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Portland Breaks a Six-Game Losing Streak With Help of Instant-Replay Appeals, 17-14

May 26, 1985|United Press International

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tim Mazzetti kicked a 44-yard field goal as time ran out Saturday night, lifting the Portland Breakers to a 17-14 victory over the Memphis Showboats.

Three plays after Portland tied the score at 14-14, Joe Restic intercepted a Mike Kelley pass and returned it 32 yards to set up the winning field goal.

Portland improved to 4-10, while Memphis fell to 8-6.

The Breakers capitalized on six pass interceptions and two successful television instant replays in breaking their six-game losing streak. Portland officials believed it is the first time in the United States Football League history that a club had been successful twice within a game on the instant-replay appeals.

The Breakers' defense set a USFL record for interception return yardage in gaining 121 yards from the six interceptions off Kelley, who had been intercepted just five times going into the game.

A 67-yard punt-return touchdown in the fourth quarter by Memphis defensive back Henry Williams was recalled when the TV replay, a rule invoked by the USFL this season to settle controversial plays, showed he stepped out of bounds at midfield. Another appeal in the second quarter nullified a 26-yard first-down pass from Kelley to Greg Moser.

Kelley completed 22 of 40 passes for 242 yards.

For the second game in a row, Coach Dave Coury changed quarterbacks, sending in Matt Robinson to replace Kevin Starkey in the second half. Robinson completed 7 of 9 for 100 yards, while Starkey was 2 of 8 for 3 yards.

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