AEROBATICS—LEO LOUDENSLAGER, flying a Stephens Akro, won his second consecutive U.S. Nationals title. Loudenslager, 32, defeated Henry Haigh by 462.1 points in the competition at Sherman, Texas.
BOXING—ROBERTO DURAN of Panama successfully defended his World Boxing Association lightweight championship by knocking out Alvaro Rojas of Costa Rica in 2:17 of the first round. On the same card, former heavyweight champion George Foreman scored a technical knockout of Dino Dennis in the fourth round of a scheduled 15-rounder (page 28).
Alfonso Zamora of Mexico registered a technical knockout of Korean Hong Soo-hwan in defense of his World Boxing Association bantamweight title at Inchon, South Korea. The fight was stopped in the 12th round with the challenger draped over the ropes.
PRO FOOTBALL—The Dallas Cowboys lasted five weeks unbeaten and untied, longer than any team in the NFL, then ran into the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards rallied behind the passing of Quarterback Jim Hart for a 21-17 upset of the Cowboys. Hart was intercepted twice but compensated with three touchdown passes (page 26). Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally won a game after three successive losses. The Steelers, showing glimpses of the form that won them two consecutive Super Bowl championships, crushed the AFC Central Division-leading Cincinnati Bengals 23-6. With Quarterback Terry Bradshaw sidelined by an injured neck, Franco Harris provided all the offense that was necessary. He carried the ball a league-record 41 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Los Angeles Rams came back from their 16-0 Monday night loss to San Francisco with a 20-12 defeat of Chicago. Quarterback Ron Jaworski, recovering from a broken shoulder suffered in a game with Atlanta on Sept. 12, came in when Pat Haden was knocked woozy in the second quarter and led the Rams' 72-yard drive in the fourth quarter, capped by Lawrence McCutcheon's 18-yard touchdown run. San Francisco continued to look impressive, defeating New Orleans 33-3. However, the 49ers, who raised their record to 5-1, lost Wide Receiver Willie McGee with a broken leg. The Washington Redskins beat Detroit 20-7, as Safety Pat Fischer and Cornerback Joe Lavender set up Redskin scores with interceptions of Greg Landry passes. Baltimore ruined the debut of Buffalo's new head Coach Jim Ringo. A former All-Pro center, Ringo became the Bills' coach when Lou Saban resigned earlier in the week. Buffalo stayed with the Colts until the fourth quarter when Quarterback Bert Jones threw for two TDs in the 31-13 victory. O.J. Simpson carried 20 times for 88 yards. Changing coaches did not help Atlanta, either, as the Falcons lost to Cleveland 20-17. Falcon Coach Marion Campbell was fired earlier in the week and replaced by General Manager Pat Peppier. The Browns' Greg Pruitt greeted Peppier by running for 191 yards and two TDs. Fran Tarkenton hit 21 of 30 passes for 288 yards against an inexperienced New York Giants' secondary, leading Minnesota to a 24-7 win. In the battle of the league's doormats, Seattle posted its first win by beating Tampa Bay 13-10 (page 77). Suddenly resurgent Green Bay won its third straight, defeating Philadelphia 28-13, Quarterback Lynn Dickey threw scoring bombs of 44 and 69 yards. Miami continued to stumble, losing in overtime to Kansas City 20-17 on Jan Stenerud's 34-yard field goal. San Diego slipped by Houston 30-27, and Oakland beat Denver 17-10.
October 24, 1976
GOLF—BUTCH BAIRD defeated Miller Barber on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the $125,000 San Antonio Texas Open. Baird and Barber had finished regulation play with 15-under-par totals of 273.
HOCKEY—NHL: The Islanders remained the only unbeaten team, but it was close. They opened the week by defeating Atlanta 7-0 and setting a club record with three goals in 53 seconds. But after defeating Buffalo 4-3, they had to come back from a two-goal deficit in the third period to tie Cleveland 4-4. However, Atlanta, having played two more games than the Islanders, was on top of the Patrick Division by one point. Last season's Stanley Cup champions, the Montreal Canadiens, are already pulling away in the Norris Division. They won three of their four games, including a cup rematch with the Philadelphia Flyers 7-1. It was the fifth consecutive time the Flyers had lost to Montreal. Philadelphia—having given up an average of 3.83 goals per game as opposed to 2.61 last season—gained a 5-5 tie with Toronto when the Maple Leafs got three goals from Lanny McDonald in the first period, then blew a four-goal lead. It was the Leafs' second missed opportunity of the week; they were also tied by Los Angeles 4-4 after leading 4-0. Mike Murphy scored three goals and added an assist in Los Angeles' 7-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Rookie Don Murdoch scored five goals to power the New York Rangers past Minnesota 10-4. The Rangers then proceeded to lose a pair—with Murdoch scoring eight goals—before defeating Colorado 4-3. The Rockies scored a 5-3 win over the Chicago Black Hawks, rallying from a 2-0 deficit after a fight between Chicago's Jim Harrison and Colorado's Steve Durbano resulted in Harrison's ejection. The Black Hawks held the Smythe Division lead with a 4-1 defeat of Pittsburgh, as Goalie Tony Esposito deflected 42 shots, and a 3-0 defeat of Minnesota. Pittsburgh snapped out of a four-game losing streak—its longest in more than two seasons—with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit also lost to Montreal and Philadelphia. Adams Division leader Boston clipped the Rangers 5-1 on Gregg Sheppard's hat trick, then defeated Toronto 5-3 and ended the week with a 5-3 upset of Montreal. St. Louis slipped past Colorado 3-2, then intimidated Vancouver in a 6-3 victory before losing to Los Angeles 6-2.
WHA: The Quebec Nordiques continued to play impressively, extending their record to 4-1 and remaining on top in the Eastern Division. The Nordiques drubbed winless New England 8-2, led by Serge Bernier's two goals, in their highest-scoring outing of the season. But at the end of the week they suffered their first loss as Cincinnati outscored them 5-2. San Diego defeated Minnesota 7-4, then beat the Calgary Cowboys 4-2. Calgary also lost to Houston 2-1; the Aeros shut out Birmingham 3-0 after Mark Howe took a pass from his father Gordie to score the breakaway goal that broke a scoreless tie in the third period. The Indianapolis Racers defeated Cincinnati 6-5 in overtime. Frankie Rochon delivered the game-winning goal at 4:36 in the extra period. In the Western Division previously undefeated Winnipeg lost to Phoenix 6-4 and San Diego 3-0.
HORSE RACING—EFFERVESCING ($50.40), ridden by Angel Cordero Jr., won the $112,500, mile-and-a-half Man o'War Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing 1¼ lengths in front of Banghi and outdistancing an international field of 13 horses in 2:31[1/5].
Seattle Slew ($4.60), Jean Cruguet in the irons, established himself as one of the country's top 2-year-olds by winning the $137,250 Champagne Stakes at Belmont. The unbeaten colt ran the mile in 1:34⅖ finishing 9¾ lengths ahead of For the Moment (page 90).
TENNIS—BJORN BORG overpowered Arthur Ashe 6-1, 6-2 with sharp passing shots and a booming service to win the men's singles competition of the $195,000 World Invitational Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Evonne Goolagong defeated Virginia Wade 6-3, 6-4 in the women's final.