EWU Eagles

Red Takes Down White In EWU Spring Game

CHENEY, Wash. - All-America quarterback Gage Gubrud had a customary big day, but Brandon Montgomery had an even bigger one.

The backup Eagle cornerback returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown and had a 47-yard fumble return to set up another score and spark the Red to a 24-17 victory over the White in Saturday's (April 29) Red-White Game. The game concluded four weeks of spring practices for the Eagle football team, as the Red won the initial "Golden Eagle" trophy while Montgomery was named the game's MVP.

"We got what we wanted," said first-year Eagle head coach Aaron Best. "We wanted it to look like a game, and I thought it was a game. It was competitive, and the impressions were good -- it was even across the board.  Looking at the players on the rosters after the draft was finalized on Wednesday, I thought it was a pretty good, even squad. Some have the upper hand in some positions, and some have the upper hand in other positions.  At the end of the day the fans, players and coaches' were all satisfied with the outcome."

Played as a true game with teams split up evenly, redshirt freshman quarterback Eric Barriere completed 11-of-15 passes for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win. Sophomore running back Antoine Custer Jr. added 67 rushing yards.

The White dominated with 416-227 advantage in total yards, but its three turnovers were the difference. Gubrud completed 23-of-31 passes for 344 yards, but had one interception returned for a TD by Montgomery and another intercepted by junior cornerback Nzuzi Webster in the end zone.

Montgomery, a junior from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Wash., gave the Red a 17-14 lead after his interception with 7:16 left in the third quarter. The White tied it, but then sophomore Sam Inos forced a fumble that Montgomery returned 47 yards. That set-up Barriere's 7-yard touchdown pass to junior Nsimba Webster with 8:11 left for what proved to be the game winner.

Gubrud drove the White to the 1-yard line on the ensuing possession, but his team gave the ball up on downs at the 20-yard line. Red was able to run out the clock for the win.

"It's good, because at the end of the day we are a team," said Best of the day's outcome. "Now we are all Eagles again. We are not Red and White."

Sophomore Jayson Williams led the White with nine receptions for 129 yards, but a pair of freshmen redshirt combined for 13 catches for 218 yards. Wide receiver Xavier James had seven for 130 yards and 66-yard TD reception from Gubrud, and tight end Talolo Limu-Jones caught eight for 88. Nsimba Webster led the Red with four catches for 31 yards, and junior Zach Eagle had a touchdown reception.

Inos led the Red with 10 tackles, and junior defensive end Jim Townsend finished with three sacks and four total tackles for loss. Senior nose tackle Jay-Tee Tiuli led the White with seven tackles and a sack, and junior safety Mitch Fettig, sophomore safety Dehonta Hayes and junior linebacker Ketner Kupp had five tackles apiece.

"It's nice to assess, because were not just facing ones on ones or ones on twos," added Best. "You get kind of a true game-like feel. So what we did asses, and what I talked to the team about, was I thought three guys really stepped up that maybe you haven't heard of much from a fans perspective. Two young ones, Xavier and Talolo, then Brandon Montgomery, who was toting the Golden Eagle here a second ago.  It was fun to really see two of those guys grow up before our eyes. I was even cheering as a Red coach member for a couple of those catches made by Xavier and Talolo."