PRO FOOTBALL—Los Angeles reached the Super Bowl for the first time ever last season, but the Rams are fizzling in Anaheim halfway through the 1980 preseason. New England Quarterback Matt Cavanaugh, the backup to starter Steve Grogan, tossed four touchdown passes to lead the Patriots to a 35-31 win over the Rams, who got four TD passes themselves from Vince Ferragamo, the backup to Pat Haden. Five nights later neither Ferragamo nor Haden was a match for Dallas Quarterback Danny White, who threw for two TDs and 204 yards in the Cowboys' 19-16 defeat of the Rams. Cliff Stoudt, Terry Bradshaw's backup in Pittsburgh, ran one yard on a quarterback keeper to score as the Steelers beat Atlanta 17-14. The Steel Curtain defense sacked Falcon Quarterback Steve Bartkowski three times. Philadelphia never trailed in an easy 28-13 win over the New York Jets as Linebacker Bill Bergey made his first appearance since he was sidelined three games into the 1979 season with a knee injury (page 18). Tampa Bay split two games, spoiling Kenny Stabler's debut as a Houston Oiler 21-7, then losing to St. Louis 21-14. Former BYU Quarterback Marc Wilson did better with Stabler's old team, Oakland, as he tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Terry Robiskie with nine seconds to play to give the Raiders a 31-29 win over New England. San Francisco, which had only two wins all last season, got touchdown passes from Steve DeBerg and Joe Montana and beat San Diego 17-14, its second exhibition win; San Diego now is 0-2-1. Baltimore running backs Joe Washington and Curtis Dickey combined for 145 yards rushing in leading the Colts to a 17-3 defeat of winless (0-2-1) Green Bay. In other games Detroit beat Buffalo 24-17; Cincinnati defeated Chicago 21-3; Houston clipped New Orleans 20-17; and the New York Giants edged Denver 9-6 on a Joe Danelo field goal with :03 to go.
GOLF—CURTIS STRANGE shot an 11-under-par 273 to win the $400,000 Westchester Classic at Harrison, N.Y. He finished two strokes ahead of Gibby Gilbert.
Arnold Palmer shot a nine-under-par 271, a stroke better than Isao Aoki, to win the Canadian Professional Golfers' Association title in Edmonton. It was Palmer's first North American tournament win in seven years.
Julie Simpson Inkster of Santa Cruz, Calif. defeated Patti Rizzo of Hialeah, Fla. two-up to win the U.S. Women's Amateur at Hutchinson, Kans.
Beth Daniel shot a nine-under-par 210 to win the $100,000 Patty Berg Classic in St. Paul by two strokes over Hollis Stacy.
HARNESS RACING—NIATROSS, driven by Clint Galbraith, set a world pacing record of 1:52[4/5] for the mile in a special invitational race in Syracuse. The 3-year-old colt was 21 lengths ahead at the finish.
Classical Way ($7.60), driven by John Simpson Jr., defeated Petite Evander and Ideal du Gazeau, who finished in a dead heat, by 1½ lengths to win the $250,000 Roosevelt International Trot at Westbury, N.Y. The 4-year-old mare, who gave the U.S. its third consecutive win in the event, was timed in 2:35[2/5] for the 1¼ miles.
HORSE RACING—SPECTACULAR BID ($2.20), ridden by Bill Shoemaker, defeated Glorious Song by 1¾ lengths to win the $263,600 Amory L. Haskell Handicap at Monmouth Park. The 4-year-old colt, undefeated in eight stakes this season, ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:48.
Temperence Hill ($9.60), Eddie Maple up, finished 1½ lengths ahead of First Albert to win the $168,300 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 2:02[4/5] for the 1¼-mile course.
MOTOR SPORTS—JEAN-PIERRE JABOUILLE of France, driving a Renault Turbo, averaged 138.7 mph in winning the Austrian Grand Prix in Zeltweg on the 3.69-mile Osterreichring circuit. He finished 1.2 seconds ahead of Alan Jones of Australia in a Williams-Ford.
SOCCER—NASL: Going into the final week of the season, only five teams have no chance for a playoff berth, and three teams are in contention for first place in the ASC East and West. Fort Lauderdale (17-13) won its only game of the week, beating Los Angeles 3-2 on an overtime goal by Teofilo Cubillas. Despite two losses, the other a 5-2 whipping by San Diego, the Aztecs (19-11) have clinched a playoff spot as the runner-up in the NSC West. Tampa Bay (18-12) defeated Toronto (13-17) 4-1 and moved into first in the ASC East. Yet New England (17-13), which drubbed ASC West leader California (15-16) 4-1, and the Strikers can still catch the Rowdies. The Surf's slim lead diminished when the second-place Sockers (16-15) shut out Houston (14-17) 3-0. It was the 10th shutout for Socker Goalie Volkmar Gross, who has the conference's best goals-against average, allowing a mere 1.32 a game. Earlier in the week, Hurricane Goalie Paul Hammond blanked ASC Central leader Chicago 1-0, the only score being a shootout goal by Carlos Peruci. The Sting also lost to NSC West leader Seattle 3-1 at home when Mark Peterson got a hat trick for the Sounders (25-6). NSC East leader New York (22-8) edged Atlanta 3-2 and lost to Washington 2-1. In the NSC Central, Dallas (17-13) and Minnesota (15-15) have both overhauled Tulsa, which led the division for eight weeks earlier in the season but has lost 12 of its last 17 games. Last week the Roughnecks (14-17) dropped another—3-1 to the Tornadoes—but beat Rochester 3-2 at home. The Kicks defeated Memphis 4-3 on two Ace Ntosoelengoe goals, yet couldn't catch Dallas, which beat Atlanta, one of the few teams eliminated from playoff contention.
ASL: With three weeks left before the playoffs, Pennsylvania is making a break from the field. The Stoners (17-4) won twice, defeating Cleveland (9-14) 2-0 and New York (13-10) 1-0, thereby widening their National Conference lead to 33 points over the United. American Conference leader Sacramento (11-14) beat California (10-11) 1-0 on a goal by Malcolm Filby at 80:43 while Miami (9-13) was losing to Golden Gate 3-1. Forward Mal Roche, the league's leading scorer, had a goal and two assists for the Gaters (7-12).
SWIMMING—JOE BOTTOM of Walnut Creek, Calif. set a world record of 22.71 in the 50-meter freestyle at a meet in Honolulu. He broke by .12 the mark set by Bruce Stahl in April.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL of Czechoslovakia won the $325,000 Canadian Open in Toronto when Bjorn Borg, who won the first set 6-4 but trailed 5-4 in the second, defaulted because of a knee injury. CHRIS EVERT LLOYD beat Virginia Ruzici 6-3, 6-1 for the women's title.
TRACK & FIELD—TATYANA KAZANKINA of the Soviet Union set a women's world record of 3:52.5 in the 1,500-meter run in Zurich, slicing 2.5 off her own mark set in July. In the same race, MARY DECKER established an American women's record of 3:59.5, .6 seconds off the mark she set the day before in Budapest.