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1975 Season Book - Week 3

Sports Daily

August 16, 1975

Hawaiians Lose Calvin Hill For Season; Winds draw 3,400 To Home Opener

The World Football League entered its third week of play and suffered a shattering blow. In Honolulu, running back Calvin Hill, on his eighth carry of the game, ran around the right side of the line and was cut down by Southern California Sun defender Jack Conner. Hill remained on the ground, wincing in pain and holding his knee, and the Hawaiians training staff huddled around him. Before the game entered the third quarter, Hill was undergoing knee surgery. The WFL had lost one of its best athletes for the season. In Chicago, a small crowd gathered for the debut of the Chicago Winds. Chicago, one of the WFL's strongest markets in 1974, drew only a few thousand fans of their home exhibition game against the Jacksonville Express and repeated the feat with their home opener against the Portland Thunder. Chicago management had announced a "Welcome Back Abe" promotion for returning Coach Abe Gibron, who had previously coached the Chicago Bears. The first 8,000 kids in the gate received free Chicago Winds T-shirts. On the field, Pat Haden of the Southern California Sun led the WFL in passing completing 36 of 59 attempts for 490 yards and five touchdowns. Portland Thunder running back, Jim Evenson, with a 161 yards performance against the Chicago Winds, moved into the number one place among WFL rushers with 277 yards on 51 carries- leading the Sun's Anthony Davis by 12 yards. John Gilliam of the Winds led all WFL receivers with 15 receptions for 273 yards and two touchdowns- one a game winner against Portland. Despite not having the league's best receiver on their roster, the San Antonio Wings placed four players in the top ten (Billy Sadler #4, Eddie Richardson #5, Donnie Joe Morris #6, and Willie Frazier #10). The Southern California Sun had the league's best offense averaging 362.3 yards a game, and the Memphis Southmen the best defense allowing only 261.5 yards a game.

Winds Shake Down Thunder 25-18

3,470 attend opener at Soldier Field

Winds WR John Gilliam catches winning TD pass

chicago, il.; Chicago Winds wide receiver John Gilliam (pictured above) caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Pete Bethard with 7:34 remaining in overtime to lead the Chicago Winds to a 25-18 win over the Portland Thunder. The Thunder lost their third straight game, despite forcing the overtime on a 28-yard Don Warner field goal with five minutes left to play. Winds quarterback Pete Bethard threw two touchdowns to Gilliam and running back Mark Kellar scored one on the ground to lead Chicago. Winds receiver John Gilliam caught 6 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. For several Wind players it was an emotional win. Mark Kellar, Tom Roussel, Steve Wright and many other veterans were member of the Chicago Fire that endured a 12-game losing streak in 1974. A Soldier Field crowd of only 3,470 fans attended the game in the pouring rain in Chicago.

Portland Thunder; Passing - 21-31-128-1t-2i; Rushing - J. Evenson 29-161-1t, R. Ferguson 16-51, I Hammon 3-4, J. Krieg 1-14; Receiving - R. Ferguson 6-40-, J. Evenson 5-10, J. Thorpe 4-30-1t, J. Krieg 3-24. I. Hammon 2-14, B. Christiansen 1-10.

Chicago Winds; Passing - P. Beathard 18-33-256-2t-1i; Rushing - B. Wyatt 12-55, M. Kellar 18-42-1t, M. Williams 1-0; Receiving - J. Gilliam 6-132-2t, M. Kellar 5-40, T. Gillespie 3-48, B. Wyatt 3-30, M. Adkins 1-14.

Portland Thunder Chicago Winds
First Downs 21  17
Rushes-Yardage 49-230 31-97
Passes-Yardage 128 256
Return Yards 116 186
Passes 21-31-2 18-33-1
Punts 7-37.1 7-33.7
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-Yardage 10-129 6-60

Express Upset Vulcans 22-11

Ex-Birmingham QB George Mira leads Jacksonville to game winning TD

Express QB George Mira led team to victory

jacksonville, fla.; George Mira and Tommy Reamon led the Jacksonville Express to a 22-11 victory over the Birmingham Vulcans. A Gator Bowl crowd of 16,049 fans saw Jacksonville hand the defending WFL champions their first loss of the season. Reamon gained 128 yards on 24 carries, including touchdown runs of 18 and four yards. Former Birmingham quarterback George Mira completed 10 passes for 179 yards and threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Witt Beckman. Birmingham cut the Jacksonville lead to 15-11 when kicker Ron Slovensky hit a 43-yard field goal, but the Express drove down the field for the final score of the game to clinch the win. The Vulcans were penalized 10 times for 83 yards in the game.

Birmingham Vulcans; Passing - D. Duron 13-26-197-0t-3i, M. Reed - 2-10-21-0t-0i; Rushing - J. Musso 13-60, A. Cantrelle 11-27, B. Rudder 1-26, D. Duron 2-14, M. Reed 2-11, J. Profit 5-10-1t; Receiving - A. Allen 5-72, D. Homan 4-80, T. Powell 2-26, A. Cantrelle 2-23, J. Musso 1-10, B. Brown 1-7.

Jacksonville Express; Passing - G. Mira 10-25-179-1t-2i; Rushing - T. Reamon 24-128-2t, A. Haywood 15-77, G. Mira 1-18, J. Poulos 2-5, D. Fowler 1-1, D. Callahan 1/-12; Receiving - W. Beckman 5-106-1t, T. Reamon 3-15, S. Barrios 2-58.

Birmingham Vulcans Jacksonville Express
First Downs 21 17
Rushes-Yardage 34-148 44-217
Passes-Yardage 218 179
Return Yards 87 69
Passes 15-36-3 10-25-2
Punts 5-44.6 6-41.7
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 4-1
Penalties-Yardage 10-83 4-41

Calvin Hill Out For Season

Calvin Hill lies on the field after injuring his knee

honolulu, hw.; World Football League star running back Calvin Hill was lost for the season with a knee injury as the Hawaiians fell to Southern California 37-19. 15,862 fans witnessed Hill, former star for the Dallas Cowboys, suffer a knee injury just eight carries into the game. The Hawaiians, fighting for respect, lead 19-14 going into the fourth quarter, before the Sun erupted for 23 unanswered points. Quarterback Pat Haden threw two touchdown passes to Terry Lindsey and David Williams and Sun running back Gary Dixon also added a score on a 11-yard touchdown run. Southern California's star running back, Anthony Davis, ran for two touchdowns in the first half. The win put Southern California at 2-1, and dropped Hawaii to 1-2.

Southern California Sun; Passing - P. Haden 12-19-177-2t-0i; Rushing - A. Davis 23-118-2t, D. Shy 5-22, G. Herd 3-18, G. Dixon 2-13-1t, B. Kramer 1-4, P. Haden 1-4; Receiving - D. Shy 4-13, C. Bradley 3-49, D. Williams 3-33-1t, T. Lindsey 1-66-1t, B. Kramer 1-16.

Hawaiians; Passing - W. Estabrook 8-27-107-1t-3i; Rushing - C. Heath 17-73-1t, C. Hill 8-45, V. Clements 4-15, Al Davis 5-15, W. Estabrook 5-6; Receiving - T. Delaney 3-48, V. Clements 2-32, J. Kelsey 2-16-1t, G. Richardson 1-13.

Southern California Sun Hawaiians
First Downs 17 15
Rushes-Yardage 35-179 44-163
Passes-Yardage 177 107
Return Yards 91 124
Passes 12-19-0 8-27-3
Punts 5-38.4 6-35.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yardage 6-50 10-65

Steamer hold off late Bell rally for 10-3 victory

shreveport, la.; Steamer running back Virgil Robinson scored the only touchdown of the game on a two yard sweep at the end of the first quarter as the Shreveport Steamer defeated the Philadelphia Bell 10-3. 12,017 fans at State Fair Stadium watched as Steamer quarterback Edd Hargett set up Robinson's score with a 43-yard pass to wide receiver Doug Winslow. The touchdown erased a 3-0 Philadelphia lead on Bob Cooper's 43-yard field goal in the first five minutes of the game. The Steamer defense held the Bell after the touchdown. Rookie defensive end Robert Barber tackled Bell quarterback Bob Davis for a safety with three minutes to play in the game. Running back Jim Nance rushed for 104 yards on 24 carries to lead the Steamer. Late in the game, the Bell drove deep into Shreveport territory but Steamer CB Daryl Johnson intercepted a Bob Davis pass in the end zone to kill the Philadelphia rally. Bell Quarterbacks Corcoran and Davis ended the game completing 10 of 27 passes for 118 yards, and had three passes intercepted. Shreveport improved its record to 2-1, Philadelphia fell to 1-2. (pictured above, Steamer defensive lineman Robert Barber and Ron Rydalch try to block a pass thrown by Bell quarterback King Corcoran)

Philadelphia Bell: Passing - J. Corcoran 7-18-62-0t-2i, B. Davis 3-9-56-0t-1i; Rushing - J. Rackley 8-36, J. Jennings 9-34, C. Watts 4-22, J. Land 8-14, A. Thompson 2-2, B. Davis 1-2; Receiving - T. Kwalick 3-48, J. Jennings 3-38, J. Land 3-19, B. Hawkins 1-13.

Shreveport Steamer; Passing - E. Hargett 12-21-150-0t-1i; Rushing - J. Nance 24-104, V. Robinson 15-47-1t, G. Smith 5-9; Receiving - J. Odom 6-67, D. Winslow 1-43.

Philadelphia Bell Shreveport Steamer
First Downs 10 17
Rushes-Yardage 32-110 44-160
Passes-Yardage 118 150
Return Yards 87 75
Passes 10-27-3 12-21-2
Punts 7-38.6 6-43.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-Yardage 6-37 5-35

Hornets Rally To Defeat Wings, 27-20

Don Highsmith's TD gave the Hornets the lead

charlotte, nc.; Danny Whyte caught a 57-yard pass from Tom Sherman as the Hornets rallied for 19 fourth-quarter points to defeat the San Antonio Wings 27-20. 8,447 fans at American Legion Memorial Stadium watched the Hornets rally back from a 20-8 deficit. Quarterback Tom Sherman hit Lewis Jolley with a 52-yard pass on the last play of the third quarter, then Jolley ran 11 yards for the touchdown to cut the San Antonio lead to 20-16. Hornets running back Don Highsmith added a touchdown and the Hornets also added a field goal to end San Antonio's winning streak. Hornets quarterback Tom Sherman was outgunned by Wings quarterback Johnnie Walton throughout the game. Sherman ended with 11 of 21 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown versus Walton's 14 of 33 for 229 yards and two touchdowns, but the Hornets came away with their first WFL win in 1975.

San Antonio Wings; Passing - J. Walton 14-33-229-2t-0i, J. Ettinger 2-3-16-0t-0i; Rushing - B. Sadler 14-41, J. Strong 12-30, J. Walton 2-24; Receiving - B. Sadler 5-74-1t, Ed. Richardson 4-49-1t, L. Palmer 2-27, B. Gatti 2-19, J. Strong 1-36, W. Frazier 1-21. D. Yaege 1-19.

Charlotte Hornets; Passing - T. Sherman 11-21-216-1t-1i; Rushing - L. Jolley 14-72-1t, T. Sherman 6-17, D. Highsmith 16-12-1t, J. Sykes 1-3; Receiving - L. Jolley 2-52, A. Young 2-29, R. Cobb 2-19, D. Whyte 1-57-1t, R. Parson 1-18, J. Thompson 1-14, D. Highsmith 1-13, K. Kapitan 1-12.

San Antonio Wings Charlotte Hornets
First Downs 13 14
Rushes-Yardage 28-95 37-110
Passes-Yardage 245 216
Return Yards 173 62
Passes 16-37-0 11-21-1
Punts 4-46.8 3-41.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-0
Penalties-Yardage 5-35 3-21

WFL Week Three MVP:

Tommy Reamon, Jacksonville Express

WFL Week Three Top Performers:

Passing - Pat Haden, Southern California Sun 12-19-177-2t-0i

Rushing - John Evenson, Portland Thunder 29 carries, 161 yards, 1 touchdown

Receiving - John Gilliam, Chicago Winds 6 receptions, 132 yards, 2 touchdowns

WFL Standings:

Eastern Division
Memphis 2 0 0 50 37
Birmingham 2 1 0 44 39
Jacksonville 1 1 0 48 38
Philadelphia 1 2 0 41 48
Charlotte 1 2 0 48 70
Western Division
San Antonio 3 0 120 62
So. California 2 1 0 80 88
Shreveport 2 1 0 51 40
Chicago 1 2 0 43 66
Hawaiians 1 2 0 59 82
Portland 0 3 0 57 71

WFL Transactions:

August 11 - Memphis Southmen waived K Dave Draudt
  12 - Jacksonville Express acquired DE Joey Jackson from the Charlotte Hornets for future considerations; released DT Clint Giffith
  12 - Birmingham Vulcans announced WR Thom Gossom, Jr. had retired
  12 - Southern California Sun signed P/QB Alvin White; placed K Ron Ayala on injured reserve list
  13 - Jacksonville Express signed DB John Osborne; waived DB Dennis Pete and LB Rick Liddell

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