Welcome to the World Football League Website

1975 Season Book - Week 7

Sports Daily

September 13, 1975

WFL In Trouble?

Teams in Portland, Philadelphia, and Shreveport draw low crowds

The World Football League entered its seventh week of contests. Memphis and Birmingham continued to fight for first place in the East, while San Antonio and Southern California fought in the West. The Birmingham Vulcans kept pace with Memphis, defeating the Wings 33-24 on the arm of quarterback Matthew Reed. Memphis shot down Shreveport to improve their record to 5-1 (1/2 game ahead of Birmingham). In the West, despite losing to the Vulcans, the Wings breathed a sigh of relief when the Charlotte Hornets upset the Sun 30-22. Southern California fell 1/2 game behind San Antonio. On the field, Pat Haden of the Southern California Sun continued to lead the WFL in passing with 1,248 yards, 88 completions on 144 attempts and ten touchdowns. The league now had three quarterbacks who had surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Haden (1,248), San Antonio's Johnnie Walton (1,428) and Portland Thunder quarterback Don Horn (1,169). Anthony Davis led all WFL rushers with 688 yards on 140 carries for a 4.9 average and six touchdowns. Terry Lindsey of the Sun led all receivers with 25 receptions for 372 yards and two touchdowns. San Antonio's Eddie Richardson had 29 receptions for 347 yards but averaged fewer yards per reception. The games played in Anaheim, Memphis, Philadelphia, Hawaii and Birmingham, drew a total of 64,815 fans for an average of 12,963 (8,000 off the break even point of the Hemmeter Plan). Reports estimated that the WFL had lost greater than $250,000 during the week.

"Everytime I go into a city there is a report that the team in that city is going bankrupt" Chris Hemmeter said. Our league has 10 teams, they are playing their games on schedule and we will finish the season. It seems that the media in WFL cities support us, but the media in 27 other cities wants us to go out of business." Hemmeter was referring to the 26 NFL cities.

Prolog: Csonka, Kiick and Warfield While none of Memphis' "Big Three" were in the top ten for any WFL statistical category, their contribution on the field was felt as Kiick ran for a touchdown against Shreveport. Jim Kiick remained the leading rusher on the Southmen with 345 yards on 82 carries. He also caught 14 passes for 135 yards and leads the WFL in scoring with 68 points, including nine touchdowns. The effect on the paid attendance was also evident with the Southmen averaging close to 20,000 a game.

Hornets Goal Line Stand Seals Victory Over Sun

Charlotte Hornets 30, Southern California Sun 22.

anaheim. ca.; Tom Sherman threw two touchdown passes and a pair of action points to spark the Charlotte Hornets to a 30-22 victory over the Southern California Sun at Anaheim Stadium before 11,123 fans. The game ended with the Hornets staging a last-second goal line stand as the Sun failed twice on running plays from the Hornet 1-yard line after Pat Haden had moved his team 65 yards on four straight completions and a 6-yard run. Greg Herd, a 240-pound fullback, was stopped on the 1 and an offside penalty gave him one more chance, which failed by inches. Anthony Davis (pictured above) scored twice for the Sun on 33 and 8-yard runs and accounted for 141 yards on 17 carries to retain his league lead in rushing. The win improved Charlotte's record to 4-2, the Sun sunk to 4-3. Sun QB, Daryle Lamonica played in what would be his final game ending a thirteen year pro career. The Hornets win marked their fourth in a row and the longest win streak in the WFL this season. "If you challenge the Sun defense they can be stopped" said Hornets head coach Bob Gibson. "Our pass defense did the job." Sun quarterback Daryle Lamonica threw his first regular season touchdown in the WFL. "I had no idea I was going to start the second half." Lamonica said. "I felt good. I did some things well and others not so well. It's just a matter of getting my timing down in game conditions." This game was played on Sunday, September 14, 1975.

Charlotte Hornets; Passing - T. Sherman 10-19-122-2t-0i, J. Sykes 1-1-22-0t-0i; Rushing - D. Highsmith 21-54-2t, L. Jolley 10-37, T. Sherman 3-12; Receiving - K. Kapitan 3-42-1t, A. Young 3-26, R. Cobb 2-34-1t, R. Parson 2-34, L. Jolley 1-6.

Southern California Sun: Passing - P. Haden 12-25-178-0t-2i, D. Lamonica 7-12-75-1t-2i; Rushing - A. Davis 17-141-2t, G. Herd 6-36, P. Haden 4-26, G. Dixon 5-24, B. Ferrell 2-10, B. Kramer 1-4, D. Lamonica 1-2; Receiving - K. Denson 4-93-1t, J. McKay 3-44, B. Kramer 2-40, A. Davis 4-23, T. Lindsey 4-24, B. Ferrell 2-21, C. Bradley 1-5, G. Dixon 1-2, G. Herd 1-1.

Charlotte Hornets Southern California Sun
First Downs 15 25
Rushes-Yardage 34-103 36-239
Passes-Yardage 144 263
Return Yards 172 102
Passes 11-20-0 22-38-4
Punts 9-36.2 4-37.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yardage 8-67 7-61

Steamer Rally In Fourth Quarter Comes Up Short

Memphis Southmen 34, Shreveport Steamer 23.

memphis, tn.; Danny White, making his first start of the year for Memphis, passed for 173 yards and one touchdown as the Southmen defeated the Shreveport Steamer 34-23 before a Sunday crowd of 18,003 fans on September 14. White, a second year pro from Arizona State, completed 9 of 15 passes and one touchdown. Memphis led 26-0 going into the fourth quarter on Willie Spencer's 8-yard run, Jim Kiick's one yard run and Ed Marshall's 17-yard touchdown reception. The Steamer rallied for 23 points in the fourth quarter, and outgained the Southmen 388 yards to 308 in defeat. Running back Jim Nance rushed for 93 yards on 23 carries in a losing effort. (Pictured above, Paul Warfield catching a pass against the Steamer).

Shreveport Steamer; Passing - D. Nobles 13-28-186-3t-0i, E. Hargett 4-12-42-0t-1i; Rushing - J. Nance 20-93, V. Robinson 9-33, D. Nobles 4-23, H. Brandon 6-8, E. Hargett 3-3; Receiving - R. Eber 5-89-2t, J. Odom 3-53, J. Nance 2-32, R. Scales 2-18, V. Robinson 2-16, H. Brandon 1-11, D. Davis 1-10, D. Winslow 1-9.

Memphis Southmen; Passing - D. White 9-15-173-1t-1i; Rushing - W. Spencer 9-60-1t, J. Kiick 15-52-1t, J. Harvey 6-26-1t, D. White 3-12, G. Shirk 1-5, J. Huarte 3-0; Receiving - G. Shirk 3-76, E. Marshall 3-56-1t, P. Warfield 1-19, J. Kiick 1-12, W. Spencer 1-10.

Shreveport Steamer Memphis Southmen
First Downs 24 15
Rushes-Yardage 42-160 37-155
Passes-Yardage 228 173
Return Yards 97 107
Passes 17-40-1 9-15-1
Punts 5-40.2 6-41.8
Fumbles-Lost 6-3 5-3
Penalties-Yardage 6-32 6-45

Thunder Rolls, 25-10

4,710 attend game at Franklin Field

Thunder RB Ira Hammond is brought down by Ken Sanduk, Don Ratliff, and Doug Olson

philadelphia, pa.; Rufus Ferguson scored two first-quarter touchdowns to lead the Portland Thunder to a 25-10 win over the Philadelphia Bell. The win was Portland's first under general manager Bob Brodhead, who replaced Greg Barton as head coach. Portland scored on its first two series of the opening period. Taking the opening kickoff, the Thunder went 67 yards in 10 plays with Ferguson going around end for the last twelve. After the Bell failed to move the ball, a fumbled snap from center by punter Lincoln Wells gave Portland the ball at the Bell 45. Quarterback Don Horn then completed four passes in an eight-play drive, climaxed by Ferguson diving into the end zone from one yard out. Ferguson then scored the action point, giving Portland a 15-0 lead. The Thunder took a commanding 25-0 lead before the Bell got on the scoreboard with a "King" Corcoran 22-yard touchdown pass to Ben Hawkins. Bell LB Steve Colavito accounted for 28 tackles in the game with seventeen being primary tackles. The attendance at Philadelphia's Franklin Field was 4,710 for a total of 12,484 fans for three regular season Bell home games. (Pictured above, Ira Hammond is brought down by Ken Sanduk as Don Ratliff and Doug Olson move in).

Portland Thunder; Passing - D. Horn 10-20-89-1t-1i; R. Ferguson 24-93-2t, I. Hammon 16-67, J. Evenson 9-28, D. Horn 1-5; Receiving - R. Feguson 4-27, I. Hammon 2-22, B. Christiansen 1-13, J. Thorpe 1-12, J. Krieg 1-12, E. McCullouch 1-3-1t.

Philadelphia Bell; Passing - J. Corcoran 7-23-75-1t-2i, B. Davis 2-8-28-0t-2i; Rushing - J. Land 10-65, J. Jennings 9-47, H. Strickland 3-17, C. Watts 3-2, B. Davis 1-0; Receiving - B. Hawkins 4-59-1t, T. Kwalick 2-26, J. Jennings 1-12, R. Holliday 1-6, J. Land 1-0.

Portland Thunder Philadelphia Bell
First Downs 18 14
Rushes-Yardage 52-183 26-131
Passes-Yardage 89 103
Return Yards 35 157
Passes 10-20-1 9-31-4
Punts 8-39.1 5-40.2
Fumbles-Lost 5-0 7-3
Penalties-Yardage 6-37 3-19

Hawaiians Win First Pro Game At New Aloha Stadium

Hawaiians 33, Jacksonville Express 15.

honolulu, hi.; Hawaiians quarterback Sonny Sixkiller threw for three touchdowns to lead the Hawaiians to a 33-15 victory over the Jacksonville Express in Honolulu. 18,479 fans attended the grand opening of the new 65,000 seat Aloha Stadium. The crowd watched a crushing Hawaiians defense led by Lem Burnham, Karl Lorch, Levi Stanley and Skip Williams keep the Express running attack in check as Alfred Haywood and Tommy Reamon gained minimal yardage. Former World Bowl MVP quarterback George Mira was harassed throughout the game as Hawaiians opened up a 26-7 after the third quarter on Sixkillers' passing and never looked back. Express quarterback George Mira left the game in the first quarter after getting his left index finger caught in a zipper on the artificial turf. He returned later only to go out in the third quarter with knee ligaments. (Pictured above, Tommy Reamon of the Express is chased down by Lem Burnham, Jim Kalili, and Phil Andre).

Jacksonville Express; Passing - G. Mira 8-13-82-0t-2i, D. Fowler 5-12-83-1t-2i; Rushing - A. Haywood 8-35, T. Reamon 10-17, J. Poulos 1-4, G. Mira 1-2: Receiving - S. Barrios 3-54-1t, A. Haywood 3-35, W. Beckman 3-32, T. Reamon 2-15, L. McGriff 1-16, D. Hughes 1-13.

Hawaiians; Passing - S. Sixkiller 20-31-209-3t-1i, R. Cassata 1-1-24-1t-0i, W. Estabrook 0-4-0-0t-0i; Rushing - W. Wingard 8-38, V. Clements 6-26, C. Heath 12-25, D. Thomas 9-28, A. Davis 2-8, W. Estabrook 1-4; Receiving - T. Delaney 8-99-3t, D. Atkinson 6-73, V. Clements 3-11, C. Heath 2-12, A. Davis 1-24-1t, D. Olerich 1-14.

Jacksonville Express Hawaiians
First Downs 9 23
Rushes-Yardage 20-54 38-121
Passes-Yardage 165 233
Return Yards 94 50
Passes 13-25-4 21-36-1
Punts 5-36.6 4-40.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-0 2-1
Penalties-Yardage 6-46 5-25

Reed Runs And Passes To Lead Vulcans Over Wings

Birmingham Vulcans 33, San Antonio Wings 24.

birmingham, al.; The Birmingham Vulcans met the San Antonio Wings in a game scheduled after the collapse of the Chicago Winds. Matthew Reed accounted for three touchdowns and Ron Slovensky kicked three field goals to lead the Vulcans to a 33-24 win over the Wings. Reed passed 72 and 45 yards for touchdowns in the first half and scrambled 32 yards for a fourth quarter touchdown before 12,500 fans. Slovensky kicked field goals of 33, 32 and 23 yards. The Vulcans led 19-14 at halftime, and 19-17 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The victory improved Birmingham's won-lost record to 5-2 (1/2 game behind Memphis) and dropped San Antonio to 5-3 (1 game ahead of Southern California in the West).

San Antonio Wings; Passing - J. Walton 15-31-204-1t-2i; Rushing - B. Sadler 9-82-1t, D. James 7-33-1t, J. Strong 9-9, J. Walton 1-1, B. Gatti 1-3; Receiving - Ed. Richardson 6-101, J. Strong 3-26, B. Sadler 2-27, L. Palmer 2-18-1t, D. Morris 1-21, W. Frazier 1-11.

Birmingham Vulcans - M. Reed 8-19-219-2t-0i; Rushing - M. Reed 9-83-1t, A. Cantrelle 17-74, T. Powell 13-62, B. Rudder 6-22, R. Evans 1-12, K. Marbury 7-5; Receiving - R. Evans 2-85-1t, N. Fergerson 2-58-1t, A. Cantrelle 2-44, J. Bishop 2-32.

San Antonio Wings Birmingham Vulcans
First Downs 17 22
Rushes-Yardage 27-122 53-258
Passes-Yardage 204 219
Return Yards 163 91
Passes 15-31-2 8-19-0
Punts 6-34.8 5-35.4
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 5-3
Penalties-Yardage 6-42 5-39

WFL Week Seven MVPs:

Matthew Reed, Birmingham Vulcans

WFL Week Seven Top Performers:

Passing - D.C. Nobles, Shreveport Steamer 13-28-186- 3 touchdowns

Rushing - Anthony Davis, Southern California Sun 17 carries, 141 yards, 2 touchdowns

Receiving - Tim Delaney, Hawaiians 8 receptions, 99 yards, 3 touchdowns

WFL Standings:

Eastern Division
Memphis 5 1 0 170 106
Birmingham 5 2 0 149 114
Charlotte 4 2 0 121 106
Jacksonville 3 3 0 125 138
Philadelphia 2 5 0 112 159
Western Division
San Antonio 5 3 0 215 129
So. California 4 3 0 203 212
Hawaiians 3 3 0 137 151
Shreveport 2 5 0 121 150
Portland 2 5 0 123 153
*Chicago 1 4 0 67 125

* Suspended Operations

WFL Transactions:

September 9 - The Hawaiians signed RB Duane Thomas
9 - Jacksonville Express signed WR Lee McGriff; waived WR Danny Kimble
9 - Birmingham Vulcans announced WR Nate Fergerson left team for personal reason; signed WR Robert Evans
10 - Southern California Sun obtained OT Bob Rickenbach from Philadelphia Bell for cash and a 2nd round draft choice
10 - Portland Thunder cut RB J.J. Hartstein, OT Dave Taylor, DT Billy Joe Winchester and DB Denny Draper; activated OG Allan Graf; signed LB/P Johnnie Knoble, RB Bob Wyatt and DB Hal Phillips
11 - Birmingham Vulcans waived WR Arthur Allen and LB Al Humphrey; announced WR Nate Fergerson had rejoined team
12 - Charlotte Hornets waived OT Carl Collins; signed OG/DE Bracey Bonham
12 - Philadelphia Bell signed and activated RB Howard Strickland

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. The Memphis Southmen photo is courtesy of Johnny Wofford.