PITTSBURGH, AUG. 1 -- Whit Taylor passed for four touchdowns, three to Gary Mullen, to enable the Denver Dynamite to rout the Pittsburgh Gladiators, 45-16, and win the first Arena Football title tonight.
Denver never trailed in one of the lowest scoring games in the league's first season. The Gladiators couldn't score until 3:43 into the fourth quarter.
Mullen, 24, out of West Virginia University, was named the game's most valuable player after his second and third touchdown receptions clinched the game early in the last quarter.
The Gladiators started former University of Minnesota quarterback Mike Hohensee, but switched to Brendan Folmar with 1:34 left in the second quarter. Hohensee returned in the third quarter after the Gladiators still had not scored.
He passed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, an 11-yarder to Russell Hairston and a 15-yarder to Rock Richmond.
But Hohensee twice fumbled snaps from Craig Walls early in the game.
Phil Forte recovered the first in the end zone to give the Dynamite a 6-0 lead. On the Gladiators' next possession, Hohensee fumbled and the Dynamite's Kelly Kirchbaum recovered on Pittsburgh's 3. Two plays later, Richard Prather scored from the 2 for a 12-0 lead.
Taylor, from Vanderbilt University, played the whole game for the Dynamite.
James Foster, founder and president of the new league, was clearly disappointed at the low scoring.
"But it just goes to prove that it's still football," he said.
The championship game, dubbed Arena Bowl 87, attracted 13,232 fans to the 15,089-seat Civic Arena.
The game was held in Pittsburgh because the Gladiators attracted a few hundred more fans to their regular-season home games than the Dynamite.
Both teams were 4-2 during the six-week "exhibition" season that included the Washington Commandos and the Chicago Bruisers.