Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 17 — A troop of Purple and Gold gridmen from across the snowcapped Rockies trekked homeward to the Pacific coast Saturday night convinced that beyond the American Alps there are other states, convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that there nestles in the mid-western plains, a commonwealth called Nebraska where they grow football players as well as corn.
Washington’s Husky eleven, on its first trip east of the Rockies, experienced 60 minutes of fighting football Saturday afternoon and was held to a 6 to 6 tie by the Cornhuskers, the game being the kickoff contest of the 1925 season at the Nebraska Memorial stadium. A crowd of over 15 thousand witnessed the intersectional clash.
It was a stubborn, fighting Nebraska team that faced the western eleven. Unlike the Cornhuskers of old, the Scarlet and Cream machine seemed to lack the scoring punch, and the game early turned largely to a contest of defensive football, both sets of ball luggers finding it extremely difficult to gain against a pair of forward walls which jealously guarded the sod on which they trod.
Confronted with a weight handicap of almost 10 pounds to the man, Nebraska was forced to abandon the line-smashing tactics which have characterized Cornhusker teams of the past and rely on aerial football to bring the ball well into Washington’s territory. The aerial warfare fizzled in the second quarter when A. Mandery muffed a pass as he stood on the goal line, but was successful early in the third period when the Huskers drew first blood in the form of a touchdown, A. Mandery carrying the ball across after a forward drive had brought the ball to the Washington eight-yard line.
The heavy and powerful Washington backfield lived up to its reputation. With George Wilson heading the attack, the Purple and Gold backs confined their attention largely to hammering away at the Cornhusker line.
In the second quarter the Huskies drove down to within two yards of the Nebraska goal when the field judge’s pistol barked the end of the first half.
In the third quarter the Huskies started a 70-yard drive down the field, Wilson, Guttormsen and Tesreau catapulting their way to Nebraska territory where a neatly executed pass was good for 25 yards and Halfback Wilson in four powerful plunges drove the necessary eight yards to a touchdown.
It was an afternoon of colorless football, the score of 6-6 well telling the tale of the contest. Each team failed to negotiate a successful goal kick, and each eleven was within striking distance of a second touchdown only to fail to uncover the necessary drive to cross the final chalk line.
Power and weight in the Husky backfield was offset just enough by the play of the Nebraska forwards. The Scarlet and Cream linesmen had just the necessary edge to take advantage of the breaks necessary to bring the plainsmen into a tie score.
There were only two tense moments in the entire struggle. One came when the timer’s pistol suddenly halted the Purple avalanche at half time when the Nebraska goal was but two yards away. The other was Roland Locke’s electrifying return of the opening kickoff in the third quarter. Locke caught the ball on his 10-yard line and raced down the west sidelines, whirling and side-stepping his way through a broken field before he was finally brought down on the Washington 44-yard line. Locke’s brilliant run enabled the Huskers to carry the fight to the Washington territory in the third period and factored in the scoring of the Nebraska touchdown.
The aggressive tactics of the Nebraska line is shown by the fact that the Cornhusker forwards pounced upon three fumbles, Guard Pospisil twice capturing the ball and Tackle Stiner grabbing the other.
Defensive work of Tackles Weir and Stiner and Center Hutchinson featured the Nebraska side of the ledger. Weir and Stiner with the able assistance of Scholz and Pospisil were the active youngsters in turning back the powerful line smashes of George Wilson and company.
This Wilson looked like the best line plunger seen on an opposing eleven in the Nebraska stadium.
Wilson’s line plunging looked like Sed Hartman’s plunging expedition against the Kansas Aggies in the Thanksgiving Day game of two years ago. Guttormsen had the better of the argument in the punting deal while Captain Tesreau at defensive fullback was one of the prime factors in smothering Rhodes and throwing a wet blanket over Nebraska’s attempt to gain at straight football.
Washington tried twice to score from the field in the opening quarter, Guttormsen missing two drop kicks from the 40-yard line. Nebraska bid for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Hutchinson’s recovery of Guttormsen’s punt gave the Huskers possession of the ball on Washington’s 19-yard line. After Locke had twice failed to gain on a sweeping end run, Stephens was inserted for Brown in the Nebraska backfield. Stephens shot a forward pass to Sprague which yielded a first down with the ball on Washington’s six-yard line.
Stephens took the ball from regular formation and ran back, whirled and shot a pass to Avard Mandery. From the stands it appeared the Tecumseh youth had snared the oval, fumbled but recovered in the end zone. Umpire Morris, however, ruled it as an incompleted pass and Washington scrimmaged from its 20-yard line.
Halfback Wilson then led a Purple Tornado which swept up the field toward the Nebraska goal. It brought the ball to the Nebraska four-yard line for a first down and goal to go.
Here the Nebraska forwards braced. The signal was called and George Wilson, Walter Camp’s second all-American, had the ball. He drove for the Nebraska center, then tried the Nebraska left guard. The ball was only two yards from the final chalk-mark. They lined up again. And then the pistol which marked the end of the period. A roar from the stands as the spectators realized that danger was past.
While Locke’s brilliant dash down the sidelines at the start of the third quarter forced the Huskies to assume the defensive, it was really Stiner’s recovery of a fumble late in the period that brought Nebraska within scoring distance. A pass, Stephens to Mandery, put the ball on the Huskies’ 8-yard line.
Rhodes was sent through on a center smash but Quarterback Stephens whirled and passed the ball to A. Mandery. The Husky defense was drawn in to stop a line smash and Mandery sprinted around the Washington right wing over the five yards necessary for a touchdown. Stephens’ attempt at a place kick for the extra point was low under the crossbar.
Wostoupal went in the center position and Wilson, Patton and Guttormsen began mixing cross bucks with center smashes to carry the ball into Nebraska territory.
After two forward passes had been grounded, Wilson shot a long pass to end Cutting for a 25-yard gain. Cutting was forced out of bounds on the Nebraska 6-yard line. Three line plunges by George Wilson carried it across. Cornhusker linemen swarmed through and blocked Guttormsen’s effort at a drop kick for the extra point.
The turn to serial warfare came close to being disastrous to both teams.
A lateral pass to Dailey, Cornhusker halfback, was all but intercepted by a Washington back with a clear field ahead soon after the kickoff. Ed Weir’s interception of a pass late in the game threw a scare into the Washington camp. Wilson, attempting a pass from his 40-yard line, was rushed by the Nebraska forwards. He threw the ball wildly and Captain Ed reached up to snare the oval. He was headed for the Washington goal when a Husky back grabbed him by the pants, holding on desperately and dragging him down in midfield.
Nebraska is 5-4 all-time against Washington.
|Kansas State||Nov. 14|
|Notre Dame||Nov. 26|
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