The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois on December 20, 1997 · 31
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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois · 31

Moline, Illinois
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 20, 1997
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SPORTS SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20. 1997 THE DISPATCH AND THE ROCK ISLAND ARGUS D7 Oregon faces triple option in season's first bowl game ( For updates every half hour on the Las Vegas Bowl, call CITYLINE at 757-1000. I category 3020. LAS VEGAS (AP) All season, Oregon has had trouble keeping its opponents out of the end zone. Now Oregon's beleaguered defense faces another problem how to deal with Air Force's unfamiliar triple option offense in today's Las Vegas Bowl (5 p.m., ESPN2). The Ducks face an offense few of them have seen when they begin the major college bowl season against the No. 23 Falcons in the newly revamped bowl. "We haven't faced it in two years," Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. "It's hard to practice against it, so we'll have to adjust to it during the game. Our ability to stop the option will be the biggest factor in this game." . Oregon (6-5) allowed opponents an average of 30.6 points per game, giving up more than 50 points twice. In its final two games, Oregon gave up 52 points to Arizona State and 30 to Oregon State. Even more troubling was the 440 yards per game the Ducks gave up, including 189 on the ground, where Air Force excels. "We haven't been performing that well in the defensive department." Oregon safety Jaiya Figueras said. "Air Force does what we don't do well defend the run. It's going to be a challenge to us to finish the whole game." Air Force (10-2), one of the few teams still running the option offense, hasn't been as potent with the running game this year under first-year quarterback Blane Morgan as it has in recent years. Still, the Falcons ran for 233 yards per game in a season marred only by consecutive losses to Fresno State and San Jose State. "It's a dichotomy." Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said. "We're Air Force and we run on the ground instead of putting the ball in the air." Morgan, who bruised his right thigh Tuesday before the Falcons came to Las Vegas, sat out practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable for the game. His status helped Oregon move to a 4-point favorite on the betting line, up from 3Vi points earlier in the week. While Air Force has had problems offensively, the Falcons defense has been outstanding. Air Force allowed opponents only 12.4 points per game, behind only Michigan and Ohio State nationally, and posted shutouts against Col- - orado State and Army. ' "I think it's a great matchup of Oregon's offense and Air Force's de fense," Oregon tight end Blake Spence said. Oregon has the Pac-lO's leading rusher in Saladin McCullough. along with speedy wide receiver Pat Johnson. McCullough ran for 1.193 yards during the regular season, while Johnson caught 50 passes for 903 yards. Oregon also showed it could score almost as well as it gives up points, scoring 49 points in a loss to Stanford and 48 in its final game, a win over Oregon State. The game, which used to feature the winner of the Mid-American and Big West conferences, was upgraded this year to include a Western Athletic Conference team and an at-large entry. Ticket sales are slightly improved over previous years, but bowl organizers are expecting a crowd of only about 20,000. Iowa sales sluggish for Sun Bowl IOWA CITY ( AP) - The athletic department at the University of Iowa may have to eat about $150,000 in unused tickets for the 1997 Sun Bowl game, ticket manager Pam Finke says. Under the Sun Bowl contract with the Big Ten Conference, the Hawkeyes are responsible for 8.000 tickets for the Dec. 31 game against No. 16 Arizona State in El Paso, Texas. Finke said Iowa has sold about 2,000 tickets and will need 1,400 complimentary tickets for the band, football players, coaches and others. Finke said ticket sales have slowed after an initial rush last week. "I really don't think it's going to be much more than we've sold now." she said. "If I had to guess, I'd say we'll sell about 300 more tickets." If the Hawkeyes sell 2.300 tickets and distribute another 1,400 for themselves, they'll end up with 4,300 unsold tickets at $35 per ticket. That computes to $150,500 in unsold tickets. That would be subtracted from Iowa's Sun Bowl payment of $1 million. Iowa accounted for about 6,700 tickets on its trip to the 1995 Sun Bowl and donated the remaining tickets to El Paso charities, said Larry Bruner, Iowa associate athletic director. Iowa will sell tickets in Iowa City through Dec. 24, Finke said. Q-C BRIEFS Quincy girls roll past Panthers United Township battled for one quarter, but it wasn't enough to hang with the host , Blue Devils as Quincy rolled to a 70-40 girls Western Big 6 victory. The Lady Panthers (2-8, 0-5 in the WB6) drained 7 treys, five by Emily Buchanan (21 points). But Quincy (7-2, 3-0) had three players in double figures to overcome the 3-pointers. High-scoring Ruth Kipping again led the winners with 22. Prep girls Deb Norman Tournament Fulton-Unity outscored Eastland 16-10 in the fourth quarter, but it was a case of too little, too late as Eastland hung on for a 40-36 victory. Fulton-Unity's Erin Temple led all scorers with 12 points, eight in the second half, and teammate Carrie Huisinga poured in 11. In the nightcap, Erie made good on its fourth-quarter rally to knock off Morrison 61-59. The Cardinals were down 43-42 at the end of the third, but outscored Morrison 19-16 to take the contest. Erie was sparked by Sydney Wolfs two treys in the fourth. Breann Shirk scored 14 points to lead the Cardinals. Monmouth 38, Orion 20: Monmouth jumped out to a 19-4 first-quarter lead and cruised to a victory. The Chargers mustered eight field goals and were 3-of-9 from the charity stripe. Brittany Brooks of Monmouth led all scorers with eight points. Brittney Weihler and Stephanie Begley led the Chargers with five points apiece. Prep boys hoops Roseville Tourney: In the opener of three games, Westmer came back with a huge fourth quarter (24-13) to defeat the host team, 63-55. While all-tournament selection Ryan Cox led the Warriors with 17 points, 3-pointers keyed the big run. Westmer knocked down seven treys, led by Corey Downey's three. The second contest was a back-and-forth affair until Alexis was able to break away in the third and go on to a 67t49 win over ROWVA. Leading the way for the winners, who had three double-digit scorers, was Bryan Lef-fler with 16, followed by John Olson and Craig Hunt, with 14 and 13, respectively. Aledo battled back for a come-from-behind 55-51 , win over Rushville in the nightcap. Nick Blasar (15) and Brandon Hofmann (13) led the Green Dragons. After a five-point lead at the end of one, Rushville stormed back to take a 27-26 lead at the break. But the Green Dragons used a 17-12 third quarter keyed the Green Dragons. Aledo's Nick Bull and Hoffman were named to the all-tourney team. River Ridge Tournament: Down 49-45 after the third quarter, Fulton stormed back in the fourth to beat River Ridge (5-5) 68-65 and advance to the championship game. The Steamers (7-3) were led by Eric Damhoffs 16 points and Brad Leininger's 12. : Forreston Tournament: Orion played two tight opening quarters before getting outscored 32-22 in the second half in dropping a 57-45 decision to Winnebago. Leading the way for the Chargers was Jason Galliart with 19 points. The winners were 20-for-28 compared to Orion's 5-for-8 from the foul line. White Sox replace departed Guillen with Gil Sports wire services ' The Chicago White Sox acquired Benji Gil in a trade with the Texas Rangers, filling their vacancy at shortstop. Chicago sends pitchers Al Levine and Larry Thomas to Texas for Gil, who likely will replace Ozzie Guillen at shortstop. The White Sox didn't offer Guillen a contract for the 1998 season. Gil, 25, hit .224 with five home runs and 31 runs batted in during 110 games with Texas last season. He'd spent his entire four-year major league career with the Rangers, hitting .215 with 14 home runs and 80 RBI. Levine, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 2-2 with a 6.91 earned run average in 25 relief appearances last season with the White Sox. Thomas, a 28-year-old left-hander, had no record and an 8.10 ERA in five relief outings with Chicago. 0' sign Baines: The Baltimore Orioles signed veteran designated hitter Harold Baines to a one-year contract. Baines, 38, batted .301 with four home runs and 15 RBIs during 44 games for the Orioles last season after being acquired from the Chicago White Sox for a minor league infielder on July 29. CM. testifies in Benes case: St. Louis Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty testified Friday during the first day of the Andy Benes grievance hearing. Because the sides weren't able to complete the case, the hearing was recessed until Jan. 2.. ' ' Ch Andy Benes Management's Player Relations Committee voided Benes' $30 million, five-year agreement with the Cardinals, deciding it came after the Dec. 7 deadline. The union filed a grievance, claiming the deal was agreed to during an extension. Marlins deal Abbott to A'k The Florida Marlins traded infielder Kurt Abbott to the Oakland A's on Friday for right-handed pitcher EricLudwick. Ludwick, 26, is the 13th pitcher the Marlins have acquired via trade this winter, but he is the first who has won a game in the majors. Ludwick was 1-4 with the A's last season and 0-1 with the Cardinals. Accomplished boxer gives WBO belt to dad, loses title Bloomberg News A boxing organization has found a new reason to take away a fighter's title. ! He wanted to give his championship belt to his father. After Ricardo Lopez won the World Boxing Organization's strawweight title with a technical knockout of his opponent in August, the new champion said he wanted to give his championship belt to his father, who is a boxing fan. His statement made to Mexican newspapers prompted the WBO to take away Lopez's title and sanction a fight to fill the vacancy. "It was enough for us." said WBO President Francisco Valcarcel. "That's a public resignation." Manley said that Lopez should have a hearing before the WBO takes away his title. Valcarcel said there's no reason to arbitrate the matter. "Ricardo Lopez is playing politics with me and his manager is playing politics with me," Valcarcel said. While the strawweight division fighters weighing 105 pounds and under is a relatively unknown boxing class, Lopez is one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport. He's 46-0 as a professional and is believed to be one of three fighters to make at least 20 consecutive title defenses in the same weight class. He's made 20 defenses since taking the World Boxing Council strawweight title in October 1990. Only Joe Louis, who made 25 defenses from 1937-48, and Larry Holmes, who had 20 from 1978-85 both heavyweights have had as many as Lopez. Texas back commits to 'Clones " AMES (AP) For the first time since Dan McCarney became football coach in 1994, Iowa State has landed a recruit from Texas. Running back Ennis Haywood of Carter High School in Dallas says he will sign with the Cyclones in February. He chose Iowa State over Missouri and New Mexico State. "A lot of schools sent me letters, but Iowa State followed up on those letters," Haywood said. "They've been with me from the very start. They're the only school I visited." Haywood, a 6-foot, 200-pounder, rushed for 1,120 yards and scored nine touchdowns this past season while earning third-team all-area recognition from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He has outstanding speed and balance," recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. "He can play both sides of the ball." Haywood also played defensive back in high school but is expected to be a running back at Iowa State. Haywood said he knows he won't play a major role right away. "I know they've got Darren Davis and I know he's one of the best there is in the league," Haywood said. "But 1 think I can come in and play a little bit next year." Riverview Surplus 5230 River Drive, Moline 797-9400 Most sizes in stock, special orders available. Racks & stacks of military surplus Hand tools & machinist tooling Mi : i i s 4 Li Give the perfect gift to the person who has everything! Give the "Gift of Time" with a THE MAIDS Gift Certificate. Why fight the crowds at the mall? 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