Sept. 16, 2006
By Jesse Hulsing
SEATTLE -- With Fresno State stacking the box and concentrating on limiting Washington's running game, it came down Washington's receivers to make big plays in Saturday's 21-20 win over Fresno State at Husky Stadium. The pass catchers that most notably made their presence felt were Marcel Reese and Sonny Shackelford.
With a long catch of 38 yards that took the Huskies deep into Fresno State territory, Reese quickly established himself as the big-play receiver he had been touted as coming out of El Camino Community College. Soon after, he took a screen pass eight more yards to gain a pivotal first down. The run put the Huskies on the five-yard line and in position to tie the game with a touchdown from Isaiah Stanback to Johnie Kirton.
"I love being the big play guy," said Reece. "I've always been a big play guy. We have a lot of receivers on our team, and we are all playmakers, that is what we do. Coach instills in us the drive to be playmakers, and we expect to be playmakers, it doesn't surprise us to be playmakers."
Shackelford also took a playmaking mentality into Saturday's game. With the game tied at 14 and the Huskies driving into the red-zone, Stanback threw a high pass into the back of the end zone. Shackelford jumped up and pulled the ball down away from a Fresno State defender.
"It was a play call where he could have thrown it to the corner, or to the spot where Anthony Russo was at," described Shackelford. "But he saw me as the open man, and he threw it there. I always tell him that if he throws it up there, I will do my best to go and get it. I went and got it."
Shackelford's high-flying catch was at a key point in the game, and helped give the Huskies enough of an edge to bag a crucial win.
"I am not going to say that this win is going to carry us on the rest of the season, but it is a good win for us, and we are looking forward to next week. (At least) this win is going to carry us into next week."