Ahearn Field, Manhattan, Kans., Nov. 19—A Kansas State defense which battled so fiercely and doggedly that the first half of the twelfth meeting between the Cornhusker and Wildcat was as close a football struggle as any the Nebraskans have waged this season, crumbled, weary and spent, during the last half, and the driving Scarlet back pounded and plunged, and the fleet Scarlet backs flashed and twisted goalward time and again to win by the score of 33 to 0.
Thus on this Saturday night Charley Bachman’s boys revert to habit formed more than 12 seasons ago, and think, not so much of their overwhelming loss of the Homecoming afternoon, but of next year and the opportunity it will present for defeating the Cornhuskers for the first time.
All through the first half and until but few minutes of the second remained hope beat high in the breasts of the homecomers who formed the greater portion of the crowd of eight thousand which sat beneath leaden skies which spit snow. Doubtless Governor Paulen of Kansas felt as assured to victory as Governor McMullen of Nebraska, who was his guest.
The powerful Scarlet-armored first army, which had trampled Syracuse and had given the Panthers of Pitt the battle of their lives, was being held, whenever danger loomed, by a desperate, game battalion that warred in the Purple of Manhattan.
Twice the ponderous red array had moved down the field, as irresistible as fire on a sun-drenched prairie. Twice the runs of Presnell, which devoured yard after yard of Wildcat territory, and the plunges of Howell, which put safety behind other yards of it, were checked with the Wildcat warriors digging their cleats into turf that lay just before their goal line. True, the Purple never threatened to take the lead, but the Purple was preventing their foemen from gaining an advantage. Once Blue Howell ripped his way 25 yards only to be checked the length of a goal post from the tantalizing, all-important line. Howell and Presnell then began to batter their way, yard by yard, over the remaining distance. Two yards left to go and fourth down. Howell lowered his head and rammed, but the Purple rampart held. He made but a yard and the Wildcats took the ball on downs. This was near the close of the second quarter. Lyon punted from his safety zone. Fifty-four yards the ball soared, to midfield. Nebraska’s ball.
Lee Scores on Pass
Plunges and runs by Howell and Presnell put the ball on the Wildcat 35-yard line. Then Dutch Witte, who had been sent in as substitute for Bronson at quarterback, threw a beautiful pass for Evard Lee. Lee caught it 25 yards away, on the Wildcat 10-yard line, and trotted across the Wildcat goal.
At the end of the first half of the score was this: Nebraska 6, Kansas State 0, for McMullen’s attempt at goal after touchdown had been wide. Nebraska had a precarious lead, a lead gained by employment of the tactics at which the Wildcats and not Nebraska have gained fame. Nebraska the powerhouse team had got its margin by passing.
The end of the first half ended all Kansas State opposition. The purple-shirted linemen left the field fagged, dragging, with 30 minutes of brilliant battling behind them, but they were spent. And unlike Nebraska, the campus at Manhattan does not swarm with mighty reserve power.
Bachman was forced to send his weary warriors in again at the beginning of the third period. They fought desperately but futilely. They were through. In the third quarter, Presnell and Howell scored, Presnell at the culmination of an offense that began when Nebraska received the kickoff, Howell at the climax of an offensive almost as long sustained.
In the fourth quarter, the kids were in—the kids and John Brown—the most luckless player of great promise to don the Scarlet in many a season. The kids assisted nobly, but it was Brown, Captain John, finally at the very end of his heartbreaking career, playing the position to which he was born, who scored. John Brown scored twice, and his achievements doubtless have impressed the Nebraska coaching staff with the fact that they have had a marvelous halfback on Nebraska field for two years and evidently never knew it. A halfback assigned to quarterback, a position for which he never was intended, but too good a soldier to complain.
John Brown and Clair Sloan, the sophomore kid from Verdon, during that quarter matched, yard for yard, run for run, plunge for plunge, the marvelous offensive work of Presnell and Howell in the third period.
Powerhouse at Work
In that third, Presnell returned householder kickoff 25 yards, dodging a half-dozen tacklers, planting the ball on the Nebraska 40-yard line. Then Presnell and Howell, with Oehlrich and Bronson assisting now and then, began their relentless assault on the Wildcat line. Five, eight, seven, four, eleven yards at a time, the great powerhouse forced the Purple line of defense backward, ever backward. Finally Howell tore a great gap at center and shot through for eight yards, being brought down on the Purple six-yard line. From there Presnell charged across.
Presnell’s 32-yard run after twisting through the Wildcat line started the drive to the third touchdown a few minutes later. Again he and Howell alternated at lugging, until Boy Blue battered the necessary two yards to make the total score 19.
Early in the fourth quarter with the Nebraska back field manned by Sloan, Farley, McBride and Brown, Sloan and Captain Jug plunged and ran to the Wildcat 12-yard line. There was a pass failed, and Nebraska was penalized five yards. Brown tried a place kick from the 18-yard line, it was short. Their early attempts at passing, hopelessly spoiled, the Wildcats returned to the air as a last resort. It cost them dearly. Grow early stopped their hoped-for offense by interrupting a pass. The Husker substitutes hammered through to the Purple 20-yard line. From there Sloan tried a pass to Shaner. It was grounded in the end zone and the Wildcats took possession on their 20-yard line, they were forced to punt almost immediately, and Nebraska regained the ball on their own 41-yard line. Brown then began to match Presnell’s great work of the 1927 season, and Sloan helped him.
Jug Scores for N. U.
Time after time, these two, captain, who had been misplaced, and Kid, who is just beginning, smashed and raced for eight, 10, 11, 13 yards. Finally Jug whirled and dodged through an opening with the goal line just three yards away. He made it, and drop kicked the extra point.
A mighty pass, when there was but a minute or so remaining, gave Brown his last chance. Clair Sloan heaved it, and it traveled 30 yards. Brown caught it and ran 19 more, to the Wildcat three-yard line again. The Aggies were penalized half the distance to their goal for off-side play. Jug plunged the other yard and a half.
Kansas State began but one offensive in the third quarter but apparent poor judgment by their quarter ended it. After they had cracked the Husker forwards pretty consistently, Lyon punted on the fourth down, when but one yard was needed.