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Ram Notebook : Penalties, Sacks Cause Problems; Charles White Ejected for Fighting

December 24, 1985|MARK HEISLER and HERB STUTZ and GRNR WOJCIECHOWAKI | Times Staff Writers Mark Heisler, Herb Stutz and Gene Wojciechowski

Penalties, sacks, a punchless offense and poor field position continued to plague the Rams in their 16-6 loss to the Raiders Monday night at Anaheim Stadium.

Rams Coach John Robinson won't openly admit there is anything lacking, but the NFC Western Division champions were victimized by six penalties, an identical number of sacks and an offense that failed to produce a touchdown for the second time this season.

The only difference in their loss to the Raiders, compared to their shocking defeat by the New Orleans Saints, was that placekicker Mike Lansford doubled his field goal output Monday night.

First half statistics showed the Rams with a net rushing total of 50 yards, despite the fact that Eric Dickerson had picked up 63 yards on 17 carries. That's what four sacks will do for you.

The kickers were the Rams' offense:

In addition to Lansford's field goals of 52 and 40 yards, punter Dale Hatcher averaged 46.9 yards on 7 punts, his longest being 56 yards.

Former USC star Charles White was involved in a third-quarter altercation with Raiders safety Odis McKinney which resulted in the former Heisman Trophy winner being ejected for kicking. White had no comment on the fight, dressing quickly and leaving the Rams' dressing room following the game.

Monday night's sellout was the second one for the Rams this season at Anaheim Stadium. The announced attendance of 66,676 was the second largest football crowd in the stadium's history. The record is 68,074 for the Rams-New York Giants playoff game last year. There were 2,228 no-shows for Monday's game.

As it turns out, Dickerson's hamstring injury wasn't nearly as severe as was reported by Robinson. "I was going to play all along," said Dickerson. "It's all right."

That was obvious. Dickerson picked up 98 yards on 25 carries, the highest number of yards allowed by the Raiders to a running back this season. Previous high was recorded by Atlanta's Gerald Riggs with 95. Dickerson's performance brought his season rushing total to 1,234.

Robinson announced that he is giving his squad a well-deserved, three-day Christmas rest with the team scheduled to report Friday to begin their playoff preparations for the Dallas Cowboys.

"Frustrated."

That's how Raider quarterback Marc Wilson felt after his 19-for-29 for 188 yards and one touchdown performance against the Rams. "It was frustrating having to throw the ball and only gain one or two yards, but that's what they were giving us by playing a zone," Wilson said."

Known for his gambling tactics--throwing into the teeth of opponent's pass coverages--Wilson didn't mention the two long strikes he completed against the Rams.

One went for 59 yards in the second quarter to Jessie Hester, who outran LeRoy Irvin down the left sideline, and the other his 21-yard scoring strike to Dokie Williams with 3:28 to play, which put the game out of the Rams' reach.

It was Wilson's seventh straight completion which gave the Raiders their 15-6 lead.

Tickets for the Rams Jan. 4 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys will be on sale today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rams' box office at Anaheim Stadium. Tickets will not be on sale on Christmas Day but will be available from 9-5 Thursday and Friday. Tickets are priced at $24, $18, and $12.

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