UFL History: 1961 UFL Championship Game

by UFL Writer Tim Bernard

ATLANTA, GA--  In 1961, the Grand Rapids Blazers defeated the Columbus Colts 20-7 in the United Football League's first championship game. The Blazers and the Colts competed in a ten-game regular season, with each team having six wins. 

The Blazers would host a playoff game against the Indianapolis Warriors for the right to play the Colts in the league championship game as both the Blazers and Warriors each compiled a 6-3-1 regular-season record. However, after a hard-fought effort from both teams, the Blazers would come out with a 24-14 victory over the Warriors earning the right to play for the league championship a week later versus the Colts. 

In the league's championship game, the Colts would get an early 7-0 lead on the Blazers. Yet, the Blazers would fire back with a dominant running attack and stout defense to cruise on for a 20-6 victory to earn the 1961 UFL Championship. The Colts had dominated the Blazers 41-21 in a game hosted in Columbus earlier that season, but on championship weekend, former Penn State fullback Emil Caprara would turn in a 20 carry and 125 yards effort to lead the Blazers to victory.

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