Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 28, 2002 · Page 15
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 15

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Monday, October 28, 2002
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(Saaeitc FOOTBALL Monday, October 28, 2002 — Page 15 Dillon, Bengals fall just short By The Associated Press Corey Dillon saw the huge hole arid headed for it, cradling the ball tightly in his left arm so no one could strip it away. He saw no one in position to stop "him from running the final yard and ''scoring the winning touchdown. Just a few more strides and he would be ' ; celebrating in the end zone. ' Dillon got blind-sided by what ''happened next. 1 Pulling guard Matt O'Dwyer acci- - dentally tripped Dillon short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal, allow' ing the Tennessee Titans to hold on for a 30-24 victory Sunday that kept - the Cincinnati Bengals winless and ; woebegone. "What are you going to do?" said 'Dillon, who ran for 138 yards. "Stuff ' happens." Especially to the Bengals (0-7), who keep their distinction as the ' NFL's only winless team for at least one more week. '. The Bengals pulled ahead 14-0 — .only their second lead all season — and briefly won the fans over, getting ' " them to remove the brown bags from ' their heads and cheer instead of jeer. - Steve McNair threw three second..half touchdown passes to put the Titans ahead, but the game wouldn't . be decided until Cincinnati ran its ?final play with 68 seconds to go. The ..Bengals drove to a first-and-goal from the 9, and two runs by Dillon and Jon Kitna's scramble put the tip of the ball on the 1-yard line. - On fourth down, Cincinnati decid- ,.ed to run Dillon to the right behind a pulling guard. When the ball was snapped, O'Dwyer popped out of his .-stance and headed down the line, accidentally getting tangled with Kitna , ,as he turned to hand off. .,, O'Dwyer stumbled into Dillon's , .path, tripping him just as he headed •for a big hole. Dillon fell forward, landed short of the goal line and .tried to stretch the ball into the end .zone before three Titans hit him. .•• The officials ruled he didn't make 'it. NFL roundup "That's just our luck," Dillon said. "You don't want to leave it up to the officials. For some reason, they're not likely to give us calls in our favor, but it shouldn't have come down to that." Falcons 37, Saints 35 At New Orleans, the lead changed hands four times in the final 17!/z minutes, with the Falcons winning on Jay Feely's 47-yard field goal as time expired. Deuce McAllister ran 16 yards for a score to put the Saints (6-2) up 35-34 with 2:20 left. That was enough time for Michael Vick, who drove Atlanta (4-3) into Feely's range. Vick was 16-of-24 for 195 yards. He rushed for 91 yards, including a 32- yard TD run in the fourth quarter, but left on the Falcons' final possession with thumb and shoulder injuries. He also felt sick. Broncos 24, Patriots 16 At Foxboro, Mass., Denver (6-2) moved a half-game behind idle San Diego in the AFC West as Clinton Portis ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and Shannon Sharpe caught an 8-yard scoring pass. Super Bowl champion New England (3-4) lost its fourth straight. Denver's Brian Griese threw a touchdown pass for the 23rd consecutive game, the longest current streak in the NFL » 49ers 38, Cardinals 28 At San Francisco, Jeff Garcia passed for 252 yards and Terrell Owens caught four touchdown passes for the 49ers. Arizona and San Francisco were tied for first place in the NFC West, but the 49ers (5-2) scored 24 points before the second quarter was a minute.old. Owens had eight catches for 132 yards. The Cardinals (4-3) rallied in the second half, but Ronnie Heard's interception — his third of game — with 5:26 left cut short the come- Corey Dillon tripped over a teammate at the 1-yard line in the final moments of Sunday's game, consigning the winless Bengals to another defeat. (AP photo) back. Chiefs 20, Raiders 10 At Kansas City, Mo., Priest Holmes had 184 yards running and receiving to lead the Chiefs past Oakland. Kansas City (4-4) had lost five straight to the Raiders (4-3), who have lost three in a row overall. Oakland's Rich Gannon was 35-of- 55 for 334 yards and joined Steve Young and Kurt Warner as the only players in NFL history to pass for over 300 yards in six straight games. Texans 21,Jaguars 19 At Jacksonville, Fla., Kris Brown's field goal with 2:11 left gave expansion Houston its first road victory. A trick play set up the winning field goal. Punt returner Jabar Gaffney threw a lateral to Aaron Glenn, who ran 42 yards for Houston (2-5). The Jags (3-4) have lost three in a row. Redskins 26, Colts 21 At Landover, Md., Shane Matthews, unhappy that he was benched three weeks ago, was 17- for-35 for 210 yards with two touch- downs and no interceptions and was sacked just once The Redskins (3-4) broke a two- game losing streak. The Colts (4-3) have lost two straight. Bills 24, Lions 17 At Orchard Park, N.Y., London Fletcher tackled James Stewart behind the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-inches at the Buffalo 20 with 1:52 left. The Lions (2-5) let Buffalo (5-3) run off 17 straight points, but got into position for the tie by recovering Travis Henry's fumble at the Buffalo 29. Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe finished 21- of-36 for 302 yards and a touchdown. Detroit's Joey Harrington was 20-of- 42 for 199 yards. Browns 24, Jets 21 At East Rutherford, N.J., Phil Dawson completed an 18-point rally by kicking a 35-yard field goal with 3:30 left to give Cleveland the victory four days after team owner Al Lerner's death. Tim Couch was 33-for-49 for 307 yards. The game turned in the third quarter, when the Browns (4-4) scored 15 points to tie it at 21. New York (2-5) was outgained 93-2 in the third quarter, Vikings 25, Bears 7 At Minneapolis, Daunte Culpepper was 22-of-29 for 216 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions as the Vikings beat Chicago, the Bears' fifth straight loss. Randy Moss had nine receptions for 119 yards and Michael Bennett ran 29 times for 106 yards to lead the Vikings (2-5). Chicago (2-5) couldn't get anything going on offense. Chris Chandler, starting for the injured Jim Miller, passed for 176 yards. Buccaneers 12, Panthers 9 At Charlotte, N.C., Martin Gramatica kicked a 47-yard field goal with five seconds left for Tampa Bay (6-2). Gramatica also connected from 52 and 53 yards in the fourth quarter, the second one with 1:55 to play to tie it at 9. Carolina (3-5) has lost five straight. Unbeaten Irish undeserving of poll snub By JOE DRAPE York Times News Service ;. In politics and on talk shows they .are called hot-button issues; the topics that transcend mundane policy 'and lend themselves to searing rhet- ^oric and roil the very souls of people. Entertainingly enough, college footfall has itself a burn-to-the-touch .'one thanks to the improbable suc- ,",cess of Notre Dame. Here is a sample e-mail message, _ one of many from readers last week: "As with most N.D. followers and fans, who always look backward re- pealling all those traditional ghosts of •;the past (like no other school has an 'equally deep and rich history), the '.'media wistfully place this media; overrated band of players No. 1, escaping any rationale other than wishful thinking and blaming it on 'computer rankings." 1 Before ; Notre Dame punished ^Florida State, 34-24, in Tallahassee on Saturday, this missive illustrated "die passion of Irish doubters. It was Commentary also perhaps a fair assessment of a team that struggled on offense and kept inferior opponents in the game. Now? After weeks of whining by scribes and pundits — many of them voters in the human polls — about the computer rankings used by the Bowl Championship Series, it is time to call those voters out: How can the coaches leave Notre Dame at No. 6 in the USA Today/ESPN poll and the news media move the Irish up only two spots to No. 4 in the Associated Press poll? That is just plain wrong and undercuts the credibility of those voters, especially after Notre Dame dominated the Seminoles, its latest victory on a schedule calculated as the toughest in the nation by simply tallying the records of each team's opponents as well as the records of the opponents' opponents. The Fighting Irish remain No. 1 in the New York Times computer ranking. One voting coach, and one voter in the Associated Press poll, had the courage to cast a first-place vote for Notre Dame. Both polls have Miami at No. 1, which is defensible seeing that the undefeated PJurricanes (No. 4 in the Times ranking) are the defending national champions and have won 29 straight games. Still, they hardly looked invincible against West Virginia, giving up a season-high 363 yards rushing in a 40-23 triumph Saturday. And they were fortunate to beat Florida State, 28-27, two weeks ago when the Seminoles missed a potential game-winning field goal. The Sooners, No. 2 in the Times ranking, are the polls' second- ranked team and were not demoted for being idle on Saturday, and rightfully so. Oklahoma was No. 1 in the initial BCS ranking on the strength of a 7-0 start and a schedule ranked 13th most difficult. But how could the coaches not jump the Irish over Georgia, Ohio State and Virginia Tech after each of those unbeaten teams struggled with undistinguished opponents? The Bulldogs (8-0, No. 3 in The Times) rolled to a 52-24 victory over Kentucky. Still, the Wildcats (5-3), led by 24-21 at halftime and could not be confused for a football power as demonstrated by their now 40 consecutive losses to Top-10 opponents. The Buckeyes, No. 5 in The Times, needed an interception returned for a touchdown by Chris Gamble — who also plays receiver — in the third quarter to defeat Perm State (53), 13-7. They are 9-0, but have also been involved in tight games against middling opponents like Cincinnati, Northwestern and Wisconsin. Virginia Tech, which has been stealthily winning games, escaped with a 20-10 victory at home over Temple. The 3-5 Temple Owls! The same voters who waste newsprint and air time writing and talking about how the BCS computers have undermined the credibility of the championship process did not have the fortitude to concede that they had underestimated Notre Dame. Maybe it's because they do not want to concede that the computers may be right about Notre Dame or that the Fighting Irish, like the Yankees, are just too ingrained in popular culture to embrace. The Fighting Irish and the Yankees both inspire preternatural feelings to love them or loathe them. Whatever the reasons, the news media and certainly the coaches are not propping up Notre Dame's tide run. They are holding the Irish back. Evidence? Their No. 1 team, Miami, was deservedly in danger of losing to Florida State at home, Notre Dame went to the Seminoles' home field and drilled them. I would argue the same set of facts if the team in question wore a University of Miami logo on its helmets rather than the unmistakable gold domes of Notre Dame. Would they? Give me the unbiased computers any day. Jackson suffers seizure By The Associated Press Seattle Seahawks receiver Darrell Jackson had a seizure in the training room after he suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter against Dallas on Sunday. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Jackson was in stable condition at Baylor Medical Center, where he was expected to stay at least overnight. Jackson never returned after taking a hard, high hit from Cowboys safety Darren Woodson with 5:20 left in the Seahawks' 17-14 win. Woodson was penalized for unnecessary roughness. After the hit, Jackson stayed on the sideline and walked off the Geld with his teammates after the game. He was sitting in the training room, being observed by team physician Ed Khalfayan and talking to receiver Bobby Engram when the seizure occurred. Khalfayan said the seizure likely was caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, and added that Jackson never lost consciousness. "He kept breathing the whole time and recovered from the seizure and was a bit confused afterwards," Khalfayan said. "He was not receptive to any information and had movements in his extremities." The locker room was cleared of non-team personnel right after the seizure occurred, and it took about 45 minutes before Jackson was put into an ambulance. Also in the game, Seattle lost quarterback Trent Dilfer for the season when he tore his right Achilles' tendon in the second quarter. Holmgren said DMfer will have surgery today in Seattle. "I feel so bad for him. It's been an unlucky year for him," Holmgren said. "It looked like he got hurt when he was out scrambling." Dilfer took an awkward step as he dropped back to pass. He still was able to roll out to his right to avoid defenders and complete the pass to Shaun Alexander for eight yards. He was replaced by Matt Hasselbeck, who will start the rest of the season. Michael Vick left Atlanta's game against the New Orleans Saints late in the fourth quarter with a swollen left thumb and pain in his left shoulder. He also felt nauseous. Vick left two plays before the end of the Falcons' 37-35 win and said his ailments are not serious. "I took myself out because I didn't want to vomit on the field," Vick said. "It's nothing." Vick said he sprained his thumb and shoulder. He also sprained his right, non-throwing shoulder Oct. 6 against Tampa Bay and missed the Falcons' next game against the New York Giants. Tampa Bay defensive end Anthony McFarland broke his right wrist in Sunday's 12-9 win over Carolina. McFarland, a first-round draft pick in 1999, was injured when he collided with Carolina quarterback Randy Fasani. "We don't know the full severity of that, but obviously we are very concerned," Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said. Bucs receiver Joe Jurevicius also left with a sprained right knee and ankle. Smith breaks NFL rushing record Continued from page 13 Midway through his 13th season, •Smith has 16,743 yards. Payton fin" ished his 13-year career in 1987 with '16,726. Smith broke Payton's record •for career carries earlier this season -and topped his yardage record in his - 193rd game; Payton played 190. Payton, who played his entire ca- 'reer for the Chicago Bears and 'earned the nickname "Sweetness" -for his beautiful playing style, died in November 1999 from cancer. He was 45. Payton once said he wanted "to set "the record so high that the next per.'.son who tries for it, it's going to bust _ their heart." Smith has displayed so 'much heart that Payton's widow, 'Connie, said he would've been .happy to see No. 22 take the title. ., "So, I didn't bust my heart, but I .sure worked hard and tried to get here," Smith said. "I doni know how ••long it's going to last. I don't know if ..you are goingto find anybody to do it with one team like Walter did it and like I did it." The rushing record had been a goal for Smith since he scribbled it on a piece of paper before going to his first Cowboys training camp in 1990. Now the running back whose denigrators have said he was too small and too slow has proved them wrong and reached his goal. Smith got the record on his 20th carry Sunday, getting just enough yards to pass Payton and sustain the 1-yard loss he had on his first carry after play resumed. After the play, Smith ran to midfield and was lifted by fullback Robert Thomas. He took the ball to the sideline and shared long hugs with current and former teammates, including fullback Daryl Johnston. The two had an extended embrace. "The reason F wanted to continue to play when I got hurt was to be on the field when he did this," said Johnston, who overcame a neck injury before retiring in 1999. "Being on the sidelines with him today was absolutely tremendous, the highlight of my career." Smith had four more carries after the record run, all on the same drive. After the I-yard loss, he exploded for 14 yards — his sixth carry of at least 10 yards — and had consecutive 1- yard runs, the second his 150th career rushing TD, extending his own NFL record and lying the game at 14. Seattle then drove forRian Lindell's 20-yard field goal with 25 seconds left, but despite the loss it was still Smith's day. "Today is a special day for me, my family and the Payton family," Smith said. "Because without Payton doing what he did in the National Football League and representing all he represented, he wouldn't have given a young man iike myself a dream, something to shoot after and a person to look up to and try to emulate in every way possible." Now everybody else will be shooting for Emmitt. Emmitt Smith celebrated after breaking Walter Payton's rushing record. (AP photo) Steelers riding high after victory Continued from page 13 " Jeff Blake started for injured ^Ravens quarterback Chris Redman, .\vho had a back injury. Baltimore (3'4) made 26 first downs and out- ; 'gained Pittsburgh 300-283, but five .turnovers and 13 penalties were too § much to overcome. Blake went 29-for-50 for 298 yards, 'passed for a touchdown and ran for .'another in his first NFL start since November 2000 with New Orleans. ,. But he also threw three second- half interceptions. "I don't think I was rusty. I just forced it instead of throwing the ball away," he said. The Ravens lost two fumbles; one set up a Pittsburgh score and the other ruined a promising drive. "They didn't stop our offense. We stopped ourselves," Blake said. Blake and the Ravens cut the lead to 28-11 in the third quarter when he hit former Indiana University of Pennsylvania tight end John Jones for an 18-yard score. Blake's 12th career rushing touch- down, a 1-yarder with 11:11 left, made it 31-18. But Jamal Lewis fumbled at the Pittsburgh 31 with 4:39 left, effectively ending the Ravens' comeback bid. NOTES: Zereoue's first score was the longest TD run of his career. ... The Steelers have scored at least 28 points in each of Maddox's four starts.... The crowd of 68,638 tied the largest in Ravens history. ... The Steelers will play Sunday at Cleveland, which is 4-4 after yesterday's 24-21 win over the Jets. REGISTER NOW For Mohwwfc lanes' Mixed Bowling Tournament! • Nov. 9&10 • Nov. 16&17 Entry Deadline October 31 2 MEN / 2 WOMEN • MAN/WOMAN DOUBLES • OPTIONAL SINGLES MOHAWK LANES 1924 OAKLAND AVE., INDIANA CALL TODAY: 724-463-7443 The Smiths got the Adelphia Advantage. Now they save BIG on Digital & Power Link. So do the Millers. So do the Johnsons. So do the Hopkins. So do the Davis. So can you. Get Digital * Power Unk Only S5t.95/mo. for the 1st 3 months! 800/892-73 Urn* c*K. Mfufer prick* tafk*

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