July 26, 1974
By Bill Verigan
In the end, it was a game between the quiet man, Tom Sherman, and the wild man, King Corcoran - two quarterbacks who had faced each other in front of 8,000 people only a few years ago in the Atlantic Coast League squaring off in front of 64,179 tonight in the World Football League.
And in the end, Sherman was the winner, leading the Stars to a 17-15 victory over the Philadelphia Bell.
Lou Angelo, a safety activated only four days ago during the Stars defensive shakeup, had blown a diving shot to stop Shanklin's 53-yard jaunt in the first quarter. But he got things started in the second quarter by intercepting a Corcoran pass on the New York 15.
After Bob Gladieux diverted attention from Sherman with a few dashes up the middle, the Stars put their passing game into action. Sherman faked a run, [and] then passed to the left. The ball was tipped by safety Ed Hayes to Dave Richards, by a leg. On second down, Richards went over the right side for the TD. A short pass by Sherman intended for Askson went incomplete, leaving New York a point down, 8-7.
The Stars soon got their chance to go ahead, however, Alan Thompson fumbled Moses Lajterman's kickoff, and Larry Shears pounced on the ball at the Bell 29. Sherman and Gladieux shoved to the 16, but then the drive appeared to die.
George Sauer gathered in what looked like a TD pass, only to have it called back by a 10-yard penalty that left the Stars with a third-and-17 situation on the Bell's 26. However, Sherman's pass over the right side of Al Young was good for 20 yards to the six. It took Gladieux three times to get over, the last a dive from the one with 2:30 left until intermission.
The drive started right after the Stars' first threatening gesture of the game. Little [5' 7"] Bob Hermanni had scurried 25 yards to within the shadow of the goalposts, the Philadelphia 13, on a reverse; but two plays later, the threat ended. Sherman faded back, heaved the ball up the middle for Bert Askson, who tipped it into the hands of Bill Craven on the Bell 11.
Five plays later, the Bell had its TD. Corcoran accounted for the bulk of the yardage on a 52-yard pass to Don Shanklin, [and] then hit an 18-yarder to Claude Watts for the score. Both times, the New York defense was nonexistent.
Philadelphia then got the action point, after three off-sides calls against New York. On the fourth attempt, Corcoran merely had a yard to go on a keeper. However, the fireworks display following the Bell TD seemed to bring New York to life.
Early in the third period, after an unruly mob had threatened to take over the field, the Stars' Ed White fumbled on the Bell 48, and Corcoran directed his team to a quick TD. His big gainers were a 16-yard pass to Linzy Cole on the left flat and a 19-yard toss to Shanklin down the middle. The final play of the drive was Corcoran's pass over the right side to Hill from the nine at 5:51.
Neither team got any offensive action, period. New York finally started to [get] going until nearly the end of the third move from its own 20. And this time the unlikely hero was Moe Lajterman, who climaxed the drive with a 40-yard field goal that barely made it the goal posts early in the fourth period.
Lajterman had once been a member of the Bell. For two days. He showed up in black socks, took a few swipes at the ball and was cut. But the Montclair State grad was persistent. He next went to the New York camp, and again got cut quickly. But when Pete Rajecki, the Stars' regular kicker was injured last week, Lajterman was called up as a desperation move.
He gave the Stars the first three points they have scored after intermission this season. He gave them a 17-15 lead with time running out.