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PRO FOOTBALL : Colts Come Out Kicking, Beat Browns, 9-7 : 3 Field Goals Do It; Dickerson Is Held to Less Than 100 Yards

December 07, 1987| From Times Wire Services

CLEVELAND — Kicker Dean Biasucci refused to be bothered by the atrocious condition of the Cleveland Stadium turf.

"It was definitely the worst field conditions out there; It was slippery," Biasucci said Sunday after he kicked three second-quarter field goals to give the Indianapolis Colts a 9-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns before a crowd of 70,661.

It was the Colts' first win at Cleveland Stadium in 25 years.

The stadium grass has been in sorry shape since an attempt to re-sod the field for Cleveland Indians' games in August failed to take hold. Three fall rock concerts aggravated the problem.

With the victory, Indianapolis (7-5) remained atop the AFC East and ended a six-game losing streak against the Browns. Cleveland (7-5) fell into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC Central with Houston and Pittsburgh.

The Colts forced Earnest Byner to fumble deep in their own territory early in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.

Byner said he was pushed backward before the ball was knocked loose, but he agreed it was properly ruled a fumble.

"Before the play, I thought about how I wanted to put two hands on the ball, and I did," Byner said. "But the guy knocked it out anyway. I let the guys down. I'm hurting. I just have to go home and try to forget about it."

Biasucci, who has made 20 of 23 field-goal tries this season, connected from 33, 37 and 41 yards on consecutive Indianapolis possessions in the second quarter, the last kick coming with nine seconds left in the half.

The Colts played without starting quarterback Gary Hogeboom, out with a dislocated shoulder, but backup Jack Trudeau completed 20 of 34 passes for 192 yards without an interception.

Indianapolis' Eric Dickerson ran 27 times for 98 yards, snapping his string of consecutive 100-yard games at four.

Cleveland, which did not get beyond the Colts' 44-yard line in the first half, blew its first scoring opportunity in the third quarter when Jeff Jaeger's 38-yard field-goal attempt was wide left.

The Browns scored their first offensive touchdown in four quarters when Bernie Kosar hit Brian Brennan with a 19-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone with 3:38 to go in the third period.

Cleveland threatened again early in the fourth quarter, but on first-and-goal from the Indianapolis five, Byner lost the ball as he was hit crossing the line of scrimmage, and the Colts' Mike Prior recovered at the Indianapolis four with just under 12 minutes to go.

The Browns did not threaten again.

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