World Bowl '96 (or World Bowl IV), the championship game of American football's WLAF, took place at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 23, 1996. The 7-3 Scottish Claymores defeated the 7-3 Frankfurt Galaxy (the defending champions) 32-27 and, led by head coach Jim Criner, completed the league's first ever worst to first turnaround. Claymores wide receiver Yo Murphy was voted MVP for his 163 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
38,982 fans were in attendance that day, the highest in Claymores history and the largest crowd ever assembled for an American football game in Scotland.
The Claymores swept the regular season series against the Galaxy (20-0 in Frankfurt & 20-17 in Edinburgh).
Game summary Edit
The game got off to a fast start as Claymore safety George Coghill, on the opening kickoff, stripped the ball from Mario Bailey's arms. After the ball came out, Markus Thomas used his running back speed to return the ball 25 yards for a touchdown, allowing Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings to kick the successful PAT. However, the Galaxy would respond to the Claymores challenge, by having an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Jay Kearney running 16 yards on a reverse play for a touchdown. The Galaxy also flexed their defensive muscle when CB Bernard Tobias made 2 of his game high 3 interceptions in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Galaxy QB Steve Pelluer would develop a 6-play, 30-yard drive that concluded with a 2-yard TD pass to Mario Bailey. For the first time in the game, the Galaxy led the Claymores, but Scotland's finest refused to enter halftime trailing. Claymore QB Jim Ballard would lead two successful drives, late in the half. First, a 2-play, 39-yard would set up a 6-yard pass to eventual MVP Yo Murphy (PAT failed). Then, a 3-play, 15-yard drive would set the stage for a 16-yard pass to Murphy, but the 2-point try failed, due to the Galaxy's pass rush. Still, the Claymores regained their lead, being ahead 19-14 at halftime. In the third quarter, the Claymores increased their lead by adding Paul McCallum's 46-yard field goal to their score. However, the Galaxy would respond with a 4-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard pass to Mario Bailey, but they failed on the 2-point conversion. The Claymores would respond big with a 71-yard TD pass from Jim Ballard to Yo Murphy (PAT failed). In the fourth quarter, the Claymores would get four points on a 50-yard field goal by Paul McCallum. With the Galaxy down 32-20, they needed points and they needed them fast. They would manage a 7-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard pass from Steve Pelluer to Mike Bellamy. After the Galaxy managed to get the ball back, they had less than a minute to get a touchdown and defend their title. Some quick passes helped Frankfurt get pass midfield, but when the Galaxy reached a 4th & short situation, the mood throughout Murrayfield Stadium was tension. When the ball was snapped, the hand-off to Ingo Seibert was fumbled. Steve Pelluer managed to recover the ball and pick up the first down, but then, a flag was thrown. The referees stated that the fourth down rule was in effect (see 4th Down rule below). Since another player recovered the ball, the play was blown dead. It was that play and that rule that preserved the Claymores lead, giving them their 1996 World Bowl title.
Scoring summary Edit
- Scotland - TD Thomas 25 yd fumble recovery 0:11 1st
- Frankfurt - TD Kearney 16 yd run 6:27 1st
- Frankfurt - TD Bailey 2 yd pass from Pelluer 4:39 2nd
- Scotland - TD Murphy 6 yd pass from Ballard 14:02 2nd
- Scotland - TD Murphy 16 yd pass from Ballard 14:52 2nd
- Scotland - FG McCallum 46 yd 6:46 3rd
- Frankfurt - TD Bailey 32 yd pass from Pelluer (2-Point failed)
- Scotland - TD Murphy 71 yd pass from Ballard 9:42 3rd (PAT failed)
- Scotland - 4-point FG McCallum 50 yd 5:06 4th
- Frankfurt - TD Bellamy 5 yd pass from Pelluer 12:10 4th