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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • Page 64

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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People Paper Sports MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1973 Eagles Were One Big Play Away From an Upset All during the pre-season, I read and heard about what an Herb awesome team the New York Giants have this year. But Adderley when I got my first live look at them yesterday at Yankee On the Eagles Stadium, they weren't nearly as awesome as I'd been led to believe. The Eagles had a lot to do with that, because they simply refused to be awed. Of course, the Giants had something to do with it, too. I had the feeling the Giants thought they had this game won before they went on the field and they were already looking forward to their game with Cleveland next week.

Fellows like Spider Lockhart, Richmond Flowers and Willie Williams more or less confirmed this when I spoke with them after the game. BUT THAT SHOULDN'T detract from the Eagles' great effort. They started off where they had left off in the second half last week against the Cardinals. They made very few mistakes. They maintained their poise.

They had come to play football, and Birds Have No Time For Tie and Kick By JACK McKINNEY NEW YORK Mel Tom doesn't claim to have a clock in his head, but he knows how much time was left on the scoreboard when he crossed to his own side of the line of scrimmage late yesterday in Yankee Stadium. "Three seconds," the Eagles' veteran defensive end recalled. Tom is not the quickest guy getting down into his stance, but he knows he was firmly settled in it before Giants center Greg Larson snapped the ball to place kick holder Tom Blanchard. TOM DOESN'T CLAIM to have memorized the rule book, but he knows the offensive line has to be set for a full second before the center snaps the ball. "There was no way," Tom insisted after Pete Gogolak saved the Giants' fritters after kicking that game-tying 14-yard field goal against the Eagles as the final gun sounded.

"No way they could have gotten that kick off in time for it to count." Every Eagle you talked to echoed Tom's conviction, but Gogolak's field goal did count and the Giants have a 23-23 tie to show for it instead of what would have been a stunning upset loss for a team that was favored by as much as 17 points to have an afternoon of fun at the Eagles' expense. "Their offensive line was still moving when the ball was snapped." said wide receiver Harold Carmichael, who was sighting down the line of scrimmage from the sideline. "Even if they did get the kick off in time, which I don't think they did, it should have been ruled illegal But there were 57,138 howling fans on hand for the Giants' last game in Yankee Stadium and it would have been only human for any official to be psyched out by the prospect of turning them into a riotous mob. If that was a deciding factor, the world will never know, since NFL officials are not given to public recantation. they did.

Intercept, force a fumble, What Joe has to learn is that All of this was reflected in sack the quarterback, what- if you want to play cornerthe way the Eagles' offense ever. But nobody did. back in the NFL, you have to moved against the Giants, a There was an ironic twist to be prepared to play with pain. team that was supposed to this. After showing so much of When you're hurt, you have to have one of the best defenses their five-back defense, the reach down inside yourself in the east.

Eagles finally found them- and find what it takes to keep THE EAGLES COULD have selves in a classic "prevent" going. I've never known won it. In fact, they should situation, where they had to super-star who complains have won it. But they had to have five backs, but they had when he's playing hurt. He settle for a tie, because they only three able-bodied defen- keeps it to himself and finds a couldn't come up with that sive backs at the time, so way to get the job done.

one big defensive play when they had to go with an extra JOE LAVENDER HAS an the Giants were driving for linebacker. That could have exceptional outside rush their final field goal. In a situ- been the difference. against the field goal attempt. ation like that, somebody has I understand Joe Lavender Remember, he blocked one to come up with the big play.

was out with bruised ribs. Continued on page 681 Eagles' Tom Sullivan juggles Roman Gabriel pass above fallen Giant linebacker Pat Hughes 4 9 Unilax and Hughes finds lying down on the job pays off with an interception in the second quarter. Dolphins -Details on Redskins Pages 53-56 Namath SULLIVA "I didn't know the exact score at the time of the kick," Tom admitted. "I thought the field goal had won it for them. I felt a terrible letdown.

But when 1 turned and saw the tie score on the board, I didn't feel that much better. "I have to wonder what's worse," Tom pondered. by 50 points or having a game end like that. ON FURTHER REFLECTION, Tom will cease to wonder. Losing by 50 points is worse.

Much worse. The Eagles should know. They've tasted both draughts of bitters. Any resemblance between the team that swooned before the Giants on the wretched end of a 62-10 score last year and the team that came within a split-second (post-second?) of upsetting the Giants yesterday was only in the color of their uniforms. It was a day when the Eagles' offensive line put a hammering on the Giants' vaunted defensive line while springing halfback Tom Sullivan for 100 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.

IT WAS A DAY when quarterback Roman Gabriel probed the seams of the Giants' zone defenses for 14 completions in 28 pass attempts for 227 yards and one touchdown, which at the time appeared to be the winning touchdown. It was a day when wide receiver Harold Carmichael made good on his threat to Giants cornerback Willie Williams by catching five passes for 103 yards and touchdown. It was a day when a traveling Eagles fan was overheard to remark in amazement, "I still can't believe it. They had to come from behind to tie US!" it was a day that will do the Eagles a ton of good in the long weeks ahead, because they had to go out of Yankee Stadium believing in themselves, if not in the officials. "We came to play," said Sullivan, after Continued on page 53.

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