1983: Owned by real estate magnate Myles Tanenbaum the Philadelphia Stars quickly established themselves as one of the premiere teams in the USFL. Coached by Jim Mora and playing their games at Veterans Stadium, the Stars were one of the best teams in the USFL on both sides of the ball. After winning their first game on the road against the Denver Gold 13-7, the Stars made a statement in their home debut, blanking the New Jersey Generals 25-0. The Stars would race out to an 11-1 start as they finished the USFL’s inaugural campaign with a record of 15-3 that was by far the best in the league. The Stars Doghouse Defense led by Sam Mills and Scott Woerner allowed a league low 204 points. The Stars had a nice offensive balance as Kelvin Bryant was among the league’s leading rushers with 1,442 yards with 15 touchdowns to earn the USFL MVP, while Chuck Fusina passed for 2,718 yards with 15 touchdowns.
1983 USFL Playoffs: Hosting the Chicago Blitz, the Philadelphia Stars got off to a rough start in the USFL Semifinals, as Chuck Fusina committed four first half turnovers to allow the Blitz to build a 21-7 halftime lead. Fusina himself caught a touchdown pass from Allen Harvin, but the Stars still trailed 38-17 in the fourth quarter. Over a nine-minute stretch Chuck Fusina began to pick apart the Blitz defense connecting with Scott Fitzkee, Jeff Rodenberger and Tom Donovan the Stars rallied to tie the game 38-38 and force overtime. In overtime Kelvin Bryant who rushed for 142 yards scored the game winner to send Philadelphia on to the USFL Championship Game with a 44-38 win.
1983 USFL Championship Game: The Philadelphia Stars would face the Michigan Panthers with the USFL Championship on the line in Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Once again, the Stars offense sputtered at the start as the Panthers held a 10-3 lead at the half. In the third quarter, the Panthers extended the lead to 17-3 as Bobby Hebert had a second touchdown pass to Derek Holloway. The Stars would crawl to within three points in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers answered with Anthony Carter finding pay dirt with 3:01 left. As the overwhelmingly pro Panther crowd began pouring on the field the Stars scored again, but it was too little too late as the Panthers won 24-22 to claim the USFL’s first championship.
1984: After falling just a little short of winning the USFL Championship in year one, the Philadelphia Stars were practically unstoppable rolling through the 18-game season with a record of 16-2. The Stars strong play helped boost attendance, despite playing several games at Franklin Field, when the Stars scheduled conflicted with baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies at Veteran’s Stadium. The Stars again go solid efforts from every position, especially Chuck Fusina, who was the USFL’s Outstanding Quarterback, passing for 3,837 yards with 31 touchdowns. Kelvin Bryant was also solid again, rushing for 1,406 yards with 13 scores.
1984 USFL Playoffs: In the postseason, the Philadelphia Stars would face the New Jersey Generals who during the regular season handed the Stars their only two losses of the season. With Veteran’s Stadium hosting a Phillies game, the game was played at Franklin Field with both teams dressing at the Vet and walking a block to Franklin Field in uniform. With a pair of Kelvin Bryant touchdowns and a Garcia Lane punt return the Stars took control of the game with three scores in the second quarter. Bryant added another score in the fourth as the Stars beat the Generals 28-7 to advance to the USFL Semifinals. Hosting the Birmingham Stallions at the Franklin FIeld, the Stars got a big break early as George Cooper recovered a fumble to set up an early touchdown by Kelvin Bryant. The Stars would eventually build a 20-0 at the half. The Stallions would finally get on track in the second half, but it was not enough as the Stars won the game 20-10 to advance to the USFL Championship for the second straight season.
1984 USFL Championship Game: Back in the USFL Championship Game, the Philadelphia Stars faced the Arizona Wranglers at Tampa Stadium. This time around there would be no denying the Stars as they raced out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter with Chuck Fusina completing his first ten passes. Leading 13-3 early in the fourth quarter Don Fielder sealed the win with a strip sack of Greg Landry to set up a Kelvin Bryant touchdown. The Stars would go on to win the game 23-3 as Chuck Fusina was named the game’s MVP.
1984-1985: The Philadelphia Stars would not have any time to celebrate their championship as they played an exhibition game in London six days later, beating the Tampa Bay Bandits 24-21 at Wembley Stadium. As the USFL prepared for its third season a decision to move to the fall for the 1986 season was made. This would spell the end to the Philadelphia Stars as they would be unable to secure a lease for Veteran’s Stadium. This led to a decision to move the team to Baltimore.
©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 Philadelphia 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.