PRO FOOTBALL—The surprising Bengals, leaders in the AFC Central, rode the arm of Boomer Esiason to remain the NFL's only undefeated team after five weeks of play. Esiason passed for 332 yards and three touchdowns in Cincinnati's 45-21 win over the Raiders. Meanwhile the other two teams that had been unbeaten going into the weekend, the Rams and the Bills, got knocked off by wide margins. Cardinals quarterback Neil Lomax had a big day, throwing for 342 yards and two TDs as Phoenix defeated Los Angeles 41-27. The loss dropped the Rams into a tie for the NFC West lead with the 49ers, who slipped past the Lions 20-13. In an NFC East matchup, reserve receiver Odessa Turner caught eight passes for 103 yards and one touchdown as the Giants, who are now tied for first in the division with Phoenix, held off the Redskins 24-23, despite four sacks by Washington's Dexter Manley. The Eagles fell behind the Oilers by 16 points in the first quarter, but Philadelphia's Randall Cunningham passed for two TDs and ran for another as the Eagles came back to win 32-23. In the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 21-17 win over Indianapolis, Doug Flutie look over at quarterback and rallied the Pats with two TDs, a 26-yard pass to Stanley Morgan and a 13-yard run that decided the game. The Colts, last season's AFC East champs, fell to 1-4 for the year. The Jets missed a chance to beat the Chiefs and tie for the division lead when Freeman McNeil fumbled on the Kansas City 15-yard line with 38 seconds left in overtime. Steve DeBerg of the Chiefs had knotted the score with an eight-yard pass to Emile Harry with 51 seconds left in regulation. The game ended in a 17-17 tie. The Seahawks defeated the Falcons 31-20 as Seattle's rookie quarterback, Kelly Stouffer, made his first NFL start and completed 11 of 21 passes for 164 yards. John L. Williams scored three touchdowns for the Seahawks, who, at 3-2, are the only team above .500 in the AFC West. The Browns' defense held Steeler quarterback Bubby Brister to four completions and 28 total yards and forced two interceptions in a 23-9 victory. The Broncos recovered from a stunning 30-27 Monday night loss to the Raiders, in which John Elway threw four interceptions and Denver blew a 24-0 lead, and booted the Chargers 12-0. Rich Karlis's four field goals accounted for all the points. The Packers remained the league's only winless team when the Buccaneers' Donald Igwebuike kicked a last-second field goal against Green Bay for the second time this season. That clinched a 27-24 victory for Tampa Bay, whose only wins this season have come against the Pack. The Dolphin defense intercepted the Vikings' Tommy Kramer four times, and Dan Marino threw two TD passes in a 24-7 Miami triumph. In Chicago, the NFC Central-leading Bears crushed the Bills 24-3 (page 30).
GOLF—DAVID FROST birdied the first playoff hole to beat Bob Tway and win the Southern Open and $72,000, in Columbus, Ga. Frost, who got his first Tour victory, and Tway finished regulation play tied at 280, 10 under par.
Kathy Baker Guadagnino shot a final-round 67, five under par, to defeat Cathy Marino by one stroke and win the LPGA San Jose Classic and $45,000. Guadagnino shot a nine-under-par 207 for the tournament's 54 holes.
HORSE RACING—CORWYN BAY (7-1), ridden by Stephen Craine, beat Miss Demure by one length to win $750,000 and the inaugural Cartier Million, the richest race in the world for 2-year-olds, at Phoenix Park, in Dublin. The gray colt ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.9.
October 9, 1988
Some Romance ($3), with Gary Stevens up, defeated Seattle Meteor by five lengths to win the Matron Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, at Belmont. Some Romance covered the seven furlongs in 1:24 4/5 to collect the $68,580 winner's purse.
MOTOR SPORTS—ALAIN PROST, driving a McLaren-Honda, won the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez de la Frontera by 26.232 seconds over Nigel Mansell, in a Williams-Judd. Prost finished the 188.70-mile race in 1:48:43.851 by averaging 103.903 mph for 72 laps around the 2.62-mile road circuit.
Geoff Brabham, driving a Nissan GTP-ZXT, finished 3.32 seconds ahead of Klaus Ludwig, in a Porsche 962, to win the Columbus 500, in Columbus, Ohio. Brabham averaged 80.819 mph for 81 laps of the 2.3-mile road circuit.
TENNIS—MATS WILANDER defeated Kent Carlsson 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in the final match to win the Sicilian Tennis Championship and $18,680, in Palermo, Italy.
Michael Chang beat Johan Kriek 6-2, 6-3 to triumph in a men's tour event in San Francisco. The victory was worth $59,500.
XXIV OLYMPIC GAMES—In world-record performances in Seoul: weightlifter YURI ZAKHAREVICH of the Soviet Union, competing in the 242-pound class, broke two of his own records by lifting 462¾ pounds in the snatch (14½ pounds more than his old mark) and a total of 1,001 pounds (5½ pounds more) in the snatch and the clean and jerk; the U.S. 4 x 400-meter-relay team of DANNY EVERETT, STEVE LEWIS, KEVIN ROBIN-ZINE and BUTCH REYNOLDS ran a 2:56.16, matching the standard set by the American team at the 1968 Olympics; FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER ran a 21.34 in the 200 meters, .22 of a second faster than the record time she had set in a semifinal heat and .37 faster than the mark shared by Marita Koch and Heike Drechsler, both of East Germany; and the women's 4 x 400-meter-relay team from the Soviet Union, TATYANA LEDOVSKAIA, OLGA NAZAROVA, MARIA PINIGINA and OLGA BRYZGINA, won the gold medal by running a 3:15.18, surpassing by .74 the standard set in 1984 by an East German team.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As manager of the Houston Astros, HAL LANIER, 46, who was 254-232 in his three years with the Astros, including this season's 82-80 record and fifth-place finish in the National League West.
SUSPENDED: By the National Football League for one game, Minnesota Viking defensive end AL (Bubba) BAKER, 31, for poking Philadelphia Eagle tackle Ron Heller, 26, in the eye and causing severe corneal damage during a game on Sept. 25.
By the NBA for an indefinite period of time, Atlanta Hawk center-forward CHRIS WASHBURN, 23, for a second violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.
TRADED: By the Chicago Cubs, catcher JODY DAVIS, 31, to the Atlanta Braves for righthanded pitchers KEVIN COFFMAN, 23, and KEVIN BLANKENSHIP, 25.
By the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman DOUG CROSSMAN, 28, to the Los Angeles Kings for JAY WELLS, 29, also a defenseman.
DIED: Race car driver AL HOLBERT, 41, who won the 24 Hours of LeMans three times (1983, '86 and '87) and was the alltime career leader on the International Motor Sports Association GT circuit with 49 victories; when he crashed his private plane shortly after takeoff from Don Scott Field in Columbus, Ohio.