The New York Stars of the World Football League were riding high (at least on the field) as they faced the Houston Texans on August 21, 1974. Coached by former pro quarterback Babe Parilli, the Stars had lost their first two games but then reeled off four straight victories. The offense was directed by QB Tom Sherman, included ex-Jets star WR George Sauer, and had the new league’s top-ranked rushing attack, led by a former Notre Dame standout in RB Bob Gladieux (pictured). The defense featured a line that was anchored by two more ex-Jets, DE Gerry Philbin and DT John Elliott. However, the club was forced to play its home games at the substandard Downing Stadium on out-of-the-way
in the shadow of the , and attendance
(not to mention credibility) suffered as a result. Triborough
The visiting Texans seemed to match up well with the Stars, for they boasted the top-rated rushing defense in the WFL. Coached by former Giants assistant Jim Garrett,
had a club laden with veterans. On offense, that included former AFL standouts
in WR Don Maynard and FB Jim Nance, plus QB Mike Taliaferro and TE Willie
Frazier. The defense had end Don Brumm, tackle Jim Kanicki, and LB Garland
Boyette. Still, they sported a mediocre 2-3-1 record, largely due to an
inability to score points.
There was a meager crowd of 12,042 at the poorly-lit Downing Stadium for the Wednesday night matchup. Things went wrong for
Houston on the game’s third play when FB Mike
Richardson fumbled and Philbin recovered for the Stars at the Texans’ 37. A
10-yard Tom Sherman completion to WR Al Young got the ball down to the one and
Bob Gladieux scored on the next play. The action point failed (in the WFL,
touchdowns counted for seven points and were followed by an “action point” that
could not be kicked).
Another turnover gave the Stars the ball when CB Steve Dennis intercepted a pass at the
York 47. Sherman
passed to WR Kreg Kapitan for 16 yards to the eight yard line and, from five
yards out, threw to Gladieux for a touchdown. The Stars again came up empty on
the action point attempt, but were ahead by 14-0.
score was set up thanks to a shanked 16-yard punt. Sherman passed twice to Young, for 24 and 7
yards, and then Young drew a 13-yard pass interference penalty. Gladieux scored
another touchdown, plowing in from a yard out.
The Texans finally got on the board 30 seconds before halftime when Charlie Durkee kicked a 43-yard field goal, but
Houston was in a deep hole at 21-3. A furious
Coach Garrett berated his team at halftime and promised to rid the club of
players that weren’t giving an adequate effort.
Garrett’s outburst failed to inspire the Texans in the second half. Bob Gladieux made it four touchdowns with a four-yard run in the third quarter to add to the home team’s lead. This time
York was able to convert the action point as Sherman passed to Young. The Stars had the
game well in hand at 29-3. The contest became a rout before the period was
over, this time with Sherman
tossing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kapitan. The action point failed, but it
The Stars rolled up an impressive 231 rushing yards and 405 overall to just 178 total yards for
New York also
held a huge edge in first downs, 25 to 11, and didn’t turn the ball over while
the Texans suffered three, all of which proved costly.
Tom Sherman completed 10 of 20 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Bob Gladieux was the most notable offensive star, rushing for 84 yards on 20 carries and catching one short scoring pass that gave him a total of four touchdowns. RB Ed White added 69 yards on 16 attempts and RB Dave Richards gained 63 on 14 rushes. Al Young caught 5 passes for 63 yards and Kreg Kapitan gained 64 yards on his 4 receptions that included a touchdown.
Mike Taliaferro completed 12 of 25 passes for just 81 yards. Mike Richardson
and FB Jim Nance each gained 26 yards rushing, on 11 and four carries,
respectively. WR Rick Eber led the receivers with three catches for 39 yards.
“I can’t believe this game! I thought it would be close,”
New York’s Gerry Philbin
“We weren’t ready to play,” said a disappointed Coach Jim Garrett. “It was obvious in the warmup.”
It was the fifth straight win for the Stars, and also the
high point for their
season. They played the Texans again the following week in Houston and lost, in
a contest best remembered for the legally abbreviated appearance by DE John
Matuszak for the home team, and never won consistently again. Unable to draw in
New York, the franchise was sold and moved to where it concluded the season with a final
record of 10-10. Charlotte, North
The Texans also failed to complete the season where they started, ending up in
as the Shreveport Steamer and going 7-12-1.
Bob Gladieux led the Stars in rushing with 690 yards on 177 carries (3.9 avg.) and caught a total of 9 passes for 99 yards. Despite his four-TD performance against the Texans, he ended up with a total of 7 touchdowns (the pass receiving score was his only one of the year). It was the final season of a nondescript five-year pro career spent mostly with the Patriots in the AFL and NFL.