Cougs paste PSU, Rogers done for season

GARY ROGERS

IT WASN'T ALWAYS pretty -- and downright scary at one point with an ambulance on the field for Gary Rogers, the second Cougar QB lost to injury in the game. The WSU offense piled up over 600 yards in the first win of the season, a 48-9 win on Portland State. And the Cougar stop corps turned the run-n-shoot into the duck-n-cover. But the W was tempered by the new Rogers was lost for the season.

Although early indications were positive, CF.C confirmed earlier this evening that Gary Rogers is done for the season after suffering a fracture. The treatment plan is non-surgical, but estimates are that Rogers will miss 3-4 months.

The fifth year senior suffered a "stable cervical spine fracture that is non surgical," WSU's Bill Drake said on Saturday night. Rogers will remain at Pullman Memorial Hospital overnight for observation.

About the only question that remained to be answered midway through the third quarter -- whether Dan Wagner or J.T. Levenseller, in the event of another unfortunate injury to a Washington State quarterback, would be required to finish out the game.

Tests were still ongoing but the early indications were positive on Kevin Lopina after the Cougar QB went out with a bruised shoulder on a crushing hit. Before the news was known on Rogers, Paul Wulff said early news was positive on Lopina and was optimistic Lopina would be ready sooner rather tha later.

Lopina never saw the hit coming off his blind side, and the PSU defender's helmet appeared to directly hit the back of Lopina's helmet though no flag was thrown. Somehow, Lopina held onto the ball. The early indications on the Cougar QB were of a bruised shoulder. Rogers, who took a straight ahead hit, where a late hit penalty flag was thrown, was moving his arms and legs before going into the ambulance. The fracture was revealed in later tests at the hospital.

The Cougars were able to run the ball as much as they pleased, unofficially racking up 600-plus yards on the day with over 300 of those coming on the ground. The Cougs piled up 36 first downs on the game, tying the all-time program record.

The crimson stop corps, meanwhile, allowed Portland State little in the medium and long range lanes, holding PSU to 258 total yards and six net yards rushing. The only scoring drive Portland State had, when it was still a game, was kept alive by Cougar penalties.

Hallston Higgins set the tone early. The Texan, getting his first start of the season and in for an ailing Cory Evans (leg), picked off the first PSU pass of the game. Fellow 'backer Greg Trent had another pick, and Tyrone Justin looked to have made two dazzling interceptions but the refs waved off both.

Devin Frischknecht went over the century mark, with 108 yards on only five receptions. Unofficially, Lopina was 7-of-17 for 109 yards and two interceptions, with five carries for six yards including one sack. Rogers was 6-of-11 for 103 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Rogers' touchdown pass was a Brandon Gibson highlight reel, with some great moves by Gibson and a fine block by Ben Woodard on the 43-yard pitch and catch to paydirt.

No. 3 quarterback Marshall Lobbestael's day was one quarterbacks dream about. His first pass was a touchdown strike to Jeshua Anderson, putting the Cougs up 31-3. The next drive, he capped it with a perfect lob to tight end Devin Frischknecht on a 53-yard scoring pass, with the tight end showing off his balance and strength the final 35-yards of the way.

Indeed, as poor an outing as he had in garbage time against Cal, Lobbestael looked just as unstoppable on Saturday. His second touchdown pass put WSU up 38-3 with 1 1/2 quarters to play and Paul Wulff went to his bench early in this one, with a number of backups and walk-ons seen getting turns in the third and fourth quarters.

Dwight Tardy and Chris Ivory were each out of the game by the middle of the third quarter. Between them, they had nearly identical stat lines in putting a combined 158 rushing yards -- 11 carries and 80 hashes for Tardy, while Ivory logged 11 touches for 78 yards. Logwone Mitz went the rest of the way for the Cougs with 56 hashes on the ground, and his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard leap.

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