Cornhusker Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 20 – A New York University football team, which like the campaigners of old had subjugated all the neighboring enemy provinces, sought new worlds to conquer on the snow swept prairies of the middle west today, and like the ambition-drunk campaigners of old, suffered crushing defeat at the hands of a stranger foe.
Eleven Cornhusker boys who proved as worthy of the Scarlet armor as any of their mighty and highly adulated predecessors, functioned with a unity and precision which made for tremendous power and twice drove across the goal line which the east had acclaimed as inviolate, then topped that margin with a goal from the field.
Once a defender of the Violet touched the ball to the frozen turf behind Nebraska’s goal. But only once. It was Nebraska, 15; New York, 7, when the final crack of the pistol filtered through the driving snow.
The New York team, which in a short season by an all-conquering campaign in its own realm, had gained wide acclaim as one of the greatest, was hopelessly outplayed by the eleven Cornhuskers whose true prowess had been minimized in distant parts by an early defeat at the hands of Missouri.
“Inviolate Violets” and “Four Centaurs” the fanciful ones termed the eleven which Chick Meehan had generaled so astoundingly to tremendous heights. But they were just a good football team to the boys in red who so inspiringly followed the keen and cool strategies of Quarterback Bobby Stephens.
The backfield which had been so fantastically labeled was a good backfield indeed, but against the Nebraska line they flung their assaults in vain.
A single first down, in the third quarter, tells the story of New York’s failure and of the power represented by the Cornhusker forwards.
Seven men of brawn formed a Violet wall which until this day had scornfully repelled the varied attacks of the east. But they crumpled when Blue Howell bent his head low, and charged.
They crumpled before the furious off-tackle drives of Glenn Presnell and the vicious slashes of Bobby Stephens.
When Blue Jeans Howell in the second period thundered over the frozen terrain nine yards for a touchdown that almost tied the seven points which New York, with sympathetic fortune’s connivance, had scored in the opening quarter, Blue Jeans thundered needlessly. He could have walked as well.
Every menacing lineman in the passionate Purple was effectively blocked off by the Nebraska wall. Blue Jeans had no need of haste.
When Bobby Stephens gave Nebraska the lead in the third quarter as he gave Nebraska all the lead it ever got over Kansas State a week ago, by coolly booting a goal from placement from the New York 34-yard line, the Cornhusker linemen held fast. Bobby could perform with his characteristic calmness assured that he would not be rushed.
When Bobby Stephens in the final period slashed clean through the great Lassman’s tackle for a touchdown only to have the play recalled, Bobby Stephens out-generaled the defense by shooting through the same place again, and with more lasting success. The game little quarter made Nebraska’s margin a safe one by running the total to 15.
With the score apparently safe in Nebraska’s favor, Coach Bearg shooed in an almost entirely new team which played the last five minutes in a manner that compared favorably with the warfare waged by those Cornhuskers who began the game and played until the count was 15 to 7.
The New York team that had ridden high and proud over the gridirons of the east was all but forced to take what Nebraska willed. The great players, they who had galloped gaily and often through the lines of Atlantic coast enemies were tossed back on themselves by a Scarlet bulwark that refused to budge. Briante, the fullback, Roberts and Strong, the halves, and Connors, the quarterback of that famous and fancied “Centaur” combination and on this night probably are pondering a new conception of a tough line.
The mighty Lassman, powerful though he be, lacked the prowess to match the strength and skill of his red-armored adversaries.
One first down for New York, to eight for the Cornhuskers. In those figures is contained the story of Scarlet triumph and Violet defeat.
Sixteen yards gained by New York to 110 for Nebraska. In those figures the story is repeated, as it is repeated in the records which show that Bobby Stephens returned New York punts by a total of 156 yards to 13 by the New York safety man.
Bobby Stephens! What a general! What a warrior! and yet, great though his play was today, and instrumental as it was in victory, it cannot with fairness be exalted to eminence beyond that of Howell and Presnell, the plungers; Captain Stiner, Randels, Lawson, Holm, Lee and the rest of the Scarlet bulwark on defense and offense.
The sullen November sky out of which an unrelenting north gale lashed ice and snow that punished cruelly, to those, among the 17 thousand who were loyal to the Scarlet, seemed the setting or tragedy when in the early moments of the game, Connor, Violet quarter, snatched Howell’s fumble, on the New York 31-yard line and ran unchallenged 69 yards for a touchdown. Until that bobble of an icy ball, Boy Blue, Stephens and Presnell, had cheered the shivering stands by taking the oval in their mittened hands and whanging or slicing the Violet line for gains that rapidly were consuming the distance to the New York goal.
Connor’s good fortune in being where the chaperoneless ball was and Cornhuskers were not, with a successful try for point by Strong, gave New York an advantage which it held until the second period.
Nebraska’s chance came before the second quarter was many minutes along.
Unable to puncture the Husker wall, Strong from his 24-yard line essayed a goal from placement. The ball hit the scrimmage line, Glenn Presnell recovered and ran it back to the Nebraska 38-yard line. Stephens and Howell added several yards and a first down and it looked like Nebraska was on the way. But not yet.
Stephens was forced back five yards on an attempted end run so he demonstrated a stock sample of good generalship and punted – clear to the New York 24-yard line and out of bounds.
Strong of New York fumbled a bad pass and Lonnie Stiner broke through and pushed him against the unyielding turf for a 15-yard loss. Strong’s punt wasn’t so good, but Stephens’ return to the New York 23-yard line was a thriller. Bobby hit right tackle and then left tackle for a total of 11 yards.
That put the ball on the enemy’s 12-yard line. Presnell pushed forward three more. Then Blue Jeans Howell, snorting and puffing, lowered his helmeted head and bored through — air. There wasn’t a single shrinking Violet to argue that intervening all-important nine yards. The Husker line had done its duty in keeping with the best of Husker line traditions.
Stephens failed to kick on the try, however, and New York still led at the half. During the first two periods, Nebraska made five first downs. New York made none.
Five times Saturday Bobby Stephens tried manfully to kick a field goal. From almost every distance and every angle he tried, but with one exception the icy ball would not be controlled.
Nebraska is 2-0 all-time against New York U..
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