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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 23
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Lincoln Journal Star from Lincoln, Nebraska • Page 23

Lincoln, Nebraska
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Sport japitols lose 31-39T0BEEF5D vww.journalstar.comsports Journal Star Sunday, April 21, 2002 Sports news tips? Call John Mabry, 473-7320 Pap OWer WoM Crouch goes to picked Saturday Chargers pick Fonoti in second round Rams BY JOSHUA BUECHLER -happier with the paths their professional rj fl4-t H1- 95 Lincoln Journal Star careers have started out on. One would be hard-pressed to find two players more satisfied with their draft status thanToniu Fonoti and Eric Crouch. The Heis-man Trophy On most draft boards, Crouch was tabbed a Sunday pick, but in the weeks leading up to the draft, Crouch talked frequently with Rams receivers coach Ken Zampese. Crouch said Friday night he wanted to be a Ram. "I called it," said Crouch, who will play only wide receiver for St Louis. "I had a really good feeling it would happen today. Rams Coach Mike Martz told his team's Web site he liked Crouch as a receiver and special teams player. "It's an easy transition for me to see with Eric to wide receiver with his change of direction and his ability to do those See DRAFT, Page 6D 'x F0NOTI 39 CROUCH winner, Crouch had to wait until just four picks remained on Saturday night before he found out he was selected in the THE ASSOCIATED PRESS third round by St. Louis with the 95th overall pick. With Fonoti headed for San Diego as the 39th pick, both players couldn't be First-round NFL Draft selections (from left) David Carr of Fresno State, Quentin Jammer of Texas, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Bryant McKinnie of Miami, Julius Peppers of North Carolina, and Mike Williams of Texas pose for a picture before the start of the. draft Saturday in New York. RED-WHITE SPRING GAME Maoism ff pool I Vk 'r I n4 STEVEN M.SIPPLE Journal Star StaffWriter Backup QBs must now 'get it done' Curt Dukes, one of two mature-beyond-their-years quarterbacks competing for Nebraska's top backup job, chuckled at the question. Well, are you ready to be thrown into a real game, with the outcome in the balance? "I'm not nearly ready," the true freshman said after his solid showing in the Red-White Spring Game Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Following the annual glorified scrimmage, viewed by 31,420 spectators, Dukes said he needs work on his passing and foot quickness before he's ready for a real game. "But I'd try it if they'd ask me," he added eagerly. Of course Dukes is willing. Whether he's able is another story, at least at this point. Both Dukes and sophomore Mike Stuntz showed promise with Dukes showing a little more promise, for what it's worth. No wonder Dukes has become a media and crowd favorite. Remember, he's supposed to be in high school right now, not leading Nebraska's No. 1 offense down the field against the first-string defense, as he did twice Saturday, once for a touchdown. Stuntz fumbled a few snaps, called some interesting timeouts and overthrew a couple receivers in a generally subpar outing. But he's fleet of foot, as he showed with a couple nice scrambles, and he's clearly the better pure passer of the two. Yes, the boys showed promise. But I snowed promise in grade school, and now look at me. Showing promise is all well and good if you play for Baylor or some See SIPPLE, Page 3D liiiiiiiiiiiTf i iiTfinimiiittiiiw im i 1 r- "-riTinif mrm 1 ii ti it rn rr'Ti'r TED KIRKLincoln Journal Star Marques Simmons of the White team tries to find some room to run against Red team defenders Josh Bullocks (22), Ira Cooper (47) and Chad Sievers (52) in the first quarter of Saturday's Red-White Spring Game before 31,420 fans at Memorial Stadium. Simmons rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries and scored a 10-yard rushing touchdown in Young players like Simmons, Williams and Dukes step forward ml Lssl BY BRIAN ROSENTHAL Lincoln Journal Star Some say football in Nebraska is comparable to religion. So perhaps Saturday's gentle April showers that fell upon Memorial Stadium marked a baptism, of sorts, for a host of promising newcomers, hungry to make one final impression mis spring. From Demorrio Williams' uncanny pursuit of the football, to Marques Simmons' sudden bursts of speed, to Curt Dukes' well-placed touchdown strike, many Husker youngsters played pivotal roles as the Red team beat the White team 17-7 before a soaked crowd of 31,420. The annual Red-White Spring Game wrapped up four weeks of spring football, leaving Coach Frank Solich feeling somewhat confident that a once-inexperienced group took a big step forward, "We saw some young guys step up and make pome plays on both sides of the football," said Solich, who watched the game from the press box. "We knew there was going to be some frustration early on (in the spring), just because of some of the young players that we were trying to get ready to play as early as next season," he said. "So consequently, you're going to have times when you struggle. "But on the other side of it, the atti tude has been so good, and the effort has been so good on the field. There has been excellent production by some of those young guys that we feel encour-agedby." Like from Williams, a junior college transfer who displayed that big-play capability the Nebraska defense has been seeking. The weakside linebacker playing with the No. 1 White defense tracked down ball carriers from everywhere, finishing with 13 tackles, including two for losses. "You don't seem to outrun him," Solich said. "He takes such great angles on and he's able to slip blocks so easi-r and so effectively, that he's a guy that can give you the kind of tackles you look for in terms of numbers, play after play after play." On the other side of the ball, therels Simmons, a redshirted freshman I-back who ran five times for 58 yards on the White's opening drive of the second half. He broke runs of 12, 14 and 20 yards before taking a toss pitch from quarterbackMike Stuntz and darting 10 yards for the White's only touchdown. "The line was just blocking really well," said Simmons, who finished with 12 carries for 88 yards, playing with the second units. "On that drive, eveiything clicked. Everything just went into place there. "I just wanted to come out and show SPRING GAME SATURDAY Red 17, White 7 INSIDE Husker Extra, Page 3D Notebook, Page 8D Former Drake Relays champion gets his watch Close call leaves NU in foul mood i BY CURT McKEEVER Lincoln Journal Star Okla. To nearly Reynolds Stadium x. 1 BY CHUCK SCHOFFNER The Associated Press DES MOINES, Iowa The package arrived unexpectedly in the mail on a typically hot Texas day last July, and Ralph Baggett tore into it Too late, he saw the note on the outside: "DO not open until Aug. 21" his 83rd birthday. "That's kind of a habit IVe gotten into," Baggett said. "I don't read instructions anymore." So he kept digging and eventually uncovered a watch. And not just any watch. It was a Drake Relays watch, the symbol of champions at one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious track meets. The watch and the note that accompanied it brought Baggett to tears. To understand why requires a trip back in tuna Lean and long-legged at 6-feet-6, Baggett helped Texas win the 480-yard shuttle hurdle relay at the 1940 Drake Relays and received one of the coveted watches presented to champions at the meet Nineteen months later, Baggett was wearing that watch when his detachment of 150 Marines on the island of Guam was overrun by 5,550 Japanese troop who invaded the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Americans were stripped of their clothes and as Baggett stood with his hands raised, one of the Japanese soldiers saw the watch. "There it was, pointing to the sky," Baggett said. "You couldnt miss it" The soldier demanded the watch and Baggett gave it up. He never saw it again and spent the rest of the war in captivity in Japan. Baggett was forced to unload supplies at a shipyard and rairyard. He and his fellow POWs were roughed up, underfed and poorly clothed and Baggett felt he was in one of the better camps. Seven months after his capture, Baggett Set WATCH, Page 29 Jason Jarmillo that steered left of third base but was ruled fair for a three-run double that ignited the Cowboys to an 8-4 victory. "He said it went right over the bag. I said, At least you could say it went over the comer of the "Unbelievable. You give them a big inning is really what it is." Having entered the bottom of the sixth inning with a 3-1 lead, the Huskers exited it down 7-3 and in a very foul mood. I can't really say anything, but everybody else in the ballpark can," NU Coach Dave Van Horn said. "They did even their team They told me. "I don't know if that cost us the game, but it sure made a difference in how the momentum swung." Jamie Rodrigue who ended up getting saddled with his first loss in 18 See BASEBALL, Page 8D STILLWATER, everyone at Allie Saturday afternoon, it was a foul ball But the only opinion that mattered belonged to home plate umpire Greg Oros, and he saw things much differently. "I don't think there's any way he could get a good look at it," Nebraska catcher Jed Morris said of a grounder hit SATURDAY Oklahoma State 8, Nebraska 4 TODAY Nebraska State 2:05, Stillwater THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Ralph Baggett poses with his new Drake Relays watch Tuesday near Action, Texas. Baggett won the watch in 1 940 but lost it to Japanese soldiers in December 1941. by Oklahoma State's

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