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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Lofton's big day

   September 6, 1992 -- James Lofton didn't spend a majority of his NFL career as a Buffalo Bill, but he had some great moments during his stay here. One came in 1992, when he passed Steve Largent to break the NFL record for receiving yards at 13,089. Lofton was merely keeping the record warm for Jerry Rice, but that doesn't diminish the accomplishment.

   The number came during a 40-7 sason-opening romp over the Los Angeles Rams in Rich Stadium. He caught six passes for 56 yards that day. It brought his lifetime total to 13,091 yards, as he went past Steve Largent (13,089).

   "Words really don't describe it," Lofton said to The News' Mark Gaughan. "I'm really happy. ... It was neat to get it, and to get it in front of this crowd in the home opener was fantastic."

   Lofton had his family and friends show up for the game, but for a while it looked as if they might go home disappointed. He had only caught one pass for 5 yards through the first three quarters.

   It was clearly time to take action. The Bills threw nine passes toward Lofton in a 16-play span. He caught five of them and claimed the record.

   "I had about 100 people come into town for the game this weekend, friends from elementary school, high school, college, former college teammates, former teammates from when I was with the Raiders and Packers, friends and relatives," the 36-year-old Lofton said. "I'm sitting there thinking, I can't pay for all these people to go to San Francisco [next week]. The way it turned out it couldn't have been more fitting. I mean, I really had to work for it."

   The record-breaker, for the record, came on a 4-yard pass from Frank Reich with 2:15 left to play. It wsa catch number 705 of his career, fourth all-time. No wonder he's in the Hall of Fame now.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.