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August 01, 1993|T.J. SIMERS

The Rams have served notice: They might not outscore their opponents this season, but if a team records a touchdown against them, they will fight.

The Chargers topped the Rams, 12-6, Saturday in a scrimmage at Cal State Fullerton before an estimated 4,000 fans, and after each of San Diego's touchdowns, a brawl broke out.

"You can't have anybody come down to our practice facility and intimidate us," said Todd Lyght, Ram cornerback. "We're not going to be out-toughed by anybody."

Quarterback Stan Humphries threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Eric Bieniemy and John Friesz came on to hit wide receiver Johnnie Barnes for 41 yards for the Chargers' scoring.

Ram quarterback Jim Everett threw 14 yards to rookie tight end Troy Drayton for his team's lone score.

After the Chargers scored their first touchdown, Bieniemy and Ram safety Michael Stewart began to push and shove. Charger wide receiver Shawn Jefferson then slammed into Stewart's back, prompting a sideline-clearing fight, which ran over to the all-weather track surrounding the Rams' practice fields.

A second free-for-all broke out after the Chargers' second score when Ram safety Chris Crooms and Charger guard Joe Cocozzo began exchanging punches at midfield.

Ram Coach Chuck Knox said he was unconcerned by all the fighting. "It was more pushing than shoving," he said.

Charger Coach Bobby Ross, however, was upset. "We're going to cut that stuff out," Ross said. "I'm telling you that right now. That's not a part of our football team."


Running back Jerome Bettis, the Rams' No. 1 pick, made his debut in the scrimmage and gained 26 yards in eight carries. He also caught a pass for two yards. Knox said Bettis did not get very many opportunities to display his skills because of poor blocking up front.

"We didn't block a linebacker twice and they hit him right at the line of scrimmage," Knox said.

Bettis' teammates, however, were impressed. They began chanting, "Earl, Earl," from the sidelines, and suggested the Rams might have the second coming of Earl Campbell.

"That's a compliment to be compared to such a great back," Bettis said, "but I have a long way to go. I'm nowhere near the status of an Earl Campbell."


Knox had praise for Anthony Thompson, who opened as the Rams' starting running back. Thompson gained 17 yards in four carries. . . . Ram wide receiver Henry Ellard missed the scrimmage to rest a sore ankle. . . . Russell White ran five times for 19 yards, but was halted on fourth and goal from the one for no gain. . . . The Chargers sacked Everett on three of the first five times he retreated to pass. . . . The Rams today have their first day off since opening training camp.

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