Wed, Sep 20, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Scobee boots Jacksonville to victory

SHUT-OUT WIN Even the return of star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger couldn't help the Super Bowl champs as kicker Josh Scobee kicked three field goals for the win


Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by linebacker Pat Thomas of the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Alltel Stadium on Monday in Jacksonville, Florida.


Despite the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers had their nine-game winning streak ended by the Jacksonville Jaguars 9-0 in the NFL on Monday.

Wearing protective padding around his midsection, Roethlisberger returned to the Super Bowl champions' lineup barely two weeks after having an emergency appendectomy. He was far from effective, though, and Jacksonville's defense had a lot to with that.

The Jaguars intercepted Roethlisberger twice, and held Willie Parker to 20 yards on 11 carries.

Josh Scobee kicked three field goals for the Jaguars (2-0), who earned their first shutout in almost three years.

The Steelers (1-1) kept it close all game and had the ball with about five minutes to play, but Rashean Mathis intercepted Roethlisberger's slant pass and returned it into field goal range. Scobee kicked his third field goal, a 42-yarder with 4:26 to play. He had a 31-yarder late in the third and a 32-yarder earlier in the fourth.

Mathis picked off another one with 1:44 remaining.

It was the fifth time the defending Super Bowl champions have been whitewashed. The 1980 Steelers were blanked once, and the 1981 Raiders were shut out three times.

The Jaguars' Byron Leftwich completed 26 of 39 passes for 260 yards. Fred Taylor, whose best game came against the Steelers in 2000, ran 22 times for 92 yards and caught three passes for 29 yards.

Reggie Williams and Matt Jones were even more impressive.

Williams caught eight passes for 95 yards, including a 48-yarder on a short crossing pass on third down. He beat Deshea Townsend, then juked Tyrone Carter and nearly outran everyone else. Despite getting tackled, he put Jacksonville in position for Scobee's second field goal with just over six minutes remaining.

Jones finished with six catches for 73 yards -- and each of the first receptions resulted in first downs.

Roethlisberger, the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, completed 17 of 32 passes for 141 yards. It was Roethlisberger's first regular-season action since the scary offseason motorcycle accident that nearly cost him his life.

The Steelers star broke his nose, upper and lower jaw, eye socket bones, and got a concussion in his June 12 accident.

Meanwhile, former US college gridiron star Maurice Clarett was sentenced to prison for at least three-and-a-half years on Monday after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.

Judge David Fais announced the agreement on the day jury selection was to begin in a case in which Clarett is accused of holding up two people outside a bar.

The guilty plea is the latest fall for the 22-year-old Clarett, who led Ohio State University to the 2002 national championship. He scored the winning touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl to give Ohio State the title, but was suspended by the university after his first year for various rules infractions.

He dropped out of Ohio State and he lost a US Supreme Court case challenging the NFL's requirement that players wait three years after high school before turning professional. The Denver Broncos made Clarett a surprise third-round pick in the NFL's draft last year but cut him during the preseason.

Clarett said he understood he was pleading guilty and reversing his earlier innocent plea.

"I'd like to apologize for my behavior, and I accept the time that was given to me," he said.

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