Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov. 30 – The speed of the lightest team in the Nebraska University’s 44-year-old football history routed Oregon State’s giants of the northwest this afternoon, 22 to 0.
The towering, meaty horde that had hobbled the prancing Trojan horse and then thundered across the continent to obliterate Fordham’s hopes of national acclaim cracked in the second quarter before dervish drives of George Henry Sauer, lunged frantically and futilely to thwart the rabbity career of Jerry LaNoue, and yielded six points.
It came roaring back in the third period to hammer four times, in vain, at the dwarfed but unyielding Scarlet defense that dug deep into the sod behind its five-yard line.
Then it collapsed.
Throughout the final 15 minutes the Cornhuskers sped and darted and flew over the field.
There was no stopping them. They seemed unable to stop themselves.
Fifteen points, achieved by every maneuver legal to gridfare save goals from the field, had been written on the big scoreboard by George Henry Sauer and his veteran company when, with scant minutes remaining, they left the field forever, the authors of the Cornhuskers’ most brilliant campaign since the dimming days when the Stiehm Roller was the juggernaut of the prairielands.
Twenty-five thousand roared a deafening accompaniment to the last march of Sauer and his mates through the little gray door that leads to the steamy dressing room.
They vanished from sight, one by one – the peerless fullback, Gail O’Brien, Little Clair Bishop and Little Warren DeBus, the guards who four times had repulsed the giants’ assault at the goal; Leland Copple, John Roby, Bruce Kilbourne, Hubert Boswell, Jack Miller and Jim Milne, the boy who made good at the finish.
On the field, only Big Bernie Masterson remained, a giant again this day, to lead the lads who will carry on when another season begins.
The lads refused to delay. They carried on immediately.
Twenty-five thousand acclaimed the assault by land and by air that carried fleet Bob Benson across with the final touchdown while the field judge fingered his pistol.
On the bench, his arm still splinted, Lee Penney watched and cheered. He, the great end, had played a glorious part in the three years’ warring which never saw him and his comrades defeated on their own field.
Are these veterans through? Have they played their last game together?
At this time, none can be sure of that. There is a possibility that they will be called upon to fare forth again, on the invasion of a distant province. But they have said farewell to Memorial Stadium, this lightest array in all Nebraska’s long gridiron narrative, and the actors in one of its most thrilling chapters.
Through what coaches call the “most representative” of all the Cornhuskers’ many schedules they swept this fall to victory eight times, to defeat but once.
And today, their last, they played their greatest game. So, too, did their junior understudies. They conquered a mighty team, that itself has written an astounding record.
They overwhelmed the first opponent ever to be led against Nebraska by a Nebraskan.
There on the visitors’ bench sat Lonnie Stiner, himself one of the greatest Cornhusker tackles, but today the general of the enemy.
He had hoped for sweet victory over his own athletic descendants and for a time it appeared as if he were to be satisfied. But only for a time, a very brief, tantalizing spell.
He sat on, helplessly, to see the history which he himself had helped to make against Notre Dame and Washington and Syracuse repeat itself against the boys who are his pupils, the boys who really made him their coach.
There was a quaver in his voice and a suspicious brightness in his eye afterward as he said: “Nebraska has a great team and deserved to win.” But he smiled. And well he might. For his boys had waged a valiant struggle.
Among their numbers was the greatest back to appear as guest on Nebraska’s battle yard this fall.
Throughout the first quarter it appeared as if it were only a question of time until Norman Franklin would break away and go zipping and dancing and whirling down the field with the Huskers panting hopelessly after him.
Norman Franklin, the sprinter, the back who outgained Southern California’s Cotton Warburton, was almost entirely Oregon’s offensive threat behind the sort of a powerful line you’d expect Lonnie Stiner to fabricate.
It looked at the beginning, and again at the opening of the last half, as if Norman Franklin would be enough. Aggravation of an ankle injury just before the opening period ended forced him from the game for a while, and when he returned he was not quite the blazing streak he had been at the outset.
This misfortune may have helped to precipitate the rout. For with Franklin crippled, the Beavers’ speed was gone and speed alone could have triumphed over the Huskers, speed as great or greater than they themselves exhibited, and among the enemy only this great halfback had it.
It took an extra consignment of speed from the sidelines at the start of the second interval to get the Nebraskans going. Almost throughout the first quarter they had been on the desperate defensive, and Franklin had galloped.
Then on the brown floor scampered Jerry LaNoue, and Jerry LaNoue with Sauer and Masterson and Boswell and the inspired lads up ahead soon manufactured themselves a touchdown.
Halfback Bowman interfered with Masterson as he was about to field Sauer’s pass and the pitch was ruled complete 27 yards from six points. End sweeps by LaNoue and another throw, Masterson to Boswell, gave the Huskers a first down seven good strides from counting territory.
Sauer rammed through right tackle and crossed the goal, but Referee Hedges ruled his knee had touched the turf two yards out. On the next play LaNoue scampered around right end. Big Bernie’s kick went wide.
Those six points appeared emaciated and wan throughout the first section of the closing half.
The Beavers went tearing onto the field, and they kept the ball most of the ensuing 15 minutes. It was not until late in the period, however, that they managed to piece together their gains and become downright frightful.
It was then that Franklin went dodging back 36 yards with Sauer’s punt to Nebraska’s 36. From there the great warrior, almost solo, advanced the battle line by quick thrusts off tackle and sweeps around the wings to the five-yard mark, and a first down.
Then Quarterback Pangle called on Fullback H. Joslin to plunge Little Bishop and Little DeBus dug deep and with Sauer and Franklin, Meier and Masterson the Maestro behind them, turned back four successive thrusts at the middle. Joslin had failed.
The quarter ended as the Huskers took possession on their own two-yard line.
The change of goals gave the desperate home boys the wind advantage.
Far back, almost on the north end line, George Sauer poised himself to punt.
Seventy-seven yards the ball traveled, almost 70 of them on the fly. It soared high over Franklin’s head, smote the ground and bounced crazily until Franklin ran back and snatched it.
Franklin started to run, but Bruce Kilbourne nailed him almost in his tracks, on Oregon’s 20-yard line.
That herculean boot, delivered by the modest, rugged giant who for three seasons almost never failed to deliver in extremity, turned the tide of the contest.
The Huskers immediately returned to their aggressive ways in the second period. Masterson galloped back 23 yards with Franklin’s hasty punt. LaNoue and Sauer joined him in combining passes and dashes that gobbled up much Oregon terrain. A fourth down pitch was grounded in the end zone, however, and Oregon breathed easier with the ball in its possession 20 yards out.
But only momentarily. Then Oregon was in distress again. Center Devine made his snapback too low, Franklin missed connections and the ball rolled clear through the end zone and over the end line, for an automatic safety. The score mounted to eight points, which would have been enough.
The big Beavers who appeared more weary than the Huskers, probably because there was more of them to get weary, didn’t have much left with which to continue the argument.
The Nebraska laterals started to click. The profits from end sprints and off tackle thrusts increased. After Masterson had interrupted a pass intended by Franklin for someone else entirely and forced his way back 18 yards to his own 43, there was nothing the Beavers could do to prevent another touchdown.
Sauer scored it by splitting the middle, eluding Franklin and the rest of the secondary and running 28 yards – the prettiest significant play of the afternoon. Not a hand impeded his progress. He checked himself in the end zone, erect. He added the extra point by catching a pass from Masterson.
Soon after Masterson had kicked off, Warren DeBus proceeded to intercept a desperate throw by Franklin and got his short legs along to the Oregon 33.
Then Colonel Bible replaced every veteran but Masterson with the boys who’ll be carrying the happy burden next year, and the seniors who saw mostly B team service through their careers.
On the first play, Bernie lobbed backward to Glenn Skewes, a young man who’ll be around come September. Glenn fired a beautiful forward down the field. It made for racing Bob Benson as if it were compelled by magnetic attraction. Only four more yards were needed after Bob had made the catch. Bob himself took care of the job by zipping around left end so fast that no Beaver even got started toward him. He’s another young man who’ll report again next fall. He and Jerry LaNoue.
Oregon was offside on Masterson’s first place kick, which slipped wide, and Bernie got another chance. He made good, and the score was 22 to 0.
The Beavers tried to make themselves some consolation points during the remaining seconds, by throwing the ball, but all they got was penalties for successive incompletions.
Sub Back McIntosh booted a disconsolate punt as the game ended.
Nebraska is 9-2 all-time against Oregon State.
|Iowa State||Oct. 14|
|Kansas State||Oct. 21|
|Oregon State||Nov. 30|
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