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rly Saturday afte
10-08-2018 03:23 AM
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rly Saturday afte
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In a story Jan. 14 about the Immaculate Reception game in 1972 Cheap Sam Darnold Jersey , The Associated Press erroneously said in the publishable Editor’s Note at the end of the story that the touchdown came on the final play of the Raiders-Steelers game. There were 5 seconds left when Harris scored, it was not the final play.

A corrected version of the story is below:

AP Was There: Harris’ miracle TD gave Steelers playoff win

AP Was There: The Immaculate Reception led Steelers to playoff win over Raiders on Dec. 23, 1972

By HUBERT MIZELL

AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH (AP) – It may not happen again for a thousand Christmases the way it happened Saturday for Franco Harris and the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Oakland Raiders under the dark skies in Three Rivers Stadium.

Harris, the Steelers’ own black Italian Santa Claus, caught a fluttering Steeler pass that Oakland defender Jack Tatum had batted away and danced 42 yards for a touchdown to give Pittsburgh an incredible 13-7 National Football League playoff victory.

The last-gasp effort by Pittsburgh’s Central Division champions to leapfrog the Steelers into the American Conference finals came on fourth down play with five seconds left on the clock.

Oakland, king of the West Division, had seemingly been rescued after a miserable offensive afternoon when backup quarterback Kenny Stabler scrambled 30 yards to the goal with 1:13 remaining to give the Raiders a 7-6 edge.

When Pittsburgh lined up for its last shot at glory, the clock showed 51 seconds and the end zone was 80 yards away.

Quarterback Terry Bradshaw hoped to pass for quick gains, charging within range for a third Roy Gerela field goal that could win it.

The blond from Louisiana Tech rifled a nine-yard pass to Harris. An 11-yarder to John Fuqua pushed the ball to the Steeler 40, but the clock was down to 0:37.

And then: Incomplete. Incomplete. Incomplete. That led to fourth down and Oakland was 22 seconds away from bringing tears to the eyes of most of the 50.350 in the big circular stadium.

Bradshaw tried one last time, evading a rush by Oakland’s Tony Clines and Horace Jones. He threw up the middle toward Fuqua near the Raider 30.

Tatum slammed into Fuqua just as the ball arrived, sending the lootball sailing back toward the Pittsburgh goal. Harris, trailing the play Gleyber Torres New York Yankees Jersey , grabbed the ball and dashed toward the left sideline.

The left side began to open. Jimmy Warren, a veteran Oakland defensive back, had the last shot at the 230-pound rookie from Penn State , He missed and the Steeler faithful exploded from their seats.

Pittsburgh not only won, but sewed up the homefield advantage for the Dec. 31 steppingstone to Super Bowl VII against the winner of today’s other American Conference playoff between Cleveland and Miami.

”Fourth down, fourth down,” muttered John Madden, the losing coach from Oakland. ”It’s really unfair to lose like that. It wouldn’t happen that way again in a million years.”

Excited fans had to be hustled off the field by police as the Raiders protested that Tatum had not touched the ball, making it an illegal pass with two offensive men touching it in succession.

”He went up for the ball,” Tatum said later. ”I believe it bounced off Fuqua. He was in front of me and I just hit him, not the ball.”

Fred Swearingen, the referee, talked with Art McNally Justus Annunen Blackhawks Jersey , NFL supervisor of officials, in the press box by telephone. McNally had seen the replay on television.

After the discussion, the touchdown was allowed, although NFL officials later said the conversation between Swearingen and McNally had no actual bearing on the ruling.

The stadium almost cracked at the seams when the touchdown was signaled.

Finally authorities harnessed the bedlam so the final five seconds could be played.

All that happened was a kickoff return and one incomplete pass before time ran out for Oakland. Pittsburgh had waited 40 years to win even a division crown and now Chuck Noll, in his fourth season as the Steelers’ head coach, had them one step away from the Super Bowl.

For most of the game it seemed that Gerela’s field goals of 18 and 29 yards would stand up for a 6-0 victory in what had been a bitter battle of defenses.

Then came Stabler, a substitute near-hero. Then came Harris, the man who is half Italian, half black and all football player.

”I couldn’t even see what was happening because somebody rapped me,” said Bradshaw. ”But I’ll watch it all day Sunday on television reruns and enjoy it every time.”

Saturday’s first half was scoreless as the two man-handling defenses played to a standstill.

Noll passed up a shot at a 38-yard field goal and it appeared a crucial move when the Steelers ran short on a fourth-and-one situation.

Bradshaw came out firing in the second half, hitting five times for 55 yards as Pittsburgh moved 67 yards to the Oakland 11. The march stalled there and Gerela’s 18-yard field goal made it 3-0 with 9:52 left in the third quarter.

Oakland’s offense continually sputtered under No. 1 quarterback Daryle Lamonica and the onrushing Pittsburgh defense held him to 6-of-18 passing for 44 yards.

Stabler, the shaggy-haired former Alabama star, trotted onto the field with 11:2 to go in the game. He seemed to ignite Oakland a bit Ryan Switzer Color Rush Jersey , but then fumbled when rapped by Steeler defensive end Dwight White at the Raider 35 with 5:50 on the clock.

Mike Wagner covered Stabler’s fumble and it led to Gerela’s three-pointer from 29 yards that made it 6-0 with 3:50 remaining. It seemed enough at Kevin Love won’t be able to help LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Game 7 against the Celtics.

Love was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol and the All-Star forward will miss Sunday’s series finale of the Eastern Conference finals, a personal blow and yet another challenge for Cleveland to overcome.

The Cavaliers said Love, who inadvertently bashed heads with Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in the first quarter of Game 6, experienced concussion-like symptoms Saturday before the team’s flight to Boston.

Moments before the Cavs sent a news release updating Love’s status, coach Tyronn Lue held a confusing teleconference during which he said the 29-year-old was still being evaluated and there was a possibility he could play.

However, like everything else in this erratic, convoluted season for Cleveland, things changed quickly.

Now, the Cavs will be without their second-leading scorer and top rebounder as they try to win their fourth straight conference title against a younger team that is 10-0 at home in the playoffs.

Love is averaging 13.9 points and 10.0 rebounds in 17 playoff starts, and he’s the No. 2 scoring option for the Cavs, who have leaned on James harder than ever this postseason.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens believes the Cavaliers are dangerous even without Love.

”We’ll have to prepare our team to play well, regardless of who plays for them,” Stevens said. ”Obviously Geron Christian Color Rush Jersey , they’ll run a little bit less of the Love stuff, and more of the other stuff … probably more opportunities for LeBron, more opportunities for (Kyle) Korver and (J.R.) Smith, more opportunities off those pick and rolls. All of them were very effective for them last night.”

There is statistical data to support that the Cavaliers have been more effective in the series when Love has been out. But while Cleveland may be better defensively, Love’s shot-making ability helps the Cavs spread the floor and open driving lanes for James.

”You can switch more,” Lue said. ”I think when Jeff (Green) is in there playing that position, it makes you more versatile defensively. But we miss his rebounding. We miss his offensive ability. It kind of all cancels out.”

James scored 46 points in Friday’s victory, his latest jaw-dropping performance in what has been perhaps the greatest postseason of the superstar’s storied career. James is averaging 33.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.8 assists and has had seven 40-point games and two-buzzer beaters.

The 33-year-old’s next challenge: finding a way to beat the Celtics, who have played at another level on their home floor.

It’s interesting that as James tries to advance to his eighth straight NBA Finals – a feat accomplished only by legendary Celtics center Bill Russell and three other Boston players – that Love will be in street clothes on Cleveland’s bench and Kyrie Irving will be sitting on Boston’s.

The Cavs relented to Irving’s request and traded him to the Celtics last summer, but the All-Star point guard didn’t play in this postseason after undergoing knee surgery.

At one time, James, Irving and Love comprised Cleveland’s ”Big 3 Kareem Martin Color Rush Jersey ,” a power trio that won an NBA championship together and went to three straight Finals before fracturing.

After Love went down Friday, James, who played the final eight minutes on a sore right knee, got help from George Hill (20 points), Green (14 points) and Larry Nance Jr. (10 points) as the Cavaliers fought off elimination for the second time in these playoffs.

Lue said he wasn’t concerned about James, who favored his leg while slowly walking out of Quicken Loans Arena early Saturday after Game 6.

For Love, the concussion is anotheİmager setback in a tough season. He missed seven weeks with a broken hand and revealed he has had bouts of panic attacks.

Love has suffered at least two other known concussions in his career – one that kept him out of Game 3 in the 2016 NBA Finals. He also missed a game at Charlotte on March 28 with a head injury.

Love missed the majority of Cleveland’s 2015 run to the Finals after separating his shoulder in the first round against Boston.



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