Las Vegas 32, Sacramento 26
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Anthony Calvillo recovered from a poor first half and threw three touchown passes, leading the expansion Las Vegas Posse to a 32-26 victory over the Sacramento Gold Miners in the first game between two U.S. franchises in Canadian Football League history Friday night.
Calvillo threw touchdowns of 49 and seven yards in the third quarter as a paid crowd of 14,816 witnessed the season-opener at Sacramento State University.
Calvillo, a rookie from Utah State, completed only four of 16 passes for 46 yards in the first half. But as the Gold Miners’ offense stumbled, the Posse rebounded after producing only 107 yards in the first half.
Calvillo completed eight of 12 passes in the second half, rushed six times for 37 yards and did not throw an interception.
Prince Wimbley had six receptions for 103 yards and scored two touchdowns for Las Vegas.
Sacramento quarterback David Archer, the CFL’s second-leading quarterback last season, completed 24 of 46 passes for 353 yards. But Archer threw three interceptions and also fumbled on the 3-yard-line with the 21 seconds left in the game as the Gold Miners were driving for a possible winning score.
Trailing by the final score, Archer drove Sacramento more than 80 yards to the Las Vegas 11. But on second down, with his receivers covered, Archer ran inside the 5-yard line, but was stripped of the ball by linebacker Greg Battle.
Trailing 25-12 after three quarters, Archer rallied the Gold Miners to within one touchdown on a 14-yard pass to Rod Harris.
But the Posse again pulled away when Sacramento cornerback Malcolm Frank was called for pass interference in the end zone. Torrey Wright pushed the Posse’s led 32-19 one play later on a 1-yard run.
Neither team mounted significant offense in the first quarter. But after the teams exchanged field goals and the Posse gained a single, Las Vegas jumped to an 11-3 lead as Calvillo threw 21 yards to Wimbley early in the second quarter.
Sacramento quickly responded as Archer drove the Gold Miners 59 yards, with fullback Troy Mills scoring on a wide-open, 10-yard pass with 6:09 left in the half.
The Gold Miners also produced a single on a 59-yard punt by Peter Gardere, tying the game 11-11 at halftime.