Originally created 08/16/98

Redskins get offense in gear for late victory



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Oilers got a warm reception as they began their first season in their new hometown. The Washington Redskins, meanwhile, welcomed back their offense and enjoyed a 27-24 exhibition victory over the Oilers on Saturday.

Stephen Davis scored on a 1-yard run with 2:38 left Saturday as the Redskins beat the Oilers in front of 31,429, a larger crowd than any that watched Tennessee in seven games last year at Memphis.

Before Davis' touchdown, Washington (1-1) held the lead only once, at 3-0 on Scott Blanton's 45-yard field goal on the opening drive.

Gus Frerotte looked much smoother than he did against Miami last week, when the Redskins managed just 42 yards in the first half. He completed five straight passes for 67 yards on one drive, setting up Stephen Davis' 6-yard touchdown run for a 10-10 tie with 8:49 left in the second quarter.

He wound up 13-of-22 for 145 yards.

Terry Allen played only two series and had seven carries for 25 yards.

It was a costly victory for the Redskins. Defensive end Rich Owens injured the ACL in his left knee just before halftime and was scheduled for a MRI Sunday. Linebacker Antwaune Ponds sprained his knee, and Twan Russell suffered a hip pointer. Punter Matt Turk didn't play due to back spasms.

The Redskins' new defensive weapons, Dana Stubblefield and Dan Wilkinson, started slowly, but caused plenty of trouble for Oilers quarterback Steve McNair later in the half.

McNair completed his first three passes, but that was all he would get in three series of work as he was 3-of-8 for 33 yards. He wound up running three times for 39 yards.

A 31-yard pass interference penalty on the Redskins' Cris Dishman set up Tennessee's first touchdown, a 1-yard dive by Rodney Thomas.

Backup quarterback Dave Krieg, who played only three downs last week, lasted a little longer as he played two series. His second included a 64-yard drive capped by Willie Davis' 11-yard run off a reverse just before halftime.

In the second half, the Oilers fumbled the ball away twice on consecutive series, and Tim Denton picked up the first and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown and a 17-17 tie. Rookie free agent Ron Powlus, who is trying to become the Oilers' No. 3 quarterback, rebounded by scrambling and hitting Michael Roan with a 33-yard pass for a 24-17 lead.

Trent Green went to work against Oilers backups, moving the Redskins 80 yards in 14 plays to Stephen Davis' TD.



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