The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on October 22, 1990 · Page 33
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 33

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Monday, October 22, 1990
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Page 33
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Sports d "Broncos the better hore Sunday, 27-17 Missed opportunities cost Colts as 2 -game win streak is ended w . The Indianapolis Star MONDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1990 3 wjisk' CHS ' i Mm in is? y n, ' "' ' ' ' ' " " "" 1 STAR STAFF PHOTO 0. TODD MOORE Broncos QB John Elway hops away from Donnell Thompson (99) and runs away from Michael Ball (31) before completing a 14-yard pass. Denver executed Colts with clutch plays QUNDAY'S GAME between Denver and Indianapolis came down to a pretty simple explanation. The team that's been to the Super Bowl three of the last four years simply out-executed the team that's usually home by Christmas. After digging out of their usual hole, the Colts appeared primed to reach out and snatch an improbable third victory in a row Sunday afternoon. With 8 minutes left and the score tied, Denver was looking at third-and-15 from its own 12-yard line. But John Elway and Mark Jackson had other ideas . . . and 66 yards later the Broncos had a first down on the Indianapolis 22. That pass set up the winning field goal as the Broncos escaped with a 27-17 triumph. The big play was the big reason Denver left the Hoosler Dome with a Robin Miller 3-4 record and the Colts left with their fourth defeat of 1990 instead of a three-game winning streak. It was a game of missed opportunities for Indy and key plays made for the Broncos. Especially when you consider: Elway's 52-yard TD pass to Ricky Nattiel three minutes into the game. On their opening drive, the Colts settle for three instead of seven when rookie wide receiver Stacey Simmons fails to read a Denver blitz and cuts outside instead of Inside. Denver fakes a field goal, which Gary Kublak runs for a first down and sets up a TD that made the score 14-3. Indy's Jessie Hester drops a sure 43-yard TD pass in the second quarter. The Broncos sack Jack Trudeau on fourth-and-1 from Denver's 43 on the next play. Dean Bissucci misses a 44-yard field goal and David Treadwell makes a 42-yarder. In an otherwise excellent effort, Trudeau throws three consecutive ln-completions late in the fourth quarter with the Colts still in the hunt. With Denver nursing that 20-17 lead with 3:10 remaining, the Broncos drive 56 yards in five plays to put it away. Coming in, the Injured Broncos were reeling with three straight losses. The healthy Colts had two come-from-behind wins in a row and were rocking. "They were a team that could be beaten," said Colt guard Brian Bal-dinger. But the Colts' defense couldn't contain Elway & Company when they had to. "John Elway is very tough on third downs because he can beat you in so many ways," understated linebacker Jeff Herrod. "We came up with a few good plays, but unfortunately it was not enough," said coach Ron Meyer. "You can say 'what if all day long but the fact is we need to play a little bit better on offense, defense and special teams," said Trudeau. "We need a good, solid effort out of everyone." But unlike earlier efforts this season, Indianapolis played well enough offensively to win. See MILLER Page 8 By MIKE CHAPPELl STAR STAFF WRITER It was business as usual at the Hoosier Dome Sunday. Eric Dickerson shimmied up a notch on the NFL's career rushing ladder, Indianapolis' offense started slowly before warming to the task and Jessie Hester took another step on his personal comeback trail. And, oh yes. The Colt defense was taken out behind the woodshed and thrashed on third down. "We had our shots to win the football game. We just missed our opportunities to make the plays," Coach Ron Meyer said after Denver's ailing-but-opportunistic Broncos turned critical third-down conversions Into a 27-17 victory over Indianapolis before a crowd of 59,850. "When you do that against the caliber of people we play . . . you're going to come up disappointed." "I don't think it's that we played so poorly," added defensive end Donnell Thompson, "they (the Colts Notebook, game stats, Page 4 Related photos, Page 8 Dickerson unaffected by boos, Page 4 NFL roundup, Page 5 Broncos hold on for a change, Page 4 Giants nip Cardinals at final gun, Page 8 Broncos) just made the big plays at the critical time." And there was no more critical time than with eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter. With the score knotted at 17-17, Denver was staring at third-and-15 from its own 12. Not to worry. John Elway, who spent his Sunday afternoon picking the Colt secondary clean, picked that time to pick out wide receiver Mark Jackson and pick on rookie cornerback Alan Grant. Jackson outma-neuvered Grant along the right sideline, yanked a 66-yard missile from Elway out of the air and breathed new life into the Bronco drive. "He (Grant) had a tough game," noted Jackson. "We didn't really come in thinking we are going to pick on him. Anytime John has time to throw the ball . . . it's tough on anyone to cover a guy one-on-one." "I was with him," Grant shrugged. "I looked back for the ball and I didn't find it and he (Jackson) got separated from me. It was a great throw." Six plays later, David Treadwell scissored a 42-yard field goal through the uprights to give Denver a 20-17 lead it wouldn't relinquish. In another big game for the Colts they had recovered from an 0-3 start to post back-to-back wins over Philadelphia and Kansas City big plays proved to be big pains in the posterior. Indianapolis entered the game as one of the league's worst at rising to the occasion on third down, allowing 31 of 66 conversions (.470). Sunday, Denver went 5-for-12 with the Elway-to-Jackson lightning bolt dredging up painful memories of conversions past. A year ago, lowly New England utilized a pair of magical third-down plays to sweep the Colts Steve Grogan drilling Sammy Martin with a 28-yard bullet on thlrd-and-14 from the Pats' 8 at the Hoosler Dome: Marc Wilson finding Eric Slevers for 30 yards on third-and-21 from the New England 26 at Foxboro. "We've got to look at the situation and see what we can do to rectify the big plays 'cause they're killing us," Thompson said. "The big, big plays when we've got 'em down . . . they kill us." Like a stake through the heart. Sunday, Denver's ability to convert at crunch time the Broncos amassed 113 yards on their five third-down conversions overshadowed See COLTS Page 5 Sullivan nabs victory in final Penske ride By MIKE HARRIS AP SPORTS WRITER Monterey, Calif. Danny Sullivan ended an era Sunday with a seemingly easy but emotional victory in the Champion Spark Plug 300-kilometer race at Laguna Seca Raceway. Sullivan u py led every lap on the way to his second victory of the season, the 15th of his career and 12th in six years with the elite Penske Racing team. Th 1 QRK Indianapolis Sullivan 500 winner and 1988 CART PPG Cup champion is negotiating for a new ride next season and his last weekend working for Roger Penske left him with mixed feelings. "It's really great to finish on a winning note," said Sullivan, who also won his fourth pole position of the season, tying Michael Andretti for the season high. "It's probably a little early to put everything In perspective. But it's been a tremendous six years. , M --' J a. "We had some lean years and we won some races and a championship. Roger's been a great guy to drive for. Being an ex-driver and a great competitor himself, knowing what you go through out there, he was great to drive for. But, due to business, it's time to move on and that's the way it goes." Sullivan, driving a Chevrolet-powered Penske 90, built leads of as much as 33.25 seconds and lapped all but five competitors on the way to victory. The 84-lap, 186-mlle race was slowed by one full-course caution, that coming at the start when Willy T. Ribbs and Dean Hall banged wheels and sent Hall into a tire wall before the leaders had even crossed the start-finish line. Both cars were able to continue. The 2.214-mile. 11-turn road course went green the next time around and Sullivan took control. Al Unser Jr., who started fourth in the 27-car field, was second by the end of the second lap and stayed there through the entire race, finishing 29.799 seconds behind Sullivan. "I was driving it real hard, driving my tires off Just trying to See CART Page 3 ' Li f o '1 1 t in; 1 - Si,,. Piniella gets greatest satisfaction from title By DAVE GARLICK STAR STAFF WRITER Oakland As a player, Lou Piniella had been in this position twice. In 1977 and '78 with the New York Yankees, he took part In locker room celebrations after winning the World Series. After winning his first championship as a manager, Piniella tried to downplay his role, and credited the men who did the pitching, hitting and fielding. "I didn't have much to do with this, the players deserve all the credit," said Piniella, as he stood in his office in Oakland Coliseum Saturday night after the Cincinnati Reds beat the Athletics, 2-1. to end the 87th World Series. "They did it on the field. The manager's Job Is very small." For a second, Piniella stood In the center of reporters without even the hint of a grin on his face. Then, finally, came the smile. "This is much more gratifying as a manager," Piniella said. "As a player, you're responsible only for yourself. Your at-bats. Your fielding. Your base running. "As a manager, you're involved every second. The lineup. The pitching changes. Worrying about injuries and getting people to play hard every day. "This . . . feels great. It's a grind, but this makes it worthwhile." Give Piniella credit. He earned the right to feel good about himself. He might not go down as the best field manager, and others In the dugout will out-thlnk Sweet Lou during the course of a series. See REDS Page 2 SCORES Buffalo 30 NY Jets 27 UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Cincinnati players had much to celebrate, as they dominated the A's throughout the World series. Washington 13 Philadelphia 7 LA Rams 44 Atlanta 24 Seattle 19 Kansas City 7 Denver 27 Colts 17 NY Giants 20 Phoenix 19 Dallas 17 Tampa Bay 13 San Francisco 27 Pittsburgh 7 Houston 3 New Orleans 10 LA Raiders ffi San Diego a

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