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Redskins Stifle The Browns

Skip Hicks scored two easy touchdowns and Washington's starters pushed Cleveland's first team all over the field Saturday night as the Redskins rolled to a 24-0 victory over the Browns.

Brad Johnson and Jeff George, the Redskins' high-priced quarterback combo, each completed a TD pass for Washington (2-1), the preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl.

If the Redskins were looking for a game, Cleveland wasn't the place to find one. It figured to a be a mismatch, and it was.

Washington coach Norv Turner only played his first-stringers until early in the third quarter. By then, the Redskins' Pro Bowlers, superstars and future Hall of Famers had shown they're in a different league than the young Browns (1-2).

Cleveland made several costly penalties and blew two scoring chances in the second half on fumbles inside the 20.

The game was also a reunion for former Penn State All-Americans

LaVar Arrington and Courtney Brown.

Arrington, currently behind Greg Jones on the Redskins' depth chart at strongside linebacker, plugged the hole to deliver a bone-jarring tackle on Rahshon Spikes in the first half and recovered a fumble in the second quarter.

Brown wasn't nearly as visible, making his biggest play in third quarter when he was called for roughing on George.

Hicks, battling Adrian Murrell for the backup job behind feature back Stephen Davis, had a 6-yard TD catch from Johnson and a 12-yard scoring run in the second quarter when the Redskins' offense outgained Cleveland's 127-11.

Cleveland quarterback Tim Couch completed 11 of 20 passes for 83 yards in three quarters. Couch, the Browns' second-year QB and future, has been under fire all summer after throwing four interceptions during the exhibition season.

But Couch showed some nice flashes in the third quarter, even if it came against Washington's second-unit defense.

Johnson completed 7 of 10 passes for 69 yards and a score, and George, who came over as a free agent this winter for $18.25 million for four years to back him up, finished 9-of-14 for 104 yards.

George hooked up with Albert Connell for a 36-yard TD in the third quarter to put the Redskins up 24-0.

Two defensive penalties against the Browns helped Washington take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

Cleveland safety Marquis Smith was assessed a personal foul at the end of a 5-yard pickup by Hicks, giving the Redskins a first down at the Browns 28. Two plays later, rookie cornerback Lewis Sanders got caught pushing Westbrook out of bounds, giving Washington a first-and-goal.

On second down, Hicks was left uncovered in the right flat and caught a swing pass from Johnson for an easy score.

George entered with 5:44 remaining and took the Redskins on a 16-play drive, which ended with Brett Conway's 21-yard field goal with six seconds left to give Washington a 17-0 halftime lead.

Hicks scored on a 12-yard run with 12:56 remaining in the first half to give the Redskins a 7-0 lead. Sweeping left, Hicks picked up a couple of nice blocks and went in untouched.

Browns running back Errict Rhett, signed last winter to be Cleveland's every-down back, didn't play after breaking his nose during practice this week.

©2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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