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Houston 34 at Los Angeles 33


1985 Week 1 - Sunday, February 24, 1985
Houston Gamblers(0-0) at Los Angeles Express(0-0)(-2)
Attendance: 18,828

LOS ANGELES(AP) - All the pre-game hype and hoopla was directed at the rookie quarterback with the million-dollar contract, a Heisman Trophy winner with virtually no preparation. While Doug Flutie was struggling in his professional debut, the United States Football League's resident star passer was picking up where he left off last season.

Jim Kelly, the USFL's Most Valuable Player in 1984 when he threw for 44 touchdowns, began the '85 campaign in style yesterday with five scoring tosses and an American professional record 574 yards passing in leading the Houston Gamblers to a stunning 34-33 comeback victory over the Los Angeles Express before a crowd of 18,828. The Gamblers trailed 33-13 in the final quarter.

"I've been in comebacks before but never anything like that," said Kelly. "Pulling out that was the best feeling I ever had in my life."

Kelly completed 35 of 54 passes and threw for three touchdowns in the last 10 minutes. He hit Ricky Sanders with a 39-yard TD pass with 1:18 remaining and Toni Fritsch's conversion was decisive.

Kelly's 574 yards passing surpassed Norm Van Brocklin's 554 set with the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League in 1951. Kelly was 12 yards shy of the pro record of 586 by Sam Etchverry of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1954.

Complete Game




Highlights




Highlights




	1	2	3	4	F
HOU    13	0	0      21   -   34
LA	0       6      17      10   -   33

Scoring

HOU:Sanders 1 pass from Kelly(Fritsch kick) - HOU 7, LA 0

HOU:Sanders 1 pass from Kelly(kick failed) - HOU 13, LA 0

LA: Zendejas 26 FG - HOU 13, LA 3

LA: Zendejas 48 FG - HOU 13, LA 6

LA: Zendejas 37 FG - HOU 13, LA 9

LA: Townsell 64 pass from Young(Zendejas kick) - LA 16, HOU 13

LA: Nelson 2 run(Zendejas kick) - LA 23, HOU 13

LA: Zendejas 46 FG - LA 26, HOU 13

LA: West 42 interception return(Zendejas kick) - LA 33, HOU 13

HOU:R.Johnson 52 pass from Kelly(Fritsch kick) - LA 33, HOU 20

HOU:Courville 40 pass from Kelly(Fritsch kick) - LA 33, HOU 27

HOU:Sanders 39 pass from Kelly(Fritsch kick) - HOU 34, LA 33

Box Score

                             HOU            LA
First Downs                   26            12       
Rushes-Yards                8-25         20-49
Passing (A-C-Y-I)    54-35-560-2   27-13-218-1
Sacked-Yards Lost           2-14          4-37   
Total Plays-Yards         62-585        47-267       
Fumbles-Lost                 5-3           2-0
Penalties-Yards             5-30          7-64
Turnovers                      5             1
Time of Possession         29:39         30:21

Attendance = 18,828 

HOUSTON					     LOS ANGELES
Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate          Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate
Kelly        54  35 574  2  5 115.82         Young        27  13 255  1  1  78.47

Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD                  Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD
Harrell       4  16  4.0  0                  Young         5  27  5.4  0
Kelly         4   9  2.3  0                  Nelson        8  19  2.4  1
					     Gray          6   4  0.7  0
                                             Boddie        1  -1 -1.0  0
 
Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD                  Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD
R.Johnson    11 174 15.8  1                  Townsell      2 104 52.0  1
Sanders       9 108 12.0  3                  Campbell      1  46 46.0  0
Harrell       6 105 17.5  0                  Gunn          4  42 10.5  0
Courville     3  76 25.3  1                  Hudson        2  28 14.0  0
McGhee        3  53 17.7  0                  Hershey       2  25 12.5  0
Verdin        2  42 21.0  0  		     Nelson        1   7  7.0  0
McNeil        1  16 16.0  0                  Boddie        1   3  3.0  0             

Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
Verdin          6  77 12.8  0                Alexander       4  70 17.5  0
McGhee          1   9  9.0  0                Boddie          1  19 19.0  0                 

Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
McNeil          4  14  3.5  0                Gunn            1   0  0.0  0                

Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts            Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts
Fritsch         0-0  --  4-5   4             Zendejas        4-4  48  3-3  15     
                miss: --                                     miss: --

Punting        No Yds  Ave                   Punting        No Yds  Ave
Walters         3  95 31.7		     Partridge       6 219 36.5

Sacks          Sk Yds                        Sacks          Sk Yds
Catan         1.5  10                        Rudolph         2  14
Crosby          1  10
Taylor          1  10
Hughes          1   4
A.Hawkins     0.5   3                    

Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD                Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD
DeAyala         1   0  0.0  0                West            2  81 40.5  1
M.Hawkins       1   0  0.0  0

Archived news report
Archived news report

Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn


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