ArenaBowl I

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arena Bowl I
1 2 3 4 Total
DEN 12 6 14 13 45
PIT 0 0 0 16 16
Date August 1, 1987
Arena Pittsburgh Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Gary Mullen, WR/DB, Denver

Attendance 13,232
Winning coach Tim Marcum
Losing coach Joe Haerin
TV in the United States
Network ESPN
Announcers Bob Rathbun, Lee Corso

ArenaBowl I was the Arena Football League's very first Championship Game. It was played on August 1, 1987 at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the game the #2 Denver Dynamite defeated the #1 Pittsburgh Gladiators by a score of 45-16.

Coming into the game, with both teams finishing their seasons at 4-2, the Gladiators hosted the ArenaBowl due to their high attendance during the regular season.[1] During the regular season the team split their games, with the Gladiators winning in Denver 49-32, but lost at home by a score of 32-31.[2]

The first half of ArenaBowl I was not a very competitive game, as the Dynamite came out leading at the half by a score of 18-0. The Dynamite scored the first 32 points and shut out the Gladiators for 3 quarters before Gladiators quarterback Mike Hohensee found Russell Hairston on an 11-yard pass. The Dynamite were paced on offense by wide receiver Gary Mullen, who had nine receptions for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns, earning him MVP honors.

This is the only ArenaBowl game to be played outdoors, as the Civic Arena opened its roof for the game.

Game summary[edit]

The Dynamite got off to an early start with a fumble recovery for a touchdown by OL/DL Phil Forte, along with a two-yard touchdown run by FB/LB Richard Prather (with a failed two-point conversion) in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Denver's domination continued with Quarterback Whit Taylor completing a 26-yard touchdown pass to WR/DB Gary Mullen (with another failed two-point conversion) for the only score of the period.[3][4]

In the third quarter, the Dynamite continued their destruction with Taylor completing a 32-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Richard Rodgers, along with WR/DB Steve Trimble returning an interception 47 yards for a touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, the Gladiators finally managed to score as Quarterback Mike Hohensee completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to WR/LB Russell Hairston (with a successful two-point conversion). Denver would wrap up the game with Taylor and Mullen hooking up with each other on a five-yard touchdown pass and even a 19-yard touchdown pass (failed PAT). Pittsburgh's final strike came from Quarterback Brendan Folmar to WR/DB Rodney Richmond.

Mullen was named the game's MVP for his performance.[3][5]

Scoring summary[edit]

1st Quarter

  • DEN - Forte 0 Fumble Recovery (Morales kick failed)
  • DEN - Prather 2 run (Taylor pass failed)

2nd Quarter

  • DEN - Mullen 26 pass from Taylor (Taylor pass failed)

3rd Quarter

  • DEN - Rodgers 32 pass from Taylor (Morales kick)
  • DEN - Trimble 47 Interception Return (Morales kick)

4th Quarter

  • PIT - Hairston 11 pass from Hohensee (Hohensee pass)
  • DEN - Mullen 5 pass from Taylor (Morales kick)
  • DEN - Mullen 19 pass from Taylor (Morales kick failed)
  • PIT - Richmond 14 pass from Folmer (Folmer pass)


  1. ^ "Gladiators get ArenaBowl I". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 25, 1987. Retrieved April 14, 1987.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Gary Tuma (July 27, 1987). "Ready or not, here come ArenaBowl I". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Joey Bunch (October 22, 2012). "Denver Dynamite exploded in Arena League’s first season, then fizzled out". The Denver Post. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Arena Football League Championship : Taylor Leads Dynamite, 45-16". Los Angeles Times. August 2, 1987. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Glads wilt in 'Bowl'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 3, 1987. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 

External links[edit]