- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

TEMPE, Ariz. It was the sweetest 1-yard run of Stephen Davis' career.
A straight-ahead plunge in the waning minutes of the 20-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals yesterday made Davis the first Washington Redskin to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons.
"I just want to have a better year than the one before," he said. "I just have to play well every week. You have to be patient, and on certain ones you have to hit it."
Davis gained a team-record 1,405 yards in 1999 and 1,318 last year before reaching 1,005 with four games remaining. John Riggins gained more than 1,000 yards in 1978 and 1979 before holding out in 1980. Riggins also surpassed 1,000 yards in 1983 and 1984. Terry Allen gained more than 1,300 yards in 1995 and 1996. Earnest Byner barely missed with 998 yards in 1992 after two previous 1,000-yard seasons. Larry Brown sandwiched 1,000-yard years with 948 in 1971.
Davis gained 110 yards on 26 carries against Arizona. Davis resurrected his "Last Boy Scout" dance after scoring only his second touchdown of the year on a 1-yard run with 8:20 remaining for a 20-3 lead.
"I haven't done a jig in a long time," Davis said. "It just happened. I was excited."

The squeaky wheel …
Receiver Michael Westbrook has kept relatively quiet despite getting few chances most weeks. The Redskins are clearly going to rookie receiver Rod Gardner instead of Westbrook as the latter soon becomes an unrestricted free agent.
But Westbrook caught four passes in the opening drive and finished with seven for 82 yards in his second best game of the season and tops with quarterback Tony Banks.
"I guess they got tiring of me whining," Westbrook said. "I try to pretend to be something I'm not the greatest player in the game and nobody can stop me."
Westbrook benefited by a hamstring injury to Arizona cornerback Tom Knight, who was hurt on the game's third play when Westbrook caught a 29-yarder.
"Our feeling was we could get Michael the ball," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "[Knight] was out, and it was our intention to work that side against a rookie corner Michael Stone]."

Big-time battle
Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey engaged in a high-profile battle with Cardinals wide receiver David Boston. Both 1999 first-round picks made big plays, but neither could claim total victory.
Boston succeeded in posting his eighth 100-yard game of the season, which ties a franchise mark and leaves him just three off Michael Irvin's NFL record. He finished with six catches for 132 yards but no touchdowns.
Bailey covered Boston well, though, and in the second half he made two important break-ups. The first came on second-and-2 with about four minutes left in the third quarter; Bailey knocked away an attempt down the deep left sideline and Arizona punted two plays later. The second came with just under 13 minutes to go; Bailey foiled Boston's crossing route, and the Cardinals punted three plays later.
"Overall, I did pretty good," Bailey said. "I've got to give him credit: He's the best receiver I've faced this year, by far. … You can't worry [when he catches one]. He's a player. He's going to catch a few balls here and there, but overall I've got to win. And I think that's what I did today."
Not all of Boston's catches came against Bailey three were against zone coverage. But once again Bailey drew the honor of defending the opposition's top receiver basically throughout a game, a tactic coach Marty Schottenheimer has used in five of the club's six wins.
"Champ battled him every step of the way," Schottenheimer said. "You've got two great players, two great young players out there. I'm really proud of Champ, because David Boston is, in my view, one of the top two or three receivers in football today."

Fighting words
Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington remembers Cardinals wide receiver David Boston from their recent days in the Big Ten Arrington at Penn State, Boston at Ohio State. But the two weren't exchanging pleasantries when they received offsetting personal fouls late in the first half.
Things started when Boston made an 18-yard catch and was tackled by Arrington. Boston put the ball in Arrington's chest as he got up to walk away; Arrington got angry and pushed Boston hard. Flags were thrown. Boston got a penalty for taunting, Arrington for retaliating.
Two plays later, Arrington was covering Boston on a short crossing route. He pushed the wideout hard. Jake Plummer's pass went off Boston's hands and the ball floated right to Arrington. A 41-yard runback left Washington at the Cardinals' 8 with nine seconds left in the half and set up a field goal to make it 10-3.
Arrington said the two plays had nothing to do with each other. But he hinted that his teammates might get a little inspiration from his personal fouls, for which he apologized two weeks ago and promised not to repeat.
"I made the promise, but they told me every time I didn't get a personal foul we lost the game," Arrington said. "So I said, 'I'm going to go out here and make sure it's a good one.' But I didn't really get a personal foul because they offset."

Heavily penalized
The Redskins were tagged with season-highs of 13 penalties for 99 yards, a statistic coach Marty Schottenheimer singled out as nearly ruining their chance for victory.
Some of the most costly penalties came in the first half. On Washington's powerful opening drive Zeron Flemister was whistled for holding, negating a fourth-and-1 conversion run by Stephen Davis. In the second quarter Kenard Lang's offside penalty converted a Cardinals third-and-1. And on Washington's next possession Chris Samuels' holding penalty led to a Redskins punt after the team advanced to Arizona's 37.
"We met the enemy and the enemy was us," Schottenheimer said. "We worked our tails off throughout the entire ballgame. But the penalties. I don't know what to say about them. It's a real tribute to the players in that locker room that we can come out with 13 penalties and still win that ballgame."

Clanging metal
Kicker Brett Conway hit the left upright twice before converting his final two field goal attempts. The 47- and 44-yard attempts had the distance, but not the luck of being inches inside.
"I've never seen anybody hit two in a game," Conway said. "I hit them both well enough to make them."
Conway rebounded to convert a 22-yarder with no time left in the first half for a 10-3 lead and a 42-yarder with 12:48 remaining for a 13-3 edge. A replay challenge by the Redskins forced Conway to wait several minutes on the field.
"[Schottenheimer] iced me," Conway said. "I didn't know how long the replay would take and whether to go back to the sideline. The Arizona guys were heckling me."

Serwanga special
Cornerback Kato Serwanga should get the team's "Golden Glove" award after three standout special teams plays.
Serwanga, who signed Oct. 16, downed a punt on the Cardinals' 1-yard line and tackled punt and kick returners without allowing more than 1-yard returns.
"He has very good quickness," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "He probably gets more interceptions in practice than anybody."

Inactives
Tight end Stephen Alexander, cornerback Central McClellion, guard Matt Campbell, defensive tackle Donovan Arp, guard Alex Sulfsted, receiver Darnerien McCants and defensive end Otis Leverette were inactive.
Rick Snider and Jody Foldesy


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide