Claymores 32, Galaxy 27
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) _ Substitute receiver Yo Murphy caught three touchdown passes Sunday as the Scottish Claymores defeated the defending champion Frankfurt Galaxy 32-27 Sunday in the fourth World Bowl.
Before 38,982 at Murrayfield Stadium, Murphy scored on passes of 6, 16 and 71 yards as the Claymores took their first World League of American Football title. Murphy, who played collegiately at Idaho, entered the game early in the second quarter when Sean LaChapelle, the league’s top receiver, sustained a groin injury.
Last season, the Claymores were the worst club in the six-team league. But they finished 8-3 this season and beat the Galaxy earlier in the season 20-0. Frankfurt finished 6-5.
Frankfurt’s Mario Bailey caught touchdown passes of 2 and 32 yards, but his fumble on the opening kickoff was returned for a touchdown and gave the Claymores a 7-0 lead 11 seconds into the game.
The Galaxy tied it on their next possession, scoring on an 80-yard drive that was by a 16-yard touchdown run by Jay Kearney off a reverse.
Frankfurt took a 14-7 lead at 4:39 of the second quarter on a 2-yard pass from former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Steve Pelluer to Bailey.
But Scotland _ feeble on offense to that point _ unexpectedly got back into the game in the final two minutes of the half when Jim Ballard hit Murphy on a 38-yard pass to bring the ball down to the 1. After a penalty set the ball back to the 6, Ballard hit Murphy for the touchdown.
But Scotland still trailed 14-13 when former Scotland international rugby player Gavin Hastings missed the extra point.
The Claymores struck again just seconds later when Frankfurt’s Mike Bellamy fumbled the kickoff. Scotland recovered on the 15 and, three plays later, Ballard hit Murphy with a 16-yard pass to make it 19-14 after a failed 2-point conversion with eight seconds remaining in the first half.
The Claymores took a 22-14 lead on a 46-yard field goal by Paul McCallum at 6:46 of the third quarter.
Bailey scored his second touchdown for the Galaxy at 9:02 of the third on a 32-yard pass from Pelluer to make it 22-20 after a 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete.
Twenty seconds later, Murphy scored his third touchdown on a 71-yard pass from Ballard to make it 28-20 as Hastings missed his second extra-point kick.
The Claymores increased their lead to 32-20 when McCallum added a 50-yard field goal _ field goals of 50 yards or more are worth four points _ with about nine minutes to play after James Fuller intercepted a Pelluer pass.
The Galaxy stayed alive with 2:50 left in the game when Pelluer hit Bellamy with a 5-yard pass to make it 32-27. They then got one more chance to mount a drive with 1:45 to play from their own 27, but it bogged down near midfield.