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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | KEEPING TABS

Clausen Converts for Tennessee, But His Brother Misses

September 26, 2000|STEVE HENSON

Wouldn't you know it. Rick Clausen planned to attend every Tennessee football game but one. All he was going to miss was an uninteresting matchup against patsy Louisiana Monroe.

Isn't Adam Sandler the water boy at that school?

Every other weekend, Clausen, the Taft High quarterback, flies with his family on a Friday night red-eye, cheers the Volunteers and flies back in time for school Monday.

But last weekend he stayed home to go to a dance. And he missed seeing his brother, Casey, make his college debut in Tennessee's 70-3 victory. Casey, a freshman from Alemany, not only got in the game, he passed for three touchdowns, completing 12 of 15 for 133 yards.

"I kind of knew Casey would play a little bit, but I didn't think he'd do as well as he did," Rick said. "I'm happy for him. So is the rest of the family."

Casey opened the season third string behind Joey Mathews and redshirt freshman A.J. Suggs. Mathews is out with a knee injury, however, and Suggs has played well in his place.

Coach Phillip Fullmer told Clausen he would probably play against Florida a week ago, but Suggs went the entire way in a 27-23 loss.

Against Louisiana Monroe, Fullmer inserted Clausen in the first quarter with a 21-0 lead.

Clausen, who passed for 2,690 yards and 29 touchdowns last season at Alemany, went right to work, hitting David Martin in the corner of the end zone from 19 yards on his first pass.

Tennessee (2-1) led, 49-0, at halftime and didn't let up. Clausen connected with Cedrick Wilson on touchdown passes of nine and 22 yards in the second half as the Volunteers scored 70 points for the first time since 1929.

"It was exciting," Clausen said. "It was fun to be out there. The main thing is that we are trying to win football games. I just tried to go out there and do the best I can."

Fullmer was impressed by Clausen, although Suggs also played well and Mathews is expected back soon. Clausen could be fighting for playing time as the Volunteers plow through Southeastern Conference play.

"Both quarterbacks did a good job," Fullmer said. "It was encouraging to see both do well. The bullets get a lot bigger the next three weeks."

Tennessee visits Louisiana State on Saturday. Rest assured Rick Clausen won't miss this one: He has committed to LSU.

*

Judd Granzow, a Tennessee linebacker the last two seasons, is not playing because of injuries. Granzow transferred to Tennessee from Moorpark College in 1998 and served as a valuable backup for two seasons.

Granzow, 24, was a late-comer to football. He was a fourth-round draft choice of the Dodgers out of tiny Faith Baptist High in 1995 and played two seasons of minor league baseball before returning to football.

*

The best part about Kyle Cremarosa making seven receptions for Harvard on Saturday is, well, that he is a student at Harvard.

The former Burroughs High standout is a sophomore majoring in computer science. And, by the way, he still plays a little football.

Cremarosa had his big day in a 42-37 victory over Brown and there might be even better days ahead. Harvard's Neil Rose, making his first start at quarterback, passed for a school-record 412 yards.

Cremarosa had a touchdown reception, but it wasn't from Rose. He caught a 24-yard pass from Jared Lewis on a halfback option to give Harvard a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

Nothing new there. Cremarosa's only other touchdown came last season against Colgate on a halfback option as well.

As a freshman, Cremarosa had 19 catches for 268 yards. He is also the team's holder.

It's a far cry from the 137 catches and 200 points he amassed as an All-Valley receiver at Burroughs. But for a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame scholar-athlete such as Cremarosa, it's all about attending Harvard.

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