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Houston 36 at Denver 20

1984 Week 15 - Sunday, June 3, 1984
Attendance: 50,057, TV: ABC


Denver (AP) - The Houston Gamblers possess the United States Football League's most productive offense, and they do it with a potent passing attack. But those who ignore the Gambler running game, as the Denver Gold did on Sunday, are courting disaster.

Rookie running back Todd Fowler, taking advantage of a Denver defense which overplayed the pass, rushed for a league-record 208 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Gamblers' 36-20 rout of the Gold.

Fowler, a tight end at Stephen F. Austin University, was converted to running back by the Gamblers in the preseason, but his primary duties were expected to be blocking. With his fourth 100-plus-yard game, he's proved to be more than just a blocker.

"My offensive line knocked out some big holes in the defense Denver was playing, and all the credit should go to them," said Fowler, whose 208 yards ecliped the previous USFL single-game standard of 200 yards set by Houston's Sam Harrell earlier this year.

"What a worker he is," said Houston Coach Jack Pardee of Fowler. "He does a heck of a job blocking for Jim Kelly and carrying the football. I didn't realize he had that many yards."

Kelly completed 20 of 31 passes for 216 yards and two TDs, tying the all-time pro football record for most TD passes in a season.

A record Gold crowd of 50,057, boosted by a pre-game concert by the country group Alabama, was on hand to witness, and occasionally boo, the Gold's poor performance.

"I don't know what the motivational factor is when we have a championship to play for, then come out and play the way we did," said Denver Coach Craig Morton. "The playoffs right now are a dream for us unless we find some kind of spark."


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