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Streaky Brady Trying to Get a Handle on Turnovers

October 29, 2000|VINCE KOWALICK

Marcus Brady's streak of consecutive passes without an interception came to an end Saturday against Eastern Washington.

Now, if Brady would only stop his streak of fumbles.

Brady, who passed for 337 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-26 Big Sky Conference victory at North Campus Stadium, had attempted 131 consecutive passes without an interception, a streak of more than four games. Brady extended the streak to 180--nine shy of the Northridge record held by Aaron Flowers--before linebacker Greg Belzer's fourth-quarter interception.

"I saw him," Brady said of Belzer. "I just tried to get it over him. I'm pretty upset with myself. Two turnovers today."

The other was a fumble that ended a first-quarter drive at the Eastern Washington 22-yard line. It was the third time this season Brady coughed up the football while scrambling.

Last week against Montana State, Brady lost the ball while being sacked and it was returned for a touchdown. Two weeks ago against Montana, Brady fumbled near the goal line and the ball carried out of the end zone for a touchback.

An electrifying runner, Brady has made several gains from the pocket this season. He led Northridge with 65 yards rushing against Eastern Washington and ran for two touchdowns to go with two scoring passes. Brady is at a loss to explain his case of butterfingers.

"I just have to move on," he said.

*

Nothing was going to stop Erik Gardner from playing Saturday. Certainly not a broken bone in his right hand, an injury sustained last week against Montana State.

Gardner, a senior defensive end, suited up with his hand in a cast and heavily bandaged. But he managed to make his trademark move--sacking tFred Salanoa by grabbing his jersey with his left hand.

"I can't do my show-off move when I throw people," Gardner said. "But I got lucky. I got him with the left hand."

*

Northridge's running attack has been sporadic this season. Bruce Molock rolled up 199 yards against Southwest Texas State, but no other player has come close to gaining 100 yards in a game.

All of which made Alan Taylor an encouraging site on the Northridge sideline. A sophomore, Taylor entered the season as the Matadors' most experienced back and projected starter. But a knee injury during summer practice ended his season.

Taylor, who rushed for 133 yards in limited duty last season, said he is close to beginning rehabilitation.

"I've gotten my cast off and it's healing really fast," Taylor said.

*

The Los Angeles Xtreme selected Donnell Day, a defensive back for Northridge from 1996-98, with the 32nd overall selection in the XFL draft's fourth round.

Day, 5 feet 10 and 185 pounds, had three interceptions and 32 tackles as a senior. The XFL is scheduled to begin play in February.

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