Chuck Fusina scored a touchdown and David Trout kicked two field goals as the Philadelphia Stars defeated the Denver Gold, 13-7, in their U.S. Football League debut today.
The Stars' defense, which had been questioned in preseason, made a last-minute goal-line stand to hold off the Gold before 45,000 in Mile High Stadium.
The Stars were leading, 13-0, entering the fourth quarter, then second-string quarterback Ken Johnson replaced Jeff Knapple, who was intercepted four times and fumbled once.
Johnson scored on a keeper to the right with 6 1/2 minutes left. After the Gold regained possession, he moved his team to the two-yard line in 11 plays. But his fourth-down pass in the final seconds was thrown over the head of Larry Canada in the end zone.
Philadelphia scored on its second possession, going 41 yards in eight plays. From the two, Fusina rolled to his left and got the touchdown.
The Stars scored again on the last play of the half, with Trout kicking a 50-yard field goal. It was his third try of the half; the first was blocked and the snap for the second was bobbled.