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Rams take home Governer’s Cup

Thursday, August 30, 2007 | 11:31 p.m. CDT; updated 9:29 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Rams' Marques Hagans is tackled in the end zone by Kansas City Chiefs' Tyron Brackenridge for a touchdown.

ST. LOUIS — Larry Johnson got the break-in work he needed while supplying a lackluster Chiefs-Rams preseason finale with just a smidgen of star power.

Johnson, who ended a 25-day holdout earlier in the month, was the only starter of substance for either team who got on the field in St. Louis’ 10-3 victory Thursday night. He shook off a bit of rust, carrying three times for 12 yards at the start of the Chiefs’ first drive.

“It was good to get in the game and get a couple carries,” Johnson said. “That’s the toughest adjustment, getting back in the speed of the game and getting your timing down with your offensive linemen.”

Third-string quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marques Hagans in the third quarter to give the Rams (2-2) a 10-0 lead. Hagans, battling for an extra receiving spot, had four catches for 53 yards.

The Chiefs (0-4) were held to a 40-yard field goal by Justin Medlock late in the fourth quarter and wound up winless in the preseason, trailing the NFL with 32 points. Kansas City lost the Governor’s Cup game, a contest so uninspiring that the Rams bought the final 900 tickets to ensure a sellout for the second time in six seasons.

The Rams figure to have a high-scoring offense featuring Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger, but totaled 46 points in the preseason. Jackson, who led the NFL with 2,334 yards rushing and receiving last year, ended the preseason with two receptions and no carries.

After ceremonial starts the previous two games, Jackson spent the whole time on the sideline watching the Chiefs.

The Rams gave cornerback Fakhir Brown a start before he begins a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy on Friday. Ronald Bartell, a second-round pick in 2005, will be making his first career start in place of Brown in the Rams’ opener Sept. 9 at home against the Carolina Panthers.

Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen, suspended for a DUI for the first two games, also made his final appearance before an enforced absence.

The biggest excitement of the first half, which ended with the Rams leading 3-0, came when St. Louis came up empty in a frenzied final seconds. Third-string quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick scrambled to the 1 on third-and-goal with about 13 seconds to go but no timeouts remaining.

He hurried to get off one more play and then got an off-line snap from center Dustin Fry that he had to scoop off the turf, scrambled free and threw just wide in the end zone for Hagans.

The Chiefs’ Kolby Smith had a 55-yard run to the St. Louis 8 in the second quarter, but Kansas City was stymied when Tim McGarigle intercepted a Jeff Terrell pass at the 1.

Dane Looker, who caught no passes last year but was valuable as the holder for kicker Jeff Wilkins, had five receptions for 45 yards on the Rams’ opening drive to set up a 36-yard field goal by Kevin Lovell.

Rams offensive lineman Todd Steussie, who has missed two games since entering the NFL in 1994, broke his left foot in the first half. Steussie, 36, is a backup this year, but made 15 starts at left guard and left tackle due to injuries in 2006.


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