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Memphis 17 at Orlando 28
1985 Week 7 - Thursday, April 4, 1985
Memphis Showboats(3-3)(-7) at Orlando Renegades(0-6)
Attendance: 21,223, TV: ESPN
ORLANDO, Fia. (UPI) - Horns honked in celebration on nearby Church Street and fans milled around Orlando Stadium for more than an hour after the game's conclusion. This was no championship witnessed by a meager crowd of 21,223, merely a maiden victory.
For the Orlando Renegades, however, there was nothing "mere" about it. Three touchdown runs by quarterback Reggie Collier highlighted the first victory in Renegades history Thursday night, a 28-17-triumph over the slumping Memphis Showboats.
In 1984, the team played as the Washington Federals and finished 3-15.
Collier clinched the inaugural triumph with a 63-yard scoring run with just 33 seconds remaining. "Our philosophy this week was that if we could win this game, we could wipe out all the other games ...and get respect," said Orlando coach Lee Corso, who anguished over the club's 0-6 start.
"I really did, in clutch situations, just give the ball to Collier. I said all along that we were becoming a better team each week." In a decision destined to earn Memphis a fine from the league office, General Manager Steve Ehrhart closed the locker room to media - a direct violation of USFL regulations.
One by one, the Showboats trudged to the team bus, a sullen, beaten club embarrassed by their status as Orlando's initial victims. Memphis suffered its fourth straight setback following a 3-0 start.
"This is undoubtedly one of the low points of the season," understated Coach Pepper Rodgers, who would reveal his thoughts only to a club public relations official. "We just totally broke down on the last run by Collier and that was icing on the cake.
"Hopefully, we're going to come back from this. To say I am disappointed is the understatement of the year."
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn