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KEEPING TABS

Loss Leaves Fauria as Flat as a Pancake

September 23, 1993|DANA HADDAD

Playing in a televised football game between nationally ranked teams before 52,100 at Stanford Stadium, Colorado tight end Christian Fauria thought he was up for the challenge and any drama that would unfold.

The Colorado offense? No problem. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound junior from Crespi High led Buffalo running backs across the goal line four times. That was easy. But Fauria and his teammates could not withstand Stanford's dramatics.

And as Colorado prepares to play host to Miami on Saturday, last week's 41-37 loss to the Cardinal won't go away.

A 37-27 fourth-quarter lead dissolved and the game ended in argument and confusion after Tony Cline caught a five-yard pass from Cardinal quarterback Steve Stenstrom. As Cline made the catch in the end zone with eight seconds left, the ball was knocked from his hands by Buffalo defender Dwayne Davis. Because Cline appeared to have possession before Davis knocked the ball loose, the pass was ruled complete and Stanford won.

"That's what everybody tells me, it was a great game to watch," said Fauria, a two-year starter. "Well, I hope they enjoyed it at our expense. I'm sure I'll remember it the rest of my life, unless I get to play them again."

Fauria said he has never experienced such a stark flip-flop of fortune in any game during his two-plus seasons with Colorado, a Big Eight Conference power that finished second in the conference and posted a 9-2-1 overall record last season.

After trailing early, 21-10, Colorado (2-1) scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions. Once the offense (which totaled 551 yards) got in gear late in the second quarter, Fauria was thinking blowout. He caught only one pass in the game, for 29 yards, but he was blowing holes on the line of scrimmage.

"They kept me blocking," said Fauria, who ranks sixth in the Big Eight in receptions with 11, including nine for 97 yards in a 36-14 victory over Texas. "I think we ran four routes the entire game. That was frustrating for me. (The coaches) must have seen something (in Stanford's defense) I didn't see.

"We could basically do whatever we wanted. They couldn't stop us at all. All four of those touchdowns were run my way. I had two pancakes."

A blocker scores a "pancake" when he flattens his opponent.

"I was so pumped and crazy," said the former All-Valley player who entered the season with seven touchdown receptions at Colorado. "That's why I was so upset about the loss. I was having a great game. I was delirious afterward. I felt hollow. All this work for nothing."

With 3 minutes 33 seconds to play, Stenstrom hit Justin Armour with 38-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 37-34. The Colorado offense stalled after it got the ball back and had to punt after three downs. Stenstrom drove his team from the Buffalo 46-yard line after a short punt. Then came the controversial touchdown.

"Everyone's still shocked around here," Fauria said. "We still can't believe we lost. We're still not over it, and we won't be until we win again. We might have been looking past (Stanford) to Miami."

Miami, which will visit Boulder on Saturday, has a 1-5 record against the Buffaloes, but the teams haven't met since 1978.

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Record-breaker: Quarterback Marty Washington (Quartz Hill/Antelope Valley College) accounted for more offense than most teams last week when he passed for 523 yards and rushed for 68 to give him 591 yards in total offense for Livingston (Ala.) in a 51-42 victory over Nicholls State.

Washington, who completed 29 of 51 passes against the team from Thibodaux, La., broke the Gulf South Conference single-game passing mark of 482 yards he set in 1992 against Jacksonville State. His 591 total yards set an NCAA Division II record.

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Checking the fax: Five area players have cracked the starting lineup at Northern Arizona: slot receiver Angel Martinez (Saugus/Glendale College), tight end Erin Reeder (Taft) and guard Eric Freund (Hart) on offense, cornerback Dereck Williams (Crespi) and end Frank Romano (Crespi) on defense. . . . Junior Creighton Harris (Hoover) and senior Eliazar Herrera (Hoover) led the UCLA men's cross-country team to a third-place finish in the Aztec Invitational at Balboa Park in San Diego on Saturday. Harris finished third with a time of 25:45.1 over the five-mile course and Herrera placed ninth in 26:10.5.

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