Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Arizona 7 at Denver 281985 Week 7 - Monday, April 8, 1985
Attendance: 12,769, TV: ESPN
DENVER (AP) - From an overall standpoint and considering the quality of the competition,it may have been the finest performance ever by a Denver Gold team. Bill Johnson rushed for a team record 165 yards and scored a touchdown, and quarterback Vince Evans ran and passed for two more TDs as the Gold overpowered the Arizona Outlaws 28-7 Monday night in United States Football League action.
But the big story again was poor attendance. Entering the game with the lowest average in the league (13,969), the Gold drew just 12,769 in clear, 50-degree weather. The victory raised Denver's record to 5-2 and drew the Gold into a first-place tie with Houston in the Western Conference, while Arizona fell to 4-3.
Denver's run-and-shoot offense generated a season-high 478 total yards, a figure that ranks as the second-best output in Gold history. Denver's defense, meanwhile, held Arizona to only eight first downs and a meager 127 total yards, including just 26 net yards passing. All three figures are Denver defensive records.
In the second half, Denver totally dominated defensively, limiting the Outlaws to one first down and 17 total yards. Outlaw quarterback Doug Williams completed one of seven passes in the half -- for a 2-yard gain -- and was sacked twice, fumbling once. For the game he was sacked five times.
"We can't make excuses about this one," said Williams. "Denver played a great game. They kicked us all over the place. Give Vince Evans and Bill Johnson and the rest a lot of credit. They came at us both ways (offensively and defensively) and just plain beat us."
"I'm ecstatic about the victory tonight," said Gold owner Doug Spedding, "and we'll do everything we can to get better crowd support this season," Spedding has said the Gold needs to average about 40,000 per game to break even financially. Although he remains committed to keeping the team in Denver through this season, continued small crowds could force him to move the franchise elsewhere or fold it.
Denver spotted the Outlaws a 7-0 lead, and then countered with long scoring drives of 99, 80, 79 and 80 yards, one in each quarter. Johnson, who did most of his damage on draw plays and delays up the middle, broke the Denver single-game rushing record of159 yards, set by Vincent White in 1983.
Monday, April 8, 1985 Arizona Outlaws 7 @ Denver Gold 28 Stadium : Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO. Attendance: 12,769 Arizona Denver First Downs 8 28 Rushes - Yards 18-101 33-233 Passing Yards 26 245 Return Yards 9 8 Passes 8-20-0 18-33-0 Sacks by 3-24 5-31 Punts 8-45 3-33 Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2 Penalties-Yards 6-72 9-70 Time of Possession 25:01 43:59 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total Arizona 7 0 0 0 - 7 Denver 7 7 7 7 - 28 1st Quarter Scoring Arizona Outlaws - R. Brown 40 yard run ( Zendejas Kick ) Denver Gold - Johnson 2 yard run ( Speelman Kick ) 2nd Quarter Scoring Denver Gold - Lewis 9 yard pass ( Speelman Kick ) 3rd Quarter Scoring Denver Gold - Gerhart 15 yard run ( Speelman Kick ) 4th Quarter Scoring Denver Gold - Evans 2 yard run ( Speelman Kick ) INDIVIDUAL Statistics Rushing Arizona Outlaws - R. Brown 11-72, Long 4-16, Boatner 2-9, D. Williams 1-4. Denver Gold - B. Johnson 18-165, Evans 7-34, Gerhart 5-32, White 2-14, L. Harris 1-minus 12. Passing Arizona Outlaws - D. Williams 8-20-0-57. Denver Gold - Evans 18-33-0-269. Receiving Arizona Outlaws - Wheeler 3-33, R. Brown 2-6, Mistler 1-15, Long 1-2, Boatner 1-1. Denver Gold - B. Johnson 4-59, Lewis 4-44, L. Turner 3-57, Gerhart 3-31, White 2-67, L. Harris 2-11.