Turnovers ignite Hawks

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Sunday, November 5, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


Herald Writer

SEATTLE – If it weren’t for Jim Harbaugh’s gifts, the Seattle Seahawks might never have come untracked.

Two Harbaugh fumbles in the first half, both on exchanges with center Roman Fortin, led to Seahawks touchdowns and a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Take away the turnovers, and Seattle’s offense would have gotten just one first down and no points in the first half.

“The first one I fumbled, and the second one I bobbled,” Harbaugh said of the missed exchanges. “(Guard Raleigh) Roundtree was pulling, and I got it in my hand and he got a piece of me. It’s my job to get the snap. I didn’t do it and I put my team in a tough spot.”

Seattle linebacker Chad Brown fell on the first fumble at San Diego’s 21-yard line, setting up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jon Kitna to Sean Dawkins. Harbaugh lost another snap on the next drive, this time into the arms of Seattle linebacker George Koonce at the Chargers’ 33. Four plays later, Kitna threw another 10-yard touchdown pass, this time to tight end Christian Fauria.

Harbaugh eventually led the Chargers to two scoring drives that culminated in field goals before hitting Curtis Conway in the end zone from 10 yards out in the third quarter for San Diego’s lone touchdown.

Harbaugh eventually left the game with a sore groin. Moses Moreno came on in relief for San Diego’s final drive, leading the team 73 yards in 14 plays to set up the go-ahead field goal.

  • Good-bye, Jon: If Brock Huard can remain healthy, Kitna may have made his final start in a Seattle uniform. Huard is expected to return to the lineup next week at Jacksonville. Kitna’s contract expires after this season.

    Kitna had a forgettable game through 55 minutes Sunday, but completed 5 of 6 passes for 45 yards on the final drive to set up the game-winning field goal. Overall, he completed 11 of 19 passes for 85 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

    Now he’ll probably have to go back to the sideline while the Seahawks evaluate Huard, who has missed the last two games due to a concussion.

    “All I’m trying to do is fulfill the role of backup quarterback,” Kitna said. “That’s what I am right now. As a quarterback, you always want to be in there; that’s the competitive side of you. But if they’re going with Brock next week, I’m going to be supportive of Brock and try to help him as much as I can.”

  • Phew! While all of the Seahawks seemed to breath a sigh of relief on Rian Lindell’s game-winning field goal, guard Pete Kendall was especially thankful.

    Kendall was called for holding on second-and-8 with 1:30 remaining in the game, wiping out a 5-yard run by Ricky Watters and pinning the Seahawks with a second-and-18 – knocking them out of field goal range. Two plays later, Kitna hit rookie Darrell Jackson for 18 yards to bail Kendall out.

    “I saw (Kitna) throw it all the way across the field and I thought, uh-oh,” Kendall said. “I knew I’d have the donkey ears on if that dropped, there was no two ways about that. Obviously, I have a difference of opinion on that holding call. I thought I was off the hook there, then of course it got interesting again.”

    Eventually, despite another holding call on teammate Christian Fauria, the Seahawks won when Lindell sent a 48-yarder through the uprights as time expired.

    “I’ve got Rian Lindell’s beers tonight, that’s for sure,” Kendall said.

  • Close call … again: The Chargers have now lost five games by three points or less, including the last three.

    “It hurts more each week,” Harbaugh said. “This is the third week that we have lost on a field goal. It just hurts more and more.”

    Said Kitna: “They’re a lot better team than their record, I’ll guarantee you that.”

  • Quick slants: Washington State University product Ryan Leaf was San Diego’s emergency quarterback … . The Seahawks played most of the second half without cornerback Willie Williams, who re-aggravated a stinger than he originally injured last week. Chris Canty filled in for Williams, while rookie Ike Charlton saw his first extensive playing time in the nickel defense. … Safety Kerry Joseph (bruised chest) and wide receiver Sean Dawkins (charley horse) were also injured Sunday, but Holmgren said neither is believed to be serious. … Despite a toe injury that limited him to one practice last week, Watters carried the ball 21 times – his second-highest total of the season. Watters was held to 55 yards. … San Diego running back Jermaine Fazande, who entered Sunday’s game with 174 rushing yards, had a season-high 74 on 22 carries against the Seahawks. … The Seahawks have been outscored 123-114 in five home games this season, while getting tagged with a 116-43 deficit in five games on the road.

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