Igwebuike gives boost with boots

June 30, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

If there's a World Cup soccer invasion in the United States, it's doubtful many fans of Baltimore's Canadian Football League team have noticed.

Not after watching Donald Igwebuike get his kicks last night in a 45-43 overtime exhibition victory against Eastern Division opponent Winnipeg, raising his scoring total to 34 points in two games.

Igwebuike won the game with a 47-yard field goal with no time remaining in overtime. His 52-yard field goal with 12:01 left in regulation had broken a 30-30 tie. It was his second-longest field of the preseason.

The winning kick capped a night in which he scored 19 points on five field goals and four extra points. It also eclipsed his 15-point effort in Friday's 33-18 victory over the Shreveport Pirates.

"It was more like a team effort, and I still don't think I did that much," said Igwebuike. "The credit should go to my holder, Jimmy Guarantano, the linemen and the rest of the people up front."

Igwebuike had kicked four field goals -- including a 55-yarder -- and three extra points against Shreveport.

But he was eager to test himself against a more proven team, namely the Bombers, who reached last year's Grey Cup title game for the third time in four years.

Igwebuike -- in his CFL rookie season -- delivered another gem last night, beginning with his initial extra point to tie the game 7-7 with 8:27 left in the first period.

A 10-yard chip shot made it 17-7 late in the first quarter, his 22-yarder stretched the lead to 20-7 early in the second quarter, and a 41-yarder put Baltimore up 23-10 with 3:42 left in the half.

Fittingly, it was Igwebuike who scored Baltimore's final regulation point after Karl Anthony's 59-yard fourth-quarter touchdown return of a blocked punt.

"I look at every game as being important, whether it's the preseason, practice and the regular season," said Igwebuike. "If you think that because of my past I'm a good kicker, well that's a good compliment."

Formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings, Igwebuike is no stranger to success. He scored 477 points and made more than 75 percent of his field-goal attempts in 5 1/2 NFL seasons.

And in college, he keyed Clemson's national title run in 1981, highlighted by three field goals in the Tigers' Orange Bowl victory.

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