East 25

West 24

 

January 21, 1968

 

JACKSONVTLLE, Fla. (AP)- Quarterback Joe Namath of the New York Jets, erratic for three quarters, capped a comeback with a one-yard touchdown plunge that gave the East a 35-24 victory over the West in the American Football League All-Star game Sunday.

 

"The New York passing whiz tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jet teammate Don Maynard with six minutes to play and with his scoring leap with 58 seconds to play.

 

Namath's heroics, after a dismal start in the nationally televised game that attracted a record crowd of 38,500, offset the defensive brilliance of Les Duncan, San Diego cornerback.

 

Duncan darted 90 yards with kickoff return on the longest scoring play in the history of the AFL All-Star game and tied a game record by intercepting two passes.

 

Quarterback Daryle Lamonica of the Oakland Raiders tossed a pair of touchdown passes for the West in the first half and pushed the favorites to a 21-13 lead. Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs guided the West through the second half when the East pulled away.

 

"That was my game plan," said the Denver Bronco and West Coach Lou Saban, explaining why he went all the way with Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson in the second half despite Dawson's relative ineffectiveness.

 

"They are both All-Stars," Saban said. "We planned to let each play a half and we stuck to it."

 

The West had a chance with six seconds left, but veteran George Blanda's 35-yard field goal attempt was wide, leaving the East on top for only the second time in the seven-year history of the battle in which the winners pocketed $1,000 and the losers $500 each.

 

Namath had three passes intercepted in the first half, but he kept the East in contention with a 35-yard touchdown strike to New York teammate Pete Lammons.

 

Buffalo's Mike Mercer kicked field goals of 10 and 33 yards for the East.

 

Neither team scored in the third quarter and Blanda gave the West what appeared to be the winning margin when he booted a 28-yard field goal at the start of the final period.

 

But Namath teamed up with Maynard- who caught a record nine passes in the game- and sent the East to its comeback conquest.

 

Lamonica threw a three-yard scoring pass to Willie Frazier of San Diego and hit Lance Alworth of San Diego with a nine yard touchdown strike.

 

Namath and Maynard shared the awards as the game's top offensive player, and Duncan was selected by sportswriters and broadcasters as the defensive standout.

 

However, a key play in the game was contributed by Boston's Larry Garron, a last minute addition to the East's squad.

 

He took a short pass from Namath with two minutes to play and squirmed 26 yards to the West 10. Garron gained three yards to the seven, Hoyle Granger of Houston pounded to the one, and then Namath leaped in.

 

In addition to Duncanís records, there were several records set Sunday in the seventh annual AFL All-Star game:

 

- Namath threw more passes (38) for more yardage (249) than any of his predecessors;

 

-Maynard caught more passes (9) for more yards (128).

 

New York's Don Maynard misses catch in endzone, but he set a record for receiving yards.

 

Jim Nance of Boston hurdles Kansas City's Jerry Mays.

Namath sneaks over for winning score.

 

Namath rests on the sideline.

 

 

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