AFC 15

NFC 13

 

January 20, 1974

 

KANSAS CITY (AP)- Garo Yepiemian, obviously proud but modest, said he "had to come through for the rest of the guys."

 

Yepremian, the place-kicking specialist for the world champion Miami Dolphins, referred to the Pro Bowl record five field goals he booted Sunday in the 15-11 American Football Conference victory over the National Conference

 

"The money did not mean anything." Yepremian said. "Most of the extra $500 the winners get goes for taxes anyway."

 

Yepremian, who almost wasn't available for his fourth and fifth field goals, said that, when he went out to try the game-winning 42-yarder with 21 seconds left, he mumbled “a little prayer and asked God to help me once more.”

 

"He kept me in there again."

 

After his field goal soon after the second half, Yepremian was hit hard by Mel Renfro of Dallas. Garo was almost motionless on the ground for long moments and was finally helped from the field.

 

That 22-yard effort was nullified by a motion penalty against tackle Dave Foley of Buffalo. Yepremian strode back onto the field and kicked the 27-yarder.

 

"My knee's kind of sore." Yepremian said. "There was pain after each of the kicks after I got hurt, but I'm an athlete, and I can stand pain as much as any athlete. "

 

John Madden of Oakland, the AFC boss, who lost an earlier Pro Bowl coaching assignment, said squaring his record was very much on his mind all during the contest.

 

“Now I'm .500." Madden said. "Our defense was outstanding and our offense moved the ball. Turnovers hurt us."

 

Tom Landry of Dallas, the NFC coach, blamed turnovers, of which there were 14 by both clubs in the first half alone, on practicing in San Diego’s warm weather and playing in Kansas City in "the combination of moisture and cold air. Our defense played well, but they ran the ball well and we didn't."

 

The temperature was 41 at the kickoff with cloudy skies. The sun broke through from time to time for brief intervals as the game progressed.

 

Less than 1 ½  minutes before the off-season necktie salesman put the AFC ahead for keeps, Nick Mike-Mayer of Atlanta had put the NFC in front with a 21-yard field goal, made possible by a fumble by Buffalo's O.J. Simpson, greatest single-season rusher ever in the National Football League.

 

Seconds after the game, Yepremian was named the contest’s most valuable player. The victory gave the AFC a 3-1 edge in the Pro Bowl series since the merger of the American Football League with the NFL.

 

Bob Griese, the Miami quarterback who came in after the intermission to bring some order to what had been a fumble and interception plagued contest, had a big hand in the drive which led to the victory.

 

Griese, starting on the AFC 20, connected with Simpson on a five-yard pass and hit Jerome Barkum of the New York Jets with a l6-yarder. A motion penalty and a pass deflected at the line momentarily halted the march, but Griese threw a strike in Bob Trumpy of Cincinnati for 22 yards at the NFC 43.

 

Yepremian’s other field goals, including one in each of the first three quarters, were good for 16, 37, 27 and 41 yards. Mike-Mayer made good on a 27-yarder before the one in the fourth period.

 

The game’s lone touchdown came in the second quarter on a 14-yard pass from Roman Gabriel of Philadelphia to Larry McCutcheon of the Los Angeles Rams.

 

Jack Youngblood of the Rams gave the NFC its chance to go ahead prior to Yepremian’s winning shot. He sprawled on a fumble by Simpson at the AFC 37.

 

John Hadl of the Rams flipped a 14-yard pass to John Gilliam of Minnesota, and McCutcheon spun through the line for three. McCutcheon slipped up the middle for six to set the stage for Mike-Mayer.

 

Marv Hubbard, the Oakland ace, Simpson and Griese led the AFC to field-goal range with a second-half kickoff. Hubbard took turns with Simpson at bursts through the line, and Griese hit Isaac Curtis of Cincinnati with a 12-yard pass. Yepremian’s 27 yard field goal left the NFC ahead only 10-9.

 

Yepremian 's five field goals broke the Pro Bowl record of four kicked in 1972 by Kansas City's Jan Stenerud.

 

The first half was almost a modern comedy of errors, being punctuated with 10 fumbles and four interceptions, all thrown by Oakland's Kenny Stabler, and disappointing the crowd of 51,484 and a national television audience.

 

Three bobbles and one interception made all of the first half scoring possible.

 

Joe Greene of Pittsburgh picked up Hadl’s fumble and returned it 15 yards to the NFC 42. Nine plays later, Yepremian got his first period field goal of 16 yards.

 

Earlier in the second quarter, Paul Krause of Minnesota picked off a Stabler pass and rambled 14 yards to the AFC 16. Three plays lost four yards, and Mike-Mayer put the NFC even with his 27-yard field goal.

 

Miami's Garo Yepremian kicks the game-winner with Oakland's Ken Stabler holding.

 

Buffalo's O.J. Simpson is caught for a loss by the Rams' Isiah Robertson.

 

NFC Coach Tom Landry congratulates AFC Coach John Madden following game.

 

1973 1975

 

RETURN