New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2B — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, December 30, 2000
Saints aiming to go from worst to first
By Mary Foster
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints know all about the St. Louis Rams’ magical rise last year. They’ve recited the phrase “worst to first” like a mantra.
Now they want to live it.
“Everybody in the NFL watched the way their season went last year and said, ‘If it can happen to them, it can happen to us,’” defensive lineman Joe Johnson said. “We believe in ourselves, that’s what matters.”
The Saints are among the few believers. They are six-point underdogs to the Rams in Saturday’s NFC wild-card game, despite an astounding turnaround from last year’s 3-13 record to a 10-6 mark and the NFC West title.
The Saints beat the Rams, also 10-6, in their first game this season but lost to them last week.
“I was surprised last week when we were home and we were still a three-point underdog even though we beat them earlier,” quarterback Aaron Brooks said. “But that doesn’t mean anything. That’s based on other things than what we’ve done this year.”
This year the Rams have had their share of problems, going 4-6 after opening the season with six straight victories.
St. Louis squeaked into the playoffs after beating the Saints 26-21 on Sunday thanks to Paul Edinger’s 54-yard field goal with two seconds left that gave Chicago a 23-20 victory over Detroit and knocked the Lions out.
But oddsmakers like the Rams despite quarterback Kurt Warner’s still being sensitive to light after a concussion suffered in last week’s game. After all, he commands an offense that scored 526 points and led the NFL.
Running back Marshall Faulk,
■ WHAT: NFC Wild-card game, St. Louis Rams vs. New Orieands Saints.
■ WHEN: 3 p.m. today
■ WHERE: New Orleans
■ TV: KSAT (ABC)
the league MVP, just capped another 2,000-yard season with 261 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints.
When it comes to expectations, people pick the Rams over the Saints on history alone.
Even when the Rams made their trip to the NEL championship last year, they at least had past performances to point to.
Although they had finished last in the NFC West the year before, they also had a history that included 20 winning seasons over 34 years.
This is New Orleans’ sixth winning season in that period.
The Rams will make their 24th playoff appearance on Saturday, third, most in the NFL. The Saints are making their fifth trip.
While St. Louis is 16-20 in postseason play, New Orleans is 0-4.
“This isn’t a team you’ve learned to expect a lot of,” Carol Otis said as she bought playoff tickets this week. “My family has followed them from the start and it’s been one heartbreak after another.”
Years of doubt built up the staunch skepticism, and doubt lingers for many.
The Saints have been called the “doormats of the NFL,” the “darlings of the downtrodden,” the “divas of doze,” and the “Aints.” The image is so strong that even a winning record doesn’t seem to dispel it.
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Smithson Valley’s Andi Galloway (23) heaves a pass down the court during Friday’s game against Luling at SVHS. The Rangers defeated the Lady Eagles 63-58.
intensity on the defensive end and under the boards.
The Rangers outscored the Lady Eagles 14-3 in the third quarter. Senior Melanie Boehm and junior Tiffany Hargis came off the bench and combined for IO rebounds and eight points in the third quarter.
“Melanie and Tiffany did a great job in the third quarter,” Smithson Valley head coach Mike Lannon said. “There’s two kids who probably can’t jump an inch off the ground, but they’re smart and they know hcny to get in position to get the rebound. That really kept us in the game. I didn’t think the third quarter would ever end.”
The Lady Eagles pressured the Rangers the length of the floor for most of the game. Luling shot 44 free throws and Smithson Valley shot 24.
“They shot 44 free throws and we shot 24, which is kind of strange to me because they (Eagles) pressed us the whole game,” Lannon said. “It wasn’t bad for coming off a long holiday break. We showed we have some guts and we made some shots
early in the game that we haven’t been making. I was proud of them.”
One of the biggest differences in the game was at the free throw line. The Eagles shot just 14 of 44 (32 percent), while the Rangers shot 18 of 24 (75 percent). Steeri was 5 of 18 from the charity stripe for the Eagles.
Smithson Valley trailed most of the first quarter, but never by more than six points. Senior Andi Galloway kept the Rangers close with six of her 13 points in the first period. She also had ll rebounds. ;
Schwethelm scored three of her seven points, grabbed four rebounds and swiped two steals in the third quarter.
“That’s been the story all year; Everybody knows their role and when we need a spark somebody steps up,” Lannon said. “That’s probably why we only have two people averaging double-figures in scoring. It’s been a team effort.’’
The Rangers play at 8 p.m. on; Tuesday against Brackenridge at home.
Dolphins don’t have time to enjoy success
By Dan Gelston Associated Press Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Miami Dolphins know what it takes to win the AFC East championship. They just didn’t think they ’d have to do it twice — in one game.
The Dolphins were already in the locker room celebrating their 27-24 win against New England on Sunday, when they were called back on to the field to replay the game’s final three seconds. They survived a failed Hail Mary attempt, and went back to the locker room to continue the revelry of their first title in six years,
The Dolphins (11-5) haven’t thought much about it since as they prepare for Saturday’s wildcard playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts (10-6) at
ALAMO BOWL/From 1B
bowls, including a string of 32 straight.
“We’re just playing this. year. The past doesn’t matter,” Northwestern receiver Teddy Johnson said. “We realize we’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe we’re starting our 32.”
, The Huskers also aren’t looking at Northwestern’s past. The Wildcats averaged 38.56 points per game this season while tying for first in the conference.
“Northwestern is a team that’s on the rise. If you look at them like that then they will catch you off guard. They’ve been doing it to a lot of teams this year,” defensive tackle Loran Kaiser said. “They come at you in a hurry.”
The Huskers have admitted that the AlamoDome, where they won last year’s Big 12 championship, is not where they wanted to play their bowl after spending the first two months of the season at No. I.
Losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State quickly changed that.
“It was like a snowball rolling downhill and you can’t stop it,” center Dominic Raiola said. “You know it is happening but you just can’t stop it.”
The disappointment of not playing in a Bowl Championship Series game has faded over the last few weeks.
“Just looking at Northwestern and thinking about them, initially I didn’t think they were that good. But when you look at them on film, you realize they are very physical and tough,” Raiola said. “People have put points up on them but I wouldn’t underestimate them.” Nebraska coach Frank Solicit said the Huskers have had to adjust as their goals dropped, but have taken the past week of practice seriously.
“We have a chance to be rated we think maybe in the top five if we win this game. All that is great motivation,” Solich said.
The Wildcats could also be a little disappointed this postseason. Northwestern had the inside track to the Rose Bowl, but lost to Iowa in the second-to-last game of the season. Purdue, which, beat
Nebraska linebacker Carlos Polk, right, bears down on Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury during a game earlier this season in Lubbock. Nebraska plays Northwestern today in the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl at San Antonio’s Alamodome.
Northwestern on Oct. 14, got the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl bid instead.
The Wildcats were 3-8 in Walker’s first season last fall. Any players on this year’s team were backups the last time Northwestern played in a bowl. And it’s Walker’s first trip to a bowl as a head coach. He came up just short two years ago when his
Miami of Ohio team went 10-1 but did not get a bid.
“It’s excitement. It’s something we haven’t experienced,” Walker said. “None of our guys have been a guy in a bowl game before and now they’re guys and they need to understand what it takes to get the distractions out of their mindset and get ready to play.”
■i We need volunteers for a research study \ involving en investigational medication.
Qualified patients will be paid
CENTRAL TEXAS HEALTH RESEARCH Frank C Hampel, Jr., M.D.
NEW BRAUNFELS 629-9036
SAN MARCOS - SE6UIN/SAN ANTONIO 396-3101 830 609-0900
■ WHAT: AFC Wild-card game, Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins
■ WHEN: 11 a.m. today
■ WHERE: Miami
■ TV: KSAT (ABC)
“It’s a shame that you can’t walk in here and say, ‘Hey we just won the division, and let’s take two weeks and enjoy this thing.’ You’ve got one day, and then you’re in there grinding on the players. It’s nice, but it won’t mean anything on Saturday,” Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said.
The Dolphins, crushed by
Jacksonville 62-7 in last year’s divisional game, have greater aspirations than just a division title.
“For us to lose Saturday would be a major disappointment. We have all the credentials. In the AFC, there’s nobody we can’t compete with,” receiver Leslie Shephard said.
The teams are meeting for the third time since Nov. 26, and each has won on the other’s home turf.
Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning relied on the short-passing game in the last meeting, completing 21 of 28 passes for 206 yards in a 20-13 victory on Dec. 17.
Edgerrin James rushed for more than IOO yards in both regular-sea-son games, including a 17-14 Miami victory in Indianapolis on Nov. 26.
“The difference in the game up
there was, we didn’t have penalties and we didn’t make mistakes,^ Wannstedt said. “They came down here, and did the same thing. We made the penalties and we made the mistakes.
The victory against the Patriots snapped a two-game losing streak for the Dolphins. Quarterback Jay Fiedler said a comeback victory against New England was just what they needed.
“I feel great coming from behind,” he said.
The Colts might not feel so great if they fall behind, largely because of Miami’s tough defense, “When you play the Dolphin’s, you know what you’re getting into,” Manning said. “They’ve got a great defense. The times we’ve played well against them, we just made plays and executed.”
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung would like to thank our partne in education for their support of education in our community through our Newspapers In Education program.
Rraunfplc I Im!IMoc Dnnnio R Coot/ Flwrloc T F11
New Braunfels Utilities Lightning Manufacturing Solutions Keith Wersterfer-Fischbeck Welding, Inc.
PCCA - Mission
Valley Fabrics Division Wells Fargo Barbara W. Austin J.R. Perry Zero Rivers
Mr. & Mrs. John Foster, Jr. Freddie W. Hay slip Nettie M. Ratliff Mrs. E.K. Cauthem Maryann Cruz Mr. & Mrs. Ben E. French William & Marie Bulter Rosalea House -
Donnie B. Seay Byron Heisel Mrs. Freddy J. Fischer Mr. & Mrs. Donald E.
Williams J. Andrew Hathcock Abraham Ybarra David & Pamela Pohl Isabel P Rodriguez Alda Heywood Bob & Kathleen Moss Douglas & Nancy Coryell R.J & Linda Hyvl Marjorie Rues Sharon & George Legg Ethel Van Zant Jean Philips Eleanor Edwards Grace B. Wood
Charles T. Cuellar Jill Herrera Sam Neal Pablo Caballero Raymond & Colleen Rivas John & Carmen Malcolm Andrew & Suzanne Hartman Jane Gay
Harriet & Harrell Tipton Maria Liebscher Charlie L. Hays Robert & Cinay Peterman Roger & Martha Garnsey Kenneth & Jacqueline Brinkkoeter Jerome & Shirley Driuk John Tuohy Joyce Sarvey Ray & Kathleen Schoch
How you will benefit as an NIE sponsor:
• Investing in our community’s future leaders and workforce.
• Public recognition in a “Thank You” ad in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung once a month during the school year.
• The entire community will appreciate your support of education.
How can you become an NIE sponsor?
• Complete and return the sponsorship form below or ti—ii call 625-9148 ext. 229.
NEW HIIWNFEES IIEItiU)-ZErH!N(i
IN KW sr \ I'uhs In Lim cm ion SrnrssoKsmr
IM I IM, K I'OUM
Phone „ ______
Please select one
-Full class, full year sponsorship $125
Full class, semester sponsorship $62.50
Single student sponsorship $5
—Other All pledges must be received within 6 months of pledge date