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Alexander: 5 TDs in first half

©Associated Press
September 30, 2002

SEATTLE -- Shaun Alexander kept saying Seattle's offense was ready for a big game. He wasn't kidding.

Alexander set a league record with five first-half touchdowns Sunday night, scoring three times in 1:05 as the Seahawks beat the Vikings 48-23.

Alexander scored on runs of 2, 20, 3 and 14 yards and took a screen pass from Trent Dilfer for an 80-yard TD, igniting the offense after the Seahawks averaged 54.7 yards rushing in three losses.

"Everybody's been gunning for us to stop the run," Alexander said. "We spread (the offense) out and that opened some holes. I just tried to run hard."

Standout receiver Randy Moss started for the Vikings five days after being arrested and spending a night in jail for pushing a Minneapolis traffic officer with his car. But he wasn't a factor, with six receptions for 50 yards, and he dropped three passes in the end zone. The Vikings' 0-4 start is their worst since Bud Grant's first team in 1967 also dropped its first four. Moss, who was booed all night, exchanged gestures with Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper after the Vikings couldn't score on one series in the third quarter.

After another series, fans taunted Moss by chanting "Ran-dee, Ran-dee."

Culpepper, who had a career-high four interceptions in last week's loss to Carolina, was 29-of-53 for 273 yards with two interceptions.

After rushing for 36, 37 and 37 yards in Seattle's first three games, Alexander eclipsed that with a 43-yard run in the first quarter. He finished with 139 yards.

Alexander missed a chance at the league record of six touchdowns in a game, set by Ernie Nevers in 1929 and matched by Dub Jones in 1951 and Gale Sayers in 1965. He was stopped for a 1-yard gain inside the 5-yard line with three minutes to play.

Seattle led 17-10 after Minnesota's Gary Anderson kicked a 35-yard field goal with 3:13 to play before halftime.

But then Alexander took over.

He caught a short pass from Dilfer, eluded two defenders and weaved downfield for the longest receiving play of his three-year career.

Minnesota's Nick Davis fumbled the ensuing kickoff when he collided with Seattle's Tim Terry and Terreal Bierria. Reggie Tongue recovered, setting up Alexander's 3-yard run through a gaping hole.

D'Wayne Bates caught the next kickoff 2 yards into the end zone and hesitated before running it out. Terry forced another fumble at the 15, and Alex Bannister recovered for Seattle.

On the next play, Alexander went 14 yards up the middle for a 38-10 lead. Tongue put the Vikings away when he intercepted Culpepper's throw to Moss and ran 46 yards down the right side for a touchdown and a 45-10 lead. Seattle broke by three its record for points in a half, set against Buffalo Oct. 30, 1977.

The Vikings scored early in the second half on a 3-yard run by Moe Williams. That was set up when punter Jeff Feagles fumbled at Seattle's 3.

The loss spoiled a return to Seattle for first-year Vikings coach Mike Tice, who played 10 seasons at tight end for the Seahawks during the 1980s and early 1990s.

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