The 1976 College All-Star Game

All-Star Roster


CHICAGO, July 23 (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the College All-Stars 24-0 Friday night in a game that was called with 1:22 left in the third period after a torrential rainstorm struck Soldier Field and thousands of youngsters from the crowd of 52,895 poured onto the field and tore down both goalposts.


The officials halted play at 10:49 p.m., CDT, and 12 minutes later called the game as ushers and security police were unable to clear the fans from the flooded field.


Roy Gerela booted three field goals in the first half and Franco Harris and Tommy Reamon added third-period touchdowns to give the two-time Super Bowl champions their second straight victory over the All-Stars.


The officials called time at 10:49 and three minutes later the players left the field. Soon after, the south goalpost came tumbling down and moments after that, the north goalpost was also ripped down.


At 11:01, National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle and the sponsoring Chicago Tribune announced

that the game had been called. Fans were still milling around the field and let out loud jeers when they were informed the game was over. Numerous fights broke out on the field before order was finally restored.


The victory gave the pros a 31-9-2 edge in what has turned out to be a one-sided series. The All-Stars have not won since 1963, when they defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-17.


A heavy downpour hit the field some 40 minutes before the kickoff but subsided by game time.


Gerela gave the Steelers a 3-0 lead with a 29-yard field goal in the first period and then booted field goals of 32 and 23 yards in the second quarter for a 9-0 half time lead.


Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain defense limited the All-Stars to a total of 54 net yards in the first half and virtually shut off the All-Stars' vaunted running attack.


Early in the third quarter, Pittsburgh scored nine quick points to put the outcome beyond doubt. After the All-Stars gained 17 yards on a pass from Jeb Blount of Tulsa to Joe Washington of Oklahoma, the All-Stars lost yardage on three successive plays and were forced to punt.


Center Ray Pinney snapped the ball over punter Rick Engles' head and out of the end zone for a two-point safety. Engles' subsequent free kick was returned 32 yards by Jack Deloplaine to the All-Star 26. Three plays later, Franco Harris broke off tackle and rambled 21 yards for the game's first touchdown and an 18-0 lead.


Pittsburgh again forced the All-Stars to punt and late in the third quarter, Terry Bradshaw hit Tommy Reamon with a 25-yard pass to the All-Star two yard line before Reamon battered across for another touchdown and a 24-0 lead. Gerela's attempted conversion was wide.


With rain starting to fall, substitute quarterback Terry Hanratty was harassed by the AllStar defense and threw a desperation pass which was intercepted by Shafer Suggs, who returned 16 yards to the Pittsburgh 39. A Steeler penalty moved it to the 34 before the officials called time.


Note: And thus the series ended. It had begun in 1934 and was played 42 times in 43 years. The professionals won 31 games and the All-Stars won 9. The 1934 and 1936 games ended in ties. The professionals won in 1976 for the twelfth straight time and many agreed that the series had outlived its usefulness. But, as a showcase for talent, the series had more than provided for its fans, who never stopped showing up to watch the Stars come out to play.


Craig Penrose of San Diego State prepares to handoff as Joe Washington (Oklahoma) protects in the background.


Archie Griffin is brought down by Steve Furness as Richard Todd (14) watches in background.