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On This Day in Broncos History: November 17

A Hearty Hurrah for Dennis Smith

Doug Pensinger

November 17, 1985 - Denver was hosting division rival San Diego. The Chargers scored first and held on to lead 14-7 at the half. The Broncos scored twice in the fourth quarter to take a 21-14 lead. San Diego fought back -- first to 21-17 then to take a 24-21 lead. With one minute left in the game, Elway led the Broncos from their own 35-yard line to the San Diego 17-yard line. Rich Karlis kicked a 34-yard field goal with nine seconds left to tie the game at 24-24.

Here is where the game became really interesting. The Chargers won the toss and elected to receive. Led by Dan Fouts, San Diego drove from their own 32-yard line to the Denver 23-yard line. On 4-4-DEN23, San Diego lined up to kick a 40-yard field goal. Safety Dennis Smith blocked the field goal try only to find out that his own team had called for a time out prior to the snap. The Chargers lined up for a second 40-yard attempt. A charging Dennis Smith was not to be denied and blocked this second attempt as well. Denver CB Louis Wright scooped up the blocked kick and returned it 60 yards for the game-winning score.

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