Bears score late to keep Rams winless in preseason

Saturday, August 17, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Fourth-string quarterback Ken Mastrole threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Christian with 55 seconds left in the Chicago Bears' 19-17 exhibition victory over the St. Louis Rams on Friday night.

Mastrole, who came in for just one series, led the Bears (1-1) on an eight-play, 81-yard drive for the game-winning score.

The key play in the drive was a 52-yard completion to Christian that put Chicago at the Rams' 16. Mastrole was 3-for-7 for 68 yards on the drive.

The Rams (0-2) played without halfback Marshall Faulk, who sat out his second consecutive game. Faulk is healthy, but coach Mike Martz didn't want to take any chances with him.

Halfback Trung Candidate rushed for 89 yards on 21 carries and caught two passes for 50 yards.

Kurt Warner played four series, completing 4-of 8-passes for 52 yards. He was sacked once.

Bears starting quarterback Jim Miller directed two scoring drives before giving way to veteran backup Chris Chandler. Miller was 6-of-8 for 78 yards. He was sacked twice.

Rams rookie running back Lamar Gordon had 49 yards rushing on six carries. He caught four passes for 50 yards before spraining his left ankle late in the second quarter. X-rays on the ankle were negative.

The Rams snapped a 10-all tie on a 26-yard touchdown pass to backup tight end Brandon Manumaleuna with 12:32 left in the game. Third-string quarterback Mark Bulger found Manumaleuna in the end zone to end the four-play, 56-yard drive and give St. Louis a 17-10 lead. Bulger finished with 189 yards on 13-of-19 passing.

However, Nate Jacket returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the St. Louis 8. Ronald Rogers, a cornerback, made the touchdown-saving tackle by leaping and grabbing Jacket's ankle. On third down, Jamin Elliott dropped a pass in the end zone that Chicago challenged but lost. Jon Hilbert kicked a 33-yard field goal, cutting the Rams' lead to 17-13 with 10:51 left.

The Bears jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the Rams came back. With 4:48 left in the first quarter, Warner engineered an eight-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard TD catch by tight end Ernie Conwell. The score came on 4th-and-1.

Notes: Rookie CB Travis Fisher started in place of Aeneas Williams, who suffered a bruised left leg while hit in practice by receiver Yo Murphy on Wednesday night ... The matchup was just the fourth in the preseason between the two clubs. Chicago leads 2-1 ... Rams rookie SS Steve Bellisari suffered a left knee sprain. He will be evaluated Saturday.

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