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Oakland 21 at Arizona 28
1985 Week 16 - Saturday, June 8, 1985
Oakland Invaders(11-3-1)(-9) at Arizona Outlaws(6-9)
TEMPE, AZ (AP) -- Oakland Invaders Coach Charlie Sumner proved to be an embarrassed prophet. With the Invaders already qualifying for the United States Football League playoffs, Sumner feared a letdown, in Saturday night's game against the Arizona Outlaws and he was right.
Doug Williams threw two 22-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Al Williams and cornerback David Martin returned an interception 24 yards for another score as Arizona hung on to beat Oakland 28-21.
The loss snapped a seven game winning streak for the Invaders (11-4-1) and also stalled their bid to clinch the Western Conference title.
"I hope it's one we just had to get out of our systems," Sumner said. "The Outlaws came to play and deserve the credit. We didn't slow them down at all."
Arizona, the defending conference champion, is now 7-9 after winning for just the third time in its last 10 games to keep alive its chance at a playoff berth.
"We knew going in that they (the Invaders) were ripe, absolutely ripe (for an upset)," said Outlaws defensive tackle Dave Tipton. "The guys went in with a positive mental attitude. We beat the best team in the league."
Williams' second scoring strike broke a 7-7 tie with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter. Martin then picked off a pass from Oakland backup quarterback Fred Besana and raced untouched into the end zone 15 seconds later to make it 21-7.
Besana had replaced starter Bobby Hebert, who completed just four of 13 passes for 38 yards with two interceptions -- the last coming 44 seconds into the second half.
But Invaders cornerback Vito McKeever picked off a Doug Williams pass 21 seconds later and returned it four yards to the Outlaws 44. It led to John Williams' 4-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:27 left in the third quarter.
Williams' first 22-yard touchdown toss opened the scoring 3:40 before halftime. Reggie Brown made it 28-7 on a 6-yard run with 8:21 to go in the game.
Besana hit wide receiver Anthony Carter on a 20-yard pass with 5:28 remaining and then found Carter again on a 62-yard bomb with 1:04 left to close the gap to 28-21.
Arizona recovered an onsides kick, however, and ran out the clock.
"We just waited too long to start playing," Carter said. "We can't do that and I hope we'll have learned a lesson."
Williams wound up completing 15 of 30p asses for 217 yards as he cracked the 3,000 mark in yardage this season.
Besana was 10-of-17 for 197 yards and was sacked six times for 52 yards in losses.
The game was the Outlaws' home finale this season but drew a crowd of only 10,591 at 70,021-seat Sun Devil Stadium with the temperature at 110 degrees at kickoff.
Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn