Longview News-Journal from Longview, Texas on December 18, 1978 · Page 14
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Longview News-Journal from Longview, Texas · Page 14

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Longview, Texas
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Monday, December 18, 1978
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Page 14
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Page 2 B Longview, Texas' Monday, December 1 8, 1 978 THE LONCVIEW DAILY NEWS NFL Roundup Eagles Gain Playoffs For First Time In 12 Years By BERT ROSENTHAL AP Sports writer The Philadelphia Eagles and Coach Dick Vermeil have made believers of their skeptics and gained a National Football League playoff berth for the first time since 1966. "Our goal when we came to training camp last July was to win nine games," Vermeil said Sunday. "People said, Hey, nine games? You're just not going to get it done." ' - The Eagles finished the 1978 season with exactly nine victories (and seven losses) Sunday, beating the New York Giants 20-3. And that got it done. Their record was good enough to qualify for one of two wild card playoff berths . in the National Football Conference. The Eagles will open the playoffs Dec. 24 against the NFC's other wild card team, the Atlanta Falcons, also 9-7, at Atlanta. - The Miami Dolphins and the Houston Oilers, the wild card teams from the American Football Conference, also will meet Dec. 24. The playoffs continue Dec. 30, with Miami or Denver, the AFC West champion, at Pittsburgh, the AFC Central winner, and Atlanta or Minnesota, the NFC Central champion, at Dallas, the NFC East winner. The second round will be completed Dec. 31, with Houston or Denver at New England, the AFC East champion, and Philadelphia or Minnesota, at Los Angeles, the NFC West winner. The reason the second-round games are not locked in is because of an NFL rule that no division champion may play a wild card team from its division In the second round of playoffs. The conference championship games will be played Jan. 7 and Super Bowl XIH Jan. 21 at Miami Minnesota and Atlanta backed intoJheir playoff berths over the weekend. The Vikings became the NFC Central champions for the sixth year in a row despite a 27-20 loss to Oakland, while' the Falcons reached the playoffs for the first time despite a 42-21 hammering by St Louis. Minnesota and Green Bay, a 31-14 loser to Los Angeles, both finished with 8-7-1 records, but the Vikings were division champions because they were 1-0-1 against the Packers. Atlanta was assured a playoff spot Saturday when Chicago defeated Washington 14-10. Other NFL weekend scores included: Pittsburgh 21, Denver 17; Dallas 30. New York Jets 7; San Diego 45, Houston 24; Cincinnati 48, Cleveland 16; New Orleans 17, Tampa Bay 10; Detroit 33, San Francisco 14; Buffalo 21, Baltimore 14; Seattle 23, Kansas City 19. In tonight's nationally televised, Miami, 10-5, entertains New England, 11-4. Vermeil gave the game ball to Philadelphia owner Leonard Tose, who recently underwent open heart surgery. "This is the most meaningful game ball we've had in Philadelphia since 1966," said Vermeil. "What can I say?" said the emotionally gripped Tose. "Congratulations." The Eagles got it done against the Giants, 6-10, on the ground, as WJlbert Montgomery andnttike Hogan each rushed for 100 yards and Montgomery scored twice. Montgomery also set an Eagles' season rushing record-with 1,220 yards. v Raiders 27, Vikings 20 The loss gave Minnesota the worst record among the 10 playoff teams, and Oakland guard Gene Upshaw said succinctly: "The Minnesota Vikings dont deserve to be in the playoffs." Oakland, 9-7, built a 21-0 advantage with the help of touchdowns 17 seconds apart by Charles Phillips and Fred Biletnikoff, then withstood Fran Tarkenton's passing barrage which produced three touchdowns. Cards 42, Falcons 21 The stunning- defeat didn't dampen the hopes of Atlanta Coach Leeman Bennett, who said: "I think we'll bounce back (in the playoffs)." , " St Louis quarterback Jim Hart bounced the Falcons Sunday. He completed 20 of 40 passes for three touchdowns and scored twice, his first TDs in three years, as the Cardinals wound up 6-10 after an 0-8 start Rams 31, Packers 14' -The play of Los Angeles quarterback Pat Haden and running back Cullen Bryant did in the Packers. The often-maligned Haden' passed for one TD and scrambled 24 yards to set. up another, while Bryant rushed for 121 yards and two TDs. Los Angeles goes into the playoffs with a 12-4 re-ocrd. ' Bears 14, Redskins 10 "We just let it get away from us," Washington Coach Jack Pardee lamented of the season that ended with five consecutive losses and an 8-8 recprd after a 6-0 start. Stete Schubert's' 73-yard TD run with a punt return and Walter Payton's 44-yard yard scoring scamper won it for Chicago, 7-9. ; Steelers 21, Broncos 17 Pittsburgh escaped with a victory by stopping the Broncos on the 1-yard line on the final play of the game. The Steelers, who finished 14-2 for the league's best record, built a 21-0 halftime lead as Terry Bradshaw passed for two TDs and set up a third score with his aerials before the Broncos, 10-6, rallied behind reserve quarterback Norris Weese. Cowboys 30, Jets 7 "This is the time of the season to get momentum," said Dallas running back Tony Dorsett after the Cowboys, 124, tuned up for the playoffs by trouncing the Jets, 8-8, for their sixth straight victory. Dorsett rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns, including a 54-yard sprint with a recovered fumble. He finished the season with 1,325 yards. Chargers 45, Oilers 24 The loss was Houston's worst in four years, and Oilers Coach Bum Phillips took the blame. "I did a poor job of preparing our players mentally for the game," said Phillips. The Oilers obviously weren't prepared for Dan Fouts' passing. Fouts hit 21 of 40 passes for 369 yards and four TDs as San Diego finished 9-7, including 8-4 under Don CoryelL Houston was 10-6. Bengals 48, Browns 16 . Losing had its reward at least for Cleveland Coach Sam Rutigliano. Despite the Browns' loss, Rutigliano was given a five-year contract extending through 1983. "I've never in 18 years offered such a contract," said Cleveland owner Art Mo-dell. "I feel we're oh the righttrack." . The Bengals, 4-12, were more on the right track Sunday than Cleveland, 8-8, winning their third straight game as Ken Anderson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. Pete Johnson set a Bengals' record with 160 yards rushing. Saints 17, Bucs 10 New Orleans quarterback Archie Manning enjoyed himself against, injury riddled Tampa Bay, 5-11, completing 25 of 36 passes for 250 yards and the game-winning TD, a 1-yard flip to Henry Cbilds. "Offensively, this is the most fun I've had in football " said Manning. It also was the most fun New Orleans had in the NFL The Saints wound up 7-9, their best record ever. Lions33,49ersl4 Detroit Coach Monte Clark savored the game ball after the Lions, 7-9, riddled crippled San Francisco, the NFL's worst team, with a 2-14 record. "This is the ball I really wanted," said Clark, , who was fired as San Francisco's coach after the 1976 season. Dexter Bussey ran for two touchdowns and Benny Ricardo kicked four field goals for Detroit San Francisco wound up using safety Bruce Threadg-ill and wide receiver Freddie Solomon at quarter-' back after Steve DeBerg and Scott Bull were injured. Threadgill had a cast removed from his broken right hand against the ad vice of team doctors so he could play. Bills 21, Colts 14 For the Colts, it seems it's first place, last place or nothing. The Colts finished last in the AFC East in 1974, won the division title the next three years, then wound up last again this year. They wound up there even though they finished with the same record (5-11) ' as Buffalo, because the Bills beat them twice. Sunday, in their second meeting, the Bills' Terry Miller ran 60 yards for a touchdown and became the 10th rookie in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards. Miller gained 123 yards, for a season's total of .1,060. Seahawks 23, Chiefs 19 Seattle, 9:7, became the first third-year NFL team to , win nine games, defeating Kansas City, 4-12. Al Hunter scored his first two touchdowns as a pro on runs of 1 and 55 yards and rushed for 133 yards. Kansas City's Tony Reed, meanwhile became the first Kansas City, player since 1967 to gain 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,053, including 121 against the Seahawks. . SWC Roundup Texas A&M Knocks Off Two Impressive Victories By MIKE RABUN United Press International There still are three weeks remaining before the opening of the Southwest Conference league race, but thaTexas Aggies have given the other eight teams something to think about Texas A&M last weekend put together the two most impressive back-to-back wins by any conference team this year, knocking off Nevada-Las Vegas and host San Francisco to win the Golden Gate Classic and move into at least a co-favor-, lte role for the league title. ' The Aggies' win highlighted an overall outstanding week for the conference, which put together a 15-4 record. The most one-sided loss of the week was SMU's seven-point setback to eighth-ranked Kansas, a team the Mustangs led with 12 minutes to play. In the Golden Gate Classic semifinals the Aggies' Rynn Wright hit two free throws with 10 seconds left to give A&M a 101-99 decision over Las Vegas, and in the championship game Tyrone Ladson hit three free throws in the final 12 seconds for a 68-65 victory over the Dons. The twin wins boosted the Aggies to 8-1 and even before his team's loss, San Francisco Coach Dan Bellu-omini said he was impressed. "A&M has to be one of the top 15 in the country," he said. "They are quickV they have board strength and great shooting. I'm not surprised they beat Las Vegas." And after the Aggies won over San Francisco, Aggies Coach Shelby Metcalf indicated no one should be surprised about his team from now on. "We've been playing well all year," said Metcalf. "Our only loss was by two points to North Carolina State and we beat Indiana by five. So we know we can play with the good people." Texas Tech, meanwhile, has quietly compiled a 7-1 record and won a tournament of its own last weekend knocking off Oklahoma State in overtime and Western Illinois to win the Birmingham Classic. And Houston, now 4-2 for the season, whipped Pan American and Southwestern Louisiana to run its winning streak to four and win the Bluebonnet Classic for the 16th straight season. The only undefeated team left in the conference is Arkansas, which ran its record to 4-0 with a pair of ho-hum decisions over Southeast Missouri and Centenary last week. Arkansas and Houston will be the only busy teams this week as the action dwindles in advance of Christmas. The Razorbacks will play Tuesday night in Memphis against Mississippi and on Saturday night in Pine Bluff against Southern Mississippi. The Cougars, meanwhile, will travel to Pan American Wednesday night and then make a Christmas weekend trip to Alaska. The only other games on the schedule find Baylor at home against Texas Wesley-an on Wednesday and Rice traveling to Vanderbilt on Saturday night. V , '4 ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmMmammmmmmmmmmmmmWHtitW "trim ''-iwms 'MMMtaMHMiaM Piano, Stratford In 4-A Contest By The Associated Press And then there were two. The season-long aspirations of Houston Stratford and Piano have boiled down to one last showdown, a shootout for all the class 4A marbles Saturday at the Astrodome. 1 Houston Stratford is armed with Craig James, the JABCO SPORTING GOODS ACROSS FROM . ROYAl Kf ST 2304 GdMEl M. 759-821 1 HOURS: f A.M.7 P.M. all-time leading class 4A ground gainer. Defending state champion Piano totes a simple but imposing weapon an uncanny knack for winning the big ones. Stratford thrashed San Antonio Churchill 24-7 Saturday and Piano nipped Odessa Permian 6-3 to earn their berths in the finals. "The challenge was there and Craig James and our offense met it" said Stratford Coach Oscar. Cripps. "We told our people at halftime to get the stars out of their eyes and start playing foot- n ) ... AT r, h I v ... c A 1 i mm i..Y If a football team hopes to be successful, each member must be willing to work with others, and give 100 per cent. As funeral directors, we work toward a common goal - deserving the very special trust each family places in us. FUNERAL HOMES LONGVIEW AND KILGORE, TEXAS ball." - Play they did, as James ripped through the Churchill defense for three touchdowns and 120 yards in the Astrodome Saturday, to up his record season-total to 2,243 yards. Piano employed some more fourth-quarter magic as Hans Mansion booted his second field goal to grab its semifinal win over Permian in Texas Stadium. .- The Wildcat defense smothered the highly-touted Permian passing game, pressuring quarterback Vic Vines and blanketing his receivers. "Piano is the quickest team we've seen all year and their secondary gave us the looks we weren't counting on," said Vines. "We were hoping our 'H i V pressure would cause Vines to make some bad throws. I think you could see the results," said Piano defensive back Julius Johnson. Brownwood, runner-up in last year's class 3A title match, now occupies the throne, celebrating its coronation with a 21-12 win over Gainesville in the state championship game Saturday. That win makes Coach Gordon Wood the most successful coach in Texas history; it's his eighth state championship. "If you told me before the season this bunch would win the state championship, I would have told you you were crazy." said Wood. "Sometimes we've won with teams we didn't believe in or teams that we knew didn't totally believe in us. But this group, my goodness, they may be the most coachable guys I've ever had," said Wood, v "To be honest with you, I didnt think they could do that to us," said Gainesville Coach Jim Thomason. "And they didn't in the second half. But we just made more mistakes than we have all season, and we paid the price for it" Wgh(dLowl Cvnr mutt Im ud on slop Optional 6-bushel grass catcher vacuums your lawn as you mow. . With proper attachments, Snapper solves man lawn care problems with ease. AJN-SX Nitty WfabotOOOm). t:3 K. IrWo-Ja 75S4U1 TreNCESAiTT 4.ipf f mfcl.artBMUMrMto AMERICAN - Staff Photo By Dsrid WaUact Doing It Again Houstin Oiler rookie running back Earl Campbell (34) breaks away from a San Deigo defensive player Sunday in the Astrodome. Campbell rushed for 77 yards to regain the rushing lead in the NFL. Miami's Delvin Williams needs 199 yards tonight against New England to overtake and pass Campbell. San Diego won the game, 45-24. Oiler Defense Collapses In, 45-24,, Loss To SD HOUSTON (UPI) The Houston Oilers defense may be happy to play against quarterback Bob Greise of the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the playoffs. Greise is known as a pinpoint passer and brilliant leeader who is feared by NFL defensive backs. But after Houston was bombed by San Diego's Dan Fouts Sunday, the Oilers were ready , to move on to someone else anyone else. "He was something, wasn't he?" Oilers cornerback Willie Alexander said an hour after Fouts and the Chargers had blitzed Houston 45-24 in their season finale. The victory closed out a 9-7 Chargers season that included wins in seven of their final eight games and Fouts did not play in the only loss. He completed 21-of-40 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns Sunday. He pummelled a proud defensive unit for more points than anyone has scored on it in four seasons. "Our plan was to shoot the works and go after it" Fouts said. "We weren't having that much success running the ball, so we threw." Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini passed for three touchdowns and running back Earl Campbell maintained his NFL rushing lead by gaining 77 yards! But neither was enough to keep up with the Chargers, who first-year Coach Don Coryell has turned into a powerhouse in the second half of the season. "I think ending the season on a positive note will inspire us to work hard in the off-season," Coryell said. The Oilers, who play Miami next Sunday, escaped the game without injury and there appeared no concern among Houston players that the loss would affect them negatively. "We sure wont be cocky going into the playoffs," fullback Tim Wilson said. "I'm still confident" said Pastorini, who completed 14-of-29 passes for 16S yards. And Campbell added, "We'll be ready. We know what's at stake. It's not going to affect us. It might Miami." Campbell ended the 16-game regular season with 1,450 rushing yards, 55 more than Walter Payton and 125 more than Tony Dorsett Miami's Delvin Williams is 198 ' yards behind Campbell but he still has tonight's game against New Eng- . ' land to possibly win the rushing title. Miami can gain the home, field advantage for Sunday's game against Houston with a victory over the Patriots. The playing site will not make any difference if the Oilers do not rush Greise or defend Miami's receivers better than they did San Diego's. Fouts' passing day tied the. Chargers club record set by Tobin Rote in 1963. The two touchdown passes caught by rookie wide receiver John Jefferson boosted him into" the NFL record book. His 13 touchdown passes this seaon tied the league rookie record. Fouts' scoring passes were of 33 and 36 yards to Jefferson, 37 yards to Dwight McDonald and 10 yards to Bob Klein. Pastorini countered with scoring strikes of 21 yards to Robert Woods, 7 yards to Ronnie Coleman and 2 yards to Wilson. Houston trailed only 31-24 early in the fourth quarter, but at that point Fouts cooly drove his team 80 yards in eight plays, and running back Don Woods ran for his second touchdown of the day. Redskins' GM Blasts Allen WASHINGTON (UPI) Washington Redskins General Manager Bobby Beathard has blasted former Coach George Allen, saying Allen has "done everything he can to screw up the Redskins," it was reported today. - v -f The Washington Post quoted Beathard. interviewed Sunday, a day after the Redskins were eliminated from playoff contention by losing 14-10 to the Chicago Bears, as saying of Allen: "It's unbelievable a guy would be so small as to say some of the things he said." Allen coached the Redskins for seven years, bu was fired after the 1977 season in a contract dispute with the club. He then was hired as the coach of the Los Angeles Rams, but was fired during the exhibition season. This fall Allen worked as a commentator on several NFL telecasts on CBS, - Beathard said of Allen, "He's always second-guessing: 1 would have done this, I wouldn't have gotten rid of this guy. ' v "It doesn't mean the team would have been any better. He wasnt here to coach it' so why knock everything?" Beathard also said he would try to rebuild the Redskins to Super Bowl contenders by way of the draft, and not by trading future draft choices for veteran " . players, a trademark of the Allen years. But Beathard warned that it could take several years for Washington to improve on the 8-8 mark it posted this season. ' " "People have to realize it's not an overnight thing. I knew that when I took the job, and I'm not discouraged at all but I think it's a three-year deal It wont be until 1980 that we even have a full draft", - " - I 3

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