Hitmen, Xtreme find wins in dwindling XFL

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Aska's return to the Bay Area was an overwhelming success.

The former Oakland Raider put the finishing touches on his team's victory with a 2-yard touchdown dive late in the fourth quarter as the New York/New Jersey Hitmen defeated the San Francisco Demons 20-12 in the XFL before 33,522 fans Sunday at Pacific Bell Park.

Aska added a conversion run and watched as the Hitmen recorded four sacks of the Demons' Pat Barnes.

The victory was the second on the road for the Hitmen (2-4), while the Demons (3-3) failed to win their second straight for the third time.

San Francisco took a 6-0 lead on 63-yard punt return by former CFL standout Jimmy Cunningham with 12:31 left in the first quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, the Hitmen used a trick play to take the lead -- wide receiver Zola Davis threw a 74-yard pass to a wide open Kirby Dar Dar.

The Hitmen went up 14-6 with 7:46 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard scoring pass from Richardson to running back Mike Archie.

San Francisco closed to 14-12 with 11:24 remaining on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Barnes to Travis Moore, capping a 71-yard drive after the New York/New Jersey Hitmen's Leo Araguz missed a 37-yard field. San Francisco had just 112 yards of total offense before the drive.

New York/New Jersey put the game away on a 2-yard TD dive by Aska with 5:40 left.

Xtreme 35, Bolts 26

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Saladin McCullough rushed for 124 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Los Angeles Xtreme beat the Birmingham Thunderbolts 35-26 Sunday night.

The win gave Los Angeles (4-2) sole possession of first place in the XFL West Division.

Los Angeles quarterback Tommy Maddox completed 17 of 25 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Jeremaine Copeland had seven receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown.

There were five lead changes before the Xtreme took the lead for good on a 19-yard field goal by Jose Cortez in the fourth quarter. The kick was set up by an interception by Errick Herrin.

Los Angeles added to its lead with 1:45 to play on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Maddox to Copeland. Maddox leads the XFL with 10 touchdown passes and 1,389 passing yards.

Birmingham quarterback Casey Weldon completed 16 of 21 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns before leaving the game at the end of the third quarter with a wrist injury. Jay Barker -- a hometown favorite who quarterbacked Alabama to a national championship in 1992 -- threw two interceptions and completed 2 of 5 passes in place of Weldon.

Attendance at the game was reported as 11,197.

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