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Los Angeles 27 at Denver 35


1984 Week 7 - Monday, April 9, 1984
Los Angeles Express(2-4) at Denver Gold(5-1)(-7)
Attendance: 19,115, TV: ESPN

DENVER (AP) - A pair of fumbled Los Angeles kickoff returns late in the first half helped complete a 25-point second quarter flurry that lifted the Denver Gold to an improbable 6-1 record.

Denver, everybody's choice to be an also-ran in 1984, posted its fourth straight victory and raised its Pacific Division lead to three games with Monday night's 35-27 United States Football League victory over Los Angeles before 19,115 rain-soaked fans in Denver.

"We're on an emotional roll," said Denver Coach Craig Morton. "We're playing with great intensity and nothing seems to discourage us. We don't panic."

Panic might have set in after the Express jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Steve Young, Los Angeles' $40 million rookie quarterback, set up the first score, beating the blitz by dumping a short pass over the middle to Mel Gray, who went 52 yards. Kevin Nelson scored four plays later. With 5:23 left in the opening period, Los Angeles safety Dwight Drane intercepted a Craig Penrose pass and returned it 22 yards for the second Express tally.

The Gold rebounded with a vengeance in the second period. First, Penrose lofted a 73-yard bomb to Kevin Williams, then David Martin scored returned a punt 79 yards. But the extra point attempt failed and Denver trailed 14-13. Then came the two crucial fumbles on kickoff returns. Gray, trying to negotiate a muddy area of the field, coughed up the ball at the Los Angeles 17.

Penrose hit Vincent White on a five-yard pass for the go-ahead TD with 1:31 left. Tony Boddie fumbled away the next kickoff return, giving Denver possession at the 10, and Bill Johnson's five-yard run made it 25-14 with 30 seconds left in the half.

Los Angeles never fully recovered from that second-period onslaught. Nelson took a short pass and turned it into a 69-yard scoring play early in the third period. But Denver used its ball control offense to eat up the clock and countered with a field goal and a touchdown before Young ran for the final score in the closing seconds.

"You can't fumble that many times (four) and win," said Express Coach John Hadl, whose team fell to 2-5. Young, who completed 16 of 37 passes for 267 yards and ran for 34 more yards in his second pro game, wasn't satisfied. "I'm still learning," he said.

3rd Q




Complete Game




Highlights




	1	2	3	4	F
LA     14	0	7	6   -   27
DEN	0      25	3	7   -   35

Scoring

LA: Nelson 2 yd run (Zendejas kick) - LA 7, DEN 0

LA: Drane 22 yd interception return (Zendejas kick) - LA 14, DEN 0

DEN:Williams 73 yd pass from Penrose (Speelman kick) - LA 14, DEN 7

DEN:Martin 79 yd punt return (kick failed) - LA 14, DEN 13

DEN:White 5 yd pass from Penrose (pass failed) - DEN 19, LA 14

DEN:B. Johnson 5 yd run (pass failed) - DEN 25, LA 14

DEN:Speelman 27 yd field goal - DEN 28, LA 14

LA: Nelson 69 yd pass from Young (Zendejas kick) - DEN 28, LA 21

DEN:Sydney 1 yd run (Speelman kick) - DEN 35, LA 21

LA: Young 1 yd run (pass failed) - DEN 35, LA 27

Box Score

                              LA            DEN
First Downs                   15             20
Rushes-Yards               19-82         43-173
Passing (A-C-Y-I)    37-16-296-0    20-12-185-2
Sacked-Yards Lost           3-16           3-21
Total Plays-Yards         59-362         66-337
Fumbles-Lost                 5-4            4-1
Penalties-Yards             8-66           9-60
Turnovers                      4              3
Time of Possession         24:16          35:44

Attendance = 19,115

LOS ANGELES				     DENVER
Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate          Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate
Young        37  16 267  0  1  77.2          Penrose      20  12 185  2  2  84.4
Gray          1   1  29  0  0 118.8          

Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD                  Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD
Nelson        8  45  5.6  1                  Johnson B    10  58  5.8  1
Young         7  34  4.9  1                  Matthews      9  53  5.9  0
Gray          4   3  0.8  0                  Sydney       15  36  2.4  1
                                             White         8  24  3.0  0
                                             Bailey        1   2  2.0  0

Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD                  Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD
Nelson        2  86 43.0  1                  Williams      1  73 73.0  1
Gray          4  82 20.5  0                  Arnold        2  41 20.5  0
Moore         4  50 12.5  0                  Sydney        6  37  6.2  0
Hersey        2  37 18.5  0                  Bailey        1  17 17.0  0
Ellis         4  32  8.0  0                  Harris        1  12 12.0  0
Gunn          1   9  9.0  0                  White         1   5  5.0  1

Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
Gray            4 111 27.8  0                Williams        3  38 12.7  0
Boddie          3   4  1.3  0                Harris          1  20 20.0  0

Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
Allen           4  21  5.3  0                Martin          5 126 25.2  1

Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts            Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts
Zendejas        0-0  --  3-3    3            Speelman        1-2  27  2-3    5            
                miss: --                                     miss: 56                                     

Punting        No Yds  Ave                   Punting        No Yds  Ave
Partridge       6 239 39.8                   Gortz           5 195 39.0                   

Sacks          Sk Yds                        Sacks          Sk Yds
Forte           1   8                        Newton          2  14                        
Robinson        1   7                        Turner          1   2                        
Carson        0.5   3
Howard        0.5   3

Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD                Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD
Drane           1  22 22.0  1                None                                         
Justin          1   3  3.0  0

Archived news report

Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn


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