Redskins Hold On for 16-13 Win Over the Oilers

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Tony Zendejas had his chance Sunday to show up the Washington Redskins, the team that traded him to the Houston Oilers this summer.

Twice in the fourth quarter, he lined up for game-tying field-goal attempts. And twice he failed.

A 33-yard try hit the right upright and bounced wide with 4:13 left.

Zendejas’ miss enabled the Redskins to hold on for a 16-13 victory before 53,553 at RFK Stadium.

“I hit it straight,” Zendejas said, “it just didn’t break in.”


The Redskins unceremoniously traded the former United States Football League kicker to Houston during the final week of the exhibition season after paying him a $150,000 bonus to compete with Mark Moseley.

Penalties also contributed to the Oilers’ undoing Sunday. They were penalized 12 times for 111 yards, two touchdowns were called back and a 51-yard pass play that would have given them a first down at the Washington nine-yard line was nullified.

“We had five big plays called back. That always hurts you, especially on the road,” said Houston quarterback Warren Moon, who completed 12 of 28 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown.

The Redskins, thrashed, 44-14, Monday night at Dallas, used the power running of John Riggins and George Rogers to beat the Oilers.

Riggins, who became only the third player in NFL history to carry the ball 3,000 times (rushing and receiving) in a career, carried 16 times for 84 yards.

Rogers, playing his first regular-season game in Washington since being obtained in a trade with New Orleans this spring, rushed 15 times for 78 yards and scored on a 31-yard run.

The Redskins broke on top early, scoring on their first three possessions.

Quarterback Joe Theismann, coming off the worst outing of his career, was 15 of 22 for 138 yards Sunday, and his 17-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Muhammad gave Washington a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game.

Although Moseley’s point-after attempt following Rogers’ touchdown was blocked, it seemed insignificant after Washington drove 60 yards on its next possession to set up a 34-yard field goal by Moseley that gave the Redskins a 16-0 lead with 8:32 remaining in the half.

But, despite dominating play for much of the first half, the Redskins led by just 16-10 at intermission as the Oilers came back with a 44-yard field goal by Zendejas and a two-yard touchdown pass from Moon to Drew Hill. Zendejas added a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter.

Theismann was sacked five times by the Oilers--three times by free safety Rod Kush.

“They had not come to the line of scrimmage with a blitz at all this year,” Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said. “They had always kept a weak safety on the field and we had kind of made all our plans for that.”

The Redskins improved to 1-1. They are victorious in 15 of their last 16 regular-season home games and extended their home winning streak to eight games. The Oilers, winners over Miami last week, fell to 1-1.