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    Cool The long wait is over: Rams reclaim Cup

    The long wait is over: Rams reclaim Cup
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Friday, Sep. 02 2005

    For the first time in four years, the Cup is back in St. Louis!

    Thanks to some plucky play by former Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and
    a couple of clutch holds by the St. Louis defense, the Rams dispatched Dick
    Vermeil and the Kansas City Chiefs 27-23 on Friday in the almost-annual
    Governor's Cup game.

    The Rams rallied from a 20-10 deficit in the second half behind Fitzpatrick,
    the seventh-round pick who has wrested the No. 3 quarterback job away from Jeff
    Smoker.

    "Whoo! This is the first time I get to hold the Governor's Cup," said wide
    receiver Shaun McDonald, who got the second-half rally started with a 40-yard
    touchdown reception from Fitzpatrick. "I definitely want to take it out and
    showcase it a little bit."

    We think he was kidding.

    In any event, St. Louis finished its preseason with a 3-1 record, its best
    exhibition mark in Mike Martz's six seasons as Rams head coach.

    "The Chiefs have had our number for I don't know how many years," said wide
    receiver Dane Looker, who caught the winning touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick
    with 3 minutes 42 seconds to play. "I think it's the last three years I've been
    here, they've got us. It's a preseason game, but it means a lot just to get the
    win. Like Coach said, you've got to get used to winning in the preseason.
    That'll translate into the first few games of the year."

    The Rams went only 2-10 in the preseason in their previous three summers.

    "I'm anxious for the season to start," Martz said. "Now we can get down to
    business."

    The Rams open Sept. 11 at San Francisco, but before they get there, Martz and
    his staff must reduce the roster from 65 players to 53 with the final round of
    cuts.

    "It's going to be hard in the next few days to make these cuts, because we've
    got some guys that deserve to be on this club that may not make it," Martz
    said.

    This was not a night to see your favorite football stars. Jamie Martin started
    the game at quarterback. Marc Bulger was on the sidelines wearing a baseball
    cap.

    Running back Marshall Faulk dressed but didn't play. Steven Jackson carried
    four times for 9 yards on the Rams' opening series, then called it a night.
    Similarly, wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt were one (series) and
    done.

    For Kansas City, quarterback Trent Green did not suit up. Running back Priest
    Holmes was on the field for two series, carrying six times for 13 yards. Tight
    end Tony Gonzalez was gone in the second quarter.

    Despite the lack of star power and a slow start, it proved to be an
    entertaining game.

    After a 1-yard touchdown run by Aveion Cason gave St. Louis a 10-6 lead with
    3:17 left in the first half, Kansas City went deep on the Rams' secondary.
    Career journeyman Jonathan Quinn threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jeris
    McIntyre, who got behind Rams cornerback Corey Ivy on the play.

    That gave Kansas City a 13-10 lead with 1:43 left in the half, but the lead
    grew seconds later. On the first play from scrimmage after McIntyre's
    touchdown, Fitzpatrick was sacked by Kansas City linebacker Keyaron Fox and
    fumbled. Kansas City defensive tackle Junior Siavii recovered on the Rams 24.

    On the next play, Kansas City wide receiver Marc Boerigter took a 20-yard pass
    on rookie cornerback Ron Bartell to the 4-yard line. Bartell never turned to
    make a play on the ball. Dee Brown scooted 4 yards around left end on the next
    play for a touchdown and a 20-10 Kansas City lead with 1:14 left in the opening
    half.

    The Rams played some long ball of their own in the second half. First came
    Fitzpatrick's 40-yard touchdown pass to McDonald with 7:32 to play in the third
    quarter. McDonald cut inside veteran corner Dewayne Washington at the 5 for the
    catch.

    "When that ball's in the air, it belongs to the receiver," McDonald said. "I
    had to go and get it. That builds confidence in the quarterbacks in me, that I
    can go and get balls when I'm covered."

    Next, Rams cornerback Kevin Garrett made a leaping interception of a Quinn
    pass, returning the ball 9 yards to Kansas City's 31. Garrett, who is battling
    for a roster spot, was beaten for a 43-yard gain on the previous series by
    McIntyre. Garrett's interception led to the score-tying 47-yard field goal by
    Jeff Wilkins with 5:27 remaining in the third.

    But Kansas City regained the lead 23-20 on a 21-yard field goal by Lawrence
    Tynes midway through the final quarter. The kick followed an interception by
    Fitzpatrick, with the Rams making a goal-line stand to force the field goal.

    Despite the interception, Fitzpatrick continued to show moxie. Following the
    interception, he scrambled 10 yards for a first down to the Kansas City 40.
    Next, he scrambled for time in the pocket, and found rookie free agent
    Dominique Thompson for 20 yards and a first down at the Kansas City 20.

    Fitzpatrick then threw his second touchdown pass of the night and third of the
    preseason on a 20-yard completion to Looker, who tightroped down the sideline
    for the score and the victory.

    "I just love the competition, whether it's preseason or not," said Fitzpatrick,
    who completed 12 of 22 passes for 195 yards.

    The Rams' defense stopped Kansas City on fourth and 3 from the Kansas City 45
    with 2:03 to play to clinch the victory.


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    Re: The long wait is over: Rams reclaim Cup

    Next, Rams cornerback Kevin Garrett made a leaping interception of a Quinn pass, returning the ball 9 yards to Kansas City's 31. Garrett, who is battling for a roster spot, was beaten for a 43-yard gain on the previous series by McIntyre. Garrett's interception led to the score-tying 47-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins with 5:27 remaining in the third.
    Garrett makes a bad play and then a good play. Will he stay, or will he go?

    But Kansas City regained the lead 23-20 on a 21-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes midway through the final quarter. The kick followed an interception by Fitzpatrick, with the Rams making a goal-line stand to force the field goal. Despite the interception, Fitzpatrick continued to show moxie. Following the interception, he scrambled 10 yards for a first down to the Kansas City 40. Next, he scrambled for time in the pocket, and found rookie free agent Dominique Thompson for 20 yards and a first down at the Kansas City 20.
    You have to love seeing some moxie in a rookie QB. I think Fitzpatrick is stepping up and playing well. He is not perfect but seems to be capable of playing with Martz's playbook and able to overcome sticky spots.
    The Rams' defense stopped Kansas City on fourth and 3 from the Kansas City 45 with 2:03 to play to clinch the victory.
    Man do I love hearing about the Defense stopping Kansas City at critical moments.

    Rams.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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