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Seahawks Beat Chargers at Pass, 49-35

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Wayne Davis, a Charger rookie cornerback, was as immodest as ever Sunday after receivers Darryl Turner and Steve Largent worked him over for four touchdown passes in a 49-35 conquest by the Seattle Seahawks.

Davis had a close-up look as Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg completed 22 of 32 passes for 307 yards and 5 touchdowns. Turner caught 7 passes for 121 yards and four scores, while Largent made 6 catches for 99 yards and 1 touchdown.

Running back Curt Warner, fully recovered from last year’s knee injury, ran 28 times for 169 yards.

Krieg needed numbers like those because San Diego quarterback Dan Fouts, in one of the great performances of his career, hit 29 of 43 for 440 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wes Chandler caught 13 passes for 243 yards on a day replete with remarkable offensive efforts--including that of Lionel (Little Train) James, who rushed for 41 yards, caught 6 passes for 96 yards and returned kicks for 153 more.

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In the end, though, it was the undaunted, unbowed attitude of Davis that seemed to say the most about this unusual afternoon, witnessed by 54,420 at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

“I’ve been initiated, but this will never happen to me again,” Davis told a group of writers who had come to his locker suspecting there might be a touch of humility in his manner. No, Davis said, his confidence wasn’t shaken at all.

“I hate to make bad plays,” he said. “Today I disappointed my teammates, because everyone believed in me so much. But it’s going to make me a greater player.”

Give him points for consistency. Minutes earlier, as he walked off the field, Davis sought out Turner, who had burned him for three scores, and thanked him for the experience. That’s correct--thanked him.

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“I’m not sure exactly what he meant but he told me I had made him one of the greatest cornerbacks in pro football,” the Seattle receiver said. “And I think he is going to be. He held his ground and matured a lot today.”

Older heads among the Chargers are withholding judgment. “The test is next week,” safety Gill Byrd said.

“They gave Wayne a hell of a lesson,” defensive backfield coach Jim Wagstaff said. “They went after him and just burned his butt. I doubt if he believes it yet.”

Ron Nay, the Chargers’ head scout, had some advice. “Some of our young defensive players have to learn to stop talking and let their deeds do the talking,” he said.

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The Seahawks rallied from a 29-21 deficit and scored 28 straight points after Fouts passed them dizzy in the first half.

Fouts enjoyed the best half of his career with 21 completions out of 30 attempts for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

His previous best was a 253-yard half against the New York Giants five years ago. He went on to tie a team record of 444 passing yards in that game.

Chandler made eight catches for 141 yards and one score in the first half, while James rushed 6 times for 33 yards and had 72 yards in 4 pass receptions.

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“We had to come up with something to keep up with the Chargers,” Krieg said. “When Fouts is on, he’s hard to stop. I’m just glad I had a great seat to see it all.”

The Chargers grabbed a 7-0 first-quarter lead with their most effective series of the year, exhibition or regular season. Until that point in time, anyway.

Fouts required only four passes to negotiate 64 yards. A 19-yard connection with James took the Chargers to the seven-yard line, and one more pitch to James got the score.

The Chargers moved ahead, 10-0, when Bob Thomas kicked a 21-yard field goal, his first as a Charger and 12th straight going back to last year. He was signed this week to replace Rolf Benirschke, placed on injured reserve with a pulled groin. He later missed three extra-point attempts.

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The Seahawks quickly got back into the game on a 34-yard scoring pass from Krieg to Turner.

After a short punt by Ralf Mojsiejenko, the Seahawks took over at the San Diego 31, and Warner needed just three plays to get the go-ahead touchdown.

The Chargers reclaimed the lead late in the second quarter on an 18-yard scoring pass from Fouts to Charlie Joiner.

The Chargers, who scored only 14 points in last week’s season-opener at Buffalo, finished the first half with a 23-14 advantage.

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Fouts put together a four-play, 80-yard drive built around a 17-yard run by James and a 29-yard pass to Eric Sievers. A 20-yard throw to Chandler, who ended the half with eight catches, closed out the scoring before halftime.


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