Bears, NFL’s Last Unbeaten Team, Lose : Ex-Oiler Kempf Kicks Four Field Goals to Lead Saints to 19-17 Victory

<i> Associated Press </i>

Florian Kempf joined the New Orleans Saints just in time to kick the Chicago Bears from their perch as the last undefeated team in the National Football League.

Kempf, who hooked up with the Saints on Wednesday, kicked four field goals, including a 21-yarder with 4:30 left, to lead the Saints to a 19-17 victory Sunday.

“It blemished our record,” Chicago Coach Mike Ditka said. “We didn’t want the blemish but it’s there and now we have to pick up the pieces.”


Both teams had 2-1 records with non-union players.

Kempf was making his first appearance in a game since the 1985 exhibition season when he was with the Houston Oilers before being cut. He was cut by Houston again this year and also by the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It was an extra point,” said Kempf of the short, game-winning kick. “But it was a special extra point.”

Kempf hopes to catch on with another club after Sunday’s performance that also included field goals of 48, 31 and 42 yards.

It won’t be with the Saints, who have Morton Andersen returning now that the strike is over.

New Orleans’ only other score came on a 14-yard touchdown pass from John Fourcade to Eric Martin in the second quarter.

“I’m proud of the job these players have done in three games for us,” Coach Jim Mora said. “I’m happy to see the strike is over but these replacement players did a heck of a job.”


The Saints also had 11 regular players on their roster Sunday, while the Bears had none.

“They had better people and we were limited in what we could do,” said Ditka, who had a number of players injured, including running back Anthony Mosely and quarterback Mike Hohensee.

Hohensee, who led the non-union Bears to a pair of victories, opted not to play because of a knee injury.

“I hurt it in the last game and it hurt all week,” Hohensee said. “I told them if they needed me as a last resort, I would play.”

Ditka didn’t seem too happy about the situation and said, “He opted not to play.”

But Ditka added, “In all honesty, we didn’t deserve to win. They moved the ball and we didn’t.”

The Bears scored all their points on a series of breaks in the first half.

“We heard before the game Hohensee wasn’t going to play so we keyed on shutting down their running game,” Mora said.

The Bears netted only 133 yards, 67 rushing.

The loss dropped the Bears to 4-1, while New Orleans went to 3-2.

There were no Bear regulars seen in or around the stadium for the game, which drew a crowd of 46,813, up from last week’s 32,113.


The Bears scored 10 points in 17 seconds in the first quarter, capitalizing on two Saints’ errors.

Jon Norris intercepted a pass by Fourcade and returned it 15 yards to the Saint nine. But the Bears had to settle for Tim Lashar’s 22-yard field goal.

New Orleans’ Mike Adams fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Egypt Allen recovered for Chicago on the New Orleans eight. Steve Bradley, filling in for Hohensee, passed to Chris Brewer for a touchdown on the next play for the 10-0 lead.

Kempf kicked a 48-yard field goal early in the second quarter, but the Bears came back with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bradley to Glen Kozlowski to go ahead, 17-3.

The Saints cut the lead to 17-10 on Fourcade’s touchdown pass to Martin with 42 seconds left in the half.