Vikings all-time tournament: 1970 defense swarms Tarkenton, 1974 offense
Ed Sharockman hauled in two interceptions and the ninth-seeded 1970 Minnesota Vikings defense combined for five sacks in its 23-3 win over No. 8 1974 in the first round of the all-time tournament.
The ’74 Vikings put their only points on the board via a 25-yard field goal by Fred Cox in the first quarter, which gave them a brief 3-0 lead.
Quarterback Fran Tarkenton (’74) was running for his life from the Purple People Eaters for the rest of the game.
Paul Dickson, Gary Larsen, Wayne Meylan, Alan Page and Lonnie Warwick all brought down Tarkenton for one sack apiece. Warwick and Larsen sacked Tarkenton on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter to diminish any hope of a comeback for the ’70 Vikings.
Tarkenton was limited to 186 passing yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions while completing 18 of 32 attempts.
Sharockman picked off Tarkenton on both the ’74 Vikings opening and final drives of the game.
The ’74 Vikings converted on just 4 of 14 third downs and went 0 for 3 on fourth down.
Led by quarterback Gary Cuozzo, the ’70 Vikings sprinkled in enough offense to back up the defense’s dominant performance.
Cuozzo threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-25 passing as his chemistry with receiver Gene Washington was on display all game long.
With the game tied at 3 in the second quarter, Cuozzo connected Washington for a 63-yard gain to place the ’70 Vikings inside the red zone.
A few plays later on second-and-goal, Cuozzo found Washington again — this time in the end zone — for an eight-yard score and a 10-3 lead.
Washington caught four receptions for a game-high 99 yards and a touchdown.
Cuozzo’s seven-yard strike to receiver Bob Grim put the game out of reach at 20-3 with 12:14 to play in the fourth quarter.
The ninth-seeded 1970 squad advances to face Randy Moss, Cris Carter and the 1998 Vikings in the tournament quarterfinals. The ’98 Vikings toppled No. 16 2012 by a score of 21-14 in the opening round.
|74 MIN||1:53||FG||Fred Cox 25 yds.||0-3|
|70 MIN||10:30||FG||Fred Cox 36 yds.||3-3|
|70 MIN||1:47||TD||Gene Washington 8 yd. pass from Cuozzo (Cox kick)||10-3|
|70 MIN||0:27||FG||Fred Cox 39 yds.||13-3|
|70 MIN||12:14||TD||Bob Grim 7 yd. pass from Cuozzo (Cox kick)||20-3|
|70 MIN||2:32||FG||Fred Cox 26 yds.||23-3|