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Kelly still finds way to get best of Marino

7/21/2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As fun as it was to be back on the field,
Jim Kelly isn't ready to come out of retirement.

"The best part about it is that it's over and that I made it
through,'' Kelly said Sunday after taking on Dan Marino in a flag
football game. "It was fun, a lot of fun, but I wouldn't want to
get back out there, trust me.

"When the second half came, everybody was like, 'Whew, we got
to go back out?' ''

Kelly, who finished 29-for-38 for 307 yards passing and five
TDs, rallied a team of former Buffalo Bills stars to a 42-34
victory over the Marino-led NFL All-Stars in a charity game billed
as "The Final Showdown: Kelly vs. Marino.''

Not a bad performance for Kelly, who is five years into
retirement and two weeks from being inducted into the Pro Football
Hall of Fame.

"The one thing we didn't want to do was lose here,'' Kelly
said.

The game proved both sloppy and competitive. Kelly noted how
physical things got among the players along the line of scrimmage.

"I had to start changing snap counts because of them coming
full bore,'' Kelly said. "It was fun, but the competitiveness was
definitely there.''

Leading the way for the NFLers in rushing Kelly was former
Dallas Cowboys great Ed "Too Tall'' Jones.

A number of Bills came up limping, including Don Beebe (knee),
Steve Tasker (groin), Fred Smerlas (hamstring), and Tim Vogler
(broken nose).

The game turned in the third quarter when Kelly sparked a
23-point surge.

After hitting Andre Reed, his one-time favorite receiver, for a
14-yard touchdown pass to cut the NFLers' lead to 21-19, Kelly put
the Bills ahead with a perfect touch pass, hitting a sliding Kenny
Davis in the end zone with an 18-yard strike.

Mark Kelso capped the run, intercepting Dave Krieg's pass and
running it back 33 yards for a score.

Marino, who alternated possessions with Krieg, went 12-for-21
for 150 yards and two TDs in leading a team that included Mark
Clayton, Roger Craig and Dwight Stephenson.

It was a familiar result for Marino. Kelly holds the edge, as he
and the Bills won 14 of the 21 meetings against Marino and Miami,
including all three playoff games.

Marino did not make himself available to the media.

Proceeds from the event, played at the University at Buffalo
Stadium, went to a number of causes, including Hunter's Hope, a
charity Kelly founded in honor of his son Hunter, who suffers from
the deadly Krabbe disease.