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Arizona 20 at Oakland 34


1983 Week 9 - Monday, May 2, 1983
Arizona Wranglers(4-4) at Oakland Invaders(3-5)(-2.5)
Attendance: 27,460, TV: ESPN

OAKLAND(UPI) - John Ralston was apologetic for running up the score but Doug Shively wasn't any part of it.

Ahead, 27-20, and the clock running down to the final seconds Monday night, Oakland Invaders' quarterback Fred Besana dived 3 years for a touchdown and an eventual 34-20 victory over Shively's Arizona Wranglers.

Ralston, the Invaders' head coach and general manager, said he never would have allowed his team to score again with the game safely tucked away, but he was forced to because of the United States Football League's tie-breaker rule.

"It's not a rule I like," said Ralston. "In fact, I voted against putting it in, and now it is a part of the rules. I had no other choice."

The rule Ralston was referring to was put in to break season-ending ties, but Shively didn't like having his team's nose ground into the dirt.

"He'll have to live with it," Shively snapped when asked about the last Oakand touchdown. "This isn't the first time he has done that."

Oakland's victory Monday night was the fourth against five losses. "That's the same record as the other three members of the Pacific Division - Arizona, Los Angeles, and Denver. The Invaders have scored the most points of the four (167) and allowed the fewest (140).

"If we are all tied after nine games," said Ralston in his own defense. "who's to say we wouldn't be tied after 18?"

Alan Risher, Arizona's rookie quarterback from Louisiana State, put another fine passing show - completing 26 of 45 passes for 337 yards and two touchdowns. But it wasn't enough. Fred Besana completed 18 of 30 for 218 yards and two TD's for the Invaders.

Arthur Whittington added a touchdown on a 6-yard run and Kevin Shea booted field goals of 42 and 35 yards before Besana went over from 3 yards out with 27 seconds remaining to account for the Invaders' points. Besana's touchdown throws covered 30 yards to Gordan Banks and 42 yards to Raymond Chester,

The Invaders jumped to a 17-0 lead before Rusher got the Wranglers untracked. He threw 24 yards to Mark Keel for Arizona's first touchdown and 13 yards to Calvin Murray for the second. Jim Asmus added field goals of 36 and 43 yards.

The victory was costly for the Invaders. Center Roger Levasa injured a knee in the third quarter and Ralston said he feared Levasa may be finished for the season.

And, "you just don't go out and replace a man like Roger," he said.

Highlights




	1	2	3	4	F
AZ	0      14	6	0   -   20
OAK    17       7	0      10   -   34

Scoring

OAK:Banks 30 yd pass from Besana (Shea kick) - OAK 7, ARI 0

OAK:Shea 42 yd field goal - OAK 10, ARI 0

OAK:Whittington 6 yd run (Shea kick) - OAK 17, ARI 0

AZ: Keel 24 yd pass from Risher (Asmus kick) - OAK 17, ARI 7

OAK:Chester 42 yd pass from Besana (Shea kick) - OAK 24, ARI 7

AZ: Murray 13 yd pass from Risher (Asmus kick) - OAK 24, ARI 14

AZ: Asmus 36 yd field goal - OAK 24, ARI 17

AZ: Asmus 43 yd field goal - OAK 24, ARI 20

OAK:Shea 35 yd field goal - OAK 27, ARI 20

OAK:Besana 3 yd run (Shea kick) - OAK 34, ARI 20

Box Score

                             ARI            OAK
First Downs                   25             14
Rushes-Yards              34-122         28-130
Passing (A-C-Y-I)    45-26-337-1    30-18-218-0
Sacked-Yards Lost            1-3            1-4
Total Plays-Yards         80-456         59-344
Fumbles-Lost                 1-1            4-2
Penalties-Yards             9-87           7-50
Turnovers                      2              2
Time of Possession         34:10          25:50

Attendance = 27,460

ARIZONA					     OAKLAND
Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate          Passing     Att Cmp Yds In Td  Rate
Risher       45  26 337  1  2  87.0          Besana       30  18 218  0  2 104.6
 
Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD                  Rushing     Att Yds  Ave TD
Murray       22  76  3.4  0                  Aldridge      6  72 12.0  0
Banks         6  25  4.2  0                  Whittington  16  55  3.4  1
Risher        5  14  2.8  0                  Jackson       2   2  1.0  0
Bledsoe       1   7  7.0  0                  Besana        4   1  0.3  1  
  
Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD                  Receiving   Rec Yds  Ave TD
Keel          8 117 14.6  1                  Banks         7  85 17.7  1
Murray        7  71 10.1  1                  Chester       2  54 27.0  1
Flowers       3  63 21.0  0                  Henderson     2  27 13.5  0
Balholm       6  61 10.2  0                  Whittington   2  25 12.5  0
MaGee         1  18 18.0  0                  Aldridge      3  23  7.7  0
Banks         1   7  7.0  0                  Penaranda     2   4  2.0  0
  
Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Kick Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
Wilson          2  33 16.5  0                James           3  60 20.0  0
Blue            2  28 14.0  0                Jackson         2  36 18.0  0
MaGee           1  15 15.0  0                
 
Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD                Punt Returns   No Yds  Ave TD
Ryckman         3  25  8.3  0                Banks           1   0  0.0  0
  
Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts            Kicking          Fg  Lg   Xp  Pts
Asmus           2-4  43  2-2    8            Shea            2-2  42  4-4   10
                miss: 35, 46                                 miss: none

Punting        No Yds  Ave                   Punting        No Yds  Ave
Asmus           4 116 29.0                   Talley          6 276 46.0

Sacks          Sk Yds                        Sacks          Sk Yds
Fisher          1   4                        Greene          1   3
  
Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD                Interceptions  No Yds  Ave TD
None                                         Plummer         1   0  0.0  0

Archived news report
Archived news report
Archived news report

Supplemental information courtesy of Chris Blackburn


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