Riders 9, Knights 3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Jim Gallery kicked three second-half field goals after backup quarterback Mike Johnson got San Antonio going and the Riders posted a 9-3 WLAF victory over the winless New York-New Jersey Knights on Saturday night.
The Knights’ home opener drew an announced crowd of 33,659 people, and the fans got a good show from Johnson and a late one from the officials and Brent Pease that almost pulled out the game for New York-New Jersey.
Aided by two 15-yard penalties, the Knights drove from their 30 to the Riders’ 3 in the final seconds. On third down, linebacker Patrick Hinton broke up Pease’s pass in the end zone. On the final play of the game, Kip Lewis could not handle a low pass by Pease, who completed seven of 17 for 74 yards.
Johnson, who entered after Brad Goebel sprained his left ankle late in the first half, completed 12 of 30 passes for 200 yards. He took the Riders (2-1) on scoring drives of 47, 79 and minus-4 yards, with Gallery kicking field goals of 36, 26 and 43.
Gallery, a former NFL kicker with St. Louis and Cincinnati, tied the game 3-3 early in the third quarter with a 36-yarder. Johnson had a 21-yard pass to Danta Whitaker on the seven-play drive, while a 15-yard pass interference penalty against Richard Carey helped.
The game-winning drive was a 13-play march in which Johnson completed three passes for 52 yards and scrambled once for 14. Gallery, who also missed from 41 and 51 yards, capped it with a 26-yarder with 14:28 to go.
Gallery added a 43-yarder with 1:30 to play following an interception by Malvin Hunter.
New York-New Jersey, which lost its first two games on last-second plays, could not pull this one out.
The Knights moved into San Antonio territory on their first three possessions, but only got a 42-yard field goal from Kendall Trainor in the opening quarter.