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Harrington: No pressure

Tribune staff

Rookie Joey Harrington will replace Mike McMahon and make his first start at quarterback when the Detroit Lions (0-2) play their home opener at 1:15 p.m. PST Sunday against Green Bay (1-1).

'I did not plan it quite this early,' coach Marty Mornhinweg says. 'To be quite honest with you, I was hoping to get at least to the bye week (Oct. 6), sit back, be able to evaluate Mike, be able to evaluate Joey's progression.'

The Lions have allowed an NFL-high 40.0 points per game.

'Now, we have to understand that we cannot expect miraculous play and heroics right off the bat from Joey,' Mornhinweg says.

The coach says Harrington, 7 of 18 passing for 52 yards in two mop-up appearances, probably is the starter for good. 'We're going to ride the highs and lows with Joey,' he says.

Harrington says his plan is to mix short completions with a running attack. 'I feel no pressure to make the big plays,' he says. 'I just need to be consistent and get a rhythm going.'

nÊThe Trail Blazers have bid for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Portland never has hosted the event. 'We've filled out the necessary paperwork and haven't heard back from the league,' says Erin Hubert, Blazer executive vice president.

nÊQuarterback Trent Thompson doesn't want to jinx his Lewis & Clark football team, but he says Saturday's opener on the road against Occidental College 'is the biggest game of the year for us.'

The Los Angeles school beat the Pioneers 35-32 at Griswold Stadium last year, ending L&C's 3-6 season.

'We get off to a good start in L.A. and beat Puget Sound next week and continue the trend, we'll maybe go places,' Thompson says.

The Pioneers simply want to reach .500 in coach Mike Fanger's fourth year.

'I haven't played well in L.A. yet,' says Thompson, a junior generally considered one of the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference's top QBs. 'We got beat by Pomona in my freshman year and didn't score against Claremont-Mudd last year.'

Thompson and six other offensive starters return. His favorite target could be tight end Matt Jackson, a 6-5, 250-pound senior who caught 27 balls for 447 yards (16.6 per) last year.

nÊFormer University of Portland standouts Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan will be on opposing teams when the Women's United Soccer Association All-Star Game starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at PGE Park.

nÊThe 12th-ranked University of Portland men's soccer team will try to improve its 4-2-0 nonconference record in two home games this weekend. The Pilots will play No. 16 Creighton at 4 p.m. Saturday and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo at 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

nÊThe Pilots are 5-2-0 and rank sixth in women's soccer going into this weekend's Nike Husky Classic at the University of Washington. UP will play Cal-Irvine at 4:30 p.m. today and Harvard at 11 a.m. Sunday.

ÑÊTribune staff