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Hostetler Returns, Raiders Win, 17-3

September 16, 1996|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — The Oakland Raiders celebrated Jeff Hostetler's return from injuries by breaking an eight-game losing streak in a ragged game featuring little offense and 18 penalties.

The image of 320-pound defensive tackle Jerry Ball lumbering 66 yards for the game-breaking touchdown was a fitting ending to the Raiders' sloppy 17-3 victory over Jacksonville on Sunday.

"I hadn't run the 40 in eight years," said Ball, who thought about jumping into the stands in celebration, but reconsidered. "I started to run up to the wall, but I've seen guys get snatched up there and not come out."

Trailing, 10-3, late in the fourth quarter, Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell led his team to the Oakland 26. But he was hit by Rob Fredrickson, and the ball popped to Ball, who barreled toward the end zone with an escort of four Raiders.

Tim Brown caught a 19-yard touchdowns pass from Hostetler and Cole Ford had a 32-yard field goal for the Raiders (1-2), who had not won since last November. Mike Hollis kicked a 33-yard field goal for Jacksonville (1-2).

Hostetler, playing a full game for the first time since Nov. 11, completed 18 of 27 passes for 200 yards. Brunell was 18 for 37 for 217 yards.

The Raiders were penalized 10 times for 90 yards. Jacksonville got eight penalties for 58 yards.

"We're two very similar teams, two very scrappy teams," Jaguar guard Brian DeMarco said. "When you play the Raiders, that's how it goes."

The newly renovated Oakland Coliseum had a miserable debut. There were about 20,000 empty seats for the Raiders' first regular-season game since the stadium's capacity was increased to 62,500--an addition of 22,000 seats.

The game clocks and play clocks did not work throughout the second half, and the four scoreboards rarely functioned.

Even worse, a broken water main knocked out service in most restrooms in the stadium, which underwent $100 million in changes as part of the deal that brought the Raiders back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995.

The Raiders couldn't even take a celebratory shower.

"I washed off with some cold water from the canteen there," Fredrickson said. "It's a lot better for us, we get to go home now and take showers. They have to fly all that way home, without showers, after a loss."

"The good news is we won," Raider Coach Mike White said, "and I guess the bad news is there's no water in the showers. So I guess we just can't complete the job."

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