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SAN DIEGO COUNTY YEAR IN REVIEW

JANUARY

4: On New Year’s Eve, when Point Loma girls’ basketball’s 143-game home winning streak was broken, Coach Lee Trepanier said, “Records are made to be broken. So now we start a new one.” The Pointers start a new one by defeating San Diego, 73-29.

8: Loyola Marymount runs away with a 162-144 victory over U.S. International in a record-setting men’s basketball game at Golden Hall. It set records for most points in a half (93 by LMU), most points by two teams and most points by a losing team. But they wouldn’t last long. . . . Steve Jones of Phoenix shoots a final-round 69 for a total of 279, 9 under par, to win the MONY Tournament of Champions at La Costa. It is only the second tour victory for Jones, who earns $135,000.

10: Football season is long over, and Santana High School wins the Grossmont 2-A title, the first in its 24-year existence. How? Valhalla Coach Carl Iavelli discovers his team used a residentially ineligible player and forfeits the title.

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14: Wearing shiny pants, flashy shoes and race bibs like Olympic medals, 1,000 kids appear for the one-mile running event of the fifth McClassic. “Look at the faces on the kids here,” said starter Tony Gwynn. Then he advised: “Please be careful. Don’t run over somebody’s back.”

18: Effective at the end of the season, U.S. International drops women’s basketball, the second team sport eliminated within a year. The Gulls now have the minimum number of teams--six each for men and women--needed to remain in NCAA Division I.

24: After a Christmas visit to Notre Dame, two-time section 2-A volleyball player of the year Alicia Turner of USDHS commits to the Fighting Irish. “I went to a basketball game, and it was really fun. And the football team is No. 1,” she said. . . . Orange Glen’s Jake Nyberg, the state’s leading receiver, announces his intent to attend SDSU. A fourth league, the Harbor, joins the City Conference.

28: After a typically mediocre start, the Sockers pick up steam, winning their fifth consecutive game, 2-1, over Wichita. With it came a splash of controversy. Branko Segota scores the winning goal in overtime on a header, but Wichita’s Chico Borja protests at the top of his voice to referee Kelly Mock that the ball hadn’t gone into the goal.

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31: LMU and USIU meet again, this time in Los Angeles. The Lions roll to a 181-150 victory in a game that has a point scored every 7.25 seconds. Week-old records for most points by two teams and most points by a losing team are broken.

FEBRUARY

7: Fairy tale dreams of the “San Diego SuperSonics” are cut short when the owner of Seattle’s NBA team is denied extra time for a possible bid on the San Diego Sports Arena by the accounting firm handling the sale. . . . Fallout from the Gus Macker three-on-three tournament: Six players who participated have lost their high school eligibility.

9: The Chargers conclude a protracted search to replace fired Al Saunders by hiring Dan Henning, a Redskin assistant, as coach. Henning’s only previous head coaching experience is in Atlanta, where he lost almost twice as many games as he won. Asked about the difference between being a head coach and an NFL assistant, Henning says, “The salary.”

11: Serenaded by the cheers of 35,879 at Jack Murphy Stadium, El Cajon’s Rick Johnson gets his fourth national motocross series victory of the season, giving him a tie for all-time supercross victories at 27.

19: Ex-Aztec Greg Twiggs wins the Shearson Lehman Hutton Open at Torrey Pines South. His 3-under-par 69 cements his first victory in his four-year PGA career and earns him $126,000. “I don’t care if I won in Saudia Arabia, I like to win, but it’s nice to win here,” he said.

22 Wearing sunglasses to cut the glare from TV cameras, Robin Romeo of Van Nuys wins the Ladies Professional Bowlers tournament at Kearny Mesa Bowl.

24: Denny Stolz, fired as football coach in November 1988, found there was life after football at San Diego State. The difference was it was on the golf course. Stolz is appointed men’s golf coach as part of an agreement to honor the final three years of his five-year contract.

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MARCH

2: Sisters Leticia, Teresa and Veronica Ibarra lead Holtville to the girls’ section Division IV basketball championship at the Sports Arena. La Jolla County Day wins the Division V girls’ title. As expected, Christian wins the boys’ Division IV championship and Calipatria is victorious in the Division V boys’ final.

3: Former Vista High running back Marc Jones is released from an eight-month prison sentence in a minimum-security facility and awarded a football scholarship at the University of Washington by Coach Don James. . . . Valhalla and San Diego share the 2-A boys’ soccer title, and the San Pasqual girls win their fourth consecutive 2-A championship.

4: Division I, II and III girls’ and boys’ basketball titles are decided at the Sports Arena. The boys’ winners: Poway over San Diego in Division I; Torrey Pines over Madison in Division II, and Lincoln over Clairemont in Division III. The girls’: Point Loma over Mira Mesa in Division I; Vista over San Marcos in Division II, and USDHS over Ramona in Division III. Also, 3-A soccer championships are contested. Bonita Vista takes the boys’ title in double overtime, and the Torrey Pines and Poway girls play to a 1-1 tie.

9: The San Diego State basketball team completes its fourth consecutive losing season, a school first, and its second under Coach Jim Brandenburg when the Aztecs are eliminated from the Western Athletic Conference tournament by a 70-57 loss to host Utah.

11: Point Loma’s Monica Filer and Vista’s Chris Enger end illustrious high school basketball careers on a sad note. In the finals of the Southern California Regional championships in Los Angeles, Point Loma loses by a point to Morningside in Division I, and Vista falls to Katella by six in Division II.

14: After an exhaustive search for a president, Padre owner Joan Kroc promotes Dick Freeman. In less than three weeks, Freeman makes what proves to be one of the most disastrous decisions in Padre history, turning down reliever Mark Davis’ request of a two-year, $2.8 million extension. In the next eight months, Davis would win the Cy Young award and demand a five-year contract for $15 million.

18: Spectators at the second Pro-Am Bodysurfing championship in Pacific Beach don’t give opponents of five-time world champion Mike Cunningham much of a chance. “The only chance (Bill Dohn) has is if Mike has a heart attack on his way out to the water.” He didn’t.

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21: Former San Dieguito player Carl Chang, now at Cal, is beaten, as are the No. 1-ranked Bears, by the University of San Diego in men’s tennis.

30: Oceanside star Jerry Garrett is ruled academically ineligible for the second time this school year. . . . SDSU senior center Chana Perry is named to the Kodak All-American women’s basketball team.

APRIL

2: Three-time champion Steve Scott is upset by Kenyan Yobes Ondieki in the Carlsbad 5,000. Ondieki’s time of 13 minutes 26 seconds breaks Scott’s world best.

8: A doubles victory by Ken Flach and Robert Seguso over Yannick Noah and Guy Forget clinches the Davis Cup quarterfinal for the United States in matches played at the Sports Arena. The doubles triumph coupled with singles victories by John McEnroe and Andre Agassi a day earlier gives the U.S. an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

14: Tony Siegle leaves the Philadelphia Phillies’ front office to accept a job with the Padres as vice president/personnel. He would later call it the worst decision of his baseball career. He was chastised and criticized the next eight months by the media and on Dec. 8 was fired.

19: Rancho Buena Vista running star Kira Jorgensen signs a national letter-of-intent with UCLA. Jorgensen had been considering Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.

16: Cardiff’s Marianne Berglund wins her third women’s Bud Light La Jolla Grand Prix bicycle race. Alex Stieda, a native of Vancouver, captures the men’s division.

22: Fallbrook shotputter Brent Noon and San Pasqual miler Francis O’Neill win at the Mt. SAC Relays.

30: La Jolla’s James Conda wins the boys’ 14 division of the prestigious Ojai tennis tournament.

MAY

4: Brent Noon continues his incredible year with a national best shotput toss of 69-8 1/4 in a dual meet. Orange Glen’s Lenny McGill leaps 50-4 in the triple jump for the state lead. . . . USD and SDSU women’s tennis teams are given bids to the NCAA Tournament.

6: Coronado’s Angelica Gavaldon is defeated in the final of the Seventeen Magazine Tennis Tournament.

10: The UCSD women’s tennis team wins its third NCAA Division III title with a 8-1 victory over Kenyon College of Ohio.

12: SDSU and USD women’s tennis teams lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

17: David Thornton of Bonita Vista wins the section boys’ golf title at Singing Hills.

19: Monte Vista senior Kristen Walls wins her second section diving title. Mt. Carmel’s Mark Dunn takes the boys’ title.

20: Hams that they are, the Sockers work themselves into a 3-2 deficit in the semifinals of their seven-game playoff series with Dallas and then return home to win it. After winning Game 6, 7-2, they took Game 7, 1-0, on Branko Segota’s third-quarter goal. Socker Coach Ron Newman aged at least a week during the final game and said afterward: “I don’t know why we do this. I’m supposed to be used to it. Has anyone checked my pension?” . . . Alison Terry of University of San Diego High and Mike Picotte of Mira Mesa break two records each at the section swim meet. Rancho Buena Vista’s girls’ 200-yard medley relay team also breaks a section record. . . . USD’s men’s tennis team is eliminated by UC Irvine in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

25: Torrey Pines High, led by individual winner Tasha Taylor, takes the section gymnastics title. In boys’ tennis, Mt. Carmel wins the 3-A section title and La Jolla captures its 17th title in the past 20 years by winning in 2-A.

26: San Dieguito and La Jolla win the section 3-A and 2-A boys volleyball championships. UCSD’s Shannon Quigley throws a personal best to win the NCAA Division III women’s shotput title.

27: In the section track and field meet, Francis O’Neill wins the boys’ 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and Orange Glen’s Glen Reyes takes the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Kira Jorgensen ends her career with runaway victories in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and Poway’s Kim Dill captures the 100 and 300 hurdles. Monte Vista (3-A), Grossmont (2-A) and Bishop’s (1-A) win section titles in softball.

31: Catcher Buck Taylor’s two-run double leads Carlsbad to the 2-A section baseball title over Grossmont.

JUNE

1: Brawls, walks and runs highlight the 3-A section baseball game, which Mt. Carmel wins, 19-14, over Helix. Six players, three from each team, are ejected in a fourth-inning bench-clearing fight that begins with a collision at home plate.

2: Jack McKeon makes his first big trade of the season, acquiring left fielder Chris James from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for John Kruk and Randy Ready. In all, he would make six trades during the year, involving 20 players. . . . In boys’ tennis, St. Augustine’s Ignacio Martinez wins the section singles title, and Torrey Pines’ Efrem Zimbalist and Jason Wurl capture the doubles championship.

3: Francis O’Neill, Kira Jorgensen, Brent Noon and Lenny McGill win state track finals. McGill leaps 51-1 in the triple jump, an inch off his 1989 national best.

5: Miah Bradbury (Mt. Carmel High), Frank Carey (Granite Hills) and Reyes are among players with local ties selected in baseball’s amateur draft.

10: As if the semifinals weren’t suspenseful enough, the Sockers take a 3-1 edge in the championship series against the Baltimore Blast and then slumber through losses in Games 5 and 6. No worries. The Sockers beat the Blast, 6-5, in a thrilling Game 7 to win their seventh MISL title. . . . Phil Mickelson, formerly of University of San Diego High, wins the NCAA Division I golf tournament while competing for Arizona State University.

14: County basketball scoring leader Tony Clark announces he will transfer from Valhalla to Christian High for his senior season.

26: It has been said that Trader Jack McKeon would trade away his own son if it’d help the team. On this day, he trades away his son-in-law, Greg Booker.

27: Former Globetrotter Mannie L. Jackson begins a month-long escapade into nowhere by announcing his intentions to bring the NBA back to San Diego.

28: The NBA says Jackson’s effort is three years too late and that it has no intention of expanding for a while.

JULY

16: Beachcomber (Steve Miner, John Torchia and Billy Bright) goes undefeated during the 36th World Championship Over-The-Line Tournament on Fiesta Island, and a 21-10 victory over Club Team Sportswear gives it its second consecutive championship. Island Gecco Maui (Camille Medina, Mary Ann Casillas and Tess Michelucci) wins its second women’s title in a row.

30: The Nomads’ under-19 boys soccer team defeats Club Ohio in overtime, 3-1, in Long Island, N.Y. to claim the McGuire Cup, symbolic of the national championship.

AUGUST

6: The championship of the $200,000 Great American Bank tennis tournament turns into Steffi Graff’s toughest match of the week. After losing only five games in four previous matches, Graff dispatches Zina Garrison, 6-4, 7-5, and that is as tough as it got for her at the San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club.

8: Michael Jordan finally makes an appearance in San Diego--not that there’s an NBA team in town. Jordan scores 43 points in the Seagram’s Coolers All-Star Game. Cliff Levingston’s Blue team defeated Michael Cage’s White, 179-170. The game at the San Diego Sports Arena is a sellout.

17: Tony (Bazooka) DeLuca beats Willie Salazar in a 12-round split decision at the El Cortez Convention Center to win the North American Boxing Federation’s flyweight title (108 pounds).

18: The Chargers swing a deal with the Chicago Bears that brings them controversial quarterback Jim McMahon. One day later, McMahon actually plays against the Bears in an exhibition game at Soldier Field. In a halftime news conference in the back of the press box, Steve Ortmayer, the Chargers’ director of football opertations, puffs out his chest and says, “He (McMahon) won’t drive the car off the road.” Translation: McMahon won’t throw interceptions.

20: Alejandro Cruz, 21, holds off Don Janicki, 29, to win the 12th America’s Finest City Home Federal Half Marathon in one hour three minutes 56 seconds. But Cruz is disappointed that he didn’t set the course record.

22: The suspension of the SDSU men’s and women’s track and field programs ends, 63 days after it began. Athletic Director Fred Miller gives the go-ahead after a fund-raising group falls just short of its $150,000 goal.

SEPTEMBER

1: Kaz Deyna, who helped the Sockers to five indoor championships between 1981-'87, dies in the early morning when his car runs into a parked truck on the shoulder of Interstate 15. There are no skid marks. Deyna later is reported to have been driving with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit. He was 41.

2: Al Luginbill makes his debut as the 13th football coach in San Diego State history with a 52-36 loss at Air Force as quarterback Dee Dowis rushes for a Western Athletic Conference-record six touchdowns and launches himself into the Heisman Trophy race at the Aztecs’ expense. “There are certainly no magicians on the defensive side of the ball,” Luginbill said. “I’m not a magician; that was proved today.”

9: The Western Soccer League Nomads lose a 1-0 halftime lead to the American Soccer League Fort Lauderdale Stikers in the first national-title soccer game since in 1985 and wind up beaten, 3-1.

13: Drag Race, who has been nothing but a drag to trainer Steve Miyadi, going 0-for 12 before entering the Del Mar Futurity, wins the race at 13-1 odds.

17: Houston beats the Chargers, 34-27, at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. But McMahon throws for a career-high 389 yards. “Didn’t he look good to you?” Ortmayer asks reporters after the game. . . . Former Socker Hugo Perez scores the only goal as the U.S. national soccer team edges Perez’s native El Salvador, 1-0, in a crucial World Cup qualifying game played in Honduras. It was the only game the oft-injured Perez, a San Diego resident, would play for the United States in the qualifying tournament.

19: Michael Fay’s legal challenge to the America’s Cup is capsized with a 4-1 decision by the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court. The decision gives the Cup back to the San Diego Yacht Club.

23: Sal Aunese, a hometown hero who played quarterback at Vista High and who later went on to quarterback at the University of Colorado, dies of cancer at the age of 21.

27: The Padres enter the final week of the season as the hottest team in baseball, having won 26 of their past 33 games, but still trail the first-place San Francisco Giants. But the Giants were swept by the Dodgers, leaving the Padres with their first chance since June to control their own fate. All that is needed is a victory over the Cincinnati Reds on this night to force a final weekend showdown against the Giants. The Padres and Reds are deadlocked at 1-1 in the 13th inning when Reds center fielder Eric Davis steps up to the plate with a runner on second and first open. Instead of intentionally walking him, the Padres opt to pitch to him, and Davis doubles against the center-field fence. The Padres are mathematically eliminated from the National League West race.

30: Padre third baseman Tim Flannery, perhaps the most popular player to wear the brown pinstripes, walks away from the game moments after an emotional retirement ceremony. Flannery vows to leave the game without looking back.

OCTOBER

7: USD fullback Todd Jackson rushes for 160 yards in a 38-17 victory over La Verne, the Toreros’ fifth in a row en route to a 7-2 season. Jackson later became USD’s career rushing leader with 2,176 yards.

17: Padre owner Joan Kroc announces that she has put the Padres up for sale. Asking price: $100 million. She doesn’t mention anything about having to love her hamburgers. Good thing. The prospective owners, Jenny and Sid Craig, sell diet food.

29: Rookie quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver makes his first NFL start and fails miserably in Seattle. He completes six of 17 passes for 41 yards before Henning replaces him with McMahon, who looks terrible trying to run the two-minute drill. Final score: Seattle 10, Chargers 7.

30: Questioned about his failure to move the Chargers in the waning moments of close losses, McMahon answers with silence. Then he turns around and blows his nose in the direction of a reporter’s face, walks away and says, “There’s an answer for you.” The incident receives national attention; one columnist later refers to McMahon as Henning’s “Chief of Nasal Operations.”

NOVEMBER

5: The strange San Diego State career of running back Darrin Wagner takes its final twist when Coach Al Luginbill suspends him for the final three games of the season after Wagner misses practice without permission. The incident is the latest in a stormy 14 months for Wagner at SDSU. . . . The professional golfers defeat the amateurs in the Century Club Matches, 85 1/2-49 1/2. Scott Bentley, a pro at the Singing Hills Country Club, leads the pros to their first victory in three years by shooting a four-under 68.

9: Former SDSU center Mitch McMullen signs to play professional baskeball--in the Continental Basketball Assn. McMullen, who was the last player cut by the Atlanta Hawks, is in good spirits. "(Atlanta Coach Mike) Fratello told me if anything happened to any of his big men, he’d bring me right back,” McMullen said.

10: Arizona basketball Coach Lute Olson bags his second San Diego recruit in two years when Christian’s Tony Clark announces he will sign a letter of intent. A year ago, Olson had came to town and signed former Torrey Pines player Kevin Flanagan.

11: An anonymous donor offers an unspecified but significant amount of money to build a new 4,000-seat baseball stadium at San Diego State but says he would first like to see a show of support. SDSU holds a rally, and 3,851 people sign the register. The 2 1/2-hour program features the unveiling of stadium plans and the appearances of former Aztecs Tony Gwynn of the Padres and Bud Black of the Cleveland Indians.

14: Mark Davis wins the National League Cy Young award, and the Padres immediately begin making plans of putting him on the cover of their 1990 media guide. That’s not such a good idea anymore. It’s a little unusual for a team to put an opposing player on its media guide. Davis later signs a four-year, $13 million contract with the Kansas City Royals. . . . Sudden death, sudden championship: The UC San Diego women’s soccer team wins its first national championship when Karin Lindsay pounds a crossing pass from Teresa Schwaar into the goal four minutes into sudden death overtime.

16: After a six-month struggle, basketball hostage Tony Clark is declared free to play at Christian High School. Clark led the county in scoring at Valhalla High last season but was declared ineligible when he transferred to Christian, and Valhalla Principal Bob Avant refused to sign the public/private school transfer form.

19: Jose Luis Noriega of the University of San Diego wins the DuPont National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championship in Hilton Head, S.C. Noriega, seeded fourth, defeats No. 5 Steve Bryan of Texas, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, to win the second leg of the college grand slam.

21: John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors blow into town for an exhibition tennis match at the San Diego Sports Arena to raise money for the San Diego State University Aztec Athletic Foundation. McEnroe outlasts Connors, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4, in front of 6,821. “When you play a guy like Connors, it’s not like the Lakers playing the Clippers or an expansion team,” McEnroe says. “Playing a high-quality opponent brings out the best in you.”

25: San Diego State completes its first football season under Coach Al Luginbill with a 48-27 loss to Brigham Young. BYU clinches the Western Athletic Conference title and berth in the Holiday Bowl. The Aztecs finish 6-5-1, their first winning season in three years. Wide receiver Monty Gilbreath completes his SDSU career with a school-record 187 receptions. . . . La Jolla wins the Divison II state girls’ cross country championship at Woodward Park in Fresno with 88 points. Patty Villarreal leads La Jolla through the 5,000-meter course, finishing 18th in 19:13.

29: USIU takes its running style of basketball to No. 17 Oklahoma, which runs the Gulls out of the state and into the record books with a 173-101 rout. Oklahoma sets a record for most points in a half with 97.

DECEMBER

3: Padre Manager Jack McKeon receives an early morning telephone call in Nashville, Tenn. It’s Joan Kroc. McKeon has been promoted to vice president/baseball operations. Tony Siegle says he’s humiliated and retreats to his hotel room knowing he’ll soon be fired. Dick Freeman, who recently purchased a $1 million home, wonders if he’s next.

6: The Padres, after a year of speculation, finally trade one of their catchers, sending Sandy Alomar Jr. along with Chris James and minor-leaguer Carlos Baerga to the Cleveland Indians for center fielder Joe Carter. . . . The SDSU men’s basketball team defeats USD, 85-75, for the first time in four games. USD’s women down SDSU, 76-68, for the first time in 18.

7: The Padres, at 2:45 in the morning, announce to eight bleary-eyed reporters that they’ve acquired free-agent pitcher Craig Lefferts from the San Francisco Giants, exactly six years to the day they traded him away. Lefferts tells everyone at the press conference that he too can save 44 games. . . . The LMU and USIU men’s basketball teams meet for the third time this year, but this time no records are set. The Gulls stay with the Lions before tiring in the final 10 minutes, losing 152-137--the fourth-highest scoring game in NCAA Division I history.

9: El Camino wins going away and Rancho Buena Vista wins in a fog in the San Diego Section football championships. El Camino routed Lincoln, 38-6, in the 2-A title game behind Brian Madlangbayan’s four touchdowns. In the 3-A game, RBV defeated Morse for the second time this season, 21-7, in a fog so thick that spectators in the upper level of San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium couldn’t see the field for the entire second half. . . . USIU travels to No. 10 Arkansas and is routed, 166-101. USIU Athletic Director Al Palmiotto tells Coach Gary Zarecky that the Gulls will no longer play top-ranked teams. . . . Bryan Dameworth and Melody Fairchild win Kinney National cross country titles at Balboa Park’s Morley Field. Dameworth, from Agoura High in Calabasas, covers the 5,000-meter course in 14 minutes 49.9 seconds to finish first in the boys’ race and Fairchild ran a 17:05.5 in the girls’. . . . Former San Diego State football Coach Doug Scovil, the Eagles quarterback coach, dies of a heart attack at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia after his daily workout on a stationary bike ride. Scovil, 62, coached the Aztecs from 1981 to 1985 and was instrumental in building the 1986 team that won the school’s only Western Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the Holiday Bowl.

10: Late entrant Ernesto Beatriz Martinez wins the San Diego International Marathon in two hours 16 minutes and 12 seconds after enduring a bumpy 12 1/2-hour bus ride from his hometown of Mexico City to the Tijuana border the night before.

11: It’s official. Mark Davis, after two months of bitter contract negotiations with the Padres, signs with the Royals. He smiles in front of the cameras in Kansas City, dons a Royals cap, and says this is a dream come true. His wife, Candy, says it was a living nightmare that materialized. Davis never wanted to leave San Diego.

18: Steve Ortmayer, who had been with the Chargers since January 1987, is asked to clean out his desk and not return as the director of football operations next season. Ortmayer takes much of the blame for the team’s disappointing season. Speculation is that Bobby Beathard, the former Redskin general manager, will be hired to replace him by Charger owner Alex Spanos.

29: The Holiday Bowl has built a tradition of high-scoring craziness over the years, but the 12th version takes a back seat to none of its predecessors. BYU quarterback Ty Detmer winds up with a game-record 576 yards passing, and Penn State running back Blair Thomas finishes with 186 yards rushing on a game-record 35 carries. But the Nittany Lions’ defense ultimately wins it, returning an interception on a two-point conversion try 102 yards for two points of its own to make it 43-39, then putting the game away when “hero” back Gary Brown strips the ball from Detmer and runs 53 yards with 45 seconds left to account for the final points of a 50-39 Penn State victory.


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