Asbury Park Evening Press

August 14, 1974

By Marty Fischbein

Streaking Stars Battle Rookie Johnson, Storm

NEW YORK - The streaking New York Stars, winners of their last three games, host the winless Portland Storm in a World Football League contest at Downing Stadium on Randalls Island, starting at 8 tonight.

Things have a way of evening out. The New Yorkers played well enough in their first two games but came out on the short end of the scores. In two of their three victories, they did not play well but managed to come out on top.

After last week's 11-8 decision over the Southern California Sun at Anaheim, California, Coach Babe Parilli said, "We won in spite of all our mistakes on offense. Our defense bailed us out."

Parilli, a former National Football League star, was happy with quarterback Tom Sherman, a third year player from Penn State.

Sherman has completed 49 of 105 passes for 751 yards. He also was a running threat when trapped and Parilli said "Tom gives our team an added dimension with his running."

The Stars running game is tops in the WFL with an average of 187.6 yards per game with Bob Gladieux the  big threat, 283 yards on 73 carries.

Portland coach, Dick Coury is aware of the Stars' victory streak and the momentum the New Yorkers have generated.

"New York has a lot of momentum going now with three straight wins, and the Stars will be playing at home," said Coury.

The Storm has a little momentum of its own going in rookie quarterback Ken Johnson, the hero of last week's overtime 15-15 tie with Houston.

"Johnson can scramble. He can run and pass," said Coury. "He has the ability to turn a bad play into a big gain.

Johnson, 23, a Colorado graduate in his first starting role, led Portland 72 yards in 17 plays to tie the game against Houston with 13 seconds remaining in the overtime period.

"I thought Ken played as well as any rookie quarterback could play in his pro start," said Coury.

The rookie quarterback will have to repeat performance if he expects to succeed against the likes of Gerry Philbin and John Elliott, bulwark of the Stars' defensive line.

The two former Jet stars will also have to stop the Storm's running star Marv Kendricks, who has rushed for 261 yards in 81 carries, including three touchdowns.

Linebacker Jim Sims, former USC ace, has been a pleasant surprise with his sharp tackling after his switch from safety to linebacker.

Bob Hermanni, the 5-7, 160-pound former Toms River High School South whiz will be counted on for his running back of punts and kickoffs. Hermanni will also see spot duty as a wide receiver.