Lions Win in Debut by Fontes : Murray’s Kicks Send Green Bay to a 19-9 Defeat

<i> From Associated Press </i>

New Coach Wayne Fontes gave the Detroit Lions some inspiration and Eddie Murray gave them a little kick.

Murray kicked four field goals Sunday and the Lions broke a three-game losing streak with a 19-9 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

“This may sound corny but before the game the players said they’d win it for me and they did,” said Fontes, who took over when Darryl Rogers was fired after last week’s loss to Tampa Bay.


“It’s just one game. I can’t get too excited but you know me--I’m excited. It’s like starting a new season. Now we have four more games to prove we’re not a bad football team.”

The Lions (3-9) took a 9-0 halftime lead on three field goals by Murray and clinched the victory with an 11-play, 52-yard drive capped by Scott Williams’ 1-yard touchdown run with 5:12 left.

Murray added a fourth field goal, a 26-yarder, with 3 minutes left after Bennie Blades recovered a Packer fumble with 4:49 remaining.

“They moved the ball on us--they got all the yards--but the bottom line is we kept them out of the end zone until the game was over,” said Fontes, who was the team’s defensive coordinator.

The Packers’ only touchdown came with 10 seconds left when Don Majkowski hit Aubrey Matthews with a 3-yard scoring pass.

Green Bay’s Dale Dawson, who missed a 36-yard field goal in the first half, kicked a 32-yard field goal with 10:57 left in the third quarter for the Packers’ first points but missed the extra point after Matthews’ touchdown.


Green Bay (2-10), which fell into sole possession of the NFC Central Division cellar, has scored only 22 points and 2 touchdowns in its last 4 games.

The Packers were penalized 13 times for 84 yards and lost 2 fumbles while losing their fifth straight game.

“If I had any answers or a magic wand or a way to invent a different outcome, I would,” frustrated Packers Coach Lindy Infante said.

Detroit, last in the league in total offense, rushed for 156 yards after averaging 72 through 11 games.

Majkowski hit 30 of 43 passes for 327 yards. Detroit’s Rusty Hilger was 10 of 20 for 119 yards.