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Chicago 29 at Arizona 30

1983 Week 2 - Saturday, March 12, 1983
Attendance: 28,434, TV: ESPN



TEMPE (AP) - George Allen and the Chicago Blitz were two-touchdown favorites when they invaded Arizona to start Week Two of the United States Football League season. Alan Risher and Jim Asmus threw that line out the window and hung the Blitz out to dry.

Allen's team was the only road team favored when the new league debuted a week ago and was a heavy favorite against the Wranglers, not only because of the Blitz' 28-7 opening-day victory in Washington (and Arizona's 24-0 first-game loss to Oakland) but because of Allen, who never had a losing season as a National Football League coach.

For three periods, Allen's team looked every bit as good as that line, building a 29-12 lead Saturday night on Greg Landry's three touchdown passes. Then Risher took command.

Arizona's rookie quarterback, who had thrown a 6-yard touchdown pass to Mike Smith in the third period, completed scoring strikes of 10 yards to Jackie Flowers (and the 2-point conversion to Mark Keel) and 9 yards to Neil Balholm.

That cut Chicago's lead to 29-27. And when Arizona's defense held(sacking Landry in the process), Risher guided the Wranglers into position for Jim Asmus' field goal, a 33-yarder with one second remaining that beat the Blitz 30-29.

That Asmus was still around was a bit of a surprise. After he missed two field goals in the loss to Oakland, the Wranglers paraded place-kickers through tryouts during the week.

"I said a little prayer that he'd make it, for all our sakes, " said Arizona's coach, Doug Shively. "But I also prayed for him to make it for his own sake...I gave up on us maybe two or three times in the final quarter. But the players kept patting me on the back and saying, 'Coach, we're going to come back."

A lot of the Wranglers' fans decided not to come back. A week ago, there were 45,167 of them in Sun Devil Stadium. This time there were 28,434.

SATURDAY, MARCH 12
Chicago  .......................... 7   3  13   6-- 29 
Arizona  .......................... 3   3   6  18-- 30 

SCORING 
Arizona--Field goal Asmus 22. 

Chicago--Willis 15 pass from Landry (Corral kick ). 

Chicago--Field goal Corral 25. 

Arizona--Field goal Asmus 35. 

Chicago--Ricker 12 pass from Landry (kick failed). 

Arizona--Smith 6 pass from Risher (kick blocked). 

Chicago--Long 1 run (Corral kick). 

Chicago--Ricker 15 pass from Landry (kick failed). 

Arizona--Flowers 10 pass from Risher (Keel pass from 
Risher ). 

Arizona--Balholm 9 pass from Risher (Asmus kick). 

Arizona--Field goal Asmus 33. 

TEAM STATISTICS 
                                          Chicago    Arizona 
First downs  ...........................     26          25 
Rushes-Yards  ..........................  26-90      34-151 
Passing yards  .........................    237         289 
Sacked- Yards lost  ....................   4-31         2-8 
Return yards  ..........................    138          62 
Passes  ................................  24-36.0     29-41-0 
Punts  .................................   3-32.3      2-39.0 
Fumb4es- Lost  .........................    2-1         4-1 
Penalties-Yards  .......................  10-63      20-130 
Time oI possession  ....................  26:57       33:03 
Attendance--28,434. 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 
Rushing--Chicago, Long 11-45, Spencer 14-40, 
Landry 1-5; Arizona, Howell 11-49, Risher 6-40, 
Bledsoe 10-36, Clark 6-19, Blue 1-7. 

Passing--Chicago, Landry 24-36-0--268; Arizona, 
Risher 28-40-0--269, Asmus 1-1-0--28. 

Receiving--Chicago, Buggs 7-96, Spencer 6-29, 
Ricker 5-65, Johnson 5-63, Willis 1-15: Arizona, Bal- 
holm 9-91, Keel 6-69, Bledsoe 4-47, Smith 3-25, 
Flowers 2-27, Clark 1-minus 2, Howell 3-12, Redd 1- 
28. 

Kickoff Returns--Chicago, Stone 4-75, Willis 1-12, 
Brown 1-13; Arizona, Murray 1-7, Blue 1-22, Ryck- 
man 1-2, Wilcox 2-24. 

Punt Returns--Chicago, Willis 2-38; Arizona, Jones 
1-O, Boone 1-7. 

Interceptions--None. 

Punting--Chicago, Corral 3-32.3; Arizona, Asmus 
2-39.0. 

Field Goals--Chicago, Corral 1-1; Arizona, Asmus 
3-4. 

Sacks--Chicago, Ehrmann 1 1/2-7 1/2, Lathtop 1/2-1/2; 
Arizona, Cattage 1-16, Nelson 2-8, Clark 1-7. 

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