Quarterback Mike Kelley ran for two first-half touchdowns and Alan Duncan added a 27-yard field goal Sunday as the Memphis Showboats upset the Houston Gamblers, 17-15, in front of 27,235 fans at Memphis, Tenn.
It was the third straight week that the Showboats (7-5) knocked off a conference leader, all behind Kelley, who has replaced Walter Lewis at quarterback.
The Gamblers (8-4), who fell to second place in the Western Division behind Oakland (8-3-1), were threatening as time ran out.
Jim Kelly, the USFL's leading passer, moved Houston from its 17 to the Memphis 30 in less than two minutes, but had two passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage. Kelly's final pass was completed to running back Todd Fowler for only four yards as time expired.
Kelly completed 34-of-51 passes for 295 yards, slightly below his 313-yard average.
Kelley completed 12-of-20 passes for 174 yards, while the Showboats' running game added 132 yards against the Houston defense.
The Showboats led, 14-6, at halftime on Kelley's scoring runs of four and three yards.
Houston was stopped three times deep in Memphis territory, settling for field goals of 32 and 42 yards by Toni Fritsch, and fumbling the ball away at the two-yard line.
Duncan and Fritsch traded field goals in the second half and Houston scored its only touchdown on Kelly's 43-yard bomb to Ricky Sanders. The two-point conversion try failed when Richard Johnson dropped Kelly's pass in the corner of the end zone.
New Jersey 10, Baltimore 3--Quarterback Doug Flutie ran five yards for a touchdown with 1:39 left to lift the Generals to a victory over the Stars in front of a crowd of 34,446 at East Rutherford, N.J.
The Generals (8-4) drove 81 yards in seven plays for the winning score, getting close when Flutie connected with tight end Sam Bowers on a 46-yard play to the Stars' 30.
Herschel Walker ran for more than 100 yards for the sixth straight week, gaining 118 yards on 29 carries. New Jersey (8-4) has won five of the six games in which Walker has reached 100. The USFL's leading rusher has 1,461 yards in 12 games.
The Stars (5-6-1), defending league champions, took a 3-0 lead on David Trout's 42-yard field goal in the second quarter and the Generals drew even on Roger Ruzek's 19-yarder midway through the final quarter.
Flutie completed just 8-of-22 passes for 121 yards and was intercepted once. Baltimore's Chuck Fusina completed 10 of 25 for 99 yards and 3 interceptions, the last by linebacker John Miller with 19 seconds left.
Tampa Bay 21, Jacksonville 10--Running back Gary Anderson ran for one touchdown and passed for another as the Bandits broke the Bulls' four-game winning streak in front of 58,928 fans at Jacksonville, Fla.
Anderson scored on a five-yard sweep around the left side midway through the first quarter and passed to tight end Marvin Harvey for another score on a fourth-and-one play from the eight in the second quarter.
Anderson ran 13 times for 55 yards and caught 5 passes for 69 yards.
The Bandits (9-3) scored again early in the second half after recovering a fumble by Bull quarterback Ed Luther on the Jacksonville 18. Two plays later, Reaves hit Larry Brodsky on a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Mike Rozier scored for the Bulls (6-6) on a nine-yard run with 2:05 left in the first half and Brian Franco added a 25-yard field goal.
Denver 42, Arizona 28--Mike McKibben scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 45-yard interception return and quarterback Vince Evans passed for three scores as the Gold beat the Outlaws before 5,731--smallest crowd in team history--at Tempe, Ariz.
After McKibben took Doug Williams' errant pass for a touchdown to break a 28-28 tie with 8:40 left, the Gold put the game away with 4:50 left when Bill Johnson dove over from the one-yard line to cap an 85-yard drive. Johnson had a 56-yard run in the drive.