Cornerback MelBlount of the Pittsburgh Steelers intercepted two passes to help the American Conference take a 24-14 ProBowl victory tonight over the National Conference.
With the NFC trying to wipe out the AFC's 27-14 lead, Blount picked off a pass by St. Louis' Jim Hart in the end zone, thwarting an NFC drive.
Moments later, with the NFC on its own 32, Blount stpped in front of Minnesota rookie Sammy White at the left sideline, grabbed another Hart pass and returned the ball 16 yards to the NFC's 27.
Two plays later, Cincinnati's Ken Anderson threw to the wide-open Branch in the left corner of the end zone assured the AFC of its fourth victory in seven inter-conference match-ups.
The game in the Kingdom attracted a record AFC-NFC all-star crowd of 63,214.
The AFC struck fast, on its second possession, after Rick Upchurch charged John James' low, 32-yard punt and returned it 11 yards to the NFC 27.
Lydell Mitchell ran 11 yards to the 14 and quarterback Bert Jones reversed field after being jammed up while rolling out to pass and dashed 10 yards to the three-yard line.
On a quick-opening play, Simpson saw only middle linebacker Bill Bergey in his way, put two quick moves on him and scored standing as Bergey shook his shoulders in ambarassment. Tony Linhart converted.
The AFC increased its lead to 10-0 in the first quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Linhart after wide receiver Cliff Branch dropped Jones pass in the end zone. Jones had taken the AFC 63 yards, 25 on a pass to Mitchell and 11 on a pass to wide receiver Isaac Curtis before Branch's drop on third and 10.
In the second quarter the NFC scored on a 15-yard sprint around left end by running back Mike Thomas of the Redskins.
It was pretty much an all-Washington drive. Redskin punt returner Eddie Brown gave the NFC good field position with a 17-yard return to his 45-yard line.
Thomas broke off a nine-yard frun on a quick-hitter, ran 15 more to the AFC 15 on another slick bit of acceleration, then changed speeds on his 15-yard scoring scoot after waiting until he got a wipeout block by wide receiver Ron Jessie. Thomas accounted for 39 of the 55 yards in the drive.
Jim Bakken converted to cut the AFC lead to 10-7.
Later, Thomas fumbled and Pittsburgh's L. C. Greenwood recovered on the NFC 18-yard line. Ken Anderson, who started the quarter, passed 12 yards to wide receiver Charlie Jolner for a touchdown and Linhart converted to boost the AFC lead to 17-7.
The NFC went 73 yards to score with 1:56 remaining in the half, most of it on a 43-yard pass from Roger Strubach to Jessie that put the ball on the AFC one. Lawrence McCutcheon swept left behind Ed White's block to score. Bakken converted.
The AFC stretched its lead to 24-14 with 6:47 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard pass from Anderson to Branch, who fled from defensive back Monte Jackson in the end zone. Linhart converted.
Right cornerback Mel Blount set up the opportunity when he intercepted a pass by Jim Hart and ran 16 yards to the NFC 27, where Mike Thomas tackled him.