Houston 25 at New Jersey 31
1985 Week 7 - Sunday, April 7, 1985
Houston Gamblers(5-1)(-6.5) at New Jersey Generals(3-3)
Attendance: 34,573, TV: ABC
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.(AP) - Herschel Walker rushed for a United States Football League record 233 yards and scored two touchdowns, including one on a league best 88-yard scamper, as the New Jersey Generals defeated the Houston Gamblers 31-25 on Sunday.
Walker, who has become the Generals other Heisman Trophy winner since the arrival this season of quarterback Doug Flutle, carried the ball 34 times, and his yardage broke the old standard of 208 set in a game against Washington bv Todd Fowler of Houston in 1984.
The long touchdown run by Walker broke the old record of 83 yards he set May 20, 1983 against Washington. New Jersey finished the game with a total of 343 yards rushing, another league record, breaking a mark set by Oakland.
The victory raised the Generals record to 4-3, while Houston dropped its second straight and fell to 5-2 despite two touchdown passes and a 333-yard passing performance by quarterback Jim Kelly.
Despite running only six offensive plays in the first quarter, the Generals led 7-6. Walker's long touchdown run off right tackle came on New Jersey's second play from scrimmage after John Preston intercepted a Kelly pass.
Kelly cut the margin to 7-6 on the Gamblers second possession, hitting Clarence Verdin on a 3-yard slant pass for a touchdown. Tony Fritsch missed the extra point.
New Jersey took control early in the second quarter as Flutie took the Generals on a 75-yard drive in 15 plays with Walker capping the march by scoring from the one on fourth down.
A little more than two minutes later, the Generals expanded their lead to 21-6 when Gregory Johnson blocked a Dale Walters punt and Maurice Clemmons recovered in the end zone.
Fritsch and Roger Ruzek exchanged field goals before the half ended with New Jersey ahead 24-9.
Houston was able to close to within 24-17 early in the third quarter after Fowler scored from the one and reserve quarterback Todd Dillon hit Sam Harrell on a two-point conversion. Kelly was on the bench for most of the 34-yard drive with a dislocated right finger. He returned later in the quarter and eventually tossed a 33-yard TD pass to Verdin in the fourth quarter for the Gamblers final score.
Flutie's 7-yard scoring run midway through the final period had given the Generals a 31-17 edge.
April 7, 1985 New Jersey Generals - 31 Houston Gamblers - 25 at Giants Stadium 34,573 Houston 6 3 8 8 -- 25 New Jersey 7 17 0 7 -- 31 1st Qtr ---- NJ - Walker 88 run (Ruzek kick) HOU - Verdin 3 pass from Kelly (kick failed) 2nd Qtr ---- NJ - 1 run (Ruzek kick) NJ - Clemmons recovered blocked punt in end zone (Ruzek kick) HOU - FG Fritsch 19 NJ - FG Ruzek 39 3rd Qtr ---- HOU - Fowler 1 run (Harrell pass from Dillon) 4th Qtr ---- NJ - Flutie 7 run (Ruzek kick) HOU - Verdin 33 pass from Kelly (Fowler run) TEAM STATS HOUSTON NEW JERSEY First Downs 26 21 Rushes-Yards 10-51 56-344 Passing Yards 356 82 Return Yards 101 58 Passes 29-47-2 6-13-0 Sacks By 0-0 3-23 Punts 2-13 2-35 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-1 Penalties-Yards 3-23 9-75 Time of Possession 24:48 35:12 INDIVIDUAL STATS RUSHING = Houston: Kelly 4-37, Fowler 5-12, Harrell 1-2. New Jersey: Walker 34-233, Carthon 15-63, Flutie 7-48. PASSING = Houston: Kelly 28-46-2-333, Dillon 1-1-0-23. New Jersey: Flutie 6-13-0-82. RECEIVING = Houston: Verdin 10-134, Johnson 9-94, McGhee 3-42, McNeil 3-36, Courville 2-38, Fowler 2-12. New Jersey: Collins 1-21, Walker 1-19, Bowers 1-18, Spek 1-10, Carthon 1-9, Harmon 1-5. MISSED FIELD GOALS = None
Archived news report
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn