Clark picks himself up after early drop

Redskins notes

October 28, 1991|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- For Gary Clark, it started out like a nightmare revisited.

The Washington Redskins wide receiver had the only scoring chance in the first half against the New York Giants when he beat Perry Williams deep in the second quarter.

When Mark Rypien put the ball right in his hands, it seems likely he would make an over-the-shoulder catch for a 67-yard touchdown play on third-and-eight at the Washington 33.

But Clark dropped it, and instead of trailing the Giants by 13-7 at halftime, the Redskins were trailing, 13-0. Clark walked the sidelines in frustration after the drop.

It wasn't the first time this has happened to Clark in this stadium.

In the NFC title game after the 1986 season, he was wide-open when Jay Schroeder threw a pass that had touchdown written all over it before Clark dropped it.

The Redskins lost the game, 17-0, and the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl.

But this time, Clark came back. After missing another possible touchdown catch in the end zone in the third period and then having a touchdown catch nullified, he came back to make two touchdown catches on third down.

The first was a seven-yard play and the second was a 53-yard catch when he beat Everson Walls to put the Redskins ahead, 14-13, with 12:50 left in the game.

* The Redskins, who have made two moves off their injured reserve list, decided to delay making a third and decided not to activate safety Alvin Walton for the game even though they put safety Terry Hoage on IR with a broken arm last week.

The problem is that the Redskins are allowed only five moves, and they need to save one for quarterback Cary Conklin in case he's needed later in the season.

They've used two of the five to activate cornerback Anthony Johnson and tight end Don Warren, so they would have been left with only one move for the rest of the season if they had brought back Walton for this game.

That's why decided delay a move on Walton just in case they had injuries at other positions.

The Redskins have nine players on IR. Besides Walton, two other starters -- defensive lineman Markus Koch and offensive tackle Ed Simmons -- are on the list. At least one of those three starters won't be able to come back during the regular season.

* There was much talk during the week that Giants special-teams star David Meggett of Towson State might not be able to play because of a heel injury.

But players tend to heal faster for big games, and Meggett did his usual duty as a punt returner and a third-down back. Meggett got the Giants a 32-yard gain in the second period when he caught a 17-yard, third-down pass and the officials tacked on 15 more when Alvoid Mays hit him late out of bounds. That play

helped the Giants get a field goal.

* Raul Allegre, who was signed during the week because Matt Bahr is ailing, did the kicking for the Giants. Bahr was put on the two-man inactive list and could be back next week.

* The Redskins are almost sure to be making an overseas trip during the exhibition season next year.

Coach Joe Gibbs, who had opposed a foreign trip in recent years, dropped his opposition when the players told him a year ago they'd like to make a trip. But he said he wanted to go to London and he said he didn't want to go to Japan because he went there once as an assistant coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s and felt the trip was too long.

Now it turns out Gibbs will no longer have a choice in the matter. At their meeting last week in Dallas, the owners gave the league office the power to order teams to play international games so Gibbs will have to go where the league tells him to go.

The Giants, another team that refused to go in the past, also figures to be ordered to make a trip next year, but it's unlikely the league would be match them because they're in the same division.

* For the second time in five games, a Redskins-Giants game at Giants Stadium went against the seventh game of the World Series.

In 1986, a rain delay pushed the New York Mets-Boston Red Sox onto Monday night opposite the Redskins-Giants game, which wound up being the lowest-rated Monday night game. Since the Mets were playing, many of the Giants fans watched that game and cheered when the Mets scored. Those cheers often came when the teams were lined up for a play so it caused some offsides penalties. There were no cheers this time because a New York team wasn't involved in the Series.

The NFL started last night's game at 7:30 p.m. instead of 8 to get an hour jump on the World Series game, but the ESPN game likely will get low ratings.

In Washington, though, the CBS affiliate, Channel 9, bumped the World Series game to show the Redskins. The World Series game was moved to Channel 20 in Washington, although many Washington fans could pick it up on Channel 11 in Baltimore.

In New York, the football game was shown on an independent channel, and the CBS affiliate showed the World Series game.

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