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Denver 16 at Chicago 13

1983 Week 3 - Sunday, March 20, 1983
Attendance: 26,949, TV: ABC


Ken Johnson wins it for the Gold.


CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago gave George Allen the cold shoulder.

The coach of the Windy City's entry in the United States Football League brought the Blitz into snowy Soldier Field Sunday, and barely one-third of the 68,000 seats in the ancient edifice were filled.

And the Denver Gold left the Blitz with a cold, empty feeling, too. Quarterback Ken Johnson swept into the end zone on a fourth-down, 1-yard keeper with 18 seconds remaining to defeat Chicago. The 16-13 defeat was the second last minute loss by the Blitz in two weekends.

"It's like a doctor doing a lot of things properly and then the patient dies," said Allen.

Denver Coach Red Miller said he never considered playing it safe, going for the "sure" three points with a field goal and then hoping for a shot at victory in overtime. "We didn't think 'kick' at all," Miller said. "I didn't want to tie. We wanted to win - and it was a big, big win for our young team."

Johnson drove Denver 70 yards to its winning touchdown, passing twice to tight end Bob Niziolek for gains of 14 and 13 yards, the second completion putting the ball at the Chicago 3-yard line. Three plays gained just two yards, setting up the fourth-and-1.

"I took a good look at the goal line right before the play," Johnson said. "It looked like a yard and a half away." And with the snow and the wind, the footing was treacherous. But Johnson crossed up the defense, sweeping around left end and scooting over a goal line he couldn't see because of the snow.

Greg Landry's 42-yard touchdown pass to Lenny Willis and field goals of 27 and 38 yards by John Roveto accounted for the Blitz scoring. Harry Sydney set up a field goal by Brian Speelman with a 36-yard run, then sprinted 30 yards for the first TD by the Gold.


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