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Arizona 28 at New Orleans 13
1984 Week 11 - Monday, May 7, 1984
Arizona Wranglers(4-6) at New Orleans Breakers(7-3)(-2)
Attendance: 22,937, TV: ESPN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Even voodoo couldn't stop Alan Risher and the Arizona Wranglers.
Risher passed for 172 yards and a touchdown and kept another scoring drive going with his running to lead the Wranglers to a 28-13 victory over the New Orleans Breakers Monday night.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Arizona, now 5-6, and kept them in the playoff chase in the United States Football League's Pacific Division. The Breakers fell to 7-4 after a 5-0 start.
Prior to Monday night's game, Chris Roig, a local psychic, staged a brief voodoo ceremony designed to break the Monday night jinx that plagues New Orleans professional football teams at home. Neither the Breakers nor the Saints of the National Football League have ever won a Monday night game at home -- a dismal string that now stands at 0-7 dating back a dozen years.
For 28:32, it appeared the voodoo was working. The Breakers led 10-0. The Wranglers had been held to just 43 yards passing and 46 yards rushing by the usually passive New Orleans defense.
Then Risher got cranked up, taking the Wranglers on a 51-yard scoring drive that the young quarterback credited with changing the momentum of the game. He accounted for 44 of those yards himself, 33 passing and 11 on a scramble that put the ball on the New Orleans 13-yard line.
Fullback Kevin Long capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge with four seconds left in the first half.
"That sent us into the locker room with some momentum," Risher said after the game. And the Wranglers kept rolling in the second half. Risher hit wide receiver Lenny Willis with a 20-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, putting the Wranglers ahead for good.
Long added another touchdown on a 2-yard plunge in the third quarter, and Tim Spencer burst 44 yards for a touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
"I think we were a little too conservative, to begin with, and that was my fault. I called the plays," Risher said. "We thought we'd run the football, and they kind of stuffed it on us."
The Breakers got field goals of 44 yards and 26 yards from Tim Mazzetti and a touchdown on a 13-yard run by Marcus Dupree. Dupree, the 19-year-old rookie, also had a 67 yard touchdown run called back and still finished with 125 rushing yards on 11 carries.
New Orleans quarterback Johnnie Walton, league leader in total yardage most of the season, finished with 10 completions and three interceptions on 34 attempts. "He hurt his left shoulder a bit, but nothing that kept him from throwing or anything," Breakers Coach Dick Coury said after the game.
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn