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SUPER BOWL XXII : THE INCREDIBLE QUARTER : It Was All Over After Redskins Scored a Record 35 Points

February 01, 1988|RICH ROBERTS | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Fifteen minutes is all it took. If you set it to music it would sound like this:

Crash! Bam! Pow! Bang! Zoom!

And when it was over, the Washington Redskins were spent, but the Denver Broncos were wasted. Super Bowl XXII was over before the multi-piano overture.

John Elway and the Broncos created "The Drive" in last season's AFC title game at Cleveland, adding to a list of legendary pro football feats.

Earlier, there was "The Block" by Green Bay's Jerry Kramer, "The Catch" by San Francisco's Dwight Clark, "The Immaculate Reception" by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Franco Harris, and Roger Staubach's "Hail Mary" to Drew Pearson in Minnesota.

There was even "The Game"-- Johnny Unitas, in his prime, leading the Baltimore Colts to a championship overtime win over the Giants that pushed the sport into big-time theater in 1958.

Now there's "The Quarter" to add to all that lore--the Washington Redskins' blitzkrieg destruction of the Broncos in a twilight dream sequence that was the second quarter at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium Sunday.

After it was over, as the audience sat stunned and orange-crushed, all that remained was the halftime show and the matter of filling in the final score, 42-10.

It was like clockwork. Five possessions, 18 plays, 5 touchdowns, 35 points.

Nobody had ever scored more than 21 points in a Super Bowl quarter or 28 in a half. Nobody had ever scored more than five touchdowns in a game .

Doug Williams passed for four touchdowns, Timmy Smith ran 58 yards for another.

Smith had run for only 126 yards in the regular season. He had 122 in the second quarter alone, finishing with 204 to break Marcus Allen's record of 191 set in Super Bowl XVIII.

Williams passed for 253 of his 340 yards in The Quarter.

Several Super Bowl records were broken, others tied.

Ricky Sanders caught 2 of the touchdown passes and, with 193 yards receiving, broke Lynn Swann's record of 161 from Super Bowl X. Sanders had 177 yards in The Quarter.

"It was unreal" Sanders said.

Even Joe Bugel, the Redskins' offensive coordinator, said: "I don't have an answer for how that happened."

A reporter suggested that maybe it was because several Redskins changed to longer cleats after the first quarter to handle the loose turf. Bugel laughed.

"No, and it wasn't changing any plays, either," he said. "It was just running the same things but doing it better.

"When they got 10 points, that was just like somebody kicked us in the face. It was time. We started getting after 'em pretty good on the sideline, telling 'em, 'Hey, this is only the world championship. Let's get going.'

"The plays were the same, (just) different formations. We change every week."

The plays weren't especially tricky, either, not by modern, sophisticated theory. The first was . . . CHARLIE HITCH:

"Good things can happen from it," Bugel said.

The first was Williams' 80-yard pass to Sanders to bring the Redskins back to 10-7 on their first play of the quarter.

"We make the safety (Tony Lilly) make a choice," said Gary Clark, the other wide receiver. "When the safety makes a choice, Doug'll go with me or he'll go with Ricky. But he just bit on the run fake, and Ricky just ran by the guy."

Sanders: "It was a fade route. When they press us we go just down the sideline and Doug reads (the coverage). They went to a filter free. That means the cornerback has me one-on-one, so Doug knew that and threw the pass where it had to go. It was just a hitch route."

And, Bugel said, Williams' 27-yard pass to Clark that put the Redskins on top, 14-10, was the "exact same play. He has a choice to go to Sanders or Clark on that."

Clark: "Doug Williams was just on the mark today. He was hitting everybody, no matter what you do. All the dropped passes were the receivers' fault. He was throwing it right in there."

And then they wrote . . . COUNTER GAP:

"We thought for us to be successful, we had to run that play a minimum of 15 times," Bugel said. "I think we accomplished that."

The most impressive instance was Smith's 58-yard sprint around right end: 21-10.

"(Tackle) Joe Jacoby and (guard) Raleigh McKenzie gave me good blocks and I busted it outside," Smith said. "I saw a tight squeeze that made me go inside, then cut back out, and their defensive backs had their hands full with our wide receivers to make it easier to run after I got through the line."

That was followed by a snappy rendition of . . . DOUBLE PUMP:

Another routine play that Williams and Sanders turned into a 50-yard explosion: 28-10.

"It was just a run-pass," Sanders said. "They fake it to the running back, the strong safety (Dennis Smith) comes up to make the tackle and I get behind him."

And then it was time to . . . SCRAM:

That's what they call the pass Williams threw eight yards to tight end Clint Didier 1:04 before halftime to make it 35-10.

"He was the primary receiver, with Ricky Sanders right behind him," Bugel said. "If they cover Didier, we just throw a short pass to Sanders."

A perfect day? Not quite. Only a perfect quarter.

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