Dolphins stop Bucs

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Mike Quinn's 43-yard touchdown pass to Robert Baker on the final play of the game gave the Miami Dolphins a 17-14 preseason victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

The tipped game-winner capped a sloppy night for the Bucs, who sputtered offensively in quarterback Brad Johnson's debut for the team many consider the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Joe Hamilton's 6-yard TD pass to Aaron Stecker gave Tampa Bay a 14-10 lead with 1:09 remaining, but Quinn promptly marched Miami into position to win the game.

The winning pass was tipped by safety Eric Vance before it fell into the hands of the Dolphins receiver in a crowd of players.

The Dolphins ruined Johnson's night, sacking him three times and forcing three turnovers before Hamilton appeared to bail the Bucs out with a seven-play, 61-yard scoring drive.

The Bucs signed Johnson to a five-year,$28 million contract during the offseason in hopes that he will give them the consistency needed at quarterback to transform Tampa Bay into a championship team.

But the prized free agent was the least productive of four quarterbacks the Bucs used Monday night, working a total of nine plays on three possessions.

The Dolphins sacked Johnson for 28 yards in losses, including Jason Taylor's hit that forced a fumble that Jermaine Haley recovered to set up Miami's first touchdown.

Johnson was 2-of-4 for 18 yards, but Tampa Bay was limited to 1 yard net offense while his was in the game because of the sacks.

Shaun King, who lost the starting quarterback job despite leading the Bucs to 10 wins last season, finished a 75-yard drive in the second quarter with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Karl Williams.

But the third-year pro also failed to get his team in the end zone after Autry Denson's fumble left the Dolphins in a hole at their own 14.

Miami moved the ball well in the middle of the field against Tampa Bay's first-team defense, but only got into the end zone after Haley recovered Johnson's fumble at the Bucs 1.

Ray Lucas scored on a quarterback sneak, adding to the 3-0 lead Olindo Mare gave the Dolphins with a 41-yard field goal. Lucas played just over two quarters after replacing Jay Fiedler and was 5-of-9 for 57 yards.

Fielder was 4-of-6 for 75 yards on the two series he worked.

The Dolphins starter led one drive to the Bucs 3, but Mare hooked a 19-yard field goal attempt. The Pro Bowl selection converted his 41-yarder on Miami's next possession.

Hamilton and Ryan Leaf shared playing time in the second half for the Bucs.

Leaf, released by San Diego after three disappointing seasons, played two series in the third quarter and was 1-for-4 for 4 yards with an interception that glanced off the hands of two receivers before Jamar Fletcher picked it off.

Hamilton was 6-for-11 for 68 yards.

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