The Virtual U.S. Football League

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

'89 Chronology-Championship Preview

Event Date: July 14th, 1989

Event Description: USFL Championship Preview

Source: Pro Football Weekly



The Oakland Invaders will take on division rival Denver in this Sundays’ USFL Championship game at the Pontiac, Silverdome. The game will be seen on ABC television starting at 8:00 pm eastern time.

Here’s how the teams matchup:

SEASON SERIES: Invaders 2-0

The Invaders booted the Gold 23-13 in Week 9 in Denver, then again by a score of 35-14 in Oakland in Week 19.

QUARTERBACKS

Invaders: Ex-NFLer Steve Dils, at age 34, is playing the best football of his career. During the regular season, Dils ranked 4th in passing with 4,005 yards and an efficiency ranking of 85.0. Dils completed 58.4% of his passes while also tossing 23 touchdowns as compared to only 13 interceptions. In last weeks’ playoff win over the Baltimore Stars, he completed 12 of 23 passes for 195 yards, a pair of touchdowns and one interception.

Gold: The strength of Denver’s offense is the passing game. Vince Evans is also 34 years old, but in playoff wins over the Houston Gamblers and Tampa Bay Bandits he showed he still has the legs to outrun any pass rush and the arm to beat any defensive back. Against Houston, Evans threw for 263 yards and one touchdown. This past season, Evans was in the top five for pass completions (339), pass attempts (617), and passing touchdowns (24).

EDGE: Even

RECEIVERS

Invaders: Gordon Banks is the number one target and will be motivated for this game as he will want to show that he is the best receiver on the field. Banks led all Oakland receivers with 73 receptions for 1263 yards and 12 TDs. He has a good supporting cast in Dokie Williams (66 receptions) and Mike Sherrod (650 yards).

Gold: They have a clear-cut advantage with their top two receivers both surpassing 1,000 yards this year. Lonnie Harris (1,421) and Marc Lewis (1,066) will be a handful for the Oakland secondary. Harris and Lewis are great targets up the middle, while Willie Gillespie (569 yards and 6 TDS) is the deep threat.

EDGE: Gold

RUNNING BACKS

Invaders: Doug DuBose had a sensational season in his first year with the team finishing with 885 yards rushing. Fullback Lakei Heimuli averaged just 2.5 yards per carry but, he supplied important pass protection and filled the role of blocking back for DuBose.

Roughriders: Earnest Anderson was the teams leading rusher amassing 470 yards, but was held to just two rushing touchdowns. Tony Boddie filled the role of third down back, (366 yards receiving), while Evans added another 305 rushing yards to the team total.

EDGE: Invaders

TEAM DEFENSE

Invaders: Fred Nordgren led the team in tackles (116), with Dave Browning finishing second with (99). Linebacker Tom Cousineau led the team with five interceptions, alongside cornerback Derrick Martin, while also chipping in 97 tackles and eight sacks. David Greenwood finished with four interceptions after returning to the league after a stint in the NFL.

Gold: The strength of this unit lies with their front seven. Bruce Thornton finished second overall with 16 sacks while linebacker Willie Pless added eleven with Dave Stalls finishing with ten. Stalls and Pless were also amongst the league leaders in tackles with 140 and 133 respectively.

EDGE: Gold

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punting: Oakland has the edge with Jeff Partridge averaging 43.8 yards per punt as compared to 38.7 for Chris Norman. 

Kicking: Oakland’s Kevin Shea gets the nod here over Jeff Brockhaus. Shea finished with 42 field goals on 44 attempts as compared to just 29 field goals on 31 attempts for Brockhaus.

Kick returns: Doug DuBose led the league with a 27.6 kick off return average, while Tony Boddie averaged just under 22 yards per return.

EDGE: Invaders

COACHING

First year man Raymond Chester has been largely credited with helping to turn things around in Oakland. Gold head coach Mouse Davis is an offensive genius whose unpredictability can drive defensive coordinators crazy.

EDGE: Gold

INTANGIBLES

Everyone loves an underdog and the Denver Gold seem to be relishing their role as improbable championship contenders. They defeated both defending champion Houston and the Tampa Bay Bandits who sported the leagues’ best record heading into the playoffs. However, the Invaders seem to have Denver’s number after defeating them twice during the regualr season.

EDGE: Invaders

PREDICTION: Invaders 27, Gold 24

more to come...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

'89 Chronology-Western Showcase

Event Date: July 11th, 1989

Event Description: Quarterfinal Playoffs

Source: The Tampa Tribune

Week #22 Playoff Games 


Attendance: 48,157
Television: ABC Regional/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Keith Jackson/Lynn Swann

Vince Evans ran for one touchdown and tossed another to Todd Gerhart as the Denver Gold upset the Tampa Bay Bandits, 20-17, to secure their first appearance in a USFL championship game.

The Gold will face Oakland in next weeks’ championship game at the Pontiac, Silverdome. 

Evans went 18-for-33 with 244 yards while also rushing for 32 yards on six attempts. Marc Lewis caught three passes for 139 yards to lead the visitors.

Ben Bennett threw for a touchdown on 20-of-36 passing with 197 yards and a pair of interceptions for Tampa Bay. Bennett was also sacked seven times. Greg Boone had 14 carries for 45 yards on the ground and Gary Allen added 43 yards and one touchdown. 

The opening points of the first quarter saw Jeff Brockhaus connect on a 39-yard field goal giving Denver an early 3-0 lead.

Just over five minutes later, the Bandits responded as Allen capped a ten-play, 70-yard drive with a three yard touchdown run as the Bandits moved ahead 7-3.

Brockhaus nailed a second field goal late in the second stanza as the teams headed into the break with the Bandits up 7-6.

A Zenon Andrusyshyn 40-yard field goal as the 2:21 mark of the third quarter pushed the hosts ahead 10-6.

The Gold regained the lead to open the final frame with a Vince Evans six-yard touchdown run which capped a four-play, 89-yard drive as Denver moved ahead 13-10.

Denver increased their lead as Evans hit Gergart for a two-yard score with just 1:40 remaining for a 20-10 lead.

A five-yard touchdown pass from Bennett to Greg Anderson at the 0:36 mark rounded out the scoring.

Game Notes-Dave Stalls led the Denver defensive effort with 12 tackles, three sacks, two hurried passes and two run stuffs...Denver linebacker Willie Pless also finished with 12 tackles, a pair of sacks and one interception as the Gold defense dominated the day.


Attendance: 33,822
Television: ABC National/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Bill Flemming/Ron Mix

Steve Dils threw for 195 yards with a pair of touchdowns, leading the Oakland Invaders to a 37-17 victory over the Baltimore Stars in the USFL Quarterfinal playoffs at the Oakland Coliseum.

Doug DuBose rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, as Oakland built a 24-10 halftime lead and cruised into next week's USFL championship game against division rival Denver.

The Invaders, who finished two and one-half games ahead of Denver in the division with a 13-4-1 record, swept the season series against the Gold 2-0.

Early in the opening frame Curtis Bledsoe dove in from two-yards out to give the Stars an early 7-0 lead. The touchdown run capped an eight-play, 69 yard drive.

Oakland quickly responded on their ensuing possession with a five-play, 54 yard drive of their own as Dils found Gordon Banks down the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown reception which tied things up at 7-7.

Early in the second stanza Baltimore moved out to a 10-7 lead with a 17-yard Eric Schubert field goal at the 11:48 mark.

It was all Oakland for the rest of the second quarter, as they scored 17 unanswered points to take control.
Chuck Fusina was intercepted by Lupe Sanchez which set up a 12-yard touchdown run by DuBose as the Inavders regained the lead at 14-10. 

Oakland followed that score with another turnover and then Dils hit Dokie Williams with a 55-yard touchdown pass for a 21-10 lead. A Kevin Shea 42-tard field goal rounded out the first-half scoring as the Invaders went into the break with a 24-10 lead.

Early in the third frame, Gordie Lockbaum scampered in from four yards out as the Stars pulled to within 24-17, only to see the Invaders dominate for the remainder of the contest.

A 38-yard Derrick Martin interception return for a touchdown at the 6:30 mark pushed the hosts back out to a 31-17 lead.

Kevin Shea rounded out the scoring with a pair of fourth quarter field goals as the Invaders punched their ticket to the USFL championship game.


Game Notes-Doug DuBose and Curtis Bledose both finished with over 100 yard rushing... the Stars were guilty of six turnovers and two quarterback sacks...Tom Cousineau finished with eight tackles, one sack, one pass deflection and one forced fumble to lead the Oakland defense.

more to come...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #22 Playoff Preview

Event Date: July 7th, 1989

Event Description: Week #22 Preview

Source: PFW


Week #22 USFL Round Two Playoff Preview

Sunday

 (13-6) Baltimore Stars  at (13-4-1) Oakland Invaders (Invaders -3)

 (12-7) Denver Gold at (17-1) Tampa Bay Bandits (Bandits -6)


more to come......

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

'89 Chronology-Gold Strike!

Event Date: July 3rd, 1989

Event Description: Gold Trounce Gamblers

Source: Gainesville Sun

Week #21 Playoff Games


Attendance: 41,733
Television: ABC National/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Keith Jackson/Lynn Swann

Vince Evans threw for 263 yards and one touchdown pass on 20-of-36 passing as the Denver Gold advanced to the Semi-Finals with a 38-10 victory over the Houston Gamblers at Mile High Stadium.

Lonnie Harris caught six passes for 68 yards with one touchdown for Denver, while Marc Lewis hauled in four balls for 86 yards. Tony Boddie and Charvez Foger also contributed touchdown runs in the victory.

Todd Dillon completed 26-of-48 passes for 234 yards with two picks and five sacks, while Todd Fowler added 56 rushing  yards for the Gamblers, who were looking to go to their second straight championship game. 

Two field goals opened the scoring after Jeff Brockhaus connected on a 47-yarder in the opening frame, followed by an Efren Herrera 27-yarder at the six minute mark of the second stanza. A 34-yard Nate Miller interception return for a score sent the home team into the break with a 10-3 lead.

The Gamblers answered with at the start of the second-half with a 12-play, 69-yard drive which was capped by a Todd Dillon five-yard touchdown run, pushing the Gamblers into a 10-10 tie.

The Gold responded later in the frame by launching a five-play, 63 yard drive which ended with a Tony Boddie touchdown run making it a 17-10 contest.

The Gold extended their lead to 24-10 on their second possession of the fourth quarter as Lonnie Harris capped a 61-yard drive with a 36-yard touchdown reception.

From that point forward the Denver defense took control of the game scoring via a 61-yard fumble return by Darryl Hemphill to push the lead to 31-10.

The Gold scored the final points of the game as Charvez Foger pounded his way into the end zone from five-yards out at the 2:09 mark.

Game Notes-Houston finished with 295 total yards as compared to 318 for Denver...the Gamblers committed six turnovers as compared to only one for Denver.

more to come...

'89 Chronology-Low Tide

Event Date: July 3rd, 1989

Event Description: Stars Win; Defense Dominates

Source: Times Picayune

Week #21 Playoffs

New Orleans 9
Baltimore 27


Attendance: 36,014
Television: ABC National/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Tim Brandt/Lee Grosscup

Curtis Bledsoe led the way with 72 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown runs to lead the Stars over New Orleans by a score of 27-9 in the opening round of the USFL playoffs.

Chuck Fusina completed 13-of-21 passes for 250 yards with one touchdown pass for the Stars, who will now advance to the Semi-Final round against the Oakland Invaders next week. 

Eric Shubert nailed both field goal attempts to account for the rest of the home teams’ scoring.

Stan Humphries completed 14-of-26 passes for 155 yards with a pair of interceptions in the loss.

Game Notes: Baltimore controlled the ball for over 36 minutes, while the defense forced five turnovers...Kris Haines hauled in five passes for 174 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to open the second quarter.

more to ocme......

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wild Card Playoff Poll '89


'89 Chronology-Playoff Preview One

Event Date: June 30th, 1989

Event Description: Week #21 Preview

Source: PFW


Week #21 USFL Round One Playoff Preview

Sunday

(10-8) New Orleans Breakers at (12-6) Baltimore Stars (Stars -6)

(10-8) Houston Gamblers at (11-7) Denver Gold (Gold -3)


more to come......

'89 Chronology-June Owners Meeting



Event Date: June 27th-28th, 1989

Internal Memo: USFL Owners Meeting

Re: Spring Agenda

The owners considered and took action on the following; 
  1. Received an updated report from Commissioner Usher regarding the current state of television negotiations with ABC, NBC, ESPN, Turner Networks, USA Network and Prime Network affiliates.
  2. Received the end of the year report from the Finance Committee regarding the financial condition of the Los Angeles Express franchise.
  3. Received an updated report from the Executive Committee regarding the conclusion of talks between the former Portland Storm franchise and its owners and the city of Sacramento, California.
  4. Received a report from the Commissiner Usher regarding the impact of continued competion from the Arena Football League and the formation of an NFL-backed sproing football league.
  5. The Competition Committee presented a plan for divisional realignment for the 1990 season.
  6. Awarded the 1990 USFL Championship game to New Orleans,   Louisiana, game will be played at the Superdome.
  7. The owners agreed to meet again in October.
more to come...

Friday, April 15, 2016

'89 Chronology-Playoff Bound

Event Date: June 26th, 1989

Event Description: Breakers Clinch Playoff Berth

Source: Times Picayune

Week #20 Sunday Games

New Orleans 25
Birmingham 20

Attendance: 24,921
Television: ABC/RCA
Announcers: Keith Jackson/Lynn Swann

Stan Humphries completed 21-of-38 passes for 293 yards, with one touchdown, and one interception as the New Orleans Breakers outlasted Birmingham by a score of 25-20 and in the process clinched a wild card playoff berth.

Tyrone Anthony rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries and a score and Malcolm Barnwell had three grabs for 78 yards including a 12-yard touchdown reception. 

Tim Mazzetti nailed all four field goal attempts for the Breakers (10-8) will now travel to Baltimore next week to take on the Stars in the opening round of the playoffs.

Mike Norseth completed 10-of-21 passes for 125 yards with two touchdowns and two picks for Birmingham (6-12). Joey Jones finished with two grabs for 60 yards while scoring both of Birminghams’ touchdowns.

Game Notes-Bill Johnson led the Stallions on the ground as he piled up 63 yards on twenty carries.

In other Sunday action, the Houston Gamblers clinched the final playoff spot with a 34-16 win over Los Angeles. Efren Herrera kicked a career-high nine field goals in the victory. 

Other games saw Michigan down Dallas 20-16, Baltimore knocked the Generals out of the playoffs after a 26-20 win at New Jersey. 

Meanwhile, Tampa trounced Jacksonville 33-7, Denver won at Arizona 38-26 and Oakland ended the year with a 31-15 win at home against Memphis.

more to come...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #20 Preview

Event Date: June 24th, 1989

Event Description: Week #20 Preview

Source: PFW


Week #20 USFL Preview

Sunday Games

   (7-10) Dallas at (5-11-1) Michigan (No Line)

         (11-6) Baltimore at (8-9) New Jersey (Generals -1)

            (9-8) New Orleans at (6-11) Birmingham (Breakers -1)

           (6-11) Los Angeles at (9-8) Houston (Gamblers -5)

              (9-8) Jacksonville at (16-1) Tampa Bay  (Bandits -7)

            (10-7) Denver at (7-10) Arizona (No Line)

(6-11) Memphis (12-4-1) Oakland (Invaders -7)


more to come......

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wild Card Playoff Poll


'89 Chronology-Tex Schramm Promoting New League

Event Date: June 22nd, 1989

Event Description: World League Moving Forward

Source: Gannett News Service (Coble)

San Antonio is one of eight North American cities seeking teams in the new World League of American Football, league president Tex Schramm said Thursday.  

The 8-team spring time international league will be partly owned and operated by the National Football League, assuring the mother organization a feeder-league as well as planting the seeds for future expansion. 

"It's not a gimmick-type league like Arena football," Schramm told Pro Football Weekly. "We want to start slow and conservatively and do it right. The teams will be independently owned but also affiliated with the N.F.L.." 

San Antonio is in competition with Mexico City, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Nashville, Portland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Shreveport for spots in the newly formed feeder-league. 

Schramm, former Dallas Cowboys president now in charge of international promotion for the NFL, toured the city of San Antonio early Thursday, met with city officials, as well a group of potential owners. San Antonio has approved a plan to build a new domed stadium.

The NFL is organizing the league to expand boundaries to Canada, Mexico and Europe. The WLAF will not place teams in USFL cities, so as to avoid direct competiton with the current spring league. 

Players will come from current NFL rosters, USFL and CFL free agents and rookies. Some players, especially second-string NFL players in need of seasoning, could play in both leagues. 

The NFL will decide "within 30 days" which teams will make up the WLAF, Schramm said. New York and Montreal already are assured teams in the North American Conference. The International Conference is a competition between Milan, London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin,  Frankfurt, and Edinburgh, Scotland for four spots. 

All teams will be restricted by a strict salary cap and all players will be considered property of the NFL. Before a player can join a team, he must first be hired by the NFL and made available to all teams. Forty-man teams will be formed in a special draft. The NFL will be responsible for negotiating a television contract, paying player salaries, travel expenses and game officials, Schramm said. 

In return, the NFL owners would own a controlling interest in the league. Local ownership would be responsible for local staffs and promotions. 

(Coble-original author-stroy modifeid/all rights reserved)

more to come...

Saturday, April 9, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #19 Scoreboard

Event Date: June 20th, 1989

Event Description: Week #19 Preview

Source: PFW

Week #19 USFL Scoreboard


Saturday
        (5-11) Michigan at (7-9) New Jersey (Generals win 12-7)
(11-5) Baltimore at (5-11) Memphis (Showboats win 16-3)

Sunday
(6-10) Birmingham at (15-1) Tampa Bay (Bandits win 20-3)
            (8-8) Jacksonville at (6-11) Orlando (Bulls win 27-19)
          (8-8) Houston at (7-9) Arizona (Gamblers win 31-18)
             (10-6) Denver at (11-4-1) Oakland (Invaders win 35-14)

Monday

(7-9) Dallas at (8-8) New Orleans (Breakers win 37-17)

more to come...

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #19 Preview

Event Date: June 16th, 1989

Event Description: Week #19 Preview

Source: PFW


Week #19 USFL Preview

Saturday
        (5-11) Michigan at (7-9) New Jersey (Generals -8)
(11-5) Baltimore at (5-11) Memphis (Stars -2)

Sunday
(6-10) Birmingham at (15-1) Tampa Bay (Bandits -10)
            (8-8) Jacksonville at (6-11) Orlando (Renegades -1)
          (8-8) Houston at (7-9) Arizona (Wranglers -1)
             (10-6) Denver at (11-4-1) Oakland (Invaders -5)

Monday
(7-9) Dallas at (8-8) New Orleans (Breakers -5)

more to come......

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

'89 Chronology-Sinking Fast

Event Date: June 13th, 1989

Event Description: ‘Boats Rally Falls Short

Source: Nashville Daily News

Week #18 Monday Game


Attendance: 23,830
Television: ESPN/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Jim Simpson/Paul McGuire

David Archer threw for 234 yards and Kevin Nelson rushed for two touchdowns as the Los Angeles Express survived a late-game rally by Memphis to take a 24-22 victory on Monday night.

Archer completed 17-of-32 passes with one interception and two sacks. Kevin Nelson carried the ball 16 times for 65 yards and Dwight Wheeler hauled in five passes for 75 yards as the Express improved to (6-11).

Walter Lewis was 16-of-26 for 143 yards, one touchdown, one pick two sacks for the Showboats who have now dropped to (5-11).

Trailing by 24-10 early in the fourth quarter, Memphis got back into the game after a field goal preceded a 32-yard fumble return by linebacker James Hall. A failed two-point conversion and another Mike-Mayer field goal ended up being the difference in the contest.

Game Notes-Gill Fenerty finished with 88 yards rushing on 28 carries for the Showboats.

For a complete summary of Sundays’ scoreboard go here.


more to come......

Sunday, April 3, 2016

'89 Chronology-Out-Lasted!

Event Date: June 9th, 1989

Event Description: Invaders Capture Win

Source: Dallas Morning Star

Week #18 Thursday Game


Attendance: 33,489
Television: ESPN/RCA Satellite
Announcers: Tom Kelly/Don Heinrich

Steve Dils completed 25-of-37 passes for 328 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions as the Oakland Invaders outlasted the Dallas Outlaws, 27-19 on Thursday night.

The loss by Dallas (7-9) dropped them out of the playoff hunt.

Gordon Banks had eight catches for 165 yards and a score, and Dokie Williams had five grabs for 48 yards, for the Invaders (11-4-1).

Turner Gill completed 18-of-32 passes for 143 yards, one touchdown and three sacks for Dallas. Thomas Rooks finished with eleven carries for 92 yards via the ground to lead all rushers. Tony Franklin connected on all four field goal attempts in the loss.

Game Notes-The teams combined for 645 yards of net offense...Dave Browning finished with two hurries and ten tackles for Oakland.

more to come……

Saturday, April 2, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #18 Preview

Event Date: June 8th, 1989

Event Description: Week #18 Preview

Source: PFW


Week #18 USFL Preview

Thursday
   (7-8) Dallas at (10-4-1) Oakland (Invaders -6)

Saturday
        (10-5) Denver at (6-9) New Jersey (Generals -3)

Sunday
            (7-8) New Orleans at (7-8) Arizona (No Line)
          (7-8) Houston at (11-4) Baltimore (Stars -7)
              (8-7) Jacksonville at (4-10-1) Michigan (Bulls -1)

Monday
           (5-11) Los Angeles at (5-10) Memphis (Showboats -4)

more to come......

Thursday, March 31, 2016

'89 Chronology-Week #17 Transactions

Event Date: June 7th, 1989

Event Description: Week #17 Transactions

Source: PFW

Birmingham-Placed QB Bill Kenney on Injured Reserve.

Dallas-Activated RB-WR Anthony Stafford from Taxi Squad.

Denver-Activated OL Jack Peavey from Taxi Squad.

Houston-Activated DL Artis Jackson from Taxi Squad.

Jacksonville-Activated QB Doug Hudson Roberts from Taxi Squad.

Los Angeles-Released QB Steve Calabria.

Memphis-Activated OL Jack Oliver from Taxi Squad.

Michigan-Fired Head Coach Jim Stanley, named Pete Rodriquez Interim Coach, activated DT Mark Nichols from Taxi Squad.

New Orleans-Activated OL R.C. Mullin from Taxi Squad.

Tampa Bay-Activated DB Anthony Florence from Taxi Squad.

more to come......