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Redskins Rally, Beat Vikings in Overtime, 44-38 : Schroeder's Touchdown Pass to Clark Spoils Kramer's 490-Yard Performance

November 03, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Washington receiver Gary Clark was in pain, but it would have hurt him more Sunday to watch the Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings without him.

Limping gamely, Clark returned to the lineup and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jay Schroeder 1:46 into overtime to give the Redskins a 44-38 victory.

Clark's catch ruined an exceptional performance by Minnesota quarterback Tommy Kramer, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 4 touchdowns and a team-record 490 yards.

On the fourth play of overtime, Clark caught the ball on the left sideline at the 30, spun out of the grasp of defensive back Carl Lee and went into the end zone untouched.

Washington trailed, 38-26, with seven minutes left but rallied to tie the score with 63 seconds remaining. Clark had been yanked due to a strained hamstring muscle, but asked Coach Joe Gibbs to put him back in.

"Once I saw the emotional peak we were hitting I just had to come back," Clark said. "I just felt the tempo rising and had to be part of it."

Gibbs was prepared to go into overtime without Clark. "I kind of crossed him (Clark) off, but he came back and said he felt good," Gibbs said.

The Redskins (7-2) sent the game into overtime on George Rogers' third touchdown of the game, a two-yard run that followed a 44-yard completion from Schroeder to Clint Didier, which was disputed by the Vikings.

Kicker Max Zendejas had a chance to put Washington ahead, but missed his third conversion of the game.

Three of Kramer's touchdown passes came in the second half, including two after Washington had taken a 26-24 lead late in the third quarter.

Kramer was irate over the officiating, particularly with a replay call in which an apparent fourth-quarter interception by Lee was canceled when it was ruled he dropped the ball.

"The whole deal was suspect," Kramer said. "We feel we got cheated, but I'm sure Washington doesn't."

The television replay appeared to show Lee dropping the ball.

"It's a tough loss to take," said Vikings' Coach Jerry Burns. "I thought we had it with five minutes to go and a 12-point lead."

Referring to Didier's catch, Burns said: "I couldn't see a thing, but they say he catches the ball."

Replay official Nick Skorich said Didier was credited with the catch when no camera angle proved conclusively whether he caught the ball or not.

Trailing, 38-26, the Redskins cut the margin to 38-32 on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Art Monk, then sent the game into overtime on a 46-yard drive that took only 57 seconds.

Schroeder completed 24 of 47 passes for 378 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the game-winning drive in overtime, he connected with Didier for six yards and then hit Monk for a 13-yard gain. After Kelvin Bryant ran for six yards, Schroeder hooked up with Clark to enable the Redskins to remain in a tie with the New York Giants atop the NFC East.

Minnesota (5-4) has lost two straight after posting consecutive victories over San Francisco and Chicago, the last two Super Bowl champions.

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