Captain Ernie Frank, playing his last game against the Jayhawkers, defeated the belligerent Kansas warriors on Nebraska field yesterday afternoon by running seventy yards for a touchdown when there were but ten minutes left on the clock, and the score was 3 to 0 in favor of the visitors. Weidlein of Kansas had kicked a field goal a few minutes before and the game seemed lost. Warren Howard of Omaha ran sixty-five yards for another score shortly afterward, leaving the final tally 14 to 3 in favor of the Cornhuskers, practically assuring them of the Missouri valley championship. Towle kicked goal in each instance.
It can hardly be said that Nebraska won, for it was fairly evident that it was Kansas who lost. Coach Stiehm's line was weaker than weak, and the Cornhuskers were on the defensive most of the time. Besides the two great runs which enabled Nebraska to win, the feature was the great battle put up by the invaders. At one stage of the game Kansas had the ball within three feet of the Cornhusker goal, and was not able to score.
Nebraska gained 393 yards and Kansas 200, while Nebraska was penalized seventy-five yards and Kansas only fifty. Howard punted fourteen times for Nebraska, for a total distance of 465 yards, while Wilson punted twelve times for 419 yards.
But wasn't Nebraska lucky — gosh! She was positively run out from under her headgear during the first three periods and was seemingly walloped in the fourth. There was scarcely a moment that Stiehm's men were not on the defensive until Captain Frank and Warren Howard broke away for their great runs, and then with the score 3 to 0 against them.
The Cornhusker line was as brittle as a bit of week-old taffy and the secondary defense played up so close that there was always a wild scramble to stop a charging Jayhawker when he once had a start. Time and again Howard was called upon to save his team from defeat, and his boot generally was sufficient, his kicked going high and far, with a dapper spiral twist. But he was slow in getting them off, and consequently, had to kick almost straight up in the air on various occasions. One of his punts was blocked at a critical stage, but by a bit of good fortune, Swanson fell on the ball for a fifteen-yard gain. Howard then punted to the center of the field, out of danger.
This was really the crucial point of the game, and it arrived in the second period. An exchange of punts, including one of Howard's altitudinous efforts, followed by some swell line bucks of Detweller and Coolidge, had brought the ball within three feet of Nebraska's goal, when Stiehm's men made a dandy rally and held for downs. This was really the best work done by the Nebraska line.
When the game started Kansas bad luck started also. For the past six years she had won every game played on Nebraska field, and was hoping to repeat. Outweighed over fifteen pounds to the man, and with the betting 3 to 2 against her at all sport headquarters, she seemed to be an object of well deserved sympathy. Her men were light but lithe, while Nebraska was grinning and confident.
The Jayhawkers defended the west goal at the commencement of the wrangle, and Pearson kicked off to Magill, who was badly hurt when tackled and forced to retire in favor of Wilson. This was a severe wallop in itself, but on the second play following, Martin was massacred after embracing one of Howard's longest punts and Coolidge took his place. Both Coolidge and Wilson did great work, especially the latter, whose punting was generally excellent, but it broke up the "Rock-Chalk" bunch and doubtless cost them dearly. Coolidge proved a consistent ground gainer. In the second half both Bramwell and Detweller had to be taken out because of injuries, and Nebraska seemed to perk up a bit thereupon.
There was little real football played, from the viewpoint of the spectators, until the last quarter. Until that time Kansas had been continually knocking at Nebraska's door and scaring the Lincolnites almost to death every minute. There were fumbles and bonehead plays and poor tackling and about everything else that is rotten in the game, and the lightweight visitors had the best of it. There weren't even any thrills to speak of, and the cheer-leaders on both sides lost their voices and cunning at the same time. Finally, in the third period, Weidlein essayed a fake placekick, which Pearson recovered and carried about sixty yards, only to be called back. The audience yawned and seemed to take notice at this juncture, and showed true signs of life when Nebraska was penalized fifteen yards for rough work during the play.
At the start of the fourth period Weidlein again tried a placekick, this time from the thirty-five-yard line, but it was a rotter and bounced and bumped around until Brownice finally recovered it for the Kansans. Brownice, who is the Jayhawker captain, was badly jolted in the mess, but managed to stick to his knitting. Coolidge found Nebraska's tackles easy, and soon had the ball once more in shape for a kick, and the third time proved a charm. Weidlien hoisting the egg squarely between the posts from the twenty-five-yard line. It was a great moment for DeSota, Kas., where Weidlein expects to run for mayor next spring. The score was three to not much, with but ten minutes of argument remaining.
Burnham kicked off and started the real fireworks. The Jayhawkers seemed sure winners and Jumbo Stiehm was meandering up and down the sidelines seeking whom might he devour when, of a sudden, after an exchange of punts, Warren Howard, the Omaha kid, circled right end for twenty yards, bringing the ball to Nebraska's thirty-yard line. On the next play Captain Erule Frank took the ball for a cross-tackle buck. Instead of going through the plotted aperture, he dodged neatly in his tracks, got behind a bunch of chance interference and ran seventy yards for a touchdown, putting the ball squarely between the posts, which nestled coyly at the west end of the field. No one knows whatever became of the Kansas tackler supposed to be in the rear guard—he wasn't there, anyway. Towle, who had succeeded Potter at quarter in the second half, because of Potter's injuries kicked an easy goal and the game was won.
It was then up to the Omaha boy, Warren Howard, to distinguish himself further. Burnham kicked off, there was a lot of punting and fumbling and messing around, and it was finally the Jayhawkers' ball on the Cornhusker twenty-five-yard line. Tudor attempted to ward pass to somebody unknown to this witness, and Howard intercepted it with a lithe spring into the air, which likened him to a jack-in-the-box. He promptly ran the remaining length of the field for another touchdown, ducking and dodging and sprinting like a real, regular guy. Again Towle kicked goal and the Nebraska rooters endeavored to kick the grandstands down. The score was the Nebraska 14, Kansas 3, and it remained that way to the bitter end.
There was plenty of switching and changing in the line-ups during these passionate festivities. Detweller, petulant and peeved, retired in favor of Parker after the first touchdown and Captain Frank, thinking he had done plenty for Nebraska, graciously stepped aside for Hawkins. Bramwell, the Kansas center, remembered an important engagement at the Lincoln hotel and requested Helver to succeed him, which Helver did. Helver had a Helver time and didn't appreciate the sport a bit. Kansas finally discovered which of Purdy's legs was sore and hopped on it, so Purdy quit and was succeeded by Beck.
It was lucky for Nebraska that Purdy was not laid out earlier in the afternoon, for he is the most genuine football man on Stiehm's team. Game to the very core and having that pigskin sense of the right thing to do at the right time, his plunging and running were about all that kept the Cornhuskers from disaster through those first three dreary periods. Kansas knew that he was suffering all along, but he kept out of trouble with a skill all his own, until they finally landed him, after his team had won. What physical agony he bore, no one will ever realize, but he kept his same old grin and his same old daredevil spirit until he saw that his comrades were on easy street, and then he fell. Had his line stood up before him it is safe to assert he would have carried the ball over long before the last ten minutes of play.
The first annual "home-coming" of Nebraska alumni was a splendid success. The two Omaha specials brought down over 600 rooters of both sexes, and there were large delegations from all over the state and outside points. Before the game the South Omaha stockmen, headed by Everett Buckingham and the Fort Crook band, paraded the field and caused a good deal of disturbance of the kind that makes football fun. The Omaha specials combined into the one, left for Omaha directly after the conclusion of the game. Many of the visitors stayed over for the "homecomers'" banquet at the Lincoln hotel.
Kansas rooters gathered in the Lincoln hotel lobby after the battle and cheered Nebraska equally with their own boys, who had fought a game which would have won, nine times out of ten. The Kansas delegation numbered over 300 and came in on a Union Pacific special in the morning. Their band paraded the streets and vied with the Cornhusker musicians in making things lively.
The attendance at the game was over 6,000 and presented a grand spectacle in the grandstands on a grand football day. Many Omahans motored to and from Lincoln and the streets of the capital were jammed with machines.
The defeat of Kansas virtually makes Nebraska Missouri Valley champions. Should Drake beat Ames, the title is secure. If Ames beats Drake, Ames has a claim, but a post-season match between the two aggregations will doubtless be arranged in this event.
Nebraska is 91-23 all-time against Kansas.
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