Order the new book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
New Jersey 34 at Denver 291983 Week 9 - Sunday, May 1, 1983
Attendance: 47,940, TV: ABC
DENVER(UPI) - The logical choice to become the USFL's first ever 1,000-yard rusher did just that Sunday. Herschel Walker gained 172 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown burst in the third quarter, to lead the New Jersey Generals to a 34-29 victory over the Denver Gold.
He thus became the first USFL back to pass the 1,000 yard mark, amassing 1,023 yards in 221 carries so far this season.
New Jersey is 3-6, five games behind Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. Denver is 4-5, tied with Los Angeles one-half game behind Arizona in the Pacific Division.
A 49-yard pass from Bobby Scott to Sam Bowers set up a New Jersey score as the Generals took their first lead in the third quarter. Maurice Carthon plunged over from a yard out and then caught Scott's 2-point conversion pass to make it 21-15. Denver had driven into New Jersey territory before Larry Canada lost eight yards and fumbled, where Eric Johnson returned it 43 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-15.
A New Jersey roughing-the-passer penalty after a crucial third-and-eight pass fell incomplete kept a Gold drive alive. Two plays later,Canada swept around right end for an 11-yard touchdown run. Brian Speelman's kick brought Denver to within five points.
However, Denver's hope for a come-from-behind victory was dashed after the kickoff when Walker burst over left tacklefor his 80-yard jaunt.
Gold quarterback Ken Johnson sneaked in from the 1-yard line with 4:07 left to cap a 65-yard drive and Speelman's kick brought Denver back to 34-29, but New Jersey held the ball until the final gun.
After forcing New Jersey to punt on its first possession, Denver drove 60 yards in 16 plays. Harry Sydney carried the ball 11 times in the drive and scored on a 1-yard plunge.
New Jersey tied the game with 5:26 left in the second quarter when Carthon capped a 76-yard drive by blasting over from a yard out.
On Denver's next possession, Steve Gortz faked a punt and passed instead to Glenn Ford, who threaded his way through several New Jersey defenders to score on the 75-yard touchdown play. A fake extra point attempt added two more points, as holder Jeff Knappie threw to Canada in the end zone.
With no time left in the half, New Jersey scored on a 2-yard pass from Scott to Tom McConnaughey. The 2-point conversion pass failed and Denver led at the half 15-13.
May 1, 1983 New Jersey Generals - 34 Denver Gold - 29 at Mile High Stadium 47,940 New Jersey 0 13 14 7 -- 34 Denver 7 8 0 14 -- 29 1st Quarter DEN - Sydney 1 run (Speelman kick) 2nd Quarter NJ - Carthon 2 run (Jacobs kick) DEN - Ford 75 pass from Gortz (Canada pass from Knapple) NJ - McConnaughey 2 pass from Scott (pass failed) 3rd Quarter NJ - Carthon 1 run (Carthon pass from Scott) NJ - Johnson 43 fumble recovery (pass failed) 4th Quarter DEN - Canada 11 run (Speelman kick) NJ - Walker 80 run (Jacobs kick) NJ - Johnson 1 run (Speelman kick) TEAM STATS: NEW JERSEY DENVER First Downs 25 20 Rushes-yards 41-209 34-117 Passing yards 282 213 Return yards 65 26 Passes 21-29-0 14-27-0 Sacks by 0-0 1-11 Punts 3-34 5-40 Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1 Penalties-yards 9-82 7-87 Time of possession 31:47 28:13 INDIVIDUAL STATS: RUSHING = New Jersey: Walker 29-172, Carthon 11-37, Scott 1-0. Denver: Sydney 14-55, Canada 8-31, Johnson 4-14, Miller 5-12, Matthews 3-5. PASSING = New Jersey: Scott 21-29-0-293. Denver: Johnson 13-26-0-138, Gortz 1-1-0-75. RECEIVING = New Jersey: Bowers 7-138, Walker 6-55, McConnaughey 4-56, Slawson 1-17, Brodsky 1-13, Hicks 1-9, Carthon 1-5. Denver: James 2-29, Phea 2-26, Niziolek 2-25, Matthews 2-23, Miller 2-20, Canada 2-11, Ford 1-75, Maher 1-4. MISSED FIELD GOALS = New Jersey: Jacobs 25, 22.