Winless at home, Red Dogs could be rude to Crude tonight

04/12/02 Rapid City Journal
RAPID CITY -- Someone has got to give.

That's the scenario when the Oklahoma Crude, winless on the road this season, take on the Rapid City Red Dogs, who are without a win at home, at 7:05 p.m. tonight in non-conference National Indoor Football League action at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Rapid City's first-year coach Dan Maciejczak hopes it's the Crude that bends under the Red Dogs' pressure.

"Hopefully, we're going to get one out of this deal," said Maciejczak. "We're going to try and do some things to get them out of their game."

Staying on their game has been the Red Dogs' credo in practice this week.

Maciejczak's squad gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown - the fifth allowed by Rapid City this season - and had an interception returned for another TD in its loss to the Bismarck Roughriders last Sunday. A lost fumble inside the R.C. 10-yard line set up another Bismarck TD.

"That's 21 points right there," said Maciejczak, whose team fell to 1-3 overall and in Pacific West Division play.

The Red Dogs' defense was a bright spot, allowing the run-happy Roughriders only 46 rushing yards and another 55 yards through the air. Rapid City held a 211-101 edge in total offense, but still came up short on the scoreboard.

"We're scoring 40-some points a game," said Maciejczak, "but we're putting our defense in bad situations."

Jason Murdock, who started at quarterback against Bismarck with only two days practice under his belt, finished 12 of 24 passing for 111 yards and three TDs. He also rushed for a TD.

Johnny Johnson, who played for Rapid City's IFL franchise two seasons ago, rushed for 78 yards and had a 32-yard TD run in the third quarter in his first action with the Red Dogs.

The Enid, Okla.,-based Crude, 1-2 overall and 0-2 in Atlantic South Division play, were crushed 63-3 by the Sioux City Bandits in Oklahoma's first game. Since then the Crude knocked off the Houma Bayou Bucks 31-29 and dropped a 19-10 decision last week to the Tupelo Fireants.

Oklahoma is averaging 155.7 yards of offense and 14.7 points a game and allowing opponents 203.0 yards and 37.0 points. The Crude registered only 64 yards of offense against Tupelo.

"The basic problem with them is that they're young," said Maciejzak. "Their coaching staff and players don't have much arena experience."

Game notes

Starting linebacker/defensive lineman Rob Carroll is out indefinitely after injuring his knee in practice Tuesday. ... Safety Percy Scott suffered a separated shoulder against Bismarck and is out this week. ... Receiver Ryan Speed is out for 1-2 weeks as he continues to rehabilitate his right knee. ... Running back Tom Skoog is out this week with a knee injury. ... Safety Jason McCleary, who hurt his back and ribs against Sioux Falls, will play this week after sitting out last week's game. ... Maciejczak signed center/defensive lineman John Gillis (6-4, 320, Minnesota-Duluth) this week. ... Red Dog defensive coordinator Eric Rice will suit up and play linebacker and safety. ... Rapid City plays the Roughriders at Bismarck, N.D., on Sunday, April 21. ... Next home action falls on Thursday, April 25 when the Red Dogs host the Wyoming Cavalry.

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