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Stroughter shines in Oregon State's spring game

CORVALLIS — Sammie Stroughter was back doing what Oregon State fans have grown accustomed to — making plays.

The senior receiver had several big catches Saturday as the Beavers held their annual spring game in front of 6,852 at Reser Stadium.

Stroughter, who had three catches for 58 yards and helped the White team defeat the Black team 22-3, is rebounding from a tumultuous 2007 season.

Last fall, he missed early practices and the first game of the season after two people close to him died. He returned to the team for the second game, but suffered a lacerated kidney in the fourth game, ending his season.

Stroughter, from Sacramento, Calif., was granted a medical hardship, allowing him a second senior season.

This spring, Stroughter has continued a leadership role with the team.

"He's coaching us up. He's doing good at practice, trying to make us better," said sophomore receiver James Rodgers.

In 2006, Stroughter was a second-team all-Pac-10 Conference selection as a receiver and punt returner. He was also named to The Associated Press All-America third team as an all-purpose player. Stroughter has three punt returns for touchdowns in his career.

On Saturday, Stroughter had a 31-yard play in which he spun out of a defender's tackle to gain another 10 yards.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley said he likes what he's seen from Stroughter in his return.

"Sammie looks like he's back in a lot of ways, his speed, his quickness and play-making ability," Riley said.

Stroughter left the field after the game Saturday before any media could catch up with him.

One of the other stars of Saturday's game was sophomore kicker Justin Kahut, who booted field goals of 42, 50, 55 and 31 yards.

Kahut, from Clackamas, had to wait his turn last year behind Alexis Serna, the 2006 winner of the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation's top collegiate kicker.

"He (Kahut) has all the leg you want and he kicks it high," Riley said. "He's a tough-minded guy, and we have had a lot of confidence in him from the time he got here. He's paid his dues behind Alexis and now it's time for him to step up."

Junior quarterback Lyle Moevao threw for 226 yards and a touchdown for the White team.

There were no touchdowns until the second half, when starting running back Ryan McCants scored from 2 yards out.

The biggest play during the regular scrimmage was Moevao's short swing pass to James Rodgers that turned into a 72-yard sprint to the end zone. Junior receiver Damola Adeniji scored on a 76-yard pass from Brennan Sim during an unofficial part of the scrimmage.

"I liked the flow of the day; they played the game pretty well," Riley said of the scrimmage. "We didn't turn the ball over much. Overall, I thought they just played football and they played within the time frame pretty well."

McCants, a redshirt freshman, rushed 16 times for 57 yards. Rodgers added 12 yards on three carries to go with 96 yards on four receptions.

James Rogers tries to elude Al Afalava during the Oregon State spring football game in Corvallis on Saturday. - AP