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Warren, Crockett Emerge from Obscurity for Colts

January 1, 1996

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Two weeks ago, reserve running backs Lamont Warren and Zack Crockett were buried behind Marshall Faulk and Roosevelt Potts in Indianapolis. Today, they’re the reason the Colts season is still alive.

With Potts lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and Faulk limited to just 16 carries in his last two games by a knee bruise, Warren and Crockett have stepped in and delivered.

Warren made his first start two weeks ago against New England and had career highs of 22 carries for 90 yards and six receptions for 67 yards as the Colts clinched a playoff berth with a 10-7 victory.

Then, when Faulk reagravated the injury early against San Diego, Crockett, who had not gained any yards in the regular season, set a franchise record with 147 yards rushing and two TDs against San Diego in Sunday’s 35-20 playoff victory.

That put the Colts in the AFC semifinals and playing in January for the first time since 1972 this Sunday at Kansas City.

``We’ve said all year long you have to win with 46 (players). It proved true yesterday,″ coach Ted Marchibroada said Monday. ``Lamont had the great game the week before to get us into the playoffs. Crockett came through and had a much better game than any of us could anticipate.″

The Colts upset San Diego with a balanced offense, rushing for 178 yards and passing for 175 as they avenged a 27-24 loss to the Chargers just two weeks earlier.

``These guys aren’t rookies anymore. Crockett was going into his 17th ball game,″ Marchibroda said. ``The offensive line made some holes so he was able to get into the secondary. He did the rest once he got there.″

Crockett scored of TD runs of 66 and 33 yards with Warren throwing big blocks on the long run.

The performance even surprised Crockett, a former star at Florida State. ``I felt I could perform in the NFL, but to have this type of game at this point was more than I anticipated,″ he said. ``But, it was much more than myself. I got some great blocks from the line and Warren.″

``It’s really been that way the whole entire year,″ quarterback Jim Harbaugh said of the way Warren and Crockett have stepped up. ``Anyone who has really followed the Colts knows that when guys have had to come in for some reason, they’ve come in and played almost the game of their lives. Zack Crockett this week, Lamont Warren the week before, (defensive back) Ashley Ambrose this week and the week before.

``Aaron Bailey has stepped up all year long in a backup role, and myself coming off the bench in the first two games. For some reason, you just come in and play the game of your life.″

Marchibroda brought the team in for some film study Monday and gave them Tuesday off. The coaches will be studying film both days and the team will practice on Wednesday.

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