The Philadelphia Eagles struck an exemplary blow for the work ethic yesterday. They outconditioned and outscored the Baltimore Colts in the fourth quarter, 17-0, wiping out a two-touchdown deficit for a 17-14 victory before a majority of disenchanted fans among a crowd of 50,314 in Memorial Stadium.
Besides suffering their fourth loss in five games the Colts may have a new morale problem. Guard Robert Pratt got into a shoving match with teammate and cornerback Norm Thompson.
Thompson said after the game that he must have been misunderstood by Pratt when the latter came off the field and Thompson remarked to the guard, "The offense will get it going."
Then, Thompson said, "Pratt tried to shove me. Maybe the offense and defense should stay away from each other so we will have no confrontations. He apologized later. That's all well and good but still he shouldn't have done it. I like to think it's resolved.
"I hope it never happens again. It's bad enough to have to face 11 guys on the other team, let alone a 12th guy on your own team. Guys restrained me when I tried to say to him how I felt."
Pratt was more reluctant to discuss the incident. Asked about Thompson's version, Pratt said, "Yeah, everything's resolved," and walked away from questioners.
Coach Ted Marchibroda said of the loss, with quarterback Bert Jones on the sidelines in street clothes because of a separated throwing shoulder, "We let it get away."
Once more Marchibroda pointed out that despite the Colts' misfortunes, "We're still only two full games back of Miami and New England (both 3-2). We had this game in our hands. We usually come back in the second half, but we didn't today."
The Colts scored their points in the second quarter. Quarterback Bill Troup passed 48 yards to wide receiver Glenna Doughty to touch off a 71-yard scoring push, finished by full-back Roosevelt Leaks' two-yard touchdown plunge.
Shortly after that, quarterback Ron Jaworski of the Eagles fumbled after a nine-yard running gain and the Colts took over on the Philadelphia 38 yard line. A 37-yard pass interference penalty against free safety John Sanders of the Eagles put the ball on the Philadelphia one, but neither Leaks nor halfback Ron Lee could punch the ball over on two plunges each.
The Eagles took over at the one-yard line but on third and nine, running back Wilbert Montgomery, who was to gain 144 yards rushing, fumbled at his four-yard line.
This time Troup was ordered to pass on first and second down, and on the latter connected with Leaks for a four-yard pass for a touchdown. Toni Linhart's second coversion ended Baltimore's output for the day.
Near the end of the third quarter, the Eagles began to drive. They marched 61, 62 and 63 yards in the final period and produced a 20-yard touchdown pass by Jaworski to tight end Keith Kreple, a 26-yard field goal by Nick Mike-Mayer and a 14-yard scoring run by Montgomery in the 17-point burst, including Mike-Mayer's two conversions.
Harold Carmichael, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound wide receiver, saw his streak of catching at least one pass a game through 84 threatened. He made a difficult catch for 52 yards and an apparent touchdown on the last play of the first half, but it was nullified because offensive tackle Ed George was penalized for holding.
He thus caught his first pass that counted in the fourth quarter, a 14-yarder from Jaworski that put the ball on the Baltimore 14-yard line and Mike-Mayer salvaged a 26-yard field goal to cut the Colts' lead to 14-10.
On the Eagles' next possession, Carmichael hauled in a medium-distance pass and stretched it for a 44-yard gain to the Baltimore 19-yard line. Montgomery cracked the wilting Colts' defense for five yards and then for 14 for the winning touchdown.