Order the new book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Chicago 38 at Philadelphia 44 OT1983 Divisional Playoffs - Saturday, July 9, 1983
Attendance: 15,686, TV: ABC
Donovan ties it, and Bryant completes the Stars' comeback.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Stars had come from behind before, but never quite so dramatically. And the victory never felt quite so good. "Thank God, there are two halves to a football game," sighed quarterback Chuck Fusina, who overcame four first-half turnovers with three touchdown passes in the last nine minutes Saturday as the Stars tied the Chicago Blitz 38-38, then went on to win 44-38 in overtime to advance to the championship of the United States Football League.
"It will go down as one of the best games in history." said Chicago Coach George Allen, who saw a 21-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter.
"In 12 years of football, I've never seen a comeback like that," said Stars linebacker John Bunting, "It's just a tribute to these guys."
Kelvin Bryant rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner on a one-yard run seven minutes, two seconds into the overtime.
The Stars take a 16-3 record into the first USFL championship game in Denver next Sunday.
The Blitz took a 21-7 halftime lead after intercepting Fusina three times and recovering his fumble in the second quarter. They led 38-17 with 12:04 left in the game.
The Stars started their comeback with Fusina's 17-yard scoring pass to Scott Fitzkee five minutes into the fourth quarter. Fusina passed two yards to Jeff Rodenberger for another touchdown with five minutes left in the game, and connected with Tom Donovan from 11 yards with 50 seconds left to tie it up.
He finished with 22 of 33 passes for 254 yards, scrambled for 66 more yards and also caught a 12-yard pass from Allen Harvin for another touchdown.
"I never felt the game was lost," said Stars Head Coach Jim Mora. "We had been moving the ball on them and stopping them defensively, but we just gave up too many points on turnovers."
A crowd of 15,684 - less than a fourth of the capacity of the 66,000-seat Veterans Stadium watched the game in sunny, 84-degree weather.