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Game Programs (77-80)

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  Pierce County Bengals (1973 - 1981)

 

Years of Operation: 1973 - 1981

 

Overall Record:  86-8-1

 

First Game: Aug 18, 1973 vs Snohomish Co. Ramblers

 

First Win: Aug 18, 1973 vs Snohomish Co. Ramblers

 

Final Game: Oct 31, 1981 vs West Seattle Warhawks

League Affiliation:  

Northwest International Football League (1973 -80)

Pacific Northwest Football League (1981)

Minor Professional Football Association (1980)

 

 

Team Headquarters: Sumner, WA

Founder: Ed Bemis

 

BOD: Walt Tupper, Dr Frank "Doc" Door, Bernie Rakes, Kermit Dyment, John Houser, Steve Ingroum, Don Ferguson, Slim Mulkins, Dr. Larry Rose, Dr. Jim Victor, Gary Swan, Art Cullivan, Larry Sands, Phil Pompeo (1980), Bob Reimer (1979)

 

General Manager: Ed Bemis (1973-1980)

 

Coaches:

Roy Bogrand (Head Coach-1973) Steve Harshman (Head Coach 1974 1975; 1977-1980) Stan Pietras, Bob Holloway, Tom Ingles, Steve Skelly, Ron Baines (DC-1978; HC-1981); Bernie Rakes (HC 1976)

 

Home Field(s): Spartan Stadium, Sumner; Frankin Pierce HS

Titles Won

 

1973 Northwest International Champions

1973 Can-Am Bowl Champions

1974 Northwest International Champions

1975 Northwest International Champions

1976 Northwest International Champions

1977 Northwest International Champions

1977 Pacific Coast Champions

1977 Pro Football Weekly Magazine National Champions

1979 Pacific Coast Champions

1979 Northwest International League Champions

1979 Pro Football Weekly Magazine National Champions

1980 Northwest International League Champions

 

 

 

Honors

Tacoma News Tribune Amateur Coach of the Year

Steve Harshman (1974, 77, 79)

 

Doug Jansen - 1973 Can-Am Bowl MVP

Ron Baines - 1976 NIFL MVP

Steve Levensellar - 1980 Jamboree Offensive MVP

Mike Nielsen, DB - 1977 All-Minor League Team

Steve Dionis, LB - 1977 All-Minor League Team

George Van Over, OT - 1977 All-Minor League Team

 

 

All-League

Steve Harshman OL (NIFL 76, 77, 78, 79, 80)

George Van Over, OT (NIFL 1979 1st)

Glen Hover, C (NIFL 1979 1st)

Scott Lazor, OT (NIFL 1979 1st)

Harry Washington, WR (NIFL 1979 1st)

Nathan Bradford, RB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Bill Donckers, QB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Dan Graham, QB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Mark Conrad, PK/P (NIFL 1979 1st)

Loren Mulkins, DL (NIFL 1979 1st)

Lynn Hover, LB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Tim Thompson, LB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Steve Levensellar, DB (NIFL 1979 1st) KR (1979 2nd)

Mike Fitzpatrick, DB (NIFL 1979 1st)

Bob Ross, TE (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Dave Cobabe, OG (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Al Ketter, WR (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Dewey Brawley, RB (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Bob Jones, DL (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Lou Roberts, DL (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Steve Dionas, LB (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Mark Patterson, DB (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Bob Sonneman, DB (NIFL 1979 2nd)

Willis Freeman, WR (NIFL 1979 Hon Men)

Ken Swan, RB (NIFL 1979 Hon Men)

Sam Warren, DB (NIFL 1979 Hon Men)

Phil Pettit, LB (NIFL 1979 Hon Men)

Gary Lovrovich, TE (NIFL 1979 Hon Men)

Noel Barnes, OT (NIFL 1978 2nd) 

Mike Nielsen, DB (NIFL 1975)

All-America

 

 

The 1973 Bengals were the first team since the Tyees to call the Tacoma region home and virtually exploded onto the scene behind the strong arm of Bill Donckers.  The former San Diego State star led an expectedly weak  expansion team in tearing up the NIFL until the All-Stars upset the Bengals in the finale.  Harold Montgomery had a team-high 4 rushing TD's on Oct 28 versus Skagit Valley.  Doug Jansen earned player of the game honors in the Can-Am Bowl by intercepting 2 passes, one for a TD and recording 7 tackles.

 

The 1974 edition got a boost on Aug 24 when Bob Furguson fresh from being cut by the LA Rams, locked down the linebacking corps.  Two weeks later, Bill Donckers returned from Oakland Raiders camp, and Ira Hammond returned from the Redskins camp and the Bengals began ripping through the league being stopped only when Bob Cason's 4 TD passes forced a Cavaliers-Bengals tie.  53-year old Dick Barnes opened the scoring with a 23-yard FG when the Bengals tripped again and lost to the All-Stars 12-6.  Ron Baines took the reigns at QB on Sept 28, and Ira Hammond scored 4 TD's when Donckers went down with an injury.

 

In 1975 the season started with a loss and could have been a bad omen for the Bengals.  However, salvation arrived in the form of Mark Cahill.  Cahill, a backup to Steve Bartkowski at Cal, left school and proceeded to rip apart defenses in the NIFL to the tune of 125 completions on 231 attempts for 1,938 and 26 touchdowns in 7 games.

 

The 1976 Bengals were a steamroller of a team which shut out 8 opponents and gave up only 57 points in 12 games.  Ron Baines hauled in 4 TD passes on 6 for 78 yards receiving against Skagit Valley upping his total to 10 on the season.  The following week only 19 Lakers arrived forcing a unique timing decision.  Two 19-minute quarters were played followed by one 15 minute running-clock quarter to try and cut down on injuries.  The Vikings opted to forfeit it's playoff game with the Bengals sending Pierce County to the Championship against the Burien (Sea-Tac) Flyers where they won 7-0.  Baines was named Player of the Year.

 

In 1977, Pierce County was invited to play in San Jose, CA, in the first annual Holiday Bowl against the San Jose Tigers and a shot at the West Coast Championship.  In a thrilling finish, the Bengals took the crown from the California League Champions with a stunning 28-27 victory.

 

The 1978 Bengals felt the sting of their first loss to a regular-season league opponent in 5 years when they dropped the season opener to Burien 14-3.  They literally "gave" the game away turning the ball over seven times.  '78 was also the first time a Bengal team had a stable of quarterbacks to choose from using a steady rotation of Dan Graham, Jeff Smith, and Lonnie Berger who played most of the Burien game with blurred vision after taking a forearm that penetrated inside his facemask.  Ron Baines left as regular Bengal receiver to take the reigns as defensive coordinator in '78.  The Oct 28 playoff battle with the Seattle Cavaliers was an epic comeback as the Bengals trailed 20-2 at the start of the fourth quarter.  In a matter of 7 1/2 minutes the Bengals scored 3 touchdowns, converted a fake punt on the drive for the second TD, and Loren Mulkins blocked a Cavalier punt that was recovered on the Cavalier 20 prior to scoring the final TD.  The game wasn't over yet.  With 2:05 to go the Cavaliers had one last chance but a 22-yd FG try fell short.  The Bengals weren't so lucky the following week in the championship as the Flyers used Mark Kreutz's three INT's to thwart the Bengals offensive firepower.  A return trip to the Holiday Bowl in San Jose saw the Tigers exact their revenge with a 43-13 verdict.

 

Most of the '79 squad returned with the exception of all 3 QB's.  Harshman announced that former UPS signal caller Ivy Iverson had won the job prior to the 1980 Jamboree.

 

Mark Conrad, released by the Seahawks as a punter in August, booted a 47-yd FG with :02 left to tie Spokane in the NIFL Championship, then added a 34-yarder in the 13th minute of sudden death OT to win the game for the Bengals and complete an undefeated 1979 season.  When the final polls came out, the Bengals were the only remaining undefeated minor league team and Pro Football Weekly Magazine rewarded the club with their number one ranking and a mythical national championship.  He went on to set a Northwest record, 64-yard field goal in a 58-0 rout against the Seattle Cavaliers on Aug 23, 1980.

 

Conrad kicked for the University of Puget Sound from 1971-1974 earning Little All-Northwest honors four years in a row for his kicking and punting and was inducted into the UPS Hall of Fame in 2000.

1973 Schedule/Results (11-1):

 
Aug 18 - Snohomish County Ramblers

69-12

Aug 25 - Burnaby B.C. Barons 44-14
Sept 1 @ Whatcom County Lakers 50-3
Sept 8 - British Columbia Chargers Cancel
Sept 16 - Sea-Tac Flyers 45-0
Sept 22 - Seattle Bulldogs 38-0
Sept 29 - British Columbia Chargers W FFT
Oct 7 @ Seattle Cavaliers 16-3
Oct 14 - Burnaby B.C. Barons 27-0
Oct 20 - Whidbey Islanders 64-0
Oct 28 @ Skagit Valley Raiders 45-8
Nov 3 @ Burnaby B.C. Barons # 28-9
Nov 10 - British Columbia Chargers 30-0
Nov 17 - NIFL All-Stars 7-14
   # Can-Am Bowl in Vancouver, Canada  
   
1974 Schedule/Results (10-1-1):  
Aug 16 @ Sea-Tac Flyers 19-7
Aug 24 @ Monroe Reformatory Tigers 34-6
Aug 31 @ Snohomish County Ramblers 33-0
Sep 7 - Sea-Tac Flyers 23-0
Sep 14 @ Monroe Reformatory Tigers 44-0
Sep 19 @ Seattle Cavaliers 26-18
Sep 28 - Skagit Valley Raiders 47-0
Oct 5 - Seattle Bulldogs 41-6
Oct 12 - Seattle Cavaliers 33-33
Oct 19 - Burnaby B.C. Barons 26-6
Nov 2 - NIFL All-Stars 6-12
Nov 9 @ Burnaby B.C. Barons #  
    # Can-Am Bowl in Vancouver, Canada  
   
1975 Schedule/Results (8-1):  
Aug 23 - NIFL Jamboree  
Aug 30 @ Sea-Tac Flyers 6-17
Sep 6 - Sea-Tac Flyers 29-25
Sep 20 - Seattle Cavaliers 27-24
Sep 27 - Seattle Titans 46-14
Oct 4 @ Whatcom County Lakers 49-0
Oct 11 - Snohomish County Ramblers 65-19
Oct 18 - Thurston County Vikings 54-0
Oct 25 - Skagit Valley Raiders 34-6
Nov 1 - NIFL All-Stars 40-0
   
1976 Schedule/Results (12-0):  
Aug 14 - Seattle Titans 28-0
Aug 21 - Sea-Tac Flyers 17-0
Aug 28 - Seattle Titans 21-0
Sept 4 - Thurston County Vikings 31-20
Sept 11 @ Seattle Cavaliers 17-14
Sept 18 @ Skagit Valley Raiders 37-0
Sept 25 - Whatcom County Lakers 46-0
Oct 2 @ Snohomish County Ramblers 37-0
Oct 9 - Seattle Titans 43-0
Oct 16 - Thurston County Vikings 29-7
Oct 23 - Sea-Tac Flyers 20-16
Oct 30 - Thurston County Vikings * W FFT
Nov 6 - Sea-Tac Flyers ** 7-0
   
1977 Schedule/Results (12-0):  
Aug 20 - Seattle Titans 52-0
Aug 27 @ Fort Lewis Warriors 35-14
Sept 3 - Kitsap County Chiefs 43-0
Sept 10 - Burien Flyers 23-0
Sept 17 - Seattle Titans 43-0
Sept 24 - Seattle Cavaliers 37-19
Oct 1 @ Fort Lewis Warriors 28-13
Oct 8 @ Kitsap County Chiefs 47-0
Oct 15 @ Burien Flyers 45-20
Oct 22 - Fort Lewis Warriors * 42-7
Oct 29 - Snohomish County Ramblers ** 23-0
Dec 10 @ San Jose Tigers (Holiday Bowl) 28-27
   
1978 Schedule/Results (7-3):  
Aug 19 @ Burien Flyers 3-14
Aug 26 @ Kitsap County Chiefs 47-0
Sept 2 - Snohomish County Ramblers 52-6
Sept 9 @ Seattle Cavaliers 20-12
Sept 16 - Skagit Valley Raiders 36-6
Sept 23 @ Snohomish County Ramblers Cancel
Sept 30 - Burien Flyers 10-0
Oct 7 - Seattle Titans 46-0
Oct 14 - Snohomish County Ramblers W FFT
Oct 28 - Seattle Cavaliers * 21-20
Nov 4 - Burien Flyers ** 3-7
Dec @ San Jose Tigers (Holiday Bowl) 13-43
   
1979 Schedule/Results (12-0):  
Aug 4 - NWIFL Jamboree (vs VanPort 13-7 / vs Kitsap 31-0)
Aug 11 - Seattle Cavaliers 27-0
Aug 18 @ Edmonds Chargers 41-7
Aug 25 - Van-Port Thunderbirds 51-0
Sept 1 @ Spokane Golden Hawks 20-0
Sept 15 - Burien Flyers 62-7
Sept 22 @ Kitsap County Chiefs 56-2
Sept 29 - Edmonds Chargers 55-0
Oct 6 @ Burien Flyers 30-7
Oct 13 - Spokane Golden Hawks 43-7
Oct 20 @ Skagit Valley Raiders 50-0
Oct 27 - Van-Port Thunderbirds *

63-10

Nov 10 - Spokane Golden Hawks ** 12-9 OT
   
1980 Schedule/Results (9-1):  
Aug 2 - PNWFL Jamboree: 21-0 Portland; 14-7 Burien
Aug 9 @ Spokane Golden Hawks 20-13 
Aug 16 - Van-Port Thunderbirds 50-0
Aug 23 - Seattle Cavaliers 58-0
Sep 6 - Burien Flyers 35-3
Sep 14 @ Van-Port Thunderbirds 46-3
Sept 20 - Spokane Golden Hawks 21-0
Sep 27 @ Burien Flyers 52-6
Oct 4 @ Van-Port Thunderbirds 20-12
Oct 11 - Burien Flyers *  
Oct 18 - Van-Port Thunderbirds ** 30-9
Nov 1 @ Twin City Cougars^ 23-28
   
1981 Schedule/Results (5-1):  
Aug 15 - Oregon City Steelheads 18-7
Sep 12 @ Oregon City Steelheads 21-7
Sep 26 - Puget Sound Kings 17-3
Oct 3 @ Oregon City Steelheads  
Oct 10 - Oregon City Steelheads 13-3
Oct 24 @ Twin Cities Cougars 13-65
Oct 31 West Seattle Warhawks 47-0
   
   
   
   
   
^ West Coast Regional Championship (MPFA)  
* NIFL Playoffs  
** NIFL Championship  

Former Pros:

 

Bill Donckers (St Louis Cardinals/Honolulu Hawaiians - WFL)

Ira Hammon (Portland Storm)

Harry Washington (Minnesota Vikings & Chicago Bears)

Tim Ochs (Seattle Seahawks - 1978)

 

Photos

News Releases

 
 
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