1985: With the heartbreaking move of the Baltimore Colts, the USFL had a chance to get a foothold in the Charm City. However, due to a settlement with the Colts, no football team could use Memorial Stadium until 1986. That would sever the Baltimore Stars just fine as the final year of spring football led them to playing at Byrd Stadium on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Baltimore Stars struggled in their new surrounding as they won just one of their first five games, including a 17-17 tie against the Oakland Invaders in the second week of the season. The Stars would turn things around, posing a record of 9-4 over their last 13 games, posting a record of 10-7-1 to slip into the playoffs. Kelvin Bryant again paced the Stars offense, rushing for 1,207 yards, while Chuck Fusina passed for 3,496 yards with 20 touchdowns.
1985 USFL Playoffs: Facing the New Jersey Generals at the Meadowlands, the Baltimore Stars got a big boost early as Garcia Lane returned a punt 91 yards to open the scoring in the first quarter. The Stars would make 13-0 on a four-yard bootleg by Chuck Fusina. After Herschel Walker but the Generals on the board Fusina found Scott FItzkee in the endzone to take a 20-7 lead into the half. The Stars would not score again, but it would be enough as they held on to win 20-17 and advanced to the Semifinals for the third straight season. Facing the Birmingham Stallions at Legion Field, the Baltimore Stars used the big play to get the lead as Jonathan Sutton returned an interceptions 39 yards for a touchdown, while Chuck Fusina completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Victor Harrison and a 70-yard pass play to Kelvin Bryant to build a 21-0 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter Bryant added a 76-yard touchdown as the Stars won the game 28-14 and reached the USFL Championship Game for the third straight season.
1985 USFL Championship Game: Facing the Oakland Invaders at the Meadowlands the Baltimore Stars sought a second straight championship, having won in Philadelphia a year earlier. This game would mark a transition for the USFL as the league planned to move to the fall and take on the NFL in 1986. A summer thunderstorm provided pregame fireworks and made the field slippery helping to slow down the Invaders high powered offense. The Stars meanwhile went into the half holding a 21-14 lead, with Kelvin Bryant getting a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter. Oakland though took the lead in the third quarter scoring ten unanswered points. In the fourth quarter Kelvin Bryant capped a 49-yard scoring driving with a seven-yard run to put Baltimore back in front 28-24. Looking to take the lead, the Invaders drove down to the Stars five-yard line, but took an ill-advised unsportsmanlike penalty. Bobby Hebert now at the 20 threw two incomplete passes as time ran out, allowing the Baltimore Stars to hold on to win the game 28-24 and repeat as USFL Champions. Kelvin Bryant who scored three times would be named the game’s MVP.
1986: The Baltimore Stars were set to defend their crown as one of eight remaining teams in the USFL’s first fall season. However, the NFL played hardball and blocked the USFL from attaining a television network. The USFL would win a lawsuit against the NFL, but the payout was just $1, which would force the USFL to fold after just three seasons. The Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars were the most successful team in the USFL playing in the championship game all three seasons, winning twice. Stars Coach Jim Mora would move on to the NFL where he would have moderate success with the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. Among the Stars who had NFL success were Sam Mills, Sean Landeta and Bart Oates. Landeta would spend 20 years in the NFL and was the final active USFL player in 2005.
©MMXVI Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the United States Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Baltimore Stars of the USFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on December 26, 2016. Last updated on December 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm ET.