Newark Star-Ledger

August 15, 1974

By Mike Weber

Sauer Lifts N.Y. to 4th in Row

Stars pound Storm, 38-16

NEW YORK - Babe Parilli had been waiting for it, hoping for it. He had been waiting for his New York Stars to explode, for George Sauer to dazzle the defense on pass patterns, for all facets of New York's game to come together.

Last night, with few exceptions, he got what he was waiting for. It all added up to a 38-16 victory for the Stars over the winless Portland Storm, which scored both its touchdowns in the final 1:43 of the game.

A crowd announced as 16,222 at Downing Stadium saw Sauer, the former All-Pro for the Jets, catch seven passes, two for touchdowns of 20 and three yards from quarterback Tom Sherman. And while the offense had things pretty much its way all evening, the defense continually frustrated the Storm as New York won its fourth straight.

"This is what we wanted," said Parilli. "We went after them right from the start. We felt we could pass on them and we did. The things we had to do we did."

Like stopping Portland quarterback Ken Johnson, a scrambler from Colorado who engineered a 15-15 tie with Houston last week. It was the only positive point the Storm could boast to in this 0-5-1 season. There was no joy for Johnson last night, however.

"They did exactly what we expected," said Parilli. "We had to stop Johnson from rolling out and running that option and we did that early."

Linebacker James Sims had much to do with that, rushing repeatedly to the line to stop Johnson. So effectively was Johnson foiled that Greg Barton, unseated as the starter just one week ago, returned in the second half and played the rest of the game.

The Stars, incredibly, were outgained, 313 yards to 286, but that had no bearing on the way the game went. The Stars started quickly and rolled up a 38-0 lead before Portland managed a small measure of offense.

The Storm gave New York its first score when Darrell Mitchell fumbled Robby Reynolds' punt on Portland's six yard line. Ed White recovered and two plays later, Sherman swept right end for the TD.

The Stars' running game, No. 1 in the league, bogged down a bit in the first period so Sherman went to the air. With the quarter winding down, he marched New York 73 yards in eight plays, completing four of six passes along the way.

The final one went 20 yards to Sauer, all alone in the left corner at the goal line.

"It's a joy to throw to Sauer," said Sherman, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 144 yards. "He is so consistent with his patterns. You always know where he'll be."

The Stars rolled the count to 23-0 before halftime thanks to a coffin corner kick by Reynolds, who punted out of bounds on Portland's three. Sims and Lloyd Voss, who made nine tackles, helped keep the Storm deep and New York took possession on the Storm 43 following Ken Clarks punt.

Sherman turned to the running game then, and with Andy Huff carrying four times for 22 yards, the Stars scored again. Huff bolted the final four yards around right end with 4:47 to go in the half.

It was all over right there but the Stars were taking no chances.

"Everybody talked about the Birmingham game," said Parilli, speaking of a game the Stars lost, 32-29, after leading at halftime, 29-3.

"Nobody wanted that to happen again," he said. "Believe me, we were all aware of it."

The Stars scored quickly in the third period when aided by a pass interference penalty at Portland's 20. Sherman hit Sauer over the middle from three yards out.

Sherman later left the game with a bruised hip and sub Gary Danielson scored the final TD with 7:59 to go on a one-yard sneak.

Barton accounted for both Portland scores, hitting Jim Krieg with a 15-yard scoring pass with 1:43 left, then passing to Ken Matthews from the 12 on the game's final play.

"We wanted the shutout, of course," said Parilli. "But it really doesn't matter that they scored at all. I would have liked the shutout for the defense but overall we did so many things well. I really don't care.