August 3, 1968
Colts Edge Raiders, 14-12, Lamonica Injured
OAKLAND- John Unitas played only the first half here Saturday night and won the game, 14-12, when Raider quarterback Daryle Lamonica was knocked out of the last two quarters with a leg injury.
Before a capacity 51,154 in the first AFL-NFL test for the Raiders since they were overturned in the Super Bowl last January, Unitas mounted Baltimore's two touchdown drives with second quarter passes.
Lamonica's injury was judged minor. He was replaced by Cotton Davidson, who stirred the Raiders to their only touchdown on a night when George Blanda kicked two field goals.
Unitas gave way to the Colts' No. 2 quarterback, Jim Ward, by pre-arrangement. The Raiders kept Ward on his side of the field.
The mathematical difference was made by the Baltimore team on a pair of extra-point runs by Tom Matte following both touchdowns.
Oakland missed its shot at a seventh point when Lenny Lyles punched Davidson's end zone pass away from Warren Wells in the third quarter after Wells held Davidson's 19-yard touchdown throw. Under a special rule for AFL-NFL competition, extra-point kicks are banned this summer. Instead, a scrimmage play from the two-yard line is mandatory. The play Baltimore selected each time was a power sweep by Matte behind the blocking of Tony Lorick and John Mackey.
Oakland's AFL champions held the NFL Colts scoreless in the first period, which ended with Unitas on an 87-yard scoring drive. He immediately marched another 53 yards. Matte and Jerry Hill bucked in the two touchdowns after Unitas had completed 10 of 17.
Blanda's field goals (9 and 30 yards) in the second and fourth quarters were separated by Davidson's 76-yard touchdown drive for Oakland in the third period.
The game-breaking play was made by Baltimore receiver Willie Richardson who, on Unitas' first scoring adventure, caught a sideline pass and raced 40 yards horizontally along the 30-yard stripe, then cut sharply downfield for 47 net
Kent McCloughan, the Oakland cornerback who normally would have covered Richardson, was then out of the game after aggravating a groin injury. Against the sharp Baltimore pass offense, McCloughan had demonstrated in the first period that he is an All-Pro defensive back.
The only meaningful statistics were those for the first half when it was Unitas vs. Lamonica in a battle of first teams. Oakland won the total offense in those periods, 133-131. Unitas outpassed the Raiders, 104-84, but Hewritt Dixon led the Raiders to a 49-27 edge aground.
With Unitas against Lamonica for 60 minutes, it probably would have been Baltimore's game. It was 14-3 when Unitas retired.
Big Ben Davidson (left) and the Raiders' defense halts Colts' Preston Pearson.
BAL- Matte 1 run (Matte run)
BAL- Hill 2 run (Matte run)
OAK- FG Blanda 9
OAK- Wells 17 yard pass from Davidson (pass failed)
OAK- FG Blanda 29