Order the new book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
San Antonio 21 at Pittsburgh 31984 Week 16 - Monday, June 11, 1984
Attendance: 17,148, TV: ESPN
PITTSBURGH (UPI) - With a 3-13 record and two games left in their first U.S. Football League season the Pittsburgh Maulers are looking for breaks.
They didn't find any against the San Antonio Gunslingers and quarterback Rick Neuheisel. Neuheisel, the former UCLA standout, hooked up with Jerry Gordon on touchdown passes of 21 and 12 yards to spark a 21-3 romp Monday night over the dispirited Maulers before 17,148 fans at Three Rivers Stadium.
"We had chances but we didn't make a break for ourselves and we didn't get a break from the officials " said Pittsburgh coach Ellis Rainsberger. The Maulers were penalized 30 yards and were unable to take advantage of nine San Antonio penalties for 60 yards.
"If you put the two together along with the (last) two losses, maybe its just asking too much of the players" Rainsberger said.
The Gunslingers improved to 6-10 in the battle of the expansion clubs.
Neuheisel hit Gordon for a 2-yard TD just three minutes into the second quarter for a 7-3 lead. The pair connected again early in the fourth period, this time from 12 yards out to cap a 61-yard drive.
"I pulled my receiver to shoot for the corner and I threw it out there for him." said Neuheisel, who broke his hand in the season opener at New Orleans. He has returned to lead San Antonio to five victories in the last nine games.
"Pittsburgh has a very sound defensive line. They're good against the run," added Neuheisel who completed 11-of-19 passes for 178 yards with two interceptions. "We wanted to get more yards on the ground, but they wouldn't give it to us."
The Gunslingers gained just 81 yards on 32 carries. "I thought our defense did a good job for the most part. We just didn't play to our fullest capability", Rainsberger said.
San Antonio's first score came just 2:41 into the game with Neuheisel directing the offense 45 yards in six plays. Running back Marcus Bonner scored from a yard out.
Pittsburgh only managed a 27-yard first-quarter field goal by rookie Eric Schubert. In the second period, his 31-yard attempt was blocked, and on the last play of the half, his 54-yarder was short. Late in the third quarter, he missed from 44 yards out.
Pittsburgh running back Walter Holman rushed for 123 yards on 27 carries, the most yardage the Gunslingers' defense has allowed a running back all year. The Maulers ran for 130 yards as a team. "Ira Albright did a great job of blocking. He and the offensive line really moved a lot of people out there." said Holman.
The Maulers blew a prime opportunity in the third quarter. On 3rd-and-5 from the San Antonio 7, cornerback Jim Bob Morris stripped Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Rosantz of the ball and linebacker Putt Choate recovered.
Gunslingers coach Gil Steinke was pleased with his team's performance. "We played a lot of pretty games this year but lost and then we play as sloppy as we did tonight and we won. Pittsburgh gained quite a few yards on the ground but our defense did another great job by stopping them when they had to."