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BFC powers past Birmingham, 37-0


MIAMI -- Carlos Huerta came home. Tracy Ham and Mike Pringle came off the bench. And Birmingham came a long way to get blown out.

The Baltimore Football Club used the Huerta-Ham-Pringle trifecta to drub Birmingham, 37-0, last night before 20,250 at the Orange Bowl in the second exhibition for both teams.

Birmingham was thought to be Baltimore's chief competition in the Canadian Football League's South Division. That might not have been well thought out, as was proven last night during South Florida's test run for a CFL franchise.

Baltimore dominated the expansion Barracudas in every phase for its second consecutive convincing preseason victory. The first was a 45-11 drubbing of Ottawa last week.

Apparently, Baltimore was taking it easy on Ottawa. Ham didn't play that game; Pringle played just one quarter, running for 14 yards. That could be why Baltimore unleashed Ham and Pringle on the Barracudas.

The result was a blowout.

Ham was 13-for-16 for 222 yards and three touchdowns -- including two in the first half. Pringle rambled through the Birmingham defense for 78 yards on 18 carries. He had 57 yards in the first half on 14 carries.

Baltimore led 20-0 at the half.

"I thought there would be more rust, but I came out throwing well," Ham said. "This team moved the ball well, and that made me happy."

Huerta was just as good as Ham and Pringle. But then, he's always good at the Orange Bowl. Huerta kicked at Miami from 1988 to '91, leaving as the school's all-time scoring leader with 406 points.

For Huerta, last night was just like old times -- minus about 40,000 fans. Huerta booted three field goals in three tries, including a 47-yarder in the first half, and was 3-for-3 on extra points for 12 points.

"It was good to be back at the Orange Bowl," Huerta said. "I know the weather, and I know the crowd. Only difference was, this wasn't as big as some of the Florida State games we played. This was a tuneup."

Baltimore stretched its lead to 27-0 on Chris Armstrong's 51-yard catch-and-run from Ham down the left sideline, Armstrong's second touchdown of the game. He gathered the pass at the Birmingham 30, avoided two tacklers, hurdled a third and coasted for the score. Huerta's third point-after followed.

The Birmingham highlight of an otherwise forgettable third quarter was quarterback Reggie Slack's pass to himself. Attempting a shovel pass, Slack's toss was deflected by the oncoming Baltimore line back to Slack, who ran 4 yards to set up a third-and-one at the Baltimore 27.

Baltimore stuffed Rodney Dickerson for a loss, though.

Ham was hot early, connecting on two touchdown passes for the only scoring in a first quarter that ended with Baltimore leading 14-0.

Ham's first touchdown pass, a 13-yard post to Armstrong, capped a 77-yard drive with 6:05 to play.

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