The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 26, 1996 · Page 19
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 19

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Thursday, September 26, 1996
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Page 19
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1996 D3 T PRO FOOTBALL Chiefs' special Though 4-0, Kansas City has experienced breakdowns on special teams in each game By DOUG TUCKER The Associated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If San Diego's Darrien Gordon or Andre Coleman have a big day returning kicks Sunday, a few jobs may be in trouble in Kansas City. Despite their franchise-first 4-0 start, Chiefs' coaches are beginning to join fretful fans in their increasing impatience over sloppy special teams play. There have been breakdowns in all four games, including kick returns of 86 yards by Seattle's Steve Broussard and 48 yards last week by Denver's Vaughn Hebron. "You have two ways to solve the problem," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "You either get better or you get someone else. That's life in the NFL. That's the way life is. We're losing a field position battle right now." It may not be the best week to try to solve kick coverage problems. Gordon is averaging 20.5 yards per punt return and Coleman, always a dangerous return man, is averaging a shade better than 20 yards taking back kickoffs. "We just have to keep working and continue to pay attention to detail, to preparation," Schottenheimer said. "We have made plays in a timely fashion throughout the season, not special "You have two ways to solve the problem. You either get better or you get someone else. That's life in the NFL. We're losing a field position battle right now." Marty Schottenheimer Kansas City Chiefs coach but we're still not where we need to be, frankly, and that's not coaching propaganda." A year ago when they led the league with a 13-3 regular season record, the Chiefs' coverage teams were among the best. Part of the problem this season has been young players who are not experienced on the coverage units. And part has been lack of discipline. "The young guys are running to try and get to the ball instead of maintaining the pattern," Schottenheimer said. "We are going to be involved in a lot of individual instruction this week." Injuries to special teams veterans such as William White and Tracy Rogers have not helped either. But that should get better this week. "We stayed after practice and worked out some extra in the rain," Rogers said after Wednesday's practice. "Hopefully, we're going to get everything worked out." Rogers' bad ankle has finally healed, he said. "It felt good today out there practicing on my ankle," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and helping us out. "We're making a special effort to focus on special teams this week. We've had a couple of big returns on us. We need to shut that down or people are going to think they can keep doing it against us." Run defense is also something the Chiefs are focusing on. Terrell Davis had 130 yards in the first half alone in last week' 17-14 victory over Denver, including a 65-yard touchdown sprint. "We have some younger guys who are real good at times and not good enough at other times," Schottenheimer said. "As an overall grade so far this year, I'd give us a B-minus or a C-plus," said linebacker Tracy Simien. "I'd lean toward C- plus. We still haven't played as well as we can. We're definitely not at the level we want to be. But as long as we keep sawing wood, we'll be OK." Knights / Blocking has helped passing FROM PAGE D1 T COLLEGE FOOTBALL Ash finished with 338 yards and five touchdown passes — both numbers that rank in the top three in the Knights' school record book — and credited the continued improvement of his teammates' blocking abilities. "Our linemen and backs did a great job of blocking," Ash said. "The first couple of games we had some problems blocking the back side, but I got hit only once the whole game and I think we still completed that pass. I always had enough time to throw the ball." "I have to admit that we depend a lot on the pass blocking of our offensive line," Losik said. "If it wasn't for them, Ryan wouldn't have time to sit in the pocket and throw like he does." Canacari showed some confidence in his veteran quarterback when Ash was given the green light to audible at the line of scrimmage for the first time this season. "Ryan does a great job with the audible and getting us into the best possible play we can run against that particular defense," Canacari said. "It's a lot of fun but I also have a lot of confidence in this group of kids and what they can do." "On a couple of plays I'd audible to (Losik) if I saw he .was in a particular spot and he could get a lot of yards," Ash said. "On other Notre Dame has big-game advantage Irish are 9-3-1 in South Bend against top 10 teams under Holtz By RICHARD ROSENBLATT The Associated Press With No. 4 Ohio State at No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday, the Big Game Factor should be considered — Irish coach Lou Holtz usually wins them, Buckeyes coach John Cooper usually loses them. In his ninth season at Ohio State, Cooper is a commendable 67-28-5, but 1-6-1 against Big Ten rival Michigan. Although the Buckeyes beat the Irish last season, they lost a perfect season and national title shot with a 31-23 loss to the Wolverines. The Irish, meanwhile, are 9-3-1 in South Bend against top 10 teams in Holtz's 11 seasons, with two of those losses in 1986. There have been wins against No. 1 teams — Florida State in 1993 and Miami in 1988 — and a 38-10 rout of USC last season when the Trojans were ranked fifth. This is just the fourth meeting between the teams, with the Buckeyes winning 45-26 last season in Columbus and the Irish winning in 1935 and 1936. V BASEBALL Why only three games for these storied programs, located about 200 miles from each other? Woody Hayes, who coached the Buckeyes from 1951-78, used to say there's no reason to bring Notre Dame to Columbus because half the crowd would root for the Irish. Cooper was asked if he'd like to continue the Notre Dame series, which ends after Saturday's game: "I think it'd be great to play them later on — maybe 2005. Let that next coach play them.... In reality, I want to play him about as bad as he wants to play me." The Buckeyes (2-0) roUed up 142 points in beating Rice and Pittsburgh, scoring on 20 of 26 possessions. The Irish (3-0) had a tough time against Vanderbilt and needed a last-second field goal to beat Texas 27-24 last week. "They've been tested and we haven't been," Cooper said. "Maybe that gives them an edge, I don't know. I'm anxious to find out how we'll respond." Some Irish players believe a win over the Buckeyes will put them on the road to a big season. "We had a big win last week, but this week will pretty much sum up our entire season," defensive end Melvin Dansby said. "We win this one football game and it's almost smooth sailing for the rest of the way into the bowl game." Led by linebacker Lyron Cobbins, the Irish defense allows just 60 yards rushing per game. Tailback Autry Denson is the leading rusher with 283 yards and three TDs. He also has four catches for 70 yards and a TD. Ron Powlus is 51-of-88 for 581 yards and two TDs. Ohio State leads the nation with a 71-point scoring average, with Pepe Pearson running for 222 yards and six TDs. Stanley Jackson and backup Joe Germaine have combined to hit 26-of-37 passes for 548 yards and eight TDs. On defense, the Buckeyes are second nationally at 3.5 points per game. The Big Game Factor leaves no choice. No. 4 Ohio State (minus 3) at No. 5 Notre Dame ... NOTRE DAME 28-21. In other games: Kentucky (plus 35 %) at No. 1 Florida Gators Danny Wuerffel gives freshman Tim Couch a passing lesson.... FLORIDA 52-7. No. 11 North Carolina (plus 17) at No. 2 Florida State Carolina's offense can't match FSU's Warrick Dunn and crew.... FLORIDA STATE 37-17. No. 3 Penn State (minus 9) at Wisconsin Hard to believe, but Badgers are 3-0 vs. Nittany Lions. ... PENN STATE 28-14. Oregon (plus 11%) at No. 6 Arizona State Sky-high Sun Devils better be careful. ... OREGON 21-20. Royals beat White Sox behind Appier Chicago on verge of elimination as Appier fires six solid innings By The Associated Press CHICAGO — There are so many games they wish they could take back and play over during a disappointing season of lost chances. The Chicago White Sox, all but eliminated from the playoffs, can't. All they can do now is win three games in the Metrodome against the Twins this weekend and root for Toronto against Baltimore. "Obviously to have any chance we have to win three and Toronto has to go 3-1 against Baltimore. It's not a good situation," Chicago manager Terry Bevington admitted after his team lost 8-2 Wednesday night to AL Royals B White Sox 2 the Kansas City Royals. Chicago trails wild- Baltimore by 2'/a the Orioles beat Seattle is I'/z behind an 11-2 win card leader games after Boston 6-2. Baltimore following over California. Kansas City got six strong innings from Kevin Appier and homers from Mike Macfarlane and Craig Paquette to close out the White Sox's home season. "We came here with the chance to be a potential spoiler," said Appier. "The motivation is what we could do for ourselves. If we can be the spoiler, OK that's fine." • Mariners 11, Angels 2 — At Anaheim, Calif., Dave Hollins had four hits and four RBIs as the Seattle Mariners routed California, stopping a three-game losing streak and staying in the playoff race. Seattle, which has five games remaining, pulled within 2 l /a games of idle Texas, the AL West leader. Alex Rodriguez broke 2-2 tie in the seventh with a two-run double, and Dan Wilson hit a three- run homer off Darrell May in a Wild-card race American League W L Pet. GB Baltimore 86 72 .544 — Seattle 84 73 .535 1Vi> Chicago 84 75 .528 2V4 Boston 82 76 .519 4 National League W L Pet. GB San Dlago 88 70 .557 — ' Montreal 86 72 .544 2 six-run ninth as the Mariners ended the skid that followed a team- record 10-game winning streak. Seattle heads to Oakland for a four-game series while the Rangers are home for four games against California. • Orioles 6, Red Sox 2 — At Boston, their hopes for a division title gone, the Baltimore Orioles improved their wild-card chances with Wednesday's win. The Orioles led by only one run before Mark Parent hit a three- run homer off Tim Wakefield (1413) in the ninth. Eddie Murray walked and B.J. Surhoff singled before Parent hit his ninth homer of the season. Baltimore leads the wild-card race by 1'A games over Seattle despite going 4-5 in its last nine games. Boston's fading playoff hopes grew even slimmer. The Red Sox trail Baltimore by four games with four to play, and can at best force a one-game playoff for the wild-card spot. National League • Phillies 3, Expos 1 — At Philadelphia, the Montreal Expos stumbled again in their bid for the NL wild card, losing for the fifth time in six games. The Expos, who have four games remaining, began the night 1V4 games behind San Diego, the NL wild-card leader, which played Colorado later Wednesday. After playing the Phillies again today, Montreal returns home for a three- game series against Atlanta. Montreal, which got just four hits, went ahead in the fourth when Mike Lansing singled — the Expos first hit — and Moises Alou doubled in a run with two outs. Labor talks NEW YORK — In an effort to allow a few more weeks for a labor deal, the players' association on Wednesday asked its members to allow player representatives to ratify a settlement. Usually, a deal must be voted on by all players. Union head Donald Fehr has said it would be hard to conduct a vote after the regular season ends Sunday because many players go on vacation and are difficult to find. Fehr wouldn't comment on the request by the union staff, which player representatives began receiving at ballparks Wednesday afternoon. Along with the request, the union staff gave players a summary of negotiations. Management negotiator Randy Levine and Fehr negotiated most of the points of a deal from Aug. 911, but Levine basically has been on hold since then because acting commissioner Bud Selig can't decide the owners' next move. Some owners, most notably Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox and H. Wayne Huizenga of the Florida Marlins, are against the proposed deal because it doesn't include a luxury tax in 2000 and 2001 and gives all players credit for service time during the 75 regular-season days wiped out by the 1994-95 strike. If there is a deal, a luxury tax would be in place for the next three seasons, designed to decrease the disparity in payrolls among large- and small-market teams. Because of the luxury tax and the service-time issue — which could create 18 or 19 additional free agents — Fehr and Levine have agreed that an agreement must be in place before the end of the World Series. UCLA (plus 8V4) at No. 7 Michigan Bruins QB Cade McNown could give Wolverines trouble.... MICHIGAN.24-21. Colorado State (plus 36) at No. 8 Nebraska Rams can score, can Huskers? ... NEBRASKA 52-24. Pittsburgh (plus 35 H) at No. 10 Miami Can Hurricanes roll up more than 72 points? ... MIAMI 51-7. No. 12 Colorado (minus 3%) at Texas A&M Aggies have hard time defending Koy Hefner's passes.... COLORADO 35-21. No. 13 Texas (plus 31/2) at No. 19 Virginia Cavs out to avenge '95 heartbreaker vs. Longhorns; Texas still aches from loss to Irish. ...VIRGINIA 24-21. New Mexico State (plus 36) at No. 17 LSU LSU gets a breather. On Oct. 12 it's time for the Gators.... LSU 55-0. No. 18 Virginia Tech (plus 1) at Syracuse Hokies bring 13-game winning streak to Carrier Dome. ... SYRACUSE 27-24. No. 20 Kansas (minus 3) at Utah Kansas well-rested, but Utes are red hot. ... UTAH 34-28. Maryland (plus 12%) at No. 23 West Virginia Famous Amos Zereoue helps WVU stay in Top 25. ... WEST VIRGINIA 27-7. Southern Methodist (plus 14%) at No. 24 Brigham Young Steve Sarkisian gets back on the TD track. ... BYU 31-14. No. 25 Northwestern (minus 3tt) at Indiana Wildcats open defense of Big Ten title. ... NORTHWESTERN 24-14 BRIEFLY KWU volleyball rallies to knock off Bethel NORTH NEWTON — Kansas Wesleyan came roaring back from a two-game deficit to stun Kansas Conference power Bethel in college volleyball Wednesday night. The Coyotes improved to 2-1 in the KCAC and 3-7 overall with an 8-15, 13-15, 15-7,15-10,15-12 victory over Bethel, which has been the regular season conference champion for the last four years. "Bethel was picked to win the conference," KWU head coach Tom Hughes said,, "and for us to win this one shows we've come a long way." The Coyotes received contributions from several players, including five aces and eight kills by Betsey Hane who, according to Hughes, "played her best match in two years." Marcia Emmot added 20 kills and five blocks, Kary Taylor three aces and five blocks, Holly Morris nine kills and four blocks, Tabitha Gillespie 10 kills and Lisa Ellis 37 assists. "We were down 10-3 in the second game and came back to tie it at 13-13 before losing 15-13," Hughes said. "At that point, I think our players started believing they could win the match." Deckinger GM of Wichita Baseball Inc., WICHITA — Lance Deckinger, assistant general manager in charge of the National Baseball Congress since 1992, has been named general manager of Wichita Baseball Inc., the administration branch of the Wichita Wranglers, National Baseball Congress and Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Deckinger, a Wichita native, replaces Steve Shaad, who was named general manager of a new company Events Unlimited West. Shaad will continue to serve as vice president of Wichita Baseball, but Deckinger will oversee day-today operations. From Staff and Wire Reports plays he broke tackles and did it all himself." With 422 yards receiving in three games, Losik is likely to draw more attention from opposing defenses starting this week when the Knights play at Council Grove. That shouldn't be a major problem, according to Ash, since the Knights are averaging 227 yards rushing a game and nearly 400 yards total offense. "We know if they double-team Mike that we have other guys who can catch the ball and it can open up our running game," Ash said. Losik's numbers put him on a pace to finish the regular season with more than 1,200 receiving yards. That would place him in some fairly elite company, with the single-season state record 1,271 yards and the school record of 936 yards. "I don't know what the record is for total receiving yards in a season," Losik said, "so I'll just try to take it one game at a time. I probably will not come close to tying or beating these records again, but I just hope to do my part for the team." 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If you love to solve mechanical problems, look into the Army Reserve. Think about it. Then think about us. Then call: 827-3666 BE ALL YOU CAN BE.' ARMY RESERVE

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