passes by receivers.

Eckhaus' group started slow with quick punts on the Crimson team's first three drives, but he settled in after that.

Eckhaus' best throw was a dime to streaking wide receiver Carlos Hernandez for a 31-yard touchdown in tight coverage in the second quarter.

Mateer's second touchdown pass came on a rollout to Meredith for 41 yards.

"I told those guys going in this would be a big day and I do want to go back and watch the film," Dickert said. "Obviously the O-line is mixed, the receivers are mixed — it's hard to really get a flow, and I think that's what you saw a little bit on offense.

"Today is a hard eval. ... I love where those two guys are at and they'll be competing all the way until Game 1."

Play of the day

Aside from the trick play, the biggest play of the game came from a true freshman running back, Wayshawn Parker of the Crimson squad.

Parker caught a pass from Eckhaus near the sideline, spun away from several would-be tacklers and raced to the opposite side of the field to the left corner for a 41-yard score.

The 6-foot, 185-pounder from Sacramento, Calif., has shown in spring camp he may be in the mix to be a starter or key contributor come the fall.

"Wayshawn, that might've been the play of the spring," Dickert said.

Other key stat leaders

RB Schlenbaker (Gray team) rushed 16 times for 106 yards (6.6 average) and one TD.

WR Hernandez (Crimson) caught five passes for 65 yards and one score.

WR Meredith (Gray) caught three passes for 49 yards and one TD.

Edge Quinn Roff (Crimson) tallied six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Edge Raam Stevenson (Gray) had 2.5 sacks and one QB hurry.

Dickert joins the action

Dickert was on the field in the offensive backfield the whole scrimmage, wearing crimson in the first half and gray in the second.

In the fourth quarter, he ended up being more than just a coach — he got his hands on the football.

The first one was accidental when a bad snap went directly to Dickert and he "passed" it back to the quarterback.

Then, Dickert assumed the role of punter and booted the ball 34 yards for the Gray squad, although he thinks it went a bit farther.

"That was what, that rolled 45 yards?" Dickert joked. "I was trying to give some field position to the Crimson team to come back and it just kept rolling."

Trainer's room

WSU's running back room took a hit when redshirt freshman Leo Pulalasi went down with a lower-body injury and was carted off the field.

Dickert said Pulalasi will have a surgery and be out for six-to-eight weeks, so he might be back in time to participate in fall camp.

Sophomore offensive lineman Zack Miller was also carted off the field from the sideline and freshman edge Michael Hughes went down with an injury.

Among the notable players not dressed for the scrimmage were junior defensive back Stephen Hall, freshman offensive lineman Ashton Tripp, junior offensive lineman Fa'alili Fa'amoe, junior offensive lineman Brock Dieu and senior transfer wideout Kyle Maxwell.

Quote of note

"Nah, I think this place is blue-collar, man. I think everybody is going try to work for what we we're going to get. I think everybody understands the challenge that we're facing and we're going to face it head on. Being around this team, these coaches the last couple days, you can tell their commitment to it, the commitment to each other and I think it's going to be a special season for us." — Raiders quarterback Gardner Minshew on the challenges his alma mater is facing going forward with the collapse of the Pac-12.

Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, or on Twitter @StephanSports.