April 22, 2001
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - There was no pun intended by San Francisco
quarterback Mike Pawlawski and there certainly was nothing
funny about the Demons' performance in Saturday night's XFL
Million Dollar Game.
"They played extremely well," Pawlawski said about
the Los Angeles Xtreme's resounding 38-6 victory. "They
are a good team and they deserved to win this game."
Two weeks ago, the Demons came to Los Angeles with a chance
to claim a share of the Western Division title and promptly
played like the last fizz of an Alka Seltzer in a 24-0 loss.
But, this game would be different, the San Francisco players
said to a man.
Well, it wasn't. In fact, it was significantly worse. XFL
player of the year Tommy Maddox was allowed to do anything
he desired and the Los Angeles defense was stingier than a
It wasn't until third-string quarterback Oteman Sampson dashed
21 yards to the end zone with 25 seconds remaining, the Xtreme
was working on another shutout. They really deserved it.
"We weren't just happy being in this game, we wanted
to win it," Coach Jim Skipper said. "Our goal was
to win the championship. "I guess they have a little
bit more talented athletes than we do. They whipped our butts
and we have work to do."
Make no mistake about it, Skipper will begin thinking about
the 2002 season Sunday, which there will be one regardless
about what the naysayers about the league would want everyone
"I'm very proud of this team," Pawlawski said. "We
never game up all year, that's the beauty of this team. We
didn't make plays in this game and they did make plays. We
didn't execute, but it's hard to say much more than that until
we see the video."
Los Angeles finished with 349 yards in total offense, an awesome
total for the time-constrained XFL game. The Demons were hamstrung
with fewer than 100 yards in total offense until Pat Barnes
and then Sampson directed a 77-yard drive in the closing seconds.
"It was a dominating effort by our people in every phase
of the game," said Los Angeles Coach Al Luginbill.
Skipper was asked if he thought the Xtreme rubbed their nose
in the defeat by executing a halfback pass by Rashaan Shehee
for their last score with less than four minutes remaining.
"The game is out of hand, but they gotta do what they
gotta do," Skipper said. "Had it been me, I would
have run the ball.
"But, the bottom line is we played poor football, when
it goes bad, to goes bad."
Illustrating the point of the Demons' head coach would be
a well-executed quick kick by Pawlawski that Los Angeles defender
Ron Carpenter fumbled, but the Xtreme's Reggie Durden scooped
up the fumble and raced 71 yards for a touchdown that increased
the lead to 15-0.
Pawlawski didn't play in San Francisco's 26-25 first-round
victory last Saturday at Orlando, but he took over for Pat
Barnes as the helm of the Demons' offense for the championship
"Mike threw the ball well this week in practice,"
Skipper said. "He's not 100 per cent, but I don't think
there's a guy on the team who's 100 per cent at this time
in the season."
Jose Cortez booted four field goals to add to Los Angeles'
attack and tailback Saladin McCullough rushed for 109 yards
on 20 carries despite not scoring a touchdown. Maddox fired
a 19-yard scoring pass to Jermaine Copeland after hitting
tight end Josh Wilcox with a one-yard toss in the first quarter.
He finished with 210 yards through the air on 16 completions
out of 28 passes.
The championship game lured a crowd of 24,153 to the Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum and will be back for Year Two in 2002. Jim
Skipper will be getting to work on it beginning today.