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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 33

Location:
Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Page:
33
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

DETROIT FREE PRESS Monday. Sent. 27. "71 1-D Lions Landry, Owens (2 TDs) Crush Pats, 34-7 And Bears Stun Vikes, 20-17 74 yards fo put the decision away early In the fourth quarter and level the Detroit record at 1-1. All of a sudden, the "Disaster against Minnesota" is forgotten because the Vikes were upset Sunday by the Chicago Bears and they're also 1-1 in the young season.

Lucci scored on an interception and Errol Mann was 2-for-2 on field goals. About the only things that went wrong were the lights going out (on Mann) and the showers going off (in the Detroit locker room). Mann suffered a concussion while trying to make a tackle after a kickoff, but Plunkett wound up with Just as big a headache. The heralded rookie from Stanford connected on only six of 17 passes, while Landry, the University of Massachusetts product who was snubbed by the Patriots in 1968, hit 11 of 18 for 198 yards. Owens, playing fullback while Mel Farr sat out the game to rest various injuries, provided 80 yards on the ground and another 83 in pass receptions, along with a touchdown each way.

He got one if by land, one if by air and might've added one if by sea if there had been rain. "I DIDN'T KNOW until just before we went on to the field I was going to start," said Owens, "but he (Schmidt) had told me to be ready to play." "I would say it was Steve's best game," Schmidt said. The big play came after Plunkett had cut Detroit's lead to 20-7 on a 61-yard pass that Randy Vataha filched out of Lem Barney's hands. Landry called the screen from the Lion 26, Owens picked up a couple of blocks and rumbled over every Middlesex village and farm before tumbling into the end zone. "Who said Owens is slow?" center Ed Flanagan asked with a sly grin.

"I never thought he could run that far," said an amazed Landry. "It's the farthest I've ever run" the ex-Oklahoma star admitted with a big smile. "I got great blocking. Frank Gallagher and Ed Flanagan were the two leaders and I just 'split their blocks," Owens explained. "Somebody got the cornerback and Larry Walton made a block downfield.

"There were three or four good blocks on it and it was clear sailing." IT WAS clear sailing for the Lions, tx. Now Please turn to Page 6D, Col. 4 BY JACK SAYLOR Free Preu SporH Writer FOXBORO, Mass. Greg Landry went plink, Steve Owens went plank and Jim Plun-kett went plunk Sunday as the lions righted themselves with a 34 7 spanking of the New England Patriots. A sellout crowd of 61,057 was attracted to (he sparkling new Schaefer Stadium to see Plunkett, the most celebrated Patriot since Paul Revere, but saw him upstaged by a New England native son and a forgotten Heisman Trophy winner.

While Plunkett was learning the real facts of life in the NFL from the hyperactive Mike l.ucci and his defensive mates, Landry pitched the Lions into a 20-0 lead. THEN, WITH their momentum broken slightly, Owens carried a Landry screen pass Free preu Wire Service! MINNESOTA For the second week in a row. Quarterback Kent Nix pulled the Chicago Bears from defeat Sunday this time at the expense of the defending Central Division champion Minnesota Vikings in a stunning 20-17 upset. Nix, who a week before had fired the winning touchdown in the closing moments against Pittsburgh, rallied the Bears from a 17-3 deficit against the Vikings with 36 and 19-yard touchdown passes to Dick Gordon around a 45-yard field goal by Mac Percival. The victory shot thft Bears fee (Mb a -T- fl Mann's on Schedule: A- Headache a Week into the Central Division lead in the National Conference with a 2-0 record and dropped the Vikings back to a 1-1 record.

It also was the first home loss for the Vikings in a regular season game since Decem-ber, 1968. Minnesota had beaten the Bears four straight times prior to Sunday. NIX CAME in after starting quarterback Jack Concannon was hurt and quickly went to work with his 36-yard scoring strike to Gordon. That cut the Minnesota lead to 17-10. Minutes later Percival, who had three field goals in the game, booted his 45-yarder and Minnesota now clung to only a 17-13 advantage.

Then the Bears forced a Viking punt with just over three minutes left. On first down. Nix passed 26 yards to Bob Wallace at the Minnesota 19. On third and 10, Nix passed again to Gordon, deep in the end zone for the winning touchdown. Ironically, Nix played for both Pittsburgh and Minnesota the teams he has beaten and he has one more score to settle.

"I've now helped beat the Steelers and the Vikings and Please turn to Page 6D, Col. (can Vikinas 1 11 S7-7 2M- 28 0 35 -26-l Mill 3-3? 7-3A I ft a i (10 1 17-2(1 0 7 in (il First down Rushes-yards Passino vrda Return yardage Passes Punts Fumbles lost Yards oenalized Chicaqo Minnesota from Cuozzo (Cox Minn Grim 4 oast KICK) AP Photo Chi FG Prcival Greim 52 nasi from Cuor (Cm! kick) Minn FP Cox Chi Gordon .1 oasi from Nix (Perdval kick) Chi FG Percival 45 Chi Gordon 1 paM from Nix (Percival kick) and Patriot fullback Jim Nance turned his back and closed his eyes but the gang of Lion tacklers didn't disappear. Linebacker Mike Luccl (5.1) and end Jim Mitchell (far right) were ready waiting to stop Nance in a bid for a first down Sunday. 2 HRs Ruin Lolich's Bid For His 26th Owens on 7-yarder: 'Farthest I've Run' Pg. 6D 0 Patriots not impressed by Lion Victory Page 6D.

More Lion pictures on Back Page FOXBORO, Mass. It was about 15 minutes after the game and Errol Mann was sitting in front of his locker. He was shaking his head. "Boy, have I got a headache," he said. "I think somebody'i Inside there playing 'The Bells of St.

Mann looked up at the circle of reporters around him: "But it's a lot better than the headache I had last Monday night," he smiled. The world suddenly was right again for the good-guy kicker of the Detroit Lions. He found his aim again and put two through the posts to help the Lions to their 34-7 victory over the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon. But for a while, Mann didn't know where he was New Zealand, New Jersey or New England. He'd had his bell rung while trying to make a tackle on one of his kickoffs and he was led to the dressing room with a mild concussion.

It was nothing compared to the pangs of anguish he felt all week long after blowing that 33-yarder which cost the Lions a tie against the Vikings in the season opener in Detroit. These last six days were the longest of Mann's life. He doesn't even remember last Tuesday. He thinks he had something to eat, a hamburger maybe, but he's not sure. He slept a little after the game, but not much.

"It was the longest week of my life," said Mann, slowly peeling off his clothes. "You know that some day you're going to miss a big one, but when It finally happens and I really blew It it just about tears you apart. "And then, when this happened out there today Mann was knocked out of the game midway in the first quarter when he ran into Odell Lawson of the Patriots as Law-ion was returning Mann's kickoff. Kickers are not supposed to make tackles but, as Mann said with a grin, "There was a tangle of guys in front of him and I could spe him veering off to the right. I went to my left and, uh, oh, there he was!" Shoes, Nol Pressure Got Walker Down went Mann.

He caught a knee or a helmet or an elbow or all three on the head and the bells started clanging. They helped him from the field. He was wobbling like a seasick aailor. Doc Thompson, the team physician, said to him: "Where are you?" Mann looked at him with a dumb expression on his face. "Boston," he said.

"What's the score?" asked the doctor. "It's ten-to-nothing," said Mann. "But I sure didn't make that tackle, did You could only wonder what was going on In Mann's mind behind those resounding chimes. It had been a long season for him already wrangling with his bosses, over his contracts, the miss against the Vikings and now this maybe a damaging injury. He was led to the dressing room where they took his blood pressure, checked his pulsa and kept looking in his eyes.

Outside, Wayne Walker was muttering to himself. Walker suddenly found himself as the No. 1 placekicker on (he Lions. Also, No. 2, No.

3 and No. 4. He hadn't tried a kick for a month. His legs were aching. His throat was dry.

The problem was not the pressure. It was Walker's shoes. He had to wear different ones a natural turf shoe on his left foot and a cleated kicking shoe on his right foot. "I felt like I was on roller skates when we went on defense. I didn't have time to change," he said.

Walker tried two extra points. The first was a line drive that got through the post before sailing far to the left like a duck-hooked tee shot. The second was a popup' to the shortstop. It went over the crossbar and also over the net they have behind the goal posts. It was the first time Walker had kicked in a game since 1968, in that 59-13 debacle at Dallas in the season's opener.

But when you got two-for-two, even in extra points, and your team has won by the thumping margin of 34 to 7, it is time to play it light. grinned the 34-year-old Walker, "when George Blanda quits, I'm going out to Oakland." Mann Found the Groove Again Walker, a former place-kicker himself, understood the torment that Mann had experienced since his miss against Minnesota. He tried to help him out during the week with a few words of encouragement. "He told me I was hitting the ball too hard, trying to punish It. He told me to stop trying to kick everything like it was a 50-yarder," said Mann.

After the Minnesota game, Mann joined his teammates at Ircn's on Six' Mile Road. But he didn't eat. He had a few drinks and then went to bed. He hardly slept. "I guess it was four or five in the morning before I fell off," he said.

"I was up in three or four hours. I just couldn't stay in bed. "There was no doubt whose fault it was. I "really blew it. The thing was the tough thing was to try to get it out of my mind." Walker said: "Errol worked hard all week in practice.

If anything, I thought he worked too hard to try to get back on the ball. You can't push yourself too much." Mann almost started from scratch working on extra points and then moving further and further out until he was hitting them from around midfield range. "I had ta get the groove again. I just had to," he said. He found it on this cool autumn afternoon in the Boston suburbs.

He came back after the concussion and kicked a 27-yard field goal. And handled both extra points after the two touchdowns by Steve Owens. As Mann walked out of the Detroit dressing room, he said: "My head still hurts, but it's a lot better than my foot hurting." Walker was still in the dressing room getting his finger taped. He busted it while trying to make a tackle on one of HIS kickoffs. LAST DAY! SPECIAL SAVINGS ON A GROUP OF NEW DOUBLE-KNIT SUITS, NOW ONLY BY JIM HAWKINS Free Press Sports Writer Walter Johnson Christy Mathewson Grover Alexander Iron Man McGinnity and now, Mickey Lolich.

The Tiger workhorse, with the rubber left arm, leaned against the wall and sighed. At the moment he would have gladly settled for hearing his name mentioned just once ahead of that other fellow whatshisface, out in Oakland Vida Blue. You see, Lolich Is running for election this month. And right now he's running just a little scared. Within the week, 48 writers around the country will go to the polls to pick this year's Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner in the American League.

And that is what lolich really wants. Those 25 wins 301 strikeouts 368 innings 27 complete games they are merely the means to the end that Mickey has in mind. "The only reason I really 10 85 Gianls Stay 1 Up on LA -rage 2D Surprisingly low prices on doih ble-knit suits of pure polyester. They're new two-button models with deep center vents and scalloped pockets, in solids and neat patterns. If you don't own a new knit suit yet, you won't, find a better time to get into one.

But this special ends today, so hurry in. Sizes 37-46 38-44 short, 40-46 long. want to do those things is because I'm going to need them all to pull votes away from Blue," admitted Mickey Sunday, minutes after he had dropped a golden opportunity to gain some precious ground by bowing, 3-2, to the New York Yankees. "I mean, if the people who are voting take a look at all those things, they might say 'Hey, if that guy has done this much for that club, maybe I should vote for If they take all my statistics into consideration I've got a chance. If they don't, I'm in trouble.

"THAT'S WHY today's game was so critical," continued Lolich, as the crowd around his cubicle continued to grow. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of year and I need every win I can get. Right now I don't think I've got more than a 50-50 chance at beating Blue out. "The thing that's going to hurt me is the fact that all the writers in the Western Division cities are going to vote for Blue because they saw him more often and they saw all the people he drew. "Besides they've been writing stories all year about how great he Is, and If he doesn't win the awards, it's going to make their stories look bad.

Please turn to Page KD, Col. I Browns Stun Colls, 14-U -Page 5D INlfe jjfife ''ifr Packers Rip Denver, 34-13 -Page 6D HH5 STORES OPEN MONDAY EVENING (EXCEPT BIRMINGHAM TIL 5:30) i-l ii- r- i-l i i.

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