Nick Montana shows promise in UW Spring Game
An estimated 15,000 fans watch as Nick Montana and Jake Locker play for the Huskies in the first Friday night Spring Game.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Give a quarterback named Montana this many chances at the end of the game and the results are probably inevitable.
In the first time many Washington fans got an in-person look at Nick Montana, the son of Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, he led an 80-yard drive in the last 4:05 to guide the Purple to a 14-13 win in UW's annual Spring Game, Friday night at Husky Stadium. An estimated 15,000 were in attendance.
The White thought it might have won the game when a Montana pass to Jordan Polk went incomplete on a play that started with five seconds left. But the officials ruled there was one second remaining on the clock. Montana then ran in for the score from 2 yards out. But with quarterbacks off-limits to full contact, coach Steve Sarkisian ruled that score no good, saying "we weren't supposed to run the QB inside the 5-yard-line."
No matter, Montana calmly hit Luther Leonard in the end zone and walk-on Eric Guttorp added the extra point in what was his first live kick of the spring to win the game, then got a ride off the field from his teammates.
"Got to make it exciting," Sarkisian laughed of the impromptu ending.
It was an impressive drive for Montana, who graduated early from Oaks Christian High in Westlake Village, Calif., to participate in spring practices. He completed an 11-yard pass to William Chandler on a fourth-and-seven from his own 23 to spark the drive.
He finished 21 of 34 for 156 yards and two touchdowns, though he also had an interception returned for a score by cornerback Anthony Boyles.
"I thought he did some good things in the second half," Sarkisian said. "He settled in and it was good for him, the whole experience of the crowd, the weather. He's got to get used to playing in Husky Stadium."
Keith Price, Montana's competitor for the backup job to Jake Locker, was 4 of 9 for 38 yards with an interception, though Sarkisian has said the battle will continue well into the fall.
Locker was just 3 of 7 for 15 yards in four series, leading a touchdown for the White team (which featured the No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense) after three ineffective drives, then taking a seat.
"It was not as good as I would have liked to have been," Locker said. "I didn't ever get in a rhythm, and we weren't able to move the ball at the beginning of the game. But I thought we had a good spring as an offense."
The offensive star might have been sophomore running back Demitrius Bronson, who led all rushers with 72 yards on 11 carries.
Johri Fogerson also had a nice day with 50 yards on eight carries. Bronson had fallen far enough back of the pack that he spent much of the spring at fullback. But with injuries to Chris Polk and Jesse Callier, he got a lot of playing time Friday.
"I think it was huge for him," Sarkisian said. "He can go into the summer and know he is a capable player at this level."
The defensive star was Boyles, a former highly-touted receiver who converted to defense late last season. He also had a recovery of a fumble and a hard hit on Chandler and finished with six tackles.
There were no significant injuries in the game and the Huskies did not suffer any injuries throughout the 15 spring practices that figure to impact anyone in the fall.
UW is now off until beginning practice for the 2010 season in August.
Skyline's Cree commits to Huskies
The Huskies got their 10th commitment for the Class of 2011 from Skyline's Connor Cree, a defensive end/outside linebacker. Cree also had offers from the likes of Boise State and Washington State, but committed to the Huskies on Friday afternoon.
"It just felt right for him," said Skyline coach Mat Taylor of Cree, listed at 6-4 ½, 225 pounds.
UW also got a commitment earlier this week from linebacker Matthew Lyons of Dorsey High in Los Angeles.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org