Florida Times-Union

August 1, 1974

By Maynard Eilers

Stars KO Quarterbacks and Sharks, 24-16

NEW YORK - A week ago, Jacksonville Sharks' running back Jeff Davis was on the taxi squad, but for the last four series of play Wednesday night, he became a quarterback for the first time since high school.

Davis, forced into action when regulars, Kay Stephenson and Kim Hammond were injured, led the Sharks to two near-touchdowns in the fourth quarter but could not convert and the New York Stars beat the Sharks, 24-16.

Stephenson had an injured knee and bruised ribs, and two plays later, Hammond suffered a slight concussion. Since quarterbacks John Stofa, Eddie McAshan and Reggie Oliver aren't on the active list due to injuries, Davis was the last resort.

"I picked him to quarterback because he was the only running back left except Tommy Durrance and two fullbacks," said Sharks coach Bud Asher. "I told him to run quarterback sweeps and that's all, and then when I saw the defense come up to the line I told him to pass."

Davis, a second-year pro from Mars Hill (N.C.) College, took the Sharks from their own 43 to the Stars' eight-yard line with 4:19 left passed in the end zone to wide receiver Tony Lomax, who was ruled out of bounds. A play later, a Davis pass was intercepted.

On the Sharks' last series, Davis completed his first pass to Drew Buie for 12 yards, but was unsuccessful in his last four attempts as the Stars took over and ran out the clock.

"It was sure a hard way to make the team," said Davis. "I was just going to hand the ball off at first. Anything to keep it simple. Then it worked better when I started to sweep."

Davis said that he saw Lomax catch the ball and he believed he was in bounds. "Tony dragged his foot across the line," said Davis. "I saw him."

The loss was the third straight for the Sharks since an opening night victory over the Stars. They return home Thursday night for a nationally televised game with the Hawaiians.

The Sharks kicked off but wasted no time getting the ball when Ed White fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Sharks' defensive tackle Bob Tatarek recovered and the Sharks had the ball on the New York 38, but gained only three yards before punting.

Jacksonville regained possession after four plays on their 46-yard line and went the remaining 54 yards on 18 plays with Durrance going over from the two for his first touchdown of the season. Durrance also accounted for the action point on a pass from quarterback Kay Stephenson.

New York continued to make mistakes, but Alvin Wyatt's interception of a Tom Sherman pass wound up doing more harm than good. The Sharks got the ball at their own 14-yard line, but when Duane Carrell punted from the 15, the ball went only 19-yards to the 34.

The Stars took over from there and aided by a 19-yard pass completion from Sherman to George Sauer and a 10-yard run by Bob Gladieux, New York made it an 8-8 game when Gladieux went over from the four and ran in the action point.

New York took advantage of another break when Wyatt's 75-yard punt return was nullified by a clipping penalty. But Jacksonville retaliated by marching 81 yards and Dennis Hughes caught an over-the-shoulder pass of 56-yards for the touchdown. Ricky Lake made the score 16-8, with an action run.

Highlighted by a 31-yard run on a power sweep by Sherman, the Stars again tied the score midway in the second quarter, 16-all. Andy Huff's one-yard plunge on fourth down and an action point pass from Sherman to Ray Parson, accounted for the points with 8:30 to play.

The Sharks drove from their own 37 to the New York14, but Grant Guthrie missed a 31-yard field goal with 1:51 to play and the Stars failed to score before time ran out in the first half.

The Stars began to get fancy in the third quarter and it paid off for them when they got on an 88-yard touchdown drive.

A 31-yard pass from Sherman to Parson and an end around run by 5-foot-7 Bob Hermanni brought the ball to the five, and three plays later Sherman drove over from the one for the score and passed to Sauer for the action point to give the Stars their first lead, 24-16.

New York reeled off four more minutes of playing time by moving from the Sharks' 42 to their 12, but the drive stalled when Moses Lajterman missed a 30-yard field goal.

With 1:22 to play in the third quarter the Sharks had run only six plays from scrimmage, but Jacksonville took over at the 20-yard line and moved to the New York 47 when time ran out in the third quarter.