Monday, September 30, 2002
Alexander sets TD record in Seahawks' rout
Boone County grad scores 5 in first half
The Associated Press
SEATTLE Shaun Alexander kept saying Seattle's offense was ready for a big game, and he wasn't kidding. The Boone County High grad set an NFL record with five first-half touchdowns, scoring three times within a span of 1:05 as the Seattle Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings 48-23 on Sunday night.
Shaun Alexander salutes the crowd after scoring his fifth touchdown.
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I don't know if it was adrenaline, Alexander said. You know when everyone's watching, your mom and dad, your friends in high school who thought they were better than you. You get your chance to get in the spotlight and shine.
Alexander scored on runs of 2, 20, 3 and 14 yards and took a screen pass from Trent Dilfer for an 80-yard TD, igniting the offense after the Seahawks (1-3) averaged 54.7 yards rushing in three losses.
He's a touchdown machine, Dilfer said. That's what we've got to do to be successful, get the ball in his hands.
After rushing for 36, 37 and 37 yards in Seattle's first three games, Alexander eclipsed that with a single 43-yard run in the first quarter. He finished with 139 yards.
He's got to feel pretty good about his performance, but running the football is more than just running, said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. You've got to block, too. I think we just blocked better for him.
Alexander missed a chance at the NFL record of six TDs in one game, set by Ernie Nevers in 1929 and matched by Dub Jones in 1951 and Gale Sayers in 1965. He was stopped for a 1-yard gain inside the 5-yard line with three minutes to play.
Alexander carries the Vikings¹ Brian Russell on a 20-yard TD run.
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I had it in my mind, Alexander said. I knew six was the number, but I didn't know who it was by. We were just trying to move the ball and end our drives in the end zone.
Standout receiver Randy Moss started for the Vikings (0-4) five days after his arrest and a night in jail. He was charged with pushing a Minneapolis traffic officer with his car. But he wasn't a factor, with six receptions for 50 yards, and he dropped four passes in the end zone. The Vikings' 0-4 start is their worst record since Bud Grant's first season in 1967.
The balls touched my hands. I really don't have a word, Moss said. The balls came off my fingertips. They bounced off my chest. I think the more I dropped, the more I got down on myself.
Moss was booed all night, and his frustration showed when he exchanged gestures with Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper after the Vikings couldn't score on one series in the third quarter.
After another series, fans taunted Moss by chanting Ran-dee, Ran-dee.
Culpepper, who had a career-high four interceptions in last week's loss to Carolina, was 29-of-53 for 273 yards with two interceptions.
We've just got to regroup and get ready to treat this like the second half of the season, said Moe Williams, who had six carries for 19 yards but scored two touchdowns for the Vikings.
Seattle led 17-10 after Minnesota's Gary Anderson kicked a 35-yard field goal with 3:13 to play before halftime. But then Alexander took over. He caught a short pass from Dilfer, eluded a pair of defenders and weaved downfield for the longest receiving play of his three-year career.
Minnesota's Nick Davis fumbled the ensuing kickoff when he collided with Seattle's Tim Terry and Terreal Bierria. Reggie Tongue recovered, setting up Alexander's 3-yard run through a gaping hole.
D'Wayne Bates caught the next kickoff 2 yards into the end zone and hesitated before running it out. Terry forced another fumble at the 15, and Alex Bannister recovered for Seattle.
On the next play, Alexander went 14 yards up the middle for a 38-10 lead. Tongue put the Vikings away when he intercepted Culpepper's throw to Moss and ran 46 yards down the right sideline.
The Vikings, aided when Jeff Feagles fumbled his first punt of the night, scored early in the second half on a 3-yard run by Williams, who added a 5-yard TD run in the fourth.
The loss spoiled a return to Seattle for first-year Vikings coach Mike Tice, who played 10 seasons at tight end for the Seahawks during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Notes: The last player with five TDs in one game was Jacksonville's James Stewart in 1997. ... Holmgren won his 100th regular-season game in 11 seasons as an NFL head coach. He's 100-64. ... The Seahawks' record for points in a game is 56 against Buffalo in October 1977. ... Vikings LB Lemanski Hall left after the first series with a sprained ankle and didn't return. ... TE Jerramy Stevens, the Seahawks' first-round draft pick, left in the second period after spraining his left ankle. ... Seahawks G Steve Hutchinson left in the third with a broken right leg.
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