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Flashback: Clark's Big Day Was Bittersweet


Gary Clark put together his share of outstanding games with the Redskins from 1985-92.

His best game may have been against the New York Giants on Oct. 27, 1986.

Clark remembers it with mixed emotions, of course, since the Redskins fell 27-20 to the eventual Super Bowl champs at the Meadowlands.

It was Gary Clark's career day, though, as he caught 11 passes for 241 yards, the second-best day for a wide receiver in Redskins franchise history.

Clark said the game represented a missed opportunity.

Says Clark: "It was a good game for me but it could have been a great game. What I remember most is that we lost. We lost it on fourth down."

In the third quarter, Clark hauled in a 42-yard TD pass from Jay Schroeder. Then, with time ticking away and the Redskins trailing by just 27-20, Schroeder and Clark sparked a Washington drive that made it deep into New York territory.

With the game on the line, a fourth-down pass sailed behind Clark and the Giants won a typically hard-fought NFC East matchup.

Clark remembers the sequence this way: "Fourth down. We were in the Giants' territory. Jay throws a good pass, but a little bit behind me. It was a wet turf. I tried to stop to catch it but I slipped. I didn't make that catch. That's what I remember most about that game.

"Afterwards, I got a lot of accolades and interviews. I didn't know how many yards I had. I just know that I was in a zone as far as catching the football that day.

"The playbook went out the door and me and Jay were just free-lancing a lot. He was just getting the ball to open areas and connecting with me. We had that moment."

According to NFL records, only Anthony Allen, who played just one year in Washington, had a more productive game among wide receivers in Redskins history.

Allen gained 255 receiving yards on seven catches on Oct. 4, 1987 versus the St. Louis Cardinals. Washington won that game 28-21 at RFK Stadium.

That game is notable as the first game played during the 1987 NFL players' strike.

Clark was inducted into the Redskins' Ring of Fame in October 2007 during halftime of a game against the Detroit Lions at FedExField.

That day, Clark said that playing alongside Art Monk was the "highlight of his career." He vowed to do everything he could to help Monk get elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is now an accomplished feat.

Clark was generally considered the most spirited of "The Posse," as the successful trio of wide receivers that included Monk and Ricky Sanders was known.

Clark began his career in the USFL, but he was drafted by the Redskins in the USFL Supplemental Draft and joined the club in 1985.

In his second year as a Redskin, he earned his first of four trips to the Pro Bowl (1986, '87, '90 and '91). He was an integral part of winning Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXVI with the Redskins.

Clark played eight of his 11 seasons with the Redskins, finishing his career with 699 receptions for 10,856 yards and 65 touchdowns.

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