Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California on September 15, 1980 · Page 10
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Santa Cruz Sentinel from Santa Cruz, California · Page 10

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Monday, September 15, 1980
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-Santa Cruz Sentinel - Monday, Sept. 15, 1983 10 1979 ma wmm fi$.mi tLlfOll NfWSMWK hjlllSntHS ASSOCtATlOH TH : Wersching, Hofer Lift 49ers In Overtime ft. ." (Sentinel Photos by Bill Loveloy) Ray Wersching's field goal in OT provided the winning margin. By DAVE BROCKMANN Sentinel Sporti Editor SAN FRANCISCO - All along Bill Walsh thought Paul Hofer had a chance to get a jump on the St. Louis defense. What he didn t realize was that Hofer would get a jump that would mean the tying touchdown with 58 seconds remaining in regulation against the St. Louis Cardinals to send the game into overtime. Hofer's brilliant 26-yard run in the final minute of the fourth quarter and Ray Wersching's 33-yard field goal in sudden death sent the San Francisco 49ers to their second straight triumph, 24-21. The two victories already equal the win total posted by San Francisco in each of its past two seasons. The 49ers seemed to surprise the Cardinals on Hofer's touchdown play, who had taken 21-14 lead early in the final period on Willard Harrell's five-yard TD run. "That particular play is one which most teams do not practice that much against, especially in that situation," Walsh said later. The play "18 BOB" is nothing more than the old two guard power sweep and St. Louis was looking for something else when the 49ers came to the line on third and one at the Card 26. Quarterback Steve DeBerg took the snap, handed off to Hofer, and he ran xisars!ig Back' 49erW ews By ALAN ARAKELIAN Sentinel Sports Writer SAN FRANCISCO - The setting was perfect, the situation even better. There it was, the game on the line, the clock winding down to the one-minute mark, the San Francisco 49ers in danger of losing the season's home opener, 21-14, to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Candlestick Park crowd was cheering wildly, as Coach Bill Walsh's 49ers drove down the field in desperation. The tension was mounting. There was anticipation and hope. Would the 49ers come "roaring back," as the club's public relations slogan proclaims? Or, would San Francisco, as in recent years, let out a weak meow, then roll over and play dead? Well, the 49ers let out a lion's roar and Paul Hofer, the "Roaring Back" poster boy, slashed his way into the spotlight with a 26-yard touchdown run around right end with 58 seconds remaining, sending the contest into sudden-death overtime and the spectators into a wild frenzy. It was something out of fantasyland, all right, as San Francisco put on the finishing touches in overtime with a Ray Wersching field goal to win, 24-21. "I was really excited, going across the goal line and knowing we tied it up," said Hofer, voted the 49ers' most courageous and inspirational player the last two years. "I thought I saw a few people leaving the stands just before that series. As I've said before, this team has a lot of character and we're not going to give up on anyone, right down to the last second." St. Louis Coach Jim Hanifan calls Hofer a "tough, hard-nosed runner" a winner. "I think he's an exceptionally fine football player," said Hanifan, a first-year coach. "Without even knowing the guy, I like his attitude. 1 think he's what you talk about when you talk about a 110-per center. He's a mentally and physically tough performer." SEE PAGE 1 1 around right end with guards Kandy Cross and John Avers leading the way. "I haven't seen that much grass since grade school." Hofer lamented. "Randy was out in front, but there weren't any whitejerseys anywhere when I turned up" For one who never receives much acclaim. Cross gladly accepted the opportunity to get in his two cents worth. "On the last drive, they were looking for us to pass and we ran plays that hadn't worked earlier. We simply caught them off guard when they were in the nickle defense and it worked to perfection." Askel if he was a bit surprised to see so much open field and nobody to block, he smiled and said, "Sure, real surprised. I expected them to force quickly inside, but there was no doubt once I got around the corner where we were going." Avers said he felt strange when he ran around the corner only to find no Cardinals in his path. "We caught them on a stunt and it paid off for us," he said. The game still had 58 seconds left and one more possession by each team before the toss of the coin to start sudden death. St. Louis won the flip, elected to receive, but quarterback Jim Hart failed to move the Cardinals anywhere. Punter Larry Swider booted to Jimmy Robinson and a nine yard return gave the 49ers possession on their own 32. Using a mix of pass receptions to Hofer and tight end Eason Ramson and solid running by Hofer and Cooper, the 49ers advanced to the St. Louis 16 in less than three minutes in overtime. Up stepped Wersching and the game was over, sending the fans who hadn't already left Candlestick Park into a frenzy. The easy-going Wersching, last year's most accurate field goal kicker, seldom got a chance to perform in the clutch but he loved it Sunday. "I much perfer this," he said. "I enjoy the opportunity to kick under pressure. I'm not scared. I'm paid to do it." Despite having to start his steps from the skin of the baseball infield and go onto grass didn't seem to bother the eight-year veteran from Cal. "I like to go from grass to grass, but I really didn't think about it that much," he continued. "I knew what I had to do and it was one of those deals you just have to do." SEE PAGE 1 1 Hi V 7; . V ' YV ' V- '"S I t I ' f $y ' 4 - ' J f S.I - ' v !-. Hi ' ''A f"'" ' r i- 1 nil l - . . J x IJ.Ust- 1 , ' , : ; ' p ' t " - - ... i You Can't Fool Mother Nature Destiny Steps In, Chargers Win In OT By ED VYEDA Sentinel Sports Writer SAN DIEGO - It was just Mother Nature's way of reminding us that football is played by mere mortals and that, despite coaches' attempts to out-think one another, she's still going to have her say on how things turn out. On a play that wasn't supposed to be called, San Diego Charger wide receiver John "JJ" Jefferson caught a pass that Oakland Faider cornerback Lester Hayes lost in the sun, and Jefferson set an NFL record for Yards Crawled at 8:09 into overtime Sunday as San Diego thrilled 52.670 Chargermaniacs with a 30-24 sudden death win over the Raiders. San Diego had a third-and-11 on the Oakland 24-yard line and everyone in San Diego Stadium expected a run to the middle to set up a field goal attempt for Rolf Benirschke, who had made his longest ever from 52 yards in the first quarter. Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs had other ideas. He had wide receiver Charlie Joiner clear out a path for Jefferson, who cut upfield with Hayes by his side. Charger quarterback Dan Fouts laid the ball up, Jefferson leaped for the catch at the 5-yard line, then crawled into the end zone, diving as Hayes didn't bother to stop nim. Calling it the most "assinine" thing that happened all day, Hayes, whose solid pass coverage produced one of five Oakland interceptions, simply said, "I lost it in the sun. These things happen, but it leaves you with a strange feeling." Jefferson, who caught four passes for 110 yards, waited until the end to make his longest of the day. "I was reading Charlie, he's the screen," he said. "Then I went out and up." Jefferson could empathize with Hayes' sun problem. Earlier in the overtime, a pass, that Raider Matt Millen intercepted, was tipped into the late-afternoon rays. "The sun was in my eyes," Jefferson said. "I saw it coming, but the linebacker (Millen) tipped it off course, into the sun, and it hit me in the head." Then he showed how it happened, giving himself a "Wow, I could have had a V8" slap on the forehead. Chargers Coach Dan Coryell said later he wanted to set up for the field goal, but Gibbs, who sends down the Chargers play selections, relayed the play to Fouts before Coryell could get things set up for Benirschke. "It was a great call," Fouts said. "We were confident in it and it was well-executed. And if it's not there (open), we throw incomplete and we're still in good position for Rolf." It was a wonder how the teams could make so many mistakes along the way, yet manage to jam into the first 60 minutes nearly 900 yards of offense, 55 first downs and 48 points. Indeed, the first hour of playing time wasn't enough. On a day when Fouts broke team and personal records for passing yards (387) and completions (29), he also matched his single-game high for interceptions with five including one in overtime that appeared to give Oakland's offense a sixth opportunity to convert a turnover into points. "I've fumbled before and thrown intercep- NFL Roundup tions before," said Fouts, who last year set an NFL record 4,082 yards and four straight 300-yard games. "But I know they (his teammates) will stick with me. It (the win) was satif"'"g the way we came back. It's something that can carry us through the rest of the season." Unlike the previous week in Kansas City, when the Raiders went 3-for-3 in cashing in on Chiefs turnovers for points in the second half, Oakland was 0-for-6 in that department against the Chargers. The only time the Raiders got a score out of a turnover was in the third period, when defensive end Willie Jones had a Fouts fumble pop into his hands at the Chargers' 11-yard line and ran in from there for a 17-10 Oakland lead. "We should have had more points." said Raiders Coach Tom Flores. Oakland could have run away with it, as the Chargers turned the ball over in each of their five series in the third quarter. It seemed impossible for the teams to continue topping one another, big play after big play, though by the 68-minute mark, neither gave the slightest indication of exiting on anything less than the spectacular. To do so was going to be tough. The Raiders finished the first half by going 87 yards in 42 seconds, Dan Pastorini hitting Cliff Branch on a 48-yard touchdown bomb against six defensive backs for a 10-10 tie six seconds before halftime. SEE PAGE 1 1 San Francisco running back Paul Hofer scored two touchdowns. in in Minimum monthly payment required. All finance charges refunded when f . ;, , paid as agreed. Su The pr je is rig"11 '19 6.00-1 J Klarku-nll. l'lus $1 IX K V. T line) okl lire. ! rib tread. DELUXE CHAMPION Polyester cord Smooth to ride on . . .easy to pay for! Available jn sizes to fit most domestic and foreign cars. I'm I Of, Infill S; hx Y'W'Jx 'Ji stael beJied radial Only 39 -At, 16580R13. White. Also fits 165R-13. Plus $1.89 F.E.T. and old tire. Make tracks with our new all-season radial that grips in rain or snow, yet runs quiet on dry roads. Philadelphia Has Long M esnecy By The Associated Presi The game sticks in their hides like a festering sore that will not heal. It happened nine months ago, but the Philadelphia Eagles have long memories. The Eagles were eliminated in last year's National Football Conference playoffs by Tampa Bay and that single loss has them playing like an inspired team now. The Eagles destroyed Minnesota 42-7 Sunday, rolling up 529 yards in total offense and posting their second straight victory. Quarterback Ron Jaworski, who completed 20 of 26 passes for 234 yards explained the Eagles' drive this way: "A lot of guys look back to our playoff loss against Tampa Bay last year with bitterness. We're not going to forget it; We're going to take it out on some people this year." Other NFL teams running their records to 2-0 Sunday were Detroit with a 29-7 romp over Green Bay; Buffalo, which beat the New York Jets 20-10; and Pittsburgh, a 20-17 winner over Baltimore. Detroit matched its entire number of wins last season. Tampa Bay had won its second straight last Thursday night, shading Los Angeles 10-9. In Sunday's other games, it was Atlanta 37, New England 21; Chicago 22, New Orleans 3; Seattle 17, Kansas City 16; Washington 23, New York Giants 21; Miami 17, Cincinnati 16; and Denver 41, Dallas 20. Houston plays at Cleveland tonight. Eagles 42, Viking 7 Besides Jaworskl's 234 yards, the Eagles got 69 on the ground (rom workhorse running back W Ibert Montgomery, who scored two touchdowns. Leroy Harris also scored twice as Philadelphia administered the worst defeat Minnesota has suffered In 13 years. "What difference does It make what the score Is If you get beat?" wondered Viking Coach Bud Grant. "The best thing about the loss Is that the local newspaper was on strike." Lions 29, Packers 7 No.l draft choice Billy Sims rushed for 134 yards and hooked up on an 87-yard TD pass play with Gary Danlelson as Detroit pounded Green Bay. Ed Murray kicked five field goals and Sims ran his two-game NFL rushing total to 287 yards. Danlelson, playing despite the death Thursday of his nine-day old daughter, completed 11 of 17 passes for 246 yards. "Gary Inspired all of us," said Sims. "I didn't know how well I would concentrate," said the quarterback. "I felt It was my obligation to go out and play." Bills 20, Jets 10 Jeff Nixon returned an his fourth Interception of the season SO yards for a touchdown as Buffalo defeated New York. Joe Ferguson hit on 18 of 29 passes for 207 yards and Nick Mike-Mayer kicked field goals of 47 and 38 yards for the Bills, who won their first two games of the season for the first time since 1975. Stealers 20, Colts 17 Terry Bradshaw's 24-yard TD pass to Jim Smith In the fourth quarter provided the winning points. But Pittsburgh's victory over Baltimore was not secure until safety Donnle Shell Intercepted Bert Jones with 3Vj minutes to play after the Colts had a first-end-goal from the three. Falcons 37, Patriots 21 Rookie tight end Junior Miller, shut out In his NFL debut a week ago, caught eight passes for 117 yards and two TDs from Steve Bartkowskl as Atlanta surprised New England. William Andrews ran for 124 yards for the Falcons and Bartkowskl completed 19 of 39 attempts for 244 yards. Bears 22, Saints 3 Walter Payton rushed for 183 yards In IB carries Including a personal record 69-yard TD run as Chicago battered New Orleans. Before the TD, Payton spun off a 61-yard run but was caught when he slowed up for a block to develop. "The second time I lust took off, I didn't wait for anyone. I lust wanted to get Into the end zone." Seahawks 17, Chiefs 16 Seattle scored all Its points In the first half as Jim Zorn passed for a pair of TDs. Then the Seahawks held off a Kansas City rally that Included three field goals by Nick Lowery, one of them a 57-yarder which set a Chiefs' club record. "I liked the first halt better than the second," decided Seattle Coach Jack Patera. Redskins 23, Giants 21 Mark Moseley's 45-yard field goal sank New York with 1:55 left. Earlier, Moseley had an extra point attempt blocked, ending a string of 69 consecutive conversions. Phil Slmms threw two TD passes for the Giants, the second giving New York the lead with ust over five minutes to play. 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