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1974 Season Book - Week 8

Sports Daily

August 28, 1974

Matuszak jumps to WFL Texans for $1 million

Defensive Star finds loophole in contract with NFL Oilers

The World Football League entered its eighth week of play. In Houston, under the roof of the Astrodome the WFL witnessed another bizarre turn of events. Earlier in the week, former number one draft pick John Matuszak, a 6-foot-8, 285-pound linebacker, said he found a loophole in his contract with the NFL Oilers and jumped to the Houston Texans of the WFL. Matuszak signed a $1 million dollar contract and prepared to play in the Texans game against the New York Stars. After a defensive series in the second quarter, Matuszak, escorted by Texans' owner Steven Arnold, walked down the sidelines where he was served the restraining order by sheriff's deputies. The order sidelined Matuszak for the rest of the game- he watched from the bench as the Texans rallied and defeated New York 14-11. In Philadelphia, another story broke on the Detroit Wheels. The team flew into Philadelphia on a prayer and not much else. The team couldn't afford tape and other supplies and was almost forced to forfeit their game with the Bell. Wide receiver Jon Henderson managed to persuade a Johnson & Johnson salesman to donate a case of tape to the team so they could play. The Wheels lost their eighth game in a row. The WFL players announced that they were forming a WFL Player's Association. With the state of the new league and with some teams struggling at the gate, the association wasn't about to make outrageous demands. Linebacker Bob Grant of the Philadelphia Bell was named president of the association. John Elliott of the Stars was named first vice president, Ike Lassiter (Jacksonville Sharks) second vice-president, Joe Robb (Houston Texans) treasurer and Jon Henderson (Detroit Wheels) secretary. On the field, the WFL staged a showdown on national television as the Birmingham Americans defeated the Chicago Fire. In another contest the Memphis Southmen traveled to Orlando to play the Blazers. Florida had the WFL's top ranked defense, and the Memphis had the WFL's top ranked offense.

Americans Down Fire To Go 8-0

Birmingham Americans 22, Chicago Fire 8.

chicago, il.; A crowd of 44,732 watched at Chicago's Soldier Field as the Birmingham Americans improved to 8-0 by beating the hometown Fire 22-8. The game was played on Thursday, August 29, 1974 and it was the second week in a row that the Fire appeared on the TVS Game of the Week. The Americans controlled the game on a blend of George Mira's passing and a solid running game featuring Paul Robinson, Charley Harraway and Art Cantrelle. Chicago cut the Birmingham lead to 14-8 on a 28-yard pass from Virgil Carter to James Scott before half time, but the Americans clinched the game late in the fourth quarter on a nine-play, 66-yard drive, capped by Cantrelle's 3-yard sweep for a touchdown. The Americans held on to first place in the Central Division as Chicago fell to 6-2. (Pictured above, Virgil Carter throws against the American pass defense).

Chicago Fire; Passing � Carter 19-43-263-1t-3i; Rushing � Kellar 11-59, Wyatt 3-11, Pinder 3-3, Potts 1/-3; Receiving � Dolbin 5-77, Scott 5-72-1t, Kellar 5-54, Pinder 1-38, Burchfield 1-17, Wyatt 1-5.

Birmingham Americans; Passing � Mira 12-28-139-1t-1i, Reed 0-1-0-0-1i; Rushing � Harraway 17-80, Cantrelle 11-58-1t, Edwards 12-57-1t, Robinson 4-11, Mira 2-6; Receiving � Jenkins 6-69, Harraway 2-9, Bishop 1-20, Robinson 1-19-1t, Barrios 1-15, Edwards 1-7.

Chicago Fire Birmingham Americans
First Downs 14 19
Rushes-Yardage 18-70 46-212
Passes-Yardage 263 139
Return Yards 126 73
Passes 19-43-3 12-29-2
Punts 9-30.2 9-37.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yardage 6-46 6-94

Bell Rings Detroit 27-23; Wheels lose Eigth Straight

Philadelphia Bell 27, Detroit Wheels 23.

philadelphia, pa.; The Philadelphia Bell defeated the Detroit Wheels, losers of eight in a row, 27-23 before 15,100 fans at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Claude Watts ran for two first quarter touchdowns and Jerry Warren kicked a pair of field goals to lead Philadelphia. The Bell opened the game scoring when quarterback Jim "King" Corcoran hit Watts on a 17-yard touchdown pass. In the third quarter, with Detroit leading 16-14, Bell kicker Jerry Warren split the uprights from 23-yards out to give Philadelphia the lead 17-16. Corcoran then hit Donnie Shanklin with a 24-yard touchdown pass as Philadelphia took a commanding 24-16 lead, and the win. (Pictured above, Claude Watts run with the Wheels' Mike Kuehn in pursuit)

Philadelphia Bell; Passing � Corcoran 11-29-184-2t; Rushing � Land 16-90, Watts 15-34-1t, Shanklin 2-27, Thompson 2-24, Corcoran 1/-1; Receiving � Shanklin 3-64-1t, Land 3-32, Watts 2-35-1t, Carter 1-23, Dunn 1-22, Thompson 1-8.

Detroit Wheels; Passing- Wyche 13-28-156-0-2i, Shaw 0-1-0; Rushing � Mims 15-85-1t Scarber 16-49, Wyche 6-30-2t, Sadler 2-24, Rathje 2-6; Receiving � Scarber 4-33, Mims 4-20, Phillips 3-29, Sadler 1-68, Henderson 1-6.

Philadelphia Bell Detroit Wheels
First Downs 17 19
Rushes-Yardage 36-174 41-194
Passes-Yardage 184 156
Return Yards 162 175
Passes 11-29-0 13-39-2
Punts 6-43.0 5-39.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-2
Penalties-Yardage 5-59 3-15

Adams Leads Sun In First Half Rout; Sun Defeats Storm 45-15

Southern California Sun 45, Portland Storm 15.

anahiem, ca.; Tony Adams completed 12 of 13 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Southern California Sun routed the Portland Storm 45-13. The victory was the third straight for the Sun, who lead the Western Division with a 5-3 won-lost record. A crowd of 27,814 watched as Adams hit Terry Lindsay for touchdown strikes of 37 and 23 yards, and Dave Williams for 11 and 28 yards for a 37-7 half time lead. The Storm fell to 0-7-1. (Pictured above, Tony Adams throws for one of three touchdowns against Portland).

Southern California Sun; Passing � Adams 12-13-168-3t, Valbuena 8-14-77-1t; Rushing � Emery 7-40, Herd 5-31, Nelson 7-27-1t, Jefferies 5-21, Adams 3-15, K. Johnson 5-14, Valbuena 2-3; Receiving � Williams 6-68-2t, Lindsey 3-86-2t, Harris 3-36, Emery 3-18, Moses 2-20, K. Johnson 2-7, Herd 1-8.

Portland Storm; Passing � Barton 8-15-57-1t-1i, K. Johnson 4-5-66-0; Rushing � Ferguson 13-31, Kendricks 11-23-1t, Krieg 2-19, House 4-16, K. Johnson 2-13, Burns 4-11; Receiving � Ferguson 3-50, Krieg 2-22, Dickerson 2-21, Kendricks 2-11, Matthews 1-15, Christiansen 1-4-1t, House 1-1.

Southern California Sun Portland Storm
First Downs 22 15
Rushes-Yardage 34-151 37-113
Passes-Yardage 243 123
Return Yards 75 109
Passes 20-27-0 12-20-1
Punts 4-36.0 6-36.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yardage 9-93 4-47

Sharks Top Hawaiians 14-8

Jacksonville Sharks 14, The Hawaiians 8.

honolulu, hw.; Jacksonville Shark quarterback Reggie Oliver passed to Drew Buie for a 36-yard scoring play late in the fourth quarter to give the Sharks a 14-8 win over Hawaii. Oliver got Jacksonville's first score with three minutes gone in the first quarter when he hit Edgar Scott with a 47-yard pass. The Hawaiians only score came in the second quarter when newly acquired Edd Hargett hit John Kelsey with a 27-yard touchdown pass. 10,099 fans attended the game at Honolulu's Hula Bowl. (pictured above, Hawaiian defenders Gary Baccus, Ron East, Karl Lorch and Frank Johnson gang tackle Shark Tommy Durrance).

Hawaiians; Passing � Hargett 9-33-90-1t-5i; Rushing � O�Leary 17-80, Davis 11-65, Turner 11-34, Heath 3-9, Hargett 1-3; Receiving � G. Smith 2-25, Hutt 2-16, Turner 2-10, Kelsey 1-27-1t, Davis 1-8, O�Leary 1-4.

Jacksonville Sharks; Passing � Oliver 7-11-180-2t-1i, Stephenson 4-9-42-0-1i; Rushing � Lake 10-29, Durrance 12-19, Oliver 3-6, Lamb 2-3, Davis 1-0; Receiving � Buie 4-83-1t, Scott 2-84-1t, Durrance 2-24, Lake 2-23, Hughes 1-8.

Hawaiians Jacksonville Sharks
First Downs 16 12
Rushes-Yardage 43-191 28-57
Passes-Yardage 90 222
Return Yards 57 50
Passes 9-33-5 11-20-2
Punts 5-34.4 8-42.4
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 4-1
Penalties-Yardage 5-45 4-34

Southmen Inflict Loss On Blazers 26-18

Memphis Southmen 26, Florida Blazers 18.

orlando, fla.; Southmen running back John Harvey scored on a 49-yard run and ran for 137 yards leading the Memphis Southmen to a 26-18 win over Florida. 15,746 in Orlando saw Memphis take a 18-10 lead into the locker room at half time. The Southmen came out in the third quarter with a long drive that was capped by Willie Spencer's 1-yard touchdown run, and tight end Gary Shirk scored the action point on a pass from John Huarte as Memphis went on to win 26-18. (Pictured above, Greg Latta hauls in a Bob Davis pass in the closing minutes of the game against Memphis).

Florida Blazers; Passing � Davis 24-36-326-2t-1i; Rushing � Reamon 11-44, Strong 7-40, Davis 1-6, Whitfield 1-0; Receiving � Strong 11-98, Bryant 5-75, Reamon 3-41, Latta 2-48-1t, Collins 2-34-1t, Maslowski 1-30.

Memphis Southmen; Passing � Huarte 4-12-83-1t; Rushing � Harvey 18-135-1t, Jennings 18-73, Spencer 9-22-1t, Huarte 3-21; Receiving � Marshall 3-65-1t, Shirk 1-8.

Florida Blazers Memphis Southmen
First Downs 23 17
Rushes-Yardage 20-90 48-251
Passes-Yardage 326 83
Return Yards 92 106
Passes 24-36-1 4-12-0
Punts 5-33.8 5-38.8
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yardage 3-15 6-30

Matuszak Stopped From Playing; Texans Defeat Stars 14-11

Houston Texans 14, New York Stars 11.

new york, ny.; Instead of the calm repetition of last week's 43-10 rout of the Texans the Stars ran into a bizarre and emotionally charged situation and suffered a 14-11 loss to Houston. A crowd of 10,126 watched as a process server delivered a restraining order to Texan linebacker John Matuszak, who had earlier jumped to the Texans from the Oilers of the NFL. Matuszak took part in only a half dozen plays. The Texans also benefited from the presence of ex-New York Giant defensive back Richmond Flowers, who played a great game in the secondary. Texan quarterback Mike Taliaferro threw two touchdowns, a 6-yarder to Willie Frazier and a 25-yarder to wide receiver Rick Eber. New York quarterback Tom Sherman completed 12 of 29 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in a losing cause. (Pictured above, John Matuszak sits on the bench after being served a restraining order from sheriff's deputies).

Houston Texans; Passing � Taliaferro 11-20-182-2t-1i, Nobles 1-3-5-0; Rushing � Richardson 18-83, Nance 8-27, Nobles 3-11, Blackney 3-9, McVea 6-7, Gipson 2-3; Receiving � Eber 4-81-1t, Odom 3-64, W. Frazier 2-19-1t, Richardson 2-18, Nance 1-5.

New York Stars; Passing � Sherman 12-29-119-1t; Rushing � E. White 9-42, Gladieux 12-26, Sherman 4-23, Richards 2/-5; Receiving � Kapitan 5-54-1t, Spinks 5-50, Gladieux 1-11, Young 1-4.

Houston Texans New York Stars
First Downs 18 13
Rushes-Yardage 40-140 27-86
Passes-Yardage 187 119
Return Yards 94 82
Passes 12-23-1 12-29-0
Punts 9-37.3 9-38.7
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yardage 11-75 9-77

WFL Week Eight MVP:

Tony Adams, Southern California Sun

WFL Week Eight Top Performers:

Passing - Tony Adams, Southern California Sun 12 of 13, 166 yards, 3 touchdowns

Rushing - John Harvey, Memphis Southmen 18 carries, 135 yards, 1 touchdown

Receiving - Dave Williams, Southern California Sun 6 receptions, 68 yards, 2 touchdowns

WFL Standings:

Eastern Division
Florida 6 2 0 .750 155 113
New York 5 3 0 .625 178 125
Philadelphia 4 4 0 .500 203 144
Jacksonville 3 5 0 .375 146 159
Central Division
Birmingham 8 0 0 1.000 226 131
Memphis 6 2 0 .750 246 175
Chicago 6 2 0 .750 220 193
Detroit 0 8 0 .000 138 236
Western Division
So. California 5 3 0 .600 184 147
Houston 3 4 1 .438 67 125
Hawaii 1 7 0 .125 133 249
Portland 0 7 1 .063 98 212

WFL Transactions:

August 23 - Jacksonville Sharks traded TE Mike Burnop to Southern California Sun for a player on the Sun protected list
  24 - Memphis Southmen sent DT Dan Sartin to Detroit for future considerations
  24 - Detroit Wheels signed DB Lewis Cook and OG John Levanti; placed OG Dennis Kemp, DB Darrell Mossburg and DE Jesse Parks on waivers; traded WR Hubie Bryant to Florida Blazers for DE Don Ratliff and an undisclosed draft choice; waived WR Clyde Glosson
  26 - New York Stars signed DB/KR Ike Thomas; released QB Don Gault; activated RB Jim Ford and DE Steve Setzler; de-activated RB Andy Huff, DE Jerry Ellison and QB Brian Dowling
  26 - Detroit Wheels activated DB Gary Hudson; de-activated DB Bennie Smith
  26 - Philadelphia Bell placed OL Dave Joyner and DB Marv Pettaway on waivers; signed DB Bernie Chapman, WR Mike Bartik, DL Tommie Davis, LB Gary Gray, DB Bryan Marshall and LB John Phillips; activated DBs Ron Mabra and Bernie Chapman; deactivated LB Bob Grant; placed RB Oscar Jenkins on injured reserved list
  26 - Southern California placed OT Bruce Ward and TE Jacques MacKinnon on waivers; activated RB Kermit Johnson, DT Clovis Swinney and RB Clay Jeffries (Jeffries from injured reserved list); de-activated OT Booker Brown, RB James McAlister and RB Don McCall
  26 - Houston Texans placed QB Don Trull, OL Bart Goforth, DL Don Talbert, and DL Al Dotson on waivers; re-signed LB Durfey Thompson
  26 - Portland Storm placed DB Tom Oberg and LB Jim Hann on waivers; activated DE Bruce Bergey; de-activated DB Steve Brown
  26 - The Hawaiians waived RB Henry Copeland, OL Neil Agness, OL George Follett and RB Larry Brice 27 � Florida Blazers traded WR/KR Billy Walik and OG Billy Yoest to Houston for future considerations
  27 - Portland Storm signed RB Leon Burns
  27 - Philadelphia Bell signed LB/DE Tim Rossovich
  28 - Houston Texans signed DT John Matuszak

NOTE: This page was researched and written by Jim Cusano. This page appeared on the former World Football League Hall of Fame Website and is used with permission. The WFL transactions were researched and compiled by Mark Speck.