Arizona 7 at Michigan 33
1983 Week 18 - Sunday, July 3, 1983
Arizona Wranglers(4-13) at Michigan Panthers(11-6)(-14)
Attendance: 31,905, TV: ABC
PONTIAC,MI(AP) - Defensive end John Banaszak, who has played football in Michigan as a collegiate at Eastern Michigan and as a professional with the Michigan Panthers, tried to put the moment into focus. "If we win the playoffs we'll be the toast of this town," he suggested during a champagne-soaked celebration Sunday.
The bubbly put an exclamation point on the Panthers' Central Division title clinching, which brought the Detroit area within two victories of its first major league sports championship since the Tigers' 1968 World Series victory.
Sunday's 33-7 victory over the Arizona Wranglers, on the final day of the United States Football League's first regular season, sent Michigan, 12-6, into a semifinal round playoff matchup next Sunday at the Pontiac Silverdome against Oakland. The Invaders, Pacific Division champs, take a .500 record into the contest. The winner will play the winner of next Saturday's other semifinal game at Philadelphia between the Atlantic Division champion Stars and the Chicago Blitz, 12-6. The championship game will take place Sunday night, July 17, at Denver's Mile High Stadium.
In the Panthers' victory, running back Ken Lacy threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the first quarter as Arizona, 4-14, matched the Washington Federals for the league's worst record.
Lacy, who finished the game with 92 yards on 13 carries, took a pitchout from quarterback Bobby Hebert, rolled right and flipped a 38-yard TD pass to Derek Holloway 2:24 into the game.
On the Panthers' next possession, Lacy capped a 57-yard, five-play drive by scoring from nine yards out.
1983 USFL Regular Season 1983 Week 18 Sunday, July 3, 1983 Arizona Wranglers 7 @ Michigan Panthers 33 Stadium : Pontiac Silverdome, Pontica, MI. Attendance: 31,905 Arizona Michigan First Downs 16 23 Rushes - Yards 14-38 43-222 Passing Yards 196 265 Return Yards 110 94 Passes 18-43-1 18-26-0 Sacks - Yards Lost 4-30 0-0 Punts - Avg. 6-43.0 1-28.0 Fumbles-Lost 2-2 3-2 Penalties-Yards 8-83 6-62 Time of Possession 26:05 33:55 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Arizona 0 0 0 7 - 7 Michigan 14 10 3 6 - 33 1st Quarter Scoring Michigan Panthers - Holloway 38 yd. Pass from Lacy ( Bojovic Kick ). Michigan Panthers - Lacy 9 yd. Run ( Bojovic Kick ). 2nd Quarter Scoring Michigan Panthers - 42 yd. Field Goal by Bojovic. Michigan Panthers - Carter 68 yd. Pass from Hebert ( Bojovic Kick ). 3rd Quarter Scoring Michigan Panthers - 27 yd. Field Goal by Bojovic. 4th Quarter Scoring Michigan Panthers - Williams 11 yd. Run ( Bojovic Kick "Failed" ). Arizona Wranglers - Henry 48 yd. Pass from Manucci ( Denfeld Kick ). INDIVIDUAL Statistics Rushing Arizona Wranglers - Blue 13-37, Murray 1-1. Michigan Panthers - Lacy 13-92, Williams 16-85, C. Miller 12-48, Taylor 1 for minus 3, Hebert 1-0. Passing Arizona Wranglers - Manucci 18-43-1-226. Michigan Panthers - Hebert 11-15-0-141, Taylor 6-10-0-86, Lacy 1-1-0-38. Receiving Arizona Wranglers - Keel 5-72, H. Flowers 3-34, Blue 3-16, Henry 2-59, Balholm 2-11, MaGee1-16, Howell 1-9, Ryckman 1-9. Michigan Panthers - Carter 4-112, Cobb 4-32, Holloway 3-54, Lacy 2-37, Stelly 2-18, Williams 2-1, Echols 1-11. Kickoff Returns Arizona Wranglers - Henry 4-96, Blue 1-14. Michigan Panthers - Phea 1-36, Greenwood 1-3. Punt Returns Arizona Wranglers - None. Michigan Panthers - Carter 2-31, Phea 2-23. Punting Arizona Wranglers - Mees 6-43.0 Yd. Avg. Michigan Panthers - Grupp 1-28.0 Yd. Avg. Field Goals Arizona Wranglers - None Attempted. Michigan Panthers - Bojovic 2 of 2 Interceptions Arizona Wranglers - None Michigan Panthers - Davis 1 for 1 yd. Sacks Arizona Wranglers - None Michigan Panthers - Corker 3-22, Paggett 1-8.
Archived news report
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn