After 14 practices, the K-State football team finally put what they learned over the spring together in front of their fans in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In a game where both teams seemed to struggle throughout the game, the purple team managed to edge their white-clad counterparts, 23-13.
The purple team had a rough first half, scoring only once on the second team defense, on a 14-yard run by sophomore fullback Glenn Gronkowsi. The white team edged close towards the end of the first-half with a field goal that capped off a 54-yard drive.
In spring games, the scores are traditionally switched after half time, mainly due to the first team running up the score. This game featured the purple team having a hard time against the white team, securing only a 7-3 lead going into the break.
Although they pulled out the victory, the first team players, dressed in the purple seemed to have a hard time getting momentum going throughout the game. Wildcats’ head coach Bill Snyder seemed disappointed in his first team after the game.
“I don’t think that we were the kind of football team that I’ve wanted to see today,” Snyder said “There were some good things and some bad things, the white team, I thought, all collectively, probably played better than the Purple did.”
A part of this could be from undisciplined play and practicing during the offseason. In the game, the purple team had four penalties, while the white had only three.
“Part of [the issue] is that we’re not being as productive on offense, we’ve been undisciplined throughout the course of the spring, penalties are probably the biggest thing,” Snyder said. “We’ve had some turnover issues, we turned the ball over today.”
At the helm of the first teams’ offense, senior quarterback Jake Waters agreed with his coach on the way that the team performed.
“I agree with coach totally,” said Waters. “We just didn’t come out prepared enough to play, and we didn’t play well.”
Waters had a rough time against a defense that he has been working against on a daily basis, passing for 24 for 36 and 227 yards. In the fourth quarter, Waters through away a scoring opportunity when he threw an interception to sophomore defensive back Nate Jackson while trying to force the ball into the end zone.
“I think that [Waters] is making the attempt to [become a better quarterback]. I think that he still has a ways to go,” Snyder said. “He did some good things today. He [also] did some things that I had anticipated that he wouldn’t, so [his improvement is] a mixed bag right now.”
On a lighter note, in the fourth quarter on an untimed down, the Wildcats helped an 8-year old fan accomplish his goal to score a touchdown for the Wildcats. Kaiden Schroeder, who was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2009, ran for a 30-yard touchdown.
Senior defensive end Ryan Mueller, made this play possible because of the bond he had formed with Schroeder of the last few seasons.
“It was really awesome“ Mueller said. “I had to give him a couple of pump up speeches. I told him to ‘do what you do when you play video games, to give them a couple of juke moves and run to the end zone’. It was on Kaiden’s to do list, it is something Kaiden will remember for the rest of his life.”
With the conclusion of the spring game, the Wildcats won’t practice again until the start of the season in August.
The Wildcats first game of the season is on August 30 when they take on Stephan F. Austin in Bill Snyder Family Stadium.