The Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Sports

December 25, 2007

Former Hawkeye Clark breaks Mackey’s records

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — San Diego’s Antonio Gates and Kansas City’s Tony Gonzalez were picked as the tight ends for the AFC Pro Bowl squad, but Reggie Wayne thinks a key name was forgotten.

Wayne, the Colts’ top receiver, thinks teammate Dallas Clark should be making the trip to Hawaii. He made the statement after Clark had six catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns to help the Colts beat the Houston Texans 38-15 on Sunday.

“I love Dallas, man,” Wayne said. “He works hard, comes ready to play each week in practice and in games. He’s one of the biggest snubs for the Pro Bowl.”

Clark, a former standout at Iowa, set single-season franchise records for receptions (57) and touchdown receptions (11) by a tight end, breaking the marks set by Hall-of-Famer John Mackey. Mackey set the previous receptions mark of 55 in 1967 and the touchdowns record of nine in 1966.

As a senior with Iowa, Clark met Mackey when Clark won the Mackey Award that is given each year to college football’s best tight end. Colts coach Tony Dungy took time to ensure that the team understood what Clark had accomplished.

“I made the announcement to the team after the game, and I don’t think many of them know who John Mackey was,” he said. “But I remember him, and to me, he’s the gold standard, so that’s something special.

“I’ll remember being on the field the day Dallas did that, that’s for sure.”

Clark was one of the main reasons the Texans’ defense was frustrated for most of the game. Defensive tackle Travis Johnson got an unnecessary roughness penalty in the second quarter for a late hit on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, then got another unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter. Houston (7-8) was trying to win a franchise record eighth game, but the Texans unraveled after scoring on the game’s opening possession.

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