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On This Day in Broncos History: December 3

Randy Gradishar scores a touchdown.


December 3, 1978 - The Broncos had traveled to Oakland to take on division rival Raiders. After falling behind 6-0 in the second quarter, Denver took a 7-6 lead before the half. They extended the lead to 14-6 in the third quarter. Then in the fourth quarter, right inside linebacker Randy Gradishar returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown. It was the first, and only time, that Gradishar accomplished that feat.

In the fourth quarter, Oakland had a punt blocked. Jon Keyworth fumbled the ball away on Denver's next possession. The next four possessions -- two by the Raiders and two by the Broncos -- ended in punts. With 7:04 left in the game, Oakland got the ball first and ten from their own 20-yard line. Arthur Wittington ran 10 yards to the Oakland 30 for a first down. The tackle was made by Gradishar. On the next play, Raider RB Mark van Eeghen fumbled the ball while trying to run to the right. Gradishar scooped it up at the Oakland 30 and returned it for a touchdown. This marked the third touchdown of Gradishar's career-to-date and his first off a fumble return. The other two touchdowns had come on interception returns.