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USFL Roundup : Gunslingers Sneak Past Express for 31-27 Win

<i> From Times Wire Serives </i>

A one-yard quarterback sneak by San Antonio’s Rick Neuheisel with 15 seconds remaining gave the Gunslingers the winning touchdown in a 31-27 United States Football League victory over the Los Angeles Express Sunday at San Antonio.

The win moved San Antonio, which had lost eight straight, out of the Western Conference cellar with a 4-12 record. The Express, which has lost six straight, is now 3-13.

The Gunslinger victory avenges a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Express on March 16.

Neuheisel’s plunge capped an 8-play, 70-yard drive that took less than two minutes. The former UCLA quarterback hit 4 of 5 passes for 52 yards during the drive. Two of the completions were to Donny Roberts, good for 19 and 7 yards. Roberts’ second reception set up Neuheisel’s score.

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San Antonio’s smallest crowd of the season, 4,963, saw the Gunslingers blow a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Express scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to take a 27-24 lead.

Running back Kirby Warren scored the Express’ go-ahead touchdown on a seven-yard run after San Antonio’s fourth turnover of the game. Then quarterback Steve Young completed a conversion pass to halfback Kenny O’Neal.

Moments earlier, Young had connected on a 66-yard scoring pass play with Kris Haines. It was the Express’ longest play of the season.

The Gunslingers scored on their first two possessions and held the Express scoreless until the second quarter.

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Running back Scott Stemper ran four yards to end a five-play, 80-yard drive, and Nick Mike-Mayer kicked the extra point to give San Antonio an early 7-0 lead. It was 10-0 after an 18-yard field goal by Mike-Mayer.

After the Express’ Tony Zendejas kicked a 36-yard field goal, following a San Antonio turnover, the Gunslingers took a 17-6 halftime lead when Charles Armstead blocked a Jeff Partridge punt and Reggie Oliver recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

Denver 16, Houston 13--Jim Asmus, atoning for two earlier missed field-goal attempts, kicked an 18-yarder with one second remaining at Denver as the Gold (11-5) clinched a playoff spot. The Gamblers are 9-7 and still clinging to their playoff hopes.

Only 12,553 fans attended the game, which may be the last home game for the Gold in Mile High Stadium. Because of season-long poor attendance, owner Doug Spedding is giving serious consideration to moving the franchise.

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The nationally televised game was delayed 19 minutes in the second quarter by lightning and heavy rain. Officials decided it was too dangerous to continue playing, and the teams were sent into the locker rooms.


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