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Dilfer, Alexander lead Seattle over Kansas City

8/24/2003

SEATTLE (AP) -- Trent Dilfer was back on the field. It was his
night all the way.

Dilfer played for the first time since the death of his
5-year-old son, completing 12 of 14 passes for 124 yards and a
touchdown as the Seattle Seahawks beat the Kansas City Chiefs 42-31
in a preseason game Saturday night.

"He never ceases to amaze me," Seahawks starting quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck said. "He was great. He's out there with a lot of
guys who don't know exactly what they're doing, and he was
directing traffic."

Dilfer's TD pass was the biggest highlight, a 19-yard strike to
the right side of the end zone. Koren Robinson leaped and extended
his arms, tying it at 28 with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter.

"I knew I had to make that catch," Robinson said. "It was a
perfect opportunity, a great throw. I just reached out and hauled
it in."

It was big for reasons beyond football.

Dilfer missed the second half of last season with a torn
Achilles' tendon. And he just returned to training camp workouts
last week after straining his right oblique muscle on the third day
of workouts.

"Tonight was an emotional evening for him," Seattle coach Mike
Holmgren said. "He said that to me. To be able to go into a game,
complete some plays -- and Koren made a beautiful catch -- it was
very, very important for him."

Dilfer declined interviews. He hasn't spoken to reporters since
breaking into tears at a June minicamp when he discussed his son's
death.

After his TD pass, Dilfer celebrated with his linemen then
sprinted away and raised his arms toward the heavens. He pumped his
right fist and headed to the sideline, where Hasselbeck and reserve
quarterback Jeff Kelly gave him a long embrace.

Teammates have described Dilfer as an inspiration during camp.
Many congratulated him after the Chiefs took possession following
his TD pass, and Robinson handed him the ball.

"I know he was probably anxious," Hasselbeck said. "I felt
like after he took us down and got that touchdown pass, the
electricity got going. The defense got fired up. We're just really,
really happy for him."

The Seahawks went ahead 35-31 on Kerry Carter's 17-yard
touchdown run with 12:07 to play. He had a big hole up the middle,
then broke three tackles as he rumbled toward the end zone.

Carter, competing for a spot as a backup to Shaun Alexander, had
a 19-yard run to Kansas City's 1 near the two-minute warning. On
the next play, he plunged over the goal line.

"Kerry has been one of our more consistent players in the
preseason," Holmgren said. "We were fortunate to pick him late.
He's done nothing but tell us he should be on the football team."

Rookie Larry Johnson had a big night for the Chiefs, running 12
times for 77 yards and returning a kickoff 85 yards for a
third-quarter touchdown. Priest Holmes ran only once as a
precaution against injury, a 4-yard gain in the second quarter.

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil was asked if Johnson can move into the
backup spot.

"I know he can run. I just don't know if he is ready for all
the pass protection schemes yet," Vermeil said. "We took him out
of a lot of passes today."

Kansas City's Todd Collins was 12-of-18 passes for 144 yards and
two TDs, both in the second quarter. He had an 11-yard scoring pass
to Marc Boerigter and a 7-yarder to Jason Dunn, a play that was
awarded after a replay.

Trent Green, played only two series but was 6-for-9 for 62 yards
and a touchdown. His 14-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzales put the
Chiefs up 7-3 after Seattle opened the scoring on a 32-yard field
goal by rookie Josh Brown.

Hasselbeck was 17-of-23 for 198 yards for two TDs and scrambled
four times for 38 yards. He played through the first series of the
second half, then turned the offense over to Dilfer.

"There are some things we can still correct, but it was a
positive," Hasselbeck said. "We're young. We're still learning.
We're getting better. We know we can move the ball now and
hopefully score points."

Hasselbeck threw a 5-yard TD pass to Heath Evans for a 10-7 lead
early in the second period and directed the opening drive of the
second half, producing a 3-yard scoring pass to Darrell Jackson to
tie it at 21.