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Way Too Much Time Given to Montana : Pro football: He takes Chiefs 75 yards in final 1:29, his pass with eight seconds left good for 31-28 victory over Denver.

October 18, 1994|From Associated Press

DENVER — Even battered and bruised, Joe Montana is still the best.

Montana threw his third touchdown pass of the game, a five-yarder to Willie Davis with eight seconds left, lifting the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-28 victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

The touchdown, which ended the Chiefs' 11-game losing streak in Mile High Stadium, capped a wild finish that saw the teams exchange fumbles with less than three minutes left and Denver's John Elway run four yards for a touchdown, putting Denver ahead, 28-24, with 1:29 remaining.

Elway's scoring run, on a quarterback draw out of the shotgun formation, came one play after his apparent scoring pass to Cedric Tillman was nullified when the officials ruled Tillman had gone out of bounds before making the catch. Elway then scored even though the Broncos had only 10 men on the field.

But Montana, who was hobbled by sore ribs and a bruised hip this past week, completed seven of eight passes to drive the Chiefs (4-2) to the winning score. The last four plays on the 75-yard, nine-play drive were all completions--11 yards to Kimble Anders, 12 yards to Derrick Walker, 19 yards to Tracy Greene and, finally, the five-yarder to Davis.

Davis extended his arms and caught the ball at the goal line, headed toward the outside and slipped inside the end zone pylon as he reached the sideline.

"He made a great catch and made a real effort to get it in the end zone," Montana said.

It gave Montana and Coach Marty Schottenheimer their first victories at Mile High Stadium. Schottenheimer, the Chiefs' coach, was 0-7 going into the game. Montana now has won at every stadium in the NFL.

"We knew they'd concede a certain part of the field to us, so we could throw underneath. We did that and kept moving," Montana said of the winning drive.

Montana completed 34 of 54 passes for 393 yards with one interception. Elway was 18 of 29 for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Denver (1-5) lost its fourth consecutive home game dating to last season and opened the season with three consecutive home losses for the first time in franchise history.

After a scoreless first quarter, each team scored two touchdowns in the second period for a 14-14 halftime tie.

Late in the first quarter, Denver defensive tackle Ted Washington tipped a Montana pass and teammate Dan Williams intercepted at the Kansas City 21-yard line. Three plays later, Leonard Russell ran 12 yards off the left side for a 7-0 lead with 14:16 left in the half.

Ron Dickerson returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to the Denver 33, and although the Chiefs couldn't capitalize when Montana threw incomplete on fourth down, they got the ball at the Denver 45 after Denver was called for a holding penalty and Elway was sacked for an 8-yard loss by Neil Smith.

Anders ran for 14 yards on third and seven, and Marcus Allen capped the drive with a seven-yard run off the left side with 6:57 remaining. It was Allen's 116th career touchdown, tying him with John Riggins for fourth place on the NFL's all-time list. It also ended a Chief touchdown drought at nine quarters.

Denver countered three minutes later, however. Lin Elliott's kickoff sailed out of bounds, giving Denver possession at the 40. Elway went to Anthony Miller on a 19-yard pass, then found Miller on a 27-yard play for the touchdown.

The Chiefs then went 62 yards in nine plays. Anders caught a nine-yard pass on third and nine, and Montana then passed 26 yards to Davis and 19 yards to Walker before going to J.J. Birden on a six-yard pass to the rear of the end zone with 1:12 remaining.

The Chiefs squandered another scoring opportunity as the half ended. Elway was sacked for the fourth time, pushing the Broncos back to their seven-yard line, and Kansas City took possession after a punt at the Denver 41 with 50 seconds left.

Facing a third down at the Denver 27 with 17 seconds left and no timeouts, Montana completed an eight-yard pass to Walker in the middle of the field, but the Chiefs couldn't get lined up for a field goal before time expired.

The Chiefs took the second-half kickoff and went 76 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Montana completed six passes on the drive, including a four-yard scoring pass to tackle-eligible Joe Valerio that made the score 21-14.

Elway's second touchdown pass, a 20-yarder to tight end Jerry Evans, drew Denver into a 21-21 tie late in the period. Elway went to Miller for 18 yards to start the drive, and Glyn Milburn turned short passes into 14- and 13-yard gains.

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