Lemon Sweet Against St. Louis

With Nick Saban deciding to rest several starters for the preseason finale, it was a great opportunity for young players to make some plays. And nobody took more advantage of that than quarterback Cleo Lemon, whose performance was the highlight in a 29-9 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Lemon completed 21 of 28 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown against the Rams after taking over for Joey Harrington early in the second quarter.

Harrington started because Daunte Culpepper was given the night off.

The same held true for Ronnie Brown, Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Randy McMichael, Bennie Anderson, Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Kevin Carter, Vonnie Holliday, Keith Traylor and Will Allen.

The idea was to avoid injuries to key players. In retrospect, it might have been a good idea because several Dolphins players left the game because of injuries.

The list included guard/center Joe Berger (foot), running back Sammy Morris (foot), defensive end Ben Ishola (concussion) and wide receiver Fred Gibson (arm).

Wideout Kelly Campbell made his first appearance of the preseason after missing time because of a leg injury, but left early with what was announced as a quad injury.

Lemon's performance stole the show, but he wasn't the only Dolphins player with a good night.

Olindo Mare kicked five field goals and again was tremendous on his kickoffs, putting the opening kickoff through the uprights.

Marcus Vick caught Lemon's touchdown pass and had a productive night as a receiver. He also returned punts and even played the last two series at quarterback, although he never threw a pass.

Running backs Gerald Riggs Jr. and Kay-Jay Harris both had nice runs, although Riggs lost a fumble. Rookie wideout Derek Hagan made a lot of things happen after catching passes, although he, too, lost a fumble.

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson had a big night on defense, with a sack and a tackle for loss. Safety Deke Cooper scored the Dolphins' second touchdown with an interception return for a touchdown. Finally, safety Jack Hunt also had a strong game, pressuring Rams quarterback into an incompletion in the first half and later causing a fumble when he sacked Dave Ragone in the fourth quarter.

The victory helped the Dolphins close the preseason at 2-2, and now the games start counting.

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