Order the book, The United States Football League, 1982–1986.
Michigan 24 at Philadelphia 22 Championship (Denver, CO)1983 Championship - Sunday, July 17, 1983
Attendance: 50,906, TV: ABC
Bobby Hebert finds Anthony Carter for the title-clinching score.
DENVER (UPI) - Anthony Carter and Derek Holloway are big enough to be enough for Bobby Hebert and definitely big enough for the Michigan Panthers, who got big plays and big days from their little guys to win the first United States Football League championship with a 24-22 victory over the Philadelphia Stars.
Hebert found them 12 times. Hebert, named the game's Most Valuable Player, completed touchdown passes of 12-and 14-yards to the 5-foot7- Holloway and topped his 314-yard passing night off with a 48-yard game-sealing strike to the 5-9 Carter to give the Detroit area its first pro football championship since the Detroit Lions copped the NFL title in 1957.
A preponderance of the 46,535 who came out to 75,000-seat Mile High Stadium were rooting for Michigan. Banners for the Panthers dominated the scene and the Stars were hooted during the intros. That was fine during the game, but with six seconds to play -- moments before Philadelphia's Chuck Fusina hit Rodney Parker with a two-yard touchdown that made the final score close -- thousands of boisterous Michigan fans surged onto the field.
Some 50 police officers were forced to use chemicals, clubs and dogs to control the crowd, which bent one goal post. A dozen persons were arrested, with police estimating half from Michigan.
Philadelphia came into the game with a mandate to stop Michigan's big play attack. Carter caught a career-best nine passes for 179 yards while Holloway grabbed three for 39. Hebert threw 39 times, completing 20. Tackle Irv Batman said. "He may be the toughest guy in football to defense."
Carter delivered the touchdown that gave Michigan a 24-14 lead with 3:01 to play.
Rookie Novo Bojovic kicked a 33-yard field goal and David Trout countered with a 30-yard field goal for Phiiadelphia to leave it 3-3 until Hebert hit Holloway with his first scoring pass.
Carter set up Holloway's first score with receptions of 27, 12 and 13 yards. He caught a pair of 13-yard passes leading to Holloway's second touchdown, which gave the Panthers a 17-3 lead with 7:49 to play in the third quarter.
Fusina, who had only seven completions in his first 22 passes yet wound up 25-for-47 for 192 yards, got hot in the fourth quarter and almost brought his team back. He threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Collier with 8:49 left and a successful two-point conversion pass pulled the Stars within a field goal, 17-14, only to have Hebert counter with his game-clinching throw to Carter.