Eagles 24, Ravens 13
Eagles 24, Ravens 13
JOHN F. BONFATTI
Aug. 17, 1997
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Even though Ricky Watters will get most of the carries in the regular season, backup running back Charlie Garner reassured the Philadelphia Eagles he can also do the job.
Garner had 72 total yards and a touchdown as the Eagles won their first exhibition game, 24-13, over the Baltimore Ravens Saturday night.
``Right now, Ricky Watters is going to get the bulk of the load, but whenever I can get in and make something happen, that's what I'm going to do,'' Garner said.
The Ravens, who dropped to 0-3 in the exhibition season, didn't have an offensive touchdown, scoring on Jermaine Lewis' 74-yard punt return and two Matt Stover field goals.
Ty Detmer, who earlier this was selected over Rodney Peete to be the Eagles opening day quarterback, went 13-for-20 for 113 yards, with a touchdown pass to Irving Fryar.
``I'll be able to take a little bit more of a leadership role, but I always try to prepare the same way,'' Detmer said. ``It (the quarterback competition) is not as big a deal for the players as other people make it out to be.''
The Eagles used Watters briefly in the first quarter, then switched to Garner, the shifty, fourth-year back out of Tennessee.
Garner had 40 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards in a 76-yard drive that ended when he jumped into the end zone from the 1 to put the Eagles ahead 24-13 with 9:17 left in the game.
``I'm more comfortable in the offense now that I've been here for three years,'' he said.
Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda was disappointed with the loss, but tried to put it in perspective.
``They played their first unit against our second unit, and we don't expect to stop them,'' Marchibroda said. ``The disappointment comes with some of the people who are playing at that time who don't come through for us. That bothers me."
A blindside hit to backup quarterback Eric Zeier, who guided the Ravens to a field goal to open the second half, led to the touchdown that put the Eagles ahead for good midway through the third quarter.
As Zeier scrambled out of the pocket, he was sacked by Mike Mamula, who also stripped the ball.
Ray Farmer picked up the fumble and outran offensive lineman Randy Bierman for a 48-yard touchdown that put Philadelphia ahead 17-13.
The 53-yard drive that Baltimore opened the second half with ended when Stover hit his second field goal, a 36-yarder, to give the Ravens a 13-10 lead.
Vinny Testaverde, who was 14-of-21 for 129 yards and a touchdown, crisply worked the two-minute drill at the end of the second quarter, getting the Ravens close enough for a 43-yard field goal by Stover that tied the game at 10 at the half.
Baltimore opened the scoring after stopping Philadelphia's first drive on the Eagles side of midfield.
Lewis took the ensuing punt, made Farmer miss the tackle then outran the rest of the Eagles for a 74-yard return that put the Ravens ahead 7-0.
``He had two punt returns for touchdowns last year in the preseason and he has one right now,'' Marchibroda said. ``That's a big play for us.''
The Eagles tied it up later in the first quarter when Detmer threw a short pass over the middle to Fryar, who sprinted by would-be tacklers for a 20-yard touchdown.
Long completions to Fryar and Chris T. Jones set up Philadelphia's second score, a 35-yard field goal by Chris Boniol in the second quarter.