Newark Star-Ledger

August 15, 1974

By Mike Weber

Sauer finds form, has Stars soaring

NEW YORK - George Sauer has his thoughts together now and that can only help the New York Stars.

The veteran receiver, lured out of retirement, after starring with the Jets, caught two touchdown passes Wednesday night as the Stars walloped the Portland Storm, 38-16. Sauer says "it's all a matter of thinking right.

"The big difference between playing for the Jets and now is that I find it much harder to concentrate here," he said. "I have more difficulty so I have to work at it more. But I think it's coming back now."

It appeared so Wednesday night. Sauer caught seven passes for 92 yards, making two dazzling catches amid several defenders. More impressive were his other catches, however. He went absolutely free of harassment by the defense on both touchdowns, leaving the Storm's secondary far behind as he juked and danced the way he did when he was an NFL All-Pro.

"I wasn't even the primary receiver on the second touchdown," recalled Sauer, savoring the three-yard TD pass from Tom Sherman. "But I was so open he hit me right over the middle."

Coach Babe Parilli had been patiently waiting for Sauer - and the rest of the Stars - to break out of a lethargy which had seen New York struggle to a 3-2 record.

"Sauer broke out Wednesday night," Parilli said simply.

Sherman also had his best game, throwing for two touchdowns, running for one and completing 11 of 18 passes for 144 yards.

"I started slow in the game," admitted Sherman. "The first pass I threw, well, my grandmother could have thrown it better."

"But then I got started on our second drive. I was pleased."

He should have been and he also should have been a bit relieved after his effort. Brian Dowling, a former Yale standout, is headed for the Stars this season if he clears NFL waivers. He was waived Wednesday by the New England Patriots and it appears some sort of deal was worked out between the Stars and Pats to arrange that.

As Stars Assistant general manager Dusty Rhodes said, "they owe me one."

Dowling has signed a Stars' contract, effective in 1976, but could play this year if no one claims him in the NFL. Sherman buoyed by his performance and by the Stars' fourth straight victory, didn't seem terribly worried at the prospect.

"If he comes," says Sherman, "He'll have to beat me out."

Parilli was the only one pleased with the overall play of the Stars, which he feels is the class team in the WFL. New York did not have a pass intercepted or a fumble lost, Wednesday, the latter a marked turnabout from last week's 11-8 victory over Southern California when the Stars bobbled the ball seven times.

"I told them all they had to do was concentrate," said Parilli. "It was gratifying that we improved in that area."

The Stars now have a 4-2 record and have moved into second place in the WFL East, behind the 5-1 Florida Blazers. The teams don't meet until September 6 at Downing Stadium but each figures to hold its position until then.

Parilli is confident of the Stars' ability and readily agrees when it is suggested that his team is of championship caliber.

"We are one of the hardest hitting teams in the league," he said. "Occasionally, we let up and that been our problem. Against Portland we showed what we can do.

"We have a good defense and we have the weapons to score."

Now that George Sauer has his thoughts together, those weapons are more powerful than ever,

STAR WATCHING - Sherman bruised left hip during third quarter but was capably replaced by Gary Danielson, who sneaked for final New York TD. Sherman says he's fine...Reserve tackle Bill DeFlavio may miss rest of season with torn ligaments in left knee sustained Wednesday night. He was scheduled for surgery yesterday.

Bob Keating, general manager of the Stars said yesterday he knew nothing about a report that the financially troubled team would be sold by owner Bob Schmertz.

"Bob, I know, has been approached by a number of guys," said Keating. "It's a glamour thing to own a pro football club."

Keating said the $6 million might have been cited in discussions as the kind of price it would take to buy the Stars.

"But these rumors have been going around since the day Bob came to New York," added Keating.