New York Post

July 12, 1974

Special to the N.Y. Post

Sauer Chips Away the Rust

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first two times passes were thrown to him last night, George Sauer was unable to shake his coverage and unable to hold the ball when he got a hand on it. Then the rust of three years suddenly started to chip away and a reasonable if slightly slower version of the man who was once Joe Namath's favorite target appeared on the Gator Bowl turf.

Playing in his first professional game after his self-imposed retirement, Sauer was the most impressive of many impressive Stars in the Sharks 14-7 victory. He caught seven passes for 77 yards – and, more important, was making the moves needed to get himself open. On his TD catch late in the first half, he had double coverage and still managed daylight.

"Both (Jerry) Davis and number 42 (Mike Townsend) were defending, but I gave Davis one move and had a little room," Sauer said. And then he put his head down and bulled into the end zone, another good sign.

"I got better in the second half," said Sauer in the dressing room afterwards. "I'm not as tired now as I was after the first half."

The man on the other end of Sauer's receptions, Tom Sherman also had a good game with 202 yards in the air but he was injured on the next to last play of the game and was carrying an ice bag against his kidney as he boarded the plane for the trip back to New York. Though he assured everyone he'd be ready, Sherman has to considered doubtful for the Randall Island opener against Birmingham Wednesday.

A halftime power failure that almost ended the WFL's video premier in embarrassing blackness. All the Gator Bowl lights went out during the halftime program and the game actually went off the air for a minute before power was restored and Gary Davidson started breathing again. A short in a television cable was blamed. The mercury vapor lights in the stadium didn't reactivate for six minutes.