The Southern California Sun of the World Football League lasted almost two seasons, the L.A. Express of the U.S. Football League lasted all of three. If the Los Angeles Dragons of the newly christened Spring Football League have any hope of lasting even that long, they will have to improve on the sparse crowd of 1,100 that saw them lose, 16-13, to the Houston Marshals on Saturday at the Coliseum.
Houston's Kyle Bryant kicked three field goals, including the game-winner from 24 yards with 1 minute 39 seconds left in the game.
The Dragons had tied the score, 13-13, with 5:48 left on former UCLA kicker Chris Sailer's 48-yard field goal.
But Houston struck back immediately as Kerry Henderson took the ensuing kickoff 48 yards to the Dragons' 34-yard-line. Houston marched down to the Los Angeles 4 before Bryant kicked the game-winner.
The Dragons' comeback ended when quarterback Justin Vedder's errant pass was intercepted by Johnnie Dixon in Houston territory with 20 seconds remaining.
The Dragons struggled with their passing game in the second half as Vedder had trouble finding his receivers in the face of a fierce Houston pass rush.
Vedder threw for 139 yards in the game, but only 37 came in the second half.
"It's a matter of getting the timing down with the receivers, not to make any excuses but we've only been together for 10 days," Vedder said after the game. "We battled, and I felt we should have won the game."
Los Angeles moved the ball well and held a 10-3 lead on Saladin McCullough's one-yard touchdown run just before halftime.
That lead, however, proved to be short-lived as Houston scored on its first possession of the second half on a 57-yard dump pass from quarterback Randy McCown to Tyrone Ashley.
McCullough, a former standout at Pasadena's Muir High and Oregon, led all rushers with 111 yards in 22 carries.