Quarterback Ron Jaworski's one-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Spagnola with two seconds left gave Philadelphia a 19-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings today after a penalty gave the Eagles a chance to win.
The touchdown pass came one play after the Vikings (0-2) appeared to have completed a successful goal line stand with seven seconds left, stopping Wilbert Montgomery behind the line of scrimmage on fourth and goal from the one. But linebacker Robin Sendlein was called for grabbing Montgomery's face mask and the Eagles (1-1) had first and goal on the one.
"It was a crazy way to win it but we got it done," Jaworski said. "I was already walking off the field dejected. I was headed for the bench thinking we were 0-2. Then I heard about the flag.
"I just prayed it would be against them.
"I looked to (Lawrence) Sampleton (on the last play)," Jaworski said. "But he was covered. Fortunately I was able to step up into the pocket to buy a second and that was enough time to let Spagnola get behind the linebacker in the end zone . . . We were a little bit lucky."
The Eagles began the winning drive from their 41 and moved down field with the aid of a 16-yard pass from Jaworski to Spagnola and the running of Montgomery, who carried three times for 26 yards and became the team's all-time leading rusher. He carried 19 times for 98 yards, his total of 5,867 surpassing the 5,860 Steve Van Buren gained from 1944 to 1951.
Montgomery's 15-yard run broke the record and put the ball on the six with 1:33 left as he left the game to a thunderous ovation from the crowd of 55,942. But rookie Andre Hardy, after gaining five yards on first down, was stopped on two tries from the one and the Vikings appeared to have the game won after stopping Montgomery.
The Vikings trailed, 12-3, in the fourth period when rookie running back Alfred Anderson took a handoff, rolled right and threw to quarterback Tommy Kramer. Kramer caught the ball at the Eagles' 10 and scored.
Just 29 seconds later, defensive end Robert Cobb knocked the ball out of Jaworski's hands and the Vikings recovered at the Eagles' 11. Three plays later Anderson scored from the one for a 17-12 lead.