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1974 Season Book - Playoffs, Round 2

Sports Daily

November 29, 1974

The World Football League moved into its second round of playoff matchups with the Florida Blazers traveling to Memphis to take on the Southmen, and the Birmingham Americans hosting the Hawaiians. During the week the WFL announced that the average attendance for 1974 was 21,458, and the league had drawn a total of 2,424,838 fans during the regular season. Reports around the league claimed that New York Jet star quarterback Joe Namath was considering buying a WFL franchise and becoming the first ever player-owner. In Chicago, owner Tom Origer disbanded the Chicago Fire after deciding the league's problems were too great to overcome. The WFL quickly announced that it would return to Chicago in 1975 under new ownership. The Internal Revenue Service padlocked the offices of the Portland Storm and owner Bob Harris told reporters he had written off the $500,000 he had invested in the club. WFL officials also announced that Chris Hemmeter, part owner of the Hawaiians, would be named commissioner of the league, and that CBS was reportedly interested in televising rights in 1976 when Yankee Stadium would be available for a possible New York franchise. In Orlando, Bob Prentice and his investment group had come under suspicion when a $1.5 million check that was to purchase the Blazers bounced. It was later learned that the check had been written on the account of LTD Inc., whose major investor was convicted felon Coleman Taylor. Orlando authorities vowed to pursue an investigation into the proposed sale.

Blazers Upset Southmen, 18-15

Fumble leads to Florida TD with 1:13 to play

Florida Blazers 18, Memphis Southmen 15.

memphis, tn.; The Florida Blazers made good on the promise of their coach, Jack Pardee, and defeated the favored Memphis Southmen 18-15 before a disappointing crowd of 9,692 in Memphis to earn the right to play in the WFL's first World Bowl championship. With 3:06 remaining in the game, and a heavy rain falling the entire night, Luther Palmer recovered a David Thomas fumble of a Florida punt at the Memphis 22. Four plays later, rookie running back Richard James from Cincinnati University ran four yards on a sweep around right end for the touchdown that set the final score at 18-15 with 1:13 left to play. Memphis fans were on the edge of their seats as the Southmen drove down the field and Bob Etter tried a 40-yard field goal with time expiring. Blazer Louis Ross blocked the kick and the WFL's Eastern Division winners were World Bowl bound.

For the first 30 minutes Memphis dominated the game, scoring twice in the first 10 minutes- first on a one-yard run by JJ Jennings and again on a 45-yard pass from John Huarte to Ed Marshall- and missed another score when Blazer Miller Farr intercepted a Haurte pass in the end zone. Tommy Reamon, the WFL's leading rusher, gained 51 yards in the first half, but ended with 125 yards on 25 carries. Back-up quarterback Buddy Palazzo replaced the injured Bob Davis late in the second half and completed 3 of 6 passes for 47 yards. (Pictured above, JJ Jennings is tackled by Blazer Rickie Harris).

FLORIDA 0 0 11 7 -- 18

MEMPHIS 15 0 0 0 -- 15

Memphis- Jennings 1 yard run (Jennings run) 8-0

Memphis- Marshall 45-yard pass from Huarte (run failed) 15-0

Florida- Strock 25-yard field goal 3-15

Florida- Reamon 23-yard run (Williams run) 11-15

Florida- James 4-yard run (pass failed) 18-15


Florida- Reamon 25-125-1 TD, James 6-41-1 TD, Strong 6-31, Strock 1-11, Gatti 2-5

Memphis- Jennings 24-106-1 TD, Miles 11-26, Huarte 2-11


Florida- Davis 3-10-20 (one interception), Palazzo 3-6-47

Memphis- Huarte 17-22-198-1 TD (one interception)


Florida- Latta 3-25, Maslowski 1-22, Gatti 1-10, Strong 1-9

Memphis- Ettinger 9-105, Miles 4-12, Marshall 2-63- 1 TD, Shirk 1-10, Jennings 1-7

Americans Headed To World Bowl, Defeat Hawaii 22-19

Americans Headed To World Bowl, Defeat Hawaii 22-19

birmingham, al.; The Birmingham Americans made it to the World Bowl with a 22-19 win over the Hawaiians in front of 15,379 fans at Birmingham's Legion Field. American quarterback Matthew Reed came off the bench to keep the Americans unbeaten at home. Reed relieved starter George Mira late in the third period when the Americans trailed 11-7, and three plays later passed 32 yards to Alfred Jenkins for a touchdown. The Birmingham fans then watched Reed score another touchdown on a three-yard run in the final quarter after engineering a 94-yard drive. Charley Harraway scored the other American touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter. The Hawaiians pulled into the lead when A.A. Coppedge kicked a 30-yard field goal and quarterback Randy Johnson scored from the one.

Hawaiian quarterback Randy Johnson, who had brought the Hawaiians into the playoffs on the strength of his passing, completed 9 of 19 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown. The Birmingham defense kept the Hawaiians in check all night limiting the team to only 71 yards rushing, and nine first downs. The Americans' gained 448 yards of total offense, while Hawaii managed only 220.

HAWAII 0 3 3 8 -- 19

BIRMINGHAM 7 0 8 7 -- 22

Birmingham- Harraway 2-yard run (pass failed) 7-0

Hawaii- Coppedge 30-yard field goal 3-7

Hawaii- Johnson 1-yard run (Weese run) 11-7

Birmingham- Jenkins 32-yard pass from Reed (Reed pass to Powell) 15-11

Birmingham- Reed 3-yard run (run failed) 22-11

Hawaii- Clements 17-yard pass from Johnson (Weese pass to Kelsey) 19-22


Hawaii- Davis 13-56, O'Leary 4-11, Clements 3-3, Johnson 1-1

Birmingham- Profit 2-147, Harraway 13-63-1 TD, Robinson 12-60, Edwards 6-27, Mira 2-8, Reed 3-3-1 TD


Hawaii- Johnson 9-19-148-1 TD (one interception)

Birmingham- Mira 5-11-41, Reed 5-9-79-1 TD, Sark 1-1-20


Hawaii- Delaney 5-55, Clements 2-26-1 TD, Isenbarger 1-66, O'Leary 1-2

Birmingham- Homan 3-36, Jenkins 2-46-1 TD, Edwards 2-21, Smith 1-20, Brown 1-13, Robinson 1-4

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.