Steelers Have It at Finish : Pro football: Raiders unable to hold onto leads and Pittsburgh rallies for a 29-17 victory.
Neil O’Donnell and Mike Tomczak each directed two scoring drives and the Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded from deficits in each half to beat the Raiders, 29-17, on Saturday night.
Victor Jones, Pittsburgh’s fourth-team fullback, scored on two 1-yard runs in the fourth quarter to prevent the Raiders from opening an exhibition season 3-0 for the first time in 11 years.
Each team lost players to ejections--NFL defensive player of the year Rod Woodson for Pittsburgh and Jerry Ball for the Raiders--and Steelers linebacker Rico Mack suffered a possible season-ending fractured ankle.
Jeff Hostetler and Vince Evans threw touchdown passes to Darryl Hobbs in the first half for Los Angeles (2-1), but Pittsburgh (1-1) rallied with mostly reserves on the field.
Hobbs, sometimes overlooked among a receiving corps that includes Rocket Ismail, Tim Brown and James Jett, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hostetler and a 12-yarder from Evans.
Hobbs has three touchdowns among his nine receptions for 160 yards as the receivers have accounted for seven of the Raiders’ eight touchdowns.
Jeff Jaeger’s 27-yard field goal midway through the third period put the Raiders up 17-14 in their first exhibition ever in Pittsburgh, but they bogged down after that with Billy Joe Hobert at quarterback.
Tomczak, who has little competition for the Steelers’ backup job, hit Corey Holliday for 19 yards ahead of three Chuckie Dukes runs for 19 yards before Jones made it 21-17 with 12:14 remaining.
Holliday then partially blocked Jeff Gossett’s punt, giving the Steelers excellent field position at their own 49. Tomczak needed eight plays to get into the end zone, finding Andre Hastings for 15 yards on a third-and-10 before scrambling for 28 yards to the 1 on a broken third-and-14 play.
After Jones’ TD with 6:34 remaining, Randy Cuthbert ran into the end zone on the first 2-point conversion attempted by Pittsburgh.
Hostetler, again playing only the first period, was 4 of 9 for 45 yards and a touchdown. Evans was 8-for-11 for 100 yards and a TD. O’Donnell, playing the entire first half, was 11 of 17 for 94 yards and a 3-yard TD to Tim Jorden. Tomczak was 7 of 15 for 83 yards.
Dwight Stone scored Pittsburgh’s first touchdown on an 18-yard reverse with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter, making it 7-7.