Newark Star-Ledger

August 22, 1974

By Mike Weber

Gladieux four TD's pace N.Y.

Stars rip Texans, 43-10 for 5th in row

NEW YORK - It wasn't a scheduled affair but last night became Bob Gladieux night at Downing Stadium.

Gladieux, a running back with four years of NFL experience, played his best game since his college days at Notre Dame, scoring four touchdowns as the Stars embarrassed the Houston Texans, 43-10.

Gladieux's running was a bit more important than usual. Wide receiver George Sauer missed the game with a pulled calf muscle, placing more emphasis on the running attack. With runner, Andy Huff also out, nursing a bad ankle, the burden was placed on the 28-year old Gladieux.

He scored on runs of one, four and one yards, and caught a five-yard scoring pass from quarterback Tom Sherman as the Stars won their fifth straight game.

"I'm getting better each week," said Gladieux, more in point of fact than in boast. "I'm still five-pounds overweight, but..."

But he was holding a can of beer at the time. No one thought anything of it though, overweight or not. It was celebration time and the Stars had earned it.

Houston (2-4-1) had come into the game with the WFL's top defense, overall, and against the rush. The Stars were No. 1 in rushing. New York won the statistical battle as well as the game.

The Stars started early, running up 214 total yards by halftime when they took a 21-3 lead. With Gladieux carrying 20 times for 84 yards, the Stars finished with 405 yards in offense.

"We were ready," Gladieux said simply. "We were aware of their experience on defense and we had one of our best weeks of practice ever. We were ready."

From the start, this game belonged to the Stars. While a crowd of 12,042 was still filing into the ballpark, Mike Richardson fumbled on Houston's first series of plays and Gerry Philbin recovered on the Texans 37.

Staying to the ground for seven of eight plays, the Stars scored. Gladieux plunging the final yard.

Another Houston mistake led to New York's second TD. This time, it was Mike Taliaferro scrambling to avoid a hard rush, then throwing an interception to Steve Dennis on New York's 47.

Sherman went to the air, finding Al Young with remarkable regularity, helping the wide receiver to a five reception, 63-yard night. Gladieux capped the 12-play drive with his short reception just three minutes into the second period.

The Stars (5-2), who travel to Houston next week, wrapped up the game about nine minutes later. Again Houston helped.

Punter John Odom side footed the ball just 15 yards from New York's 41 and the Stars went to work on their 26.

Alternating passes to Young with Gladieux runs, Sherman moved his team steadily, aided by a pass interference penalty near midfield. Gladieux scored his third TD of the half by bursting in from the one.

The Texans finally got on board with 30 seconds remaining when Charlie Durkee booted a 43-yard field goal, but it was just for the record. Gladieux capped an 11-play, 58 yard drive with his fourth score after returning the second-half kickoff 17 yards.

Richardson later scored for Houston and Gary Danielson for New York, but the issue had been decided in the first half.

"From the opening whistle, this team did not come to play, roared Houston coach Jim Garrett. "No matter what our game plan, desire is a major factor. This team did not have it.

"There must be serious decisions made at each position before next week."

For Stars' coach Babe Parilli, the only decisions to be made were pleasant ones. Like how laudatory to be about Gladieux, or the offensive line which he said "blew Houston right out." Or the defense, which held the Texans to 162 total yards.

"This team is really beginning to come together," said Parilli. "Every week, they get better. We're starting to be the type club I always felt we would be."