PRO FOOTBALL—Rookie Running Back Jerry Eckwood rambled for a club-record 121 yards and Quarterback Doug Williams threw two touchdown passes as Tampa Bay opened its NFL season with a 31-16 victory over crippled Detroit. The Buccaneers also established a single-game club record for rushing yardage with 229. The Lions, whose starting Quarterback Gary Danielson was knocked out of the lineup indefinitely by a knee injury suffered in Detroit's preseason finale, then lost backup Quarterback Joe Reed with a pulled groin muscle in the third quarter against Tampa Bay. In Washington, Earl Campbell plunged over from three yards out with 1:57 remaining as Houston came from behind to beat the Redskins 29-27. Campbell, who earlier had scored on a 13-yard run, rushed for 166 yards on 32 carries. Larry Csonka bulled for 87 yards, including the winning touchdown with 6:29 left, as Miami edged Buffalo 9-7. In Philadelphia, Ron Jaworski's two touchdown passes to 6'8" Harold Carmichael, and barefooted rookie Kicker Tony Franklin's first NFL field goal highlighted the Eagles' 23-point second quarter; they hung on to beat the Giants 23-17. Tommy Kramer threw four second-half touchdown passes to Ahmad Rashad to rally Minnesota to a 28-22 victory over San Francisco. In New Orleans, reserve Running Back James Mayberry intercepted a desperation pass from Punter Russell Erxleben and raced six yards for a TD at 8:22 in overtime to lead the Falcons to a 40-34 win over the Saints. Dallas won its 15th straight season-opening game, a 22-21 thriller over St. Louis on Rafael Septien's 27-yard field goal with 1:16 left. In Chicago, Bob Thomas kicked a pair of field goals and Walter Payton rushed for 125 yards as the Bears defeated Green Bay 6-3. Cleveland's Don Cockroft kicked a 35-yard field goal with four seconds left in regulation time and then booted a 27-yarder at 14:45 in sudden death to give the Browns a 25-22 win over the Jets. Norris Weese's six-yard touchdown pass to Dave Preston and Jim Turner's 37-yard field goal paced the Broncos to a 10-0 victory over Cincinnati. In Los Angeles, Ken Stabler rallied Oakland from a 14-0 deficit with a pair of scoring passes to Raymond Chester and another to Derrick Ramsey as the Raiders beat the Rams 24-17. San Diego spoiled Seattle's home opener by trouncing the Sea-hawks 33-16. Clarence Williams rushed for two touchdowns, Rolf Benirschke kicked four field goals, and Dan Fouts passed for 224 yards. In Kansas City, Ted McKnight ran for two touchdowns as the Chiefs beat Baltimore 14-0 (page 20).
GOLF—MARK O'MEARA of St. Charles, Ill. defeated defending champion John Cook of Dublin, Ohio 8 and 7 in the final match to win the U.S. Amateur championship in Cleveland (page 84).
Howard Twitty shot a final-round, four-under-par 67 to win the $275,000 B.C. Open in Endicott, N.Y. by a stroke over Tom Purtzer. Twitty's 72-hole score was 270,14 under par.
HARNESS RACING—LEGEND HANOVER ($7.80), driven by George Sholty, won the second leg of trotting's Triple Crown, the 54th Hambletonian in Du Quoin, Ill., in straight heats. The 3-year-old's times for his two trips over the one-mile course were 1:57 and 1:56[1/5] (page 24).
September 9, 1979
HORSE RACING—BOWL GAME ($3.40), Jorge Velasquez up, scored a 4½-length victory over Young Bob in the $132,100 Arlington Handicap. The 5-year-old was timed in 2:32[1/5] for the mile and a half.
MOTOR SPORTS—KENNY ROBERTS of Modesto, Calif. picked up 10 points to clinch his second consecutive world 500-cc motorcycle championship by driving his Yamaha to third place in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. BARRY SHEENE of Britain won the race on a Suzuki.
Bobby Unser averaged 145.795 mph in a Penske RC7 to win the CART-sanctioned $294,000 California 500 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway for the third time.
SOCCER—NASL: John Grnja scored a goal at 3:31 of the decisive mini-game to lead Tampa Bay to a 1-0 victory over San Diego and a 2-1 victory in their American Conference semifinal playoff. The Rowdies had tied the series and forced the 30-minute mini-game earlier in the evening with a 3-2 victory over the Sockers. Jan VanDerVeen had the game-winning goal on the first attempt of a shoot-out. San Diego defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 in the opening match of the series, on Leonardo Cuellar's goal with 1:10 remaining to play. Tampa Bay will face National Conference champion Vancouver in this week's Soccer Bowl. The Whitecaps advanced to the title game by upsetting the defending two-time champion Cosmos two games to one in then-semifinal series (page 28).
ASL: California and Sacramento tied 0-0 in the first game of their two-game Western Conference semifinal playoff series.
TENNIS—Seven of the top eight seeds in both the men's and women's divisions advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open championships in Flushing, N.Y. The exceptions were eighth-seeded Victor Pecci, who lost 6-3 6-2, 6-0 in the third round to Johan Kriek, and seventh-seeded Wendy Turnbull, who was also defeated in the third round, 7-5, 6-2 by Kathy May Teacher. Other male seeds to fall were No. 12 Wojtek Fibak, No. 15 Adriano Panatta and No. 16 John Alexander. Other seeded women players who lost were No. 13 Sue Barker, No. 14 Pam Shriver, No. 15 Ann Kiyomura and No. 16 Betty Stove.
TRACK & FIELD—With injured world-record holder Sebastian Coe of England watching from the stands, countryman STEVE OVETT ran a 3:49.6 mile, the third fastest ever, in an international meet in London. Ovett's time was .6 of a second off the mark set by Coe six weeks ago in Oslo.
VOLLEYBALL—IVA: The Tucson Sky won the league title by upsetting defending champion Santa Barbara on the road. After the Spikers had defeated Tucson in four games to even the series at a match apiece, Tucson jumped to a 6-0 lead in an extra tie-breaking game and coasted to a 12-5 victory.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: DANNY OZARK, 55, as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. During seven seasons, Ozark guided the Phillies to a 594-510 record and three National League Eastern Division championships, in 1976, '77 and '78. DALLAS GREEN, 45, the director of Philadelphia's minor league system, was named interim manager.
RETIRED: JIM OTIS, 31, St. Louis Cardinal running back who was the team's alltime leading rusher. An All-America at Ohio State in 1969, Otis gained 4,350 yards and scored 19 touchdowns in a nine-year pro career that included two seasons with Kansas City. He holds Cardinal records for rushing attempts (1,011), yardage (3,863) and 100-yard games (nine).
DIED: AARON ROSENBERG, 67, an All-America guard at USC in 1932 and '33 and member of the '32 national championship team coached by Howard Jones; of a stroke; in Torrance, Calif.