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McDaniel Keeps the Raiders on Track

October 10, 1994|STEVE SPRINGER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

FOXBORO, Mass. — Raider cornerback Terry McDaniel had turned his head to shout orders at fellow defensive back Derrick Hoskins.

When he looked back, there was the football coming his way.

So what else is new?

McDaniel cradled the ball in his arms and ran 14 yards into the end zone.

So what else is new?

Before he was done, McDaniel had tied a club record with three interceptions to lead a defense that hung on to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday before 59,889 at Foxboro Stadium.

The Raiders needed all the defensive help they could get when their offense was bogged down with interceptions, a fumble, penalties, failures on crucial third- and fourth-down situations and a somewhat inconsistent running game.

So what else is new?

Yes, there were some offensive highlights for a team that improved to 2-3. Quarterback Jeff Hostetler completed 17 of 31 passes for 250 yards, went to Harvey Williams on a 27-yard touchdown pass and scored himself on a three-yard run.

But Hostetler also threw three interceptions to keep New England in the game.

Williams, battling Ty Montgomery for the starting tailback job, came up with the best individual rushing effort of the season for the Raiders, gaining 65 yards on 17 carries for a 3.8-yard average.

But the team failed to crack the 100-yard mark for the fourth time in five games. No other Raiders could find much daylight, with Tom Rathman, Montgomery and Hostetler combining for 21 yards to give the Raiders a total of 86. Montgomery fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter, aborting yet another drive.

Meanwhile, the Raiders were penalized 11 times for 70 yards.

But two of those calls left them grumbling long after the final whistle had sounded. And they came on the same Patriot drive.

After taking the early lead on Matt Bahr's 24-yard field goal, the Patriots, coming into the game with a three-game winning streak after losing their first two, fell behind Sunday on McDaniel's second-quarter touchdown.

New England regained the lead when quarterback Drew Bledsoe went to Kevin Turner on a seven-yard touchdown pass.

The Patriots immediately got the ball back when the deep man on the ensuing kickoff, Rocket Ismail, said he and an up man had a "miscommunication" problem, leaving the ball bouncing free for New England's Steve Hawkins to gain possession.

From there, New England drove to the Raider six, where the Patriots faced a fourth and goal.

Time for a field goal.

Bahr swung his foot, defender Andrew Glover went into the air to attempt a block and an official's flag also sailed into the sky.

The ruling? Glover was guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct for leaping into the air without starting with at least one foot on the line of scrimmage, giving him a running start.

"I've been doing that for years," Glover said, "and they've never called me on it. (The call) was a total shock. I'm going to look at the film and make sure in the future that I'm on the same page as the officials. I've got a lot of pride. For an official to make a call like that without knowing what's going on is a disgrace to our team."

Given a second chance, the Patriots brought their offensive unit back on the field and, three plays later, Bledsoe, who wound up completing 23 of 55 for 321 yards, went to Leroy Thompson for a three-yard touchdown pass.

Or did he?

Replays appeared to show that Thompson was not able to break the plane of the end zone with the ball.

"I was a little shocked (by the call)," said Raider linebacker Rob Fredrickson, one of those applying the muscle to keep Thompson out.

The touchdown stood, but there would not be another for the home team.

Hostetler's touchdown pass to Williams with 42 seconds remaining in the half brought the Raiders to 17-14.

Their go-ahead touchdown came off another McDaniel interception.

This one, ending New England's opening drive of the second half, was first tipped by lineman Jerry Ball before it wound up in McDaniel's hands.

On the subsequent drive, the Raiders faced a third and three at the New England three-yard line. Hostetler went over to the sideline to talk matters over.

It was decided that the first option would be a quarterback sneak.

Hostetler said he had alternatives if, when he looked over the defense at the line of scrimmage, "I didn't like the look."

But, based on what he saw, the play "felt good."

It felt even better an instant later when Hostetler dived into the end zone and the Raiders took the lead, 21-17.

Now, it was up to the defense. And, of course, McDaniel.

The Patriots drove right back and had a third and goal at the Raider one-yard line.

Twice they handed Marion Butts the ball and twice he was stopped. But twice the Raiders were whistled for an illegal move by their line, encroachment by Anthony Smith followed by a false start by Nolan Harrison.

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