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Cardinals 15, Raiders 13

August 23, 1997

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ Faced with a desperation march to get into field-goal range, Jake Plummer envisioned success.

``I’d picture being back in a college game,″ the rookie said Friday night after driving the Arizona Cardinals 37 yards for Kevin Butler’s fifth field goal, a 42-yarder with 14 seconds to play and a 15-13 win over the Oakland Raiders. ``You were out there feeling comfortable and in control and everything.″

It was easy in Sun Devil Stadium, where Plummer generated a half-dozen exciting comeback victories for Arizona State.

The win was the Cardinals’ first in four exhibition games, but Plummer, who completed eight of 25 passes in three games before going 8-of-18 against the Raiders, still doesn’t know if he or third-year pro Stoney Case will be Kent Graham’s backup in the regular season.

``I thought Jake did all right,″ coach Vince Tobin said. ``He was a little bit spotty, like I’d anticipate.″

Tobin said Graham, a sixth-year veteran who started eight games last season, would play better. The Cardinals finished the preseason with 19 points out of the first-string offense.

``I do think we’ve made a little bit of improvement every week in this preseason,″ Tobin said. ``I’m not sure offensively that we improved today.″

Butler’s kicks came from 25, 38, 50, 43 and 42 yards. The last capped a drive that began after Cole Ford gave the Raiders a 13-12 lead with a 36-yard field goal with 1:47 to play. Third-stringer Donald Hollas took the Raiders (2-2) 81 yards in 13 plays for Ford’s second field goal.

Joe Aska, who had 111 yards on 16 carries, had a 36-yard run to the Arizona 16 to set up the field goal.

Plummer led the Cardinals from behind twice in the final quarter, the first time when Butler’s fourth field goal gave Arizona a 12-10 lead 1:32 into the period.

Until then, the Raiders held the lead on Larry Brown’s 38-yard interception return, the only touchdown of the game.

Brown, playing in the stadium where he had two big interceptions for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1996 Super Bowl, made it 10-6 when he picked off a pass by Graham and ran through Leeland McElroy’s goal-line tackle for the TD with 3:33 left in the first half.

``It felt good that I could make a difference,″ Brown said.

Ford had a 43-yard field goal in the first period.

Raiders coach Joe Bugel, fired by the Cardinals in 1993, was pragmatic about the loss in 103-degree heat.

``I was disturbed about the (six) turnovers,″ Bugel said. ``That’s very uncharacteristic of us. We can’t do that, and I’m glad that we got this out of our system. I think playing in the heat helped a lot, too, for next week (opener at Tennessee).″

Butler made two field goals in the first quarter, but missed one early in the second.

The Raiders stalled on their next possession when Jamir Miller sacked Jeff George for a 6-yard loss, and Terry Irving stymied the next Raiders drive with an end-zone interception off David Klingler.

But the Cardinals couldn’t move, and Graham, hit as he threw, put up the interception by Brown.

The Cardinals cut it to 10-9 before halftime, but fans booed Graham when he took the field to start the second half. Moments later, he threw his second interception, a deflection to Perry Carter.

The stadium rocked when Plummer took the field, and he got a first down with a vintage 4-yard scramble, then another with a 20-yard throw to Anthony Edwards.

But he threw into double coverage on the next play, and former Cardinal Lorenzo Lynch silenced the crowd with an interception.

``He came back and made up for it,″ Lynch said. ``Jake `The Snake’ made up for it, he had a little comeback.″

Carter stopped the next drive with a fumble recovery, but Michael Bankston sacked Klingler, and Matt Darby recovered Klingler’s fumble on the Oakland 43 with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.

After the exchange of field goals, Kevin Bouie returned the kickoff 35 yards for Arizona, and Plummer took over at his 39, beating fourth-and-10 with a 14-yard pass to Fred Brock to get the march started.