In throwback to college, Boller tosses 4 TDs

Big day against Giants reminds second-year QB of his days at California

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 37, Giants 14

December 13, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

After Kyle Boller threw the most touchdowns in a game for his career, the Ravens' quarterback acted as he always has.

Never one to get too high or too low, Boller did not overestimate what a four-touchdown game like the one he had yesterday in the Ravens' 37-14 win over the New York Giants might do for a league-wide reputation that has taken its share of hits the past two seasons.

Boller also did not underestimate how much fun being the hero, for once, was.

"When you get to four touchdowns, after the game, yeah, you can say, `I got to four touchdowns.' But the main thing about it is that it's 28 points, and when you get 28 points, you are going to get the win," Boller said. "And that's what it's all about."

Boller, who was 18-for-34 for 219 yards, had never thrown more than two touchdowns in one pro game, but he can boast of leading the league in that cate- gory for one week at least, doubling up Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who likely will set the record for touchdown passes in a season this year.

For Boller, it was as if he went back to his senior season at California, where he had five-touchdown games twice.

"I don't think I've had that since college," Boller said. "Four touchdowns and no interceptions. That is a good ratio."

It was, in all fairness, just as much his receivers as it was Boller.

Clarence Moore and tight end Todd Heap, the recipients of two apiece, worked over the Giants' smaller cornerbacks, making the day for Will Peterson and Will Allen extraordinary long.

Peterson was beaten in the end zone by Moore on the Ravens' first touchdown, and Allen was beaten by Heap on the team's final one.

Both times, Moore and Heap used their bigger bodies and hands to their respective advantage.

"With Clarence on the same side on me, I'm looking at him saying, who are you going to double? I was excited to see him make a big play, too," Heap said.

Moore was equally excited for himself.

The lanky rookie had a rough week, where his willingness to take a hit across the middle and his want to fight past the rookie wall were questioned, but the three-catch day was his best contribution in four games.

Unlike Boller, Moore admitted to seeking redemption.

"After that [previous] game was over, a lot of people can't do it, but I was past it," Moore said. "I was looking forward to this game to prove everybody wrong that was thinking whatever they were thinking. I definitely had to have a game today, and I think I did all right."

While Moore simply used his height on his first touchdown, he combined a great deal of balance on the second one. Facing a third-and-goal from the Giants' 8, Boller hit Moore in the back of the end zone in the middle of the field on a pass that sailed over the secondary and into the hands of Moore.

Moore had to tiptoe inside the out-of-bounds line with both feet to secure the score.

"We worked on that play to Clarence probably eight or nine weeks," Boller said. "Finally, we got it down to where I can throw it every time to him. It took awhile. I kept telling Coach to throw it out."

But the coaches did not, confident that Boller would eventually get it.

Slowly but surely, that is starting to apply to the entire offense.

"He's definitely got a good grasp of the offense," Heap said. "This is huge for him, especially showing you guys that he can do it. It's huge for his confidence going in these last few games. We needed a game like this to really put us over the edge and let us know what we can do."

Said Boller: "They just added up today. We had a couple of chances to be able to put the ball in the end zone. Those guys did a great job of coming down with it.

"I look at it like, we threw four touchdowns. It was awesome. Let's build on it next week."

Four score

Kyle Boller yesterday became the fourth Ravens quarterback to throw four or more touchdown passes in a game.

Quarterback ................. Opponent .............. Date ..................... TD passes

Tony Banks ................ Jacksonville ...... Sept. 10, 2000 .................... 5

Vinny Testaverde ....... at Denver ........... Oct. 20, 1996 .................... 4

Tony Banks ................ Tennessee ........... Dec. 5, 1999 .................... 4

Anthony Wright ......... Seattle ................ Nov. 23, 2003 ................. 4

Kyle Boller ................. N.Y. Giants ......... Dec. 12, 2004 .................. 4

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