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1974 Season Book - Week 18

Sports Daily

October 30, 1974

Fire's Origer Demands Davidson's Resignation

The World Football League entered the month of November in the headlines. Chicago Fire owner Tom Origer called an emergency meeting of the WFL founders in Chicago and gave the league an ultimatum; replace WFL Commissioner Gary Davidson or Origer would disband his franchise. In the Chicago Tribune, Origer told reporters, "he goes or I go." The WFL sacked Gary Davidson and the franchise owners took over control of the league. The WFL's financially sound owners, led by Memphis' John Basset and Chicago's Tom Origer, would run the league after months of watching their project deteriorate since its opening kickoff in July. The league faces a pair of gigantic problems: the financial shoring up of six franchises and the reconstruction of their marred public image. Two problems the owners feel can be traced back to Davidson. The league changed its playoff format, again. Eight teams were now eligible, leaving only two of the remaining franchises out of the post-season. Chicago Fire owner Tom Origer was despondent over making the playoffs after a rash of injuries which cost his team starting quarterback Virgil Carter, running back Mark Kellar and receivers James Scott and Jack Dolbin. The Fire had lost nine games in a row. In Birmingham, the Americans led the WFL in attendance with a average of 43,607 fans a game. The Chicago Fire, after completing its home schedule, averaged 29,511, the combination of New York/Charlotte drew 14,511 (but over 20,000 in Charlotte), Jacksonville announced an average of 33,280 and Detroit 10,237. On the field, Southern California clinched the Western Division, Florida held a two game lead over the Charlotte Hornets, and the Memphis Southmen also held a two game lead over the Birmingham Americans. The Sun's Tony Adams led the WFL in passing, while Florida Blazer Tommy Reamon took over the league's rushing lead with 1,401 yards. Hawaiian Tim Delaney recaptured the league's receiving lead with 74 receptions for 1,073 yards- the first WFL receiver to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.

90 Yard Pass Leads Philadelphia Bell Past Chicago Fire, 37-31

Fire safety Harry Howard battles Willie Franklin

philadelphia, pa.; The Philadelphia Bell rang up 22 points in the final quarter to defeat the Chicago Fire 37-31before 12,500 fans at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. The winning points came on a three-yard touchdown run by John Land. The score was set up by a 90-yard pass from "King" Corcoran to Willie Franklin that carried from the Bell's four yard line to Chicago's six. The Fire, which lost its ninth game in a row, scored on the game's final play, a one-yard dive by Cyril Pinder. Fire quarterback Bubba Wyche completed 20 of 32 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown and ran for two others in the losing effort. The win lifted the Bell to 8-10, and kept them in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Sun Defeat Hornets 34-25, Before 19,436 in Charlotte

Tony Adams and Keith Denson celebrate the Sun's Win

charlotte, nc.; Quarterback Tony Adams, a rookie out of Utah State, ran for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead the Southern California Sun to a 34-25 win over the Charlotte Hornets. 19,436 fans at Memorial Stadium watched in silence as Adams completed a 22-yard pass to Dave Williams with just :22 remaining in the half and gave the Sun a 12 point lead. The Hornets, struggling after two straight losses, started quarterback Brian Dowling for the injured Tom Sherman. Dowling completed 8 of 18 for 93 yards and had two passes intercepted. His replacement, Gary Danielson, completed 12 of 26 for 100 yards. The Sun defense, led by Dave Roller, limited the powerful running attack of the Hornets to only 72 yards and harassed Don Highsmith throughout the game.

Huarte Throws 3 TDs, Southmen Defeat Hawaiians On Halloween Night

Hawaii RB Vin Clements runs past Southmen John LeHeup

honolulu, hw.; The Memphis Southmen outlasted the Hawaiians in a wild game in which the scores came in every possible way. The 33-31 win assured the Southmen of at least a tie for the WFL Central Division championship. John Huarte, the onetime Heisman Trophy winner, threw three touchdown passes to lead the Memphis team to its 15th win of the season- the record for all professional football clubs. The game, played before 20,544 on Halloween, featured a 4-yard fumble recovery by Memphis' Willie Beamer; a Hawaii safety on a Memphis snap that sailed through the end zone; and touchdown passes of 38, 51 and 37 yards by both clubs. Southmen running back JJ Jennings ran for 107 yards on 24 carries to lead Memphis, and Hawaii quarterback Randy Johnson completed 23 of 44 passes for 316 yards and three touchdowns. The loss dropped Hawaii to 7-11 and a half game behind the Portland Storm in the Western Division.

Americans Defeat Blazers 26-18

Matthew Reed comes off bench to direct scoring drive

American QB Matthew Reed

birmingham, al.; Rookie quarterback Matthew Reed, coming off the bench after George Mira received a shoulder injury, threw one touchdown pass and directed a 52-yard scoring drive to pace the Birmingham Americans to a 26-18 win over the Florida Blazers. The Blazers crept to within five points of Birmingham in the fourth quarter, but Willy Smith intercepted a Bob Davis pass and returned it 42 yards to the Florida five yard line. Although the Americans failed to get the ball into the end zone from that point, Grant Guthrie kicked a field goal to give the Americans the final margin. American receiver Alfred Jenkins had 6 receptions for 168 yards and a touchdown before 21,872 fans at Legion Field.

Beathard Throws 2 TDs, Leads Portland To 14-0 Win Over Shreveport

Steamer RB Jim Nance eludes Storm LB Rick Redman

shreveport, la.; A pair of Pete Beathard touchdown passes to Rufus Ferguson carried the Portland Storm to a 14-0 win over the Shreveport Steamer. Beathard hit Ferguson with a six-yard strike to cap a 72-yard, 10-play drive on the Storm's first possession of the game. He followed up with a 34-yarder to Ferguson with 1:07 remaining in the second quarter. The Portland defense held the Shreveport rushing attack to only 59 yards, and limited Steamer running back Jim Nance to 35 yards on 14 carries. Storm quarterback, Pete Beathard completed 13 of 22 passes for 199 yards.

WFL Week Eighteen MVP:

John Huarte, Memphis Southmen

WFL Week Eighteen Top Performers:

Passing - King Corcoran, Philadelphia Bell 20 of 34, 349 yards, 3 touchdowns

Rushing - Tommy Reamon, Florida Blazers 29 carries, 103 yards, 2 touchdowns

Receiving - Tim Delaney, Hawaiians 10 receptions, 161 yards, 2 touchdowns

WFL Standings:

Eastern Division
Florida 12 6 0
Charlotte 10 8 0
Philadelphia 8 10 0
Jacksonville* 1 13 0
Central Division
Memphis 15 3 0
Birmingham 13 5 0
Chicago 7 11 0
Detroit* 1 13 0
Western Division
So. California 13 5 0
Portland 7 10 1
Hawaii 7 11 0
Shreveport 6 11 1

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.