Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on November 30, 1986 · Page 25
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 25

Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 30, 1986
Page 25
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Division I-AA football playoffs Sunday, November 30, 1986 QTJ Hnn i-iaTOTTa- innmoi i -w - Pack throws a blanket over Idaho's potent offense It was as if it were late August or early September at Mackay Stadium. The fans in the east stands had sunburned faces again, and the University of Nevada-Reno was a dominating, crunching football team Saturday afternoon. The Wolf Pack took a 27-7 victory over Idaho in a first-round game of the Division I-AA playoffs. It was the fewest points UNR had allowed since it manhandled Sam Houston State, 35-7, on Sept. 6.. The fewest points the Pack has allowed this season came in the season opener, when it slammed California State-Fullerton, 49-3. "Early in the season, the defense played a full four quarters. Later in the season, we played two, three quarters," said Pack strong safety Brian Kaskie. "Since probably the third game, it's the most complete game we've played as a defense . . . as an offense for that matter, too." The Pack, the No. 1-ranked I-AA team and now 12-0, has had timely defensive play all year, but the UNR defense managed to suffocate a potent Idaho offense on all but one drive, a 58-yard, second-quarter drive for the Vandals' only touchdown. The Pack's performance, in all ways, was more conclusive than it had been in the 17-13 victory over Idaho at Mackay on Oct. 18. Saturday, the Pack's defense shined on a day that turned incredibly clear after humble beginnings. It snowed in the early morning in Reno. It was enough to cover the ground and scare the wits out of Chris From My Corner Opinion by Steve Sneddon Ault, UNR's football coach and athletic director, who has succeeded thus far in convincing the NCAA to schedule home playoff games for the Pack. But the university's building and grounds crew had the snowed cleared off the field a couple of hours before the game, and somehow Ault got the appearance of the sun to coincide with the 12:05 p.m. kickoff. "It was a pretty inspired performance, don't you think?" said UNR junior defensive tackle Scott Martin. "We went out there and thoroughly dominated them." Martin was quick to point out he had predicted two weeks ago that the Pack would be a more emotional team in the playoffs. In the second half of the regular season, he had said the team was only playing on ability, but would inject emotion in the playoffs. He said the team's play would more closely resemble the Pack of the first half of the season that had rolled past foes. "I think they (the Vandals) thought they were going to do a lot better than they did," Martin said. "They had trouble handling us. They held us a lot and the officials weren't calling it. We just had to find a counter to being held. You had to just rush through the man. You can still get the quarterback, even if he (the offensive lineman) is holding onto you. That's what I did on my sack." As much emotion as the Pack defense exhibited against Idaho, Martin said there would be more for next Saturday's quarterfinal playoff game against Tennessee State, also scheduled for Mackay Stadium. The excitement will come from having so much at stake and facing a team from another part of the country, Martin said. "That'll be fun. I personally can't wait to knock somebody from Tennessee on their ass." Most of the Pack defensive players were satisfied with their unit's effort Saturday, but not all. "I think we could've played a little better," linebacker Henry Rolling said. For him, the memory of the Idaho scoring drive was too vivid. Vandal quarterback Scott Linehan had scrambled for a 26-yard gain to the UNR 29, and had thrown a 26-yard pass to Eric Jorgensen on the next play to move to the 3-yard line. Finally, after a pass interference penalty had given Idaho a first down on the 2, the Vandals were faced with a third-and-goal situation on the UNR 1. Linehan threw a scoring pass to Todd Hoiness, all by himself in the end zone. That blown pass coverage was the nearest thing to a disaster for the Pack defense all day, but it was a singular calamity. Although Rolling thought the UNR defense could have played better, it was only the third game that the Vandals were held to fewer than 21 points. It's worth noting the Pack had a hand in all three occasions. There was the 17-13 loss to UNR, and that defeat, which meant that Idaho faced an uphill battle to win the Big Sky, probably had much to do with deflating the Vandals the next week when they lost to Northern Arizona, 24-0, in Moscow, Idaho. Rolling conceded that emotionally, the second game with Idaho was something special for the Pack defense. "They probably respected us, but they didn't respect us enough. We had something to prove." The Pack got steady defense, and it made the big plays. Linebacker Mike Lazovich made his first interception of the season a big one. He picked off a Linehan pass with 3:11 left in the third quarter as Idaho, trailing 20-7, had driven to the UNR 40. On special teams, linebacker Andre Rhodes blocked a punt in the end zone that was recovered by teammate Joe Peterson to give UNR a 27-7 lead with 55 seconds left in the third quarter. "I wasn't expecting it," Rhodes said. "Then I realized, 'Dang, nobody blocked me.' That closed the door on them." It was a door that the Pack defense never allowed to be opened Saturday. Idaho first-year head coach Keith Gilbertson, who had been a Vandal assistant in 1982 and again in 1985, was talking about the UNR defense as he met the media following the game. "They were good when I was here in 1982," Gilbertson said. "They were good in 1985. God, they're still good." On a sunny day that brought to mind warmer afternoons early in the season, the Pack defense was more than good Saturday. Make that superb. Pack wins Fk: J IT" Foger 104 yards on 16 carries From page 1B us, and you win championships with defense." "We had to show them we could stop their offense," said linebacker Henry Rolling, who led UNR with 11 tackles. Didn't UNR do that in its 17-13 victory over Idaho Oct. 18 at Mackay? "We did and we didn't," Rolling said. "They scored what 14 points?" Saturday, UNR got four turnovers, held Idaho on a key fake punt in the second quarter and recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown. As in the first Idaho game, UNR ran for big yardage and didn't pass for much. The Wolf Pack rushed for 256 yards (277 in the first game) against the smaller, less physical Vandals and came within 1 yard of duplicating its feat of two running backs gaining 100 yards or more. Fullback Charvez Foger rushed for 104 yards on 16 carries, and running back Lucius Floyd picked up 99 yards on 25 carries. UNR quarterback Eric Beavers, second in I-AA passing efficiency, completed only 9 of 25 passes for 86 vards (133 in the first game). Idaho put on a heavy rush throughout the game, sacking Beavers four times. It was Beavers' fewest completions and passing yards in more than two years. He completed eight of 18 passes for 59 yards in a 23-17 victory over Idaho in the fifth game of the 1985 season. The big difference in UNR's offense from the first Idaho game was that the Wolf Pack suffered only one turnover. UNR lost the ball three times in the first half Oct. 18 against Idaho and trailed, 6-3, at intermission. This time, UNR led, 17-7, at the half. Idaho killed itself with its punting game Saturday. In addition to the blocked punt, senior Darin Magnu-son averaged only 30 yards on six punts. He was replaced in the fourth quarter by sophomore John Pleas, who kicked a 32-yarder in his only attempt. UNR started slowly, taking a 3-0 lead on the last play of the first quarter as Marty Zendejas kicked a 34-yard field goal. The Wolf Pack took advantage of good field position to make it 17-0 in the second quarter. Beavers threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to split end Bryan Calder, and Floyd scored on a 4-yard run. UNR started its first touchdown drive on the 50 after a 35-yard punt by Magnuson. The Wolf Pack began its second TD drive on its 43 after UNR stopped blocking back Todd Hoiness short of a first down on a run out of a fake punt. It appeared that UNR might be on its way to a rout, but Idaho responded with an eight-play, 58-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Scott Linehan, who completed 22 of 49 passes for 202 yards, threw a 1-yard TD pass to Hoiness to cut UNR's lead to 17-7. Zendejas kicked a 22-yard field goal with 5:45 left in the third quarter to give UNR a 20-7 lead. Idaho drove into UNR territory twice in the third quarter, but interceptions by cornerback Bernard . ii aw- i if in v - 1 f rfiimn i r-r i..,... , I Lance Iversen Gazette-Journal TRAPPED: Nevada-Reno defensive tackle Scott at Mackay Stadium. UNR sacked Linehan five Martin sacks Idaho quarterback Scott Linehan dur- times in a 27-7 victory. The Pack advances to the ing Saturday afternoon's Division I-AA playoff game quarterfinals against Tennessee State. The playoff picture Saturday's results UNR 27, Idaho 7 Tennessee St. 32, Jackson St. 23 Georgia Southern 52, North Carolina A&T21 Arkansas State 48, Sam Houston State 7 Delaware 51, William & Mary 17 Eastern Kentucky 23 Furman 1f) Nicholls State 28, Appalachian State"J E. Illinois 28. Murrav State 21 "i ) Quarterfinals, Dec. 6 :JJ Tennessee State at UNRjnoqrjs y Georgia Southern vsQJicholls State Arkansas Statew&Delaware Eastern Illinois vs. Eastern Kentucky 26 Wolf Pack statistics UNR 27, IDAHO 7 Idaho t 7 0 - 7 Nevada-Reno 3 14 10 t-27 First Quarter UNR FG Zendeias 34, 0:00. 60 yards, 10 plays. UNR, 3-0. Second Quarter UNR Calder 9 pass from Beavers (Zendeias kick), 9:53. 50 yards, 7 plays. UNR, 10-0. UNR Floyd 4 run (Zendeias kick), 0:21. 57 yards, 5 plays. UNR, 17-0. Ida Hoiness I pass from Linehan (Decicio kick), 3:21. 51 yards, I plays. UNR, 17-7. Third Quarter UNR-FG Zendejas 22, 5:45. 76 yards, 15 plays. UNR, 20-7. UNR Peterson recovered blocked punt In end zone (Zendeias kick), 0:55. UNR, 27-7. Fourth Quarter No scoring A 13,715 TEAM STATISTICS Ellison and linebacker Mike Lazovich took care of those threats. UNR increased its lead to 27-7 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter. On fourth down-and-7 from the Idaho 13, Andre Rhodes blocked Magnuson's punt, and Joe Peterson recovered in the Idaho end zone for a touchdown. First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Return yards Passes Punts Fumbleslost Penalties-yards Time of Possession 22 32-118 202 16 22-49 3 827 21 6-40 26:27 Ul UNR 20 52 254 84 38 M5-I 738 04 8-28 33:33 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Rushing Ul-Jackson 6-41, Linehan 11 37, Hoi ness 8-29, Lloyd 6-12, Levereft 1- -1. UNR-Foger 16-104, Floyd 25-99, Claiborne 1 22, Witherspoon 2 20, Beavers 8 11. Passing Ul-Linehan 22-49 3 202. UNR-Beavers 9-25-1-86. Receiving Ul-Bengen 6-79, Jorgensen 4-59, Slater 4-23, Hoiness 314, Lloyd 3-11, Leverert 2-16. UNR-Calder 4-44, Threde 2-22, Foger 2-9, Sailes 111. Tackles ( Unassisted-Assistcd-Totat) Ul-Hennessey 5-712, Tidd 6-4-10, Paulsen 7-2-9, Cox 3-4-7, Sanders 3-4-7, Jim Medved 2-4-6. Smith 5-0-5, Ballard 1-3 4. UNR Rolling 4-7-11, Peterson 9 110, Lazovich 4-6-10, Bonsall 6 06. Norfleet 54 5, Donithan 3-1-4, Ellison 3-1-4, Kaskie 2-2-4, Spallone 2-1-3, J. Davis 1-2-3, Tolliver 2- 0- 2, Ford 2-0-2, Martin 1-1-2, Witherspoon 1- 1-2, Hodges 0-2-2, Caleb 1-0-1, Seybold 1-0-1, Shearon H I, Rhodes 0-11. Punting Ul-Magnuson 6-30.0, Pleas 1-32.0. UNR Dales 7 38.4. Field Goals U I None attempted. UNR-Zendejas 2 3. Made: 34, 22. Missed: 45. Interceptions Ul-Young 1-1. UNR-Lazovich 110, Peterson 1-0, Ellison 1-4. Punt Returns Ul-Bengen 3-15. UNR-Calder 1-15, Peterson 1-13. Kickoff Returns Ul-Bengen 4-92, Carey 2-47. UNR-Claiborne 1-32. Wolf pack capsule Lazovich Donithan 55 5 irt Davis A. I n n nrn I Hoiness O Magnuson The big play With UNR leading, 10-0, in the second quarter, Idaho had fourth down-and-4 on the Wolf Pack 45-yard line. Idaho set up in punt formation, but Troy Ballard snapped the ball to blocking back Todd Hoiness. Hoiness, Idaho's starting fullback, ran right, but UNR wasn't fooled. Kent Donithan, Mike Lazovich and Jeff Davis stopped Hoiness for a 2-yard gain. UNR took over on its 43-yard line and drove six plays for a touchdown. Running back Lucius Floyd scored on a 4-yard run to give UNR a 17-0 lead with 6:28 left in the first half. Snow job UNR head coach Chris Ault feared the Wolf Pack might lose its running game when it snowed in Reno early Saturday morning. But UNR's Buildings and Grounds crew promptly cleared off two inches of snow, and the field at Mackay Stadium was dry for the game. "If it had been a sloppy field, you'd probably have seen 70 passes on each side because you can't run in the mud," Ault said. Another blocked punt UNR's blocked punt against Idaho was its eighth of the year. With Idaho facing a fourth-and-7 from its 13, Andre Rhodes blocked Darin Magnuson's punt, and UNR's Joe Peterson recovered the ball in Idaho's end zone for a touchdown. "Ken Mizell is my defensive kicking coach," Ault said. "He does a great job of changing what we do. Before this year, we had maybe eight blocked punts in 10 years." Weight watcher UNR fullback Charvez Foger attributed his good day against Idaho (16 carries for 104 yards) to lost weight. "I felt more elusive than in the past," Foger said. "I got to my normal weight of 195. I gained some weight over the summer.' Foger said he came to fall camp at 216 pounds. Quote "We're starting to come together. We still haven't peaked. When that happens, hang on." UNR head coach Chris Ault Tennessee State From page 1B and bright lights. "I would feel very guilty if our kids had an opportunity to go on a trip like this and I didn't give them an opportunity to see the lights. "We will give them some kind of chance to see the sights but we also are going to have to be very aware of what we are going out there for." Tennessee State sophomore quarterback Stacey Grear, who was not sacked once, completed 16 of 27 attempts for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Tennessee State, ranked No. 14 among the nation's I-AA teams, also rolled up 171 yards rushing. "First, we gave up too many big plays, and we warned our kids about that," Jackson State coach W.C. Gordon said. "We gave up too many successful third downs (7 of 18). "The second thing was we lacked something today that we haven't lacked all year a great pass rush. Normally, our defensive backs don't have to cover receivers for that long of a time." When the two head coaches shook hands after the game, Gordon told Thomas: "With the way your people came off the ball today, I don't see how you could have ever lost a game this season." Jackson State's defeat continued a string of bad luck for Southwestern Athletic Conference teams in the I-AA playoffs. Jackson State lost its fifth straight I-AA playoff game. No SWAC team has won a I-AA playoff game in nine tries. The SWAC jinx continued Saturday. Nothing worked correctly for Jackson State not even halftime adjustments. "We started the game with a four-man rush and got no pressure," Jackson defensive coordinator James Carson said. "We went to blitzes (in the second half) and got no pressure. We went back to a 3-4 to put more people in the secondary and it didn't work "Not getting the pressure really hurt. We play an intimidating style of play and it was not there. We normally get three or four sacks a game. We looked for them to throw and got beat with the big play." Tennessee State's first big play came in the second quarter when Grear hit wide receiver Bart Evans with a 27-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-7 situation. On Tennessee State's next possession, Eric Gray slipped past the pass rush and scored on a 40-yard screen pass for a 14-0 lead. 1 Delaware snaps string of bad luck WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - For coach Tubby Raymond and Delaware's Blue Hens, the motivation could not have been more obvious. "It was just time to quit giving it away. It was just time to go out and win a football game," Raymond said Saturday after Delaware posted a 51-17 victory over William & Mary's Indians in the opening round of the Division 1-AA college football playoffs. The victory put the Blue Hens into next week's quarterfinals against Arkansas State and avenged three consecutive losses to William & Mary. The Indians had won 23-21 in 1984, 17-16 last year and 24-18 earlier this season. "The last three times we played them, we just had incredible bad luck," Raymond said. "I just figured one of these times we were going to get an even shot at it." The Blue Hens, 9-3 and ranked No. 13 in the final Division I-AA poll, took a 20-9 half-time lead on touchdown runs by quarterback Rich Gannon and halfback Bob Norris and two Neil Roberts field goals. William & Mary ends at 9-3. "The season isn't just one game," coach Jimmye Laycock said. "This loss shouldn't tarnish our season." No. 2 Arkansas State 48, No. 11 Sam Houston State 7 at Jonesboro, Ark. Quarterback Dwane I-AA playoff roundup Brown scored three touchdowns and accounted for more than 200 yards to lead Arkansas State. ASU fullback Rickey Jemison produced a career best 157 yards rushing against a team Nevada-Reno defeated earlier this year in Reno, 35-7. Brown, a wishbone operator with an excellent arm, completed seven of 11 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown and set up one of Scott Roper's field goals by completing two passes for 52 yards. Brown, who averaged 5.6 yards per play during the season, carried 18 times for 70 yards and scored on runs of 23 and 10 yards. Jemison is ASU's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1978. ASU, 10-1-1 and the Southland Conference champion, is in the playoffs for the third straight . year. Sam Houston State, 9-2 and winner of the Gulf Star Conference, moved up from Division II this year. No. 10 Eastern Kentucky 23, No. 15 Furman 10 at Greenville, S.C. Senior quarterback Mike Whitaker passed for 123 yards and two touchdowns and Dale Dawson kicked three field goals to lead Eastern Kentucky. The victory raised Eastern Kentucky's record to 9-2-1 and sent the team into the second round in Charleston, III., Saturday against Eastern Illinois. Furman finished the season at 7-3-2. Last year, Furman eliminated UNR in the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs. No. 12 Nicholls State 28, No. 6 Appalachian State 26 at Boone, N.C. Senior quarterback Doug Hudson ran for one touchdown and passed for another to lead Nicholls State. Nicholls State, the runner-up in the Gulf Star Conference which advanced to the playoffs on an at-large bid, is now 10-2, the best record in the school's history. The Colonels advance to the quarterfinals Saturday against defending I-AA champion Georgia Southern. Appalachian, the Southern Conference champion, finishes at 9-2-1 . No. 3 Eastern Illinois 28, No. 18 Murray State 21 at Charleston, III. Sophomore running back James Marable ran for two touchdowns and 110 yards to lead Eastern Illinois to its 11th straight victory. The Panthers, making their third appearance in the 1-AA playoffs, came back from a 14-0 deficit to tie the score at 14-14 at the intermission and improve to 11-1. Murray State, co-champion of the Ohio Vallev Conference, end at 7-4-1 . No. 4 Georgia Southern 52, No. 20 North Carolina A&T 21 at Statesboro, Ga. Gerald Harris rushed for 181 yards and five touchdowns Saturday to power defending national champion Georgia Southern. v Harris scored on touchdown runs of 17 yards and 7 yards in the first quarter, 9 yards in the second quarter and 29 yards and 1 yard in the third quarter as the Eagles 10-2. totalled 442 yards rushing. North Carolina A&T ends at 9-3. Georgia Southern quarterback Tracy Ham who rushed for 128 yards, added a 19-yard TD run and passed for another 103 yards. Keith Geter had a 3-yard scoring run and Tim Foley kicked a 36-yard field goal for the Eagles' other scores T",u Wire service repofs

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