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Powlus Passes Irish to Easy 34-15 Victory : Nonconference: Notre Dame quarterback overshadows Stanford's Stenstrom in South Bend to earn Walsh's praise.

October 02, 1994|From Associated Press

Ron Powlus threw three touchdown passes and set up another touchdown with a 44-yard run as eighth-ranked Notre Dame defeated Stanford, 34-15, Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Powlus completed 10 of his first 11 passes for 168 yards, including touchdown passes of 15, 10 and 47 yards for the Irish (4-1).

Cardinal quarterback Steve Stenstrom, closing in on Pac-10 and Stanford passing records in his senior year, completed 37 of 59 passes for 360 yards, with Mark Harris catching scoring passes of nine and 19 yards in the fourth quarter.

Stenstrom became the third player in Pac-10 history to pass for 9,000 career yards.

But it was Powlus who was being praised afterward by Stanford Coach Bill Walsh.

"He is an outstanding quarterback, but I don't think it's even close to what you are going to see," Walsh said. "Greatness will come soon for him."

And Stenstrom?

"He is one great player," Walsh said. "It was a gallant performance by a guy who just wouldn't quit."

Stenstrom, who threw for more than 300 yards for the 11th time in 14 games, increased his career passing yardage to 9,349, tying former Stanford great John Elway for second place, 44 shy of the conference record set by Oregon State's Erik Wilhelm (1985-88).

"I thought the defense had an incredible day," Powlus said. "There's no question Steve Stenstrom is a great quarterback. He did many, many great things. Everything is coming around (offensively). The running game is finally coming around. . . . Things have worked out for us. The offensive line is doing a great job."

The Cardinal (1-2-1) opened an early 3-0 advantage on a 34-yard field goal by Eric Abrams after a penalty nullified a Stanford touchdown on the game's opening drive.

The Irish built a 10-3 halftime advantage despite having the football only 7 minutes 52 seconds in the half, then took command with 24 consecutive points in the second half.

Notre Dame's victory prevented Stanford from becoming only the third school this century to defeat the Irish on their home field three consecutive times.

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