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Los Angeles 23 at Arizona 35 Playoff
1984 Semifinals - Saturday, July 7, 1984
Los Angeles Express(11-8) at Arizona Wranglers(11-8)(-8)
Attendance: 33,188, TV: ABC
TEMPE, Ariz (AP) -- All week long, Arizona Wranglers Coach George Allen carried a palm sized white and-green pin in his right pocket which simply said, "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity".
Saturday night, Allen said his club "was as prepared as ever and took advantage of every opportunity" to defeat the Los Angeles Express 35-23 for the Western Conference championship.
"We worked hard all week getting ready for this one with LA because it was a championship game," said Allen, whose Wranglers are 0-3 against the Stars "Now we go on to the big one and we deserve it.
"We out-toughed LA. We were in better shape than they were We had conditioning, good execution and the belief that we could do it," added Allen.
Wranglers running back Tim Spencer, who scored three touchdowns, said "our conditioning really came through in the fourth quarter. We were definitely pumped up for this one."
Arizona scored 21 fourth-quarter points, taking the lead for good on Kevin Long's 1-yard touchdown run 40 seconds into the final period to cap a 10 play, 80 yard drive.
Spencer, who rushed for 94 yards on 18 carries, caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Greg Landry with 9:14 remaining for a 28-17 lead Spencer had scored twice in the first half on short runs.
Mack Boatner's 5-yard touchdown run sealed Arizona's win with 2 55 left.
Express quarterback Steve Young, harried all night by a heavy Wranglers pass rush, fired a 20-yard scoring strike to David Hersey with l:20 to go.
Young, the heralded rookie with the $40 million contract, completed just seven of 23 passes for 126 yards with two interceptions.
Express Coach John Hadl said "in the first quarter, we were physical and controlled the line of scrimmage and moved the ball on them. But you got to play 60 minutes and not 30. They just whipped us in the second half."
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn