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Denver 13 at San Antonio 36
1985 Preseason Week 3 - Saturday, February 16, 1985
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Finishing the preseason like they hope to start the regular season, the San Antonio Gunslingers mauled the Denver Gold 36-13 in a United States Football League game Saturday.
Quarterback Rick Neuheisel threw two touchdown passes and Scott Stamper scampered for two more as the Gunslingers piled up the highest point total in the team's history.
"We came into the game looking to get the season off to a good start, and we certainly did that," said San Antonio Coach Jim Bates. ''They played with a lot of emotion. So many good things happened on offense and defense. As far as starting off the season is concerned, I think we are ahead of schedule," he said.
The Gunslingers held the ball for nearly 40 minutes of the game while holding the Gold to 213 offensive yards, including only 20 on the ground. San Antonio racked up 323 yards, 142 on the ground.
"We worked hard on our running game this week and it paid off,"said quarterback Rick Neuheisel. "I think we showed we could run and stuffed it down their throats. "You need to go into the season with a good note, and we did that today," he said.
San Antonio poured it on early, driving 64 yards in 16 plays for a touchdown on its first drive of the game. The Gunslingers ran the ball 13 times on the drive and ate up almost 10 minutes on the clock. Scott Stamper capped the drive with a one-yard plunge with 3:06 left in the quarter.
Nick Mike-Mayer's extra point try was blocked by Denver's Marc Lewis. San Antonio's next score was set up by a recovery of a fumbled punt return by San Antonio's Clyde Johnson at the Gold 29.
Two penalties and a sack left the Gunslingers facing a third-and-27 situation at the Denver 42, so Neuheisel threw down the middle to James Hadnot. Although interfered with by two Denver defenders, the 6'2" tight end still managed to catch the ball at the 4-yard line.
Three plays later, Neuheisel hit Hadnot again for a five-yard scoring strike. San Antonio scored on Denver's next offensive play, when linebacker Jeff Leiding jarred the ball loose from running back Todd Gerhart at the 20-yard line. Linebacker Reggie Oliver scooped up the ball at the 14 and raced in for the score with 4:07 to play. San Antonio's two-point conversion failed.
The Gunslingers made it 22-0 on the last play of the half when Mike-Mayer kicked a 34-yard field goal.
Denver got its first points of the game when linebaker John Nevens blocked a Gunslinger punt at the SA 5-yard line and raced in for the score. Brian Speelman's extra point made the score 22-7 with 13:34 left in the third quarter.
The Gold's next possession started at the San Antonio 30-yard line following a short punt. Denver scored seven plays later when quarterback Vince Evans hit Vincent White on a seven-yard scoring play, making the score 22-13 with 4:31 to play in the quarter.
San Antonio took over the ball and marched 80 yards in 18 plays to put the game out of reach.
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn