XFL San Francisco Demons Press Release 26

Press Release 26
Demons can't take Xtreme in Million Dollar Game

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 self-centered kindergartener.

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 to believe.

"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 game.

"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.

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