#13 Nebraska 40
Kansas State 0

Nov. 21, 1936 • Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska Runs Wild Over Wildcats, 40-0

Ronald Douglas of the Cornhuskers was on his way to bigger and better things as this picture was snapped Saturday. He was on his way to the team's second touchdown against Kansas State. The play called for Ronald to pull a reverse off tackle, and this is what he did. He bowled over Cleveland en route. It was a five-yard run. By a World-Herald Staff Photographer

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb., Nov., 21—Forty points to no points. With them the seventh Big Six title in nine campaigns.

That was the combined mathematical product this day of the farewell appearance on the home grounds of Lloyd Cardwell, Harrison Francis, Lester McDonald and five of their less hymned associates.

In accomplishing this total against the Kansas State boys, who had been designated in late season as their most formidable rivals, the eight departing Cornhuskers were ably aided and abetted by 20 playmates who will be around next year and, some of them, the year after.

”Kids’ Triumph”

But it was predominantly a triumph for the kids whom Dana Bible had come to regard as his No. 1 lineup, and among this No. 1 lineup it was, quite fittingly, the work of those seniors who for two seasons had been outscored and tied by the Young Men of Manhattan that had most to do with shoving and pitching across the touchdowns.

Ronald Douglas, the lad you haven’t read so much about, made two of them. Francis made one, and so did Wild Hoss Cardwell and McDonald. The other was the work of Johnny Howell, the junior, and it was the second of his prep and collegiate career.


While the boy behind the big scoreboard at the north end of the field was working himself into a lather trying to keep up with the doings of the athletes in red, the Young Men of Manhattan flopped and foundered and misplayed in a manner that was flabbergasting. Only once did they manage to carry on any business authoritatively enough to make the 27 thousand customers anticipate a crossing of the Cornhuskers’ goal by a Big Six team for the first time this season.

This happened at the start of the second half, when there were 27 points against the Young Men.

Rudely Checked!

They began on their 20-yard line, after Howell had thrown too high to Cardwell, who waited in the end zone for the fourth down play. They ended when this same Howell intercepted Howard Cleveland’s pass three yards from the Nebraska goal. Cleveland and Maurice Elder rammed and sprinted down the lawn for most of the 73 yards. They were rudely and painfully checked when Dana Bible sent Charley Brock and Elmer Dohrmann back into the lineup. It was then that Master Cleveland had to pass.

For the Young Men of Manhattan, this was all. The rest of the afternoon they were almost ludicrously at the mercy of the avenging Nebraska seniors and their associates, save when those emphatic, merry youths bobbled the ball. Bobble it they did a time or two, but these embarrassing interludes were rare. The rest of the time they went places—to put it tritely but effectively; how they went places!

Grandiose Notions!

It is difficult to explain the dismal bustup of the boys from the banks of the River Kaw. There they were on the play yard—Elder and Cleveland and Leo Ayers and Ted Warren and Fred Sims, some of the finest backs in the midlands; and Paul Fanning and Barney Hays and Ed Klimek and Bill Hemphill, who must be included on any list of the Big Six’s standout linesmen. But neither they nor their fellows could play football that even suggested a favorable comparison with the football the Cornhuskers produced.

Maybe they were too confident. Maybe that 47-to-7 victory over Iowa State the week before had given them too grandiose notions, and had taken from them all idea that they had still to meet one of the nation’s leading college elevens.

Not Only a Title

For that’s what the Cornhuskers were, as they set to the job of not only assuring themselves seven championships in the conference’s nine years, but also of making other records, tying still others.

Their 134 points against the five Big Six teams was a new high in scoring. The old record was 100, manufactured by the Cornhuskers in 1928, the first fall there was a Big Six.

As in that year, the champions held all opponents scoreless. Kansas State probably came closer to the Nebraska goal than any of its four predecessors but those strong six yards that separated Kansas State from a touchdown in the third period were much longer than any ruler or tapeline would indicate.

Hoss Tops Scorers

The reckoning today equaled the mark for high margins, set by Kansas State in what would have been an ill-fated feat, against Iowa State. Kansas State won, 47 to 7, from the Cyclones.

His touchdown in the last quarter, after one of the afternoon’s more amusing confusions, boosted Lloyd Cardwell to the top of the individual scoring column with 42 points. There he is almost certain to remain.

Let’s look into the hows and whys of these touchdowns—and let’s do it briefly.

Just Lowered, Roared!

The kids marched 67 yards to make the first, five and a half minutes after the inaugural kickoff. Cardwell set things up by charging back 17 yards with Elder’s punt. He was downed on his own 37. A tripe lateral, Francis to Douglas to Howell made most of them after making the catch from Douglas who was about to be tackled. Francis and Cardwell plunged and ran for the rest, the rampant Hoss galloping around right end from the 14 for 13 yards and 11 inches by press box measurement. From there Sam’l just lowered his head and roared, then kicked goal.

Douglas made the next two in the second quarter.

”Unwilling Hands”

The Young Men had unwilling hands in helping Ronnie to his first. Cleveland had to backstep to field Francis’ booming punt. He didn’t get control of the swiftly dropping ball, and he fumbled as Bob Mills tackled him. John Richardson recovered on the Wildcats’ 8. Francis whanged at center for three and then Ronnie went through left tackle on a reverse, bowled over the challenging Cleveland and put the boy behind the scoreboard to work. Francis kicked wide and it was 13 to 0, four and a half minutes after the quarter began.

About seven minutes later the Huskers had penetrated to a spot 13 yards from more dividends. Douglas had much to do with this. He carried the ball more times than any other mate. He worked that reverse through the left side with devastating effect to advance the battle zone from the enemy 30, where Ayers had punted out. From the 13 Howell threw. Ronnie received on the sidelines, two yards from the payoff and with Warren hanging around his waist, lunged across. Sam’l’s kick made it 20 to 0.

Half: 27 to 0

Just before halftime ran out Ayers fumbled as Fred Shirey and McDonald grounded him hard. McDonald released his hold and pressed the bouncing ball to his ribs. There were 32 yards to go, and not a great deal of time. Howell made it simple. He faded back and pitched to Lester, who fielded the ball on the goal, then stepped over. Sam kicked again, and it was 27 to 0.

”Two-S” Douglass

Only a few minutes after the bands had paraded, Cardie returned Elder’s punt 25 yards to the Staters’ 38. From there runs and plunges carried the Huskers to the three, where on fourth down, Howell threw too high to Cardwell. Then the Wildcats presented their only spurt, and it was not until the 15 minutes had all but elapsed that the Bible class got going again. The “two’s” Douglass fumbled on his own 36 and Francis recovered.

Then Francis ripped through left tackle, ran 10 yards and lateralled to Douglas, who ran 10 more to the Wildcat 20, as the gun popped.

On the first play of the final period, Francis shoved the ball into Howell’s hands, and Johnny ran left end the necessary distance to boost the total to 33. Only one Kansas State boy seemed to know who had the ball, and Charley Brock took care of him in a manner that justifies the printers typographical error which makes Brock “Block.”

Sam’s placement raised the reckoning another digit, and there it remained until the Huskers got possession 36 yards from their own zero line on Cleveland’s punt that crossed the side boundary.

Forty Enough

Cardwell and Douglas ran 30 yards in three plays. Then Howell passed to Richardson, who lateralled toward a mate. Ted Warren rushed up and interrupted the throw, but did not intercept. He muffed the ball into Cardwell’s hands and Cardie lost no time getting it where it would do the most good.

This time Sam’s kick was wide and the total was 40, where it stayed. Forty, heaven knows, was enough—even for the 20-odd thousand who came here in the hope of seeing something to make them forget Pittsburgh.

More coverage

World-Herald post-game coverage (PDF)

Series history

Nebraska is 78-15 all-time against Kansas State.

See all games »

1936 season (7-2)

Iowa State Oct. 3
Minnesota Oct. 10
Indiana Oct. 17
Oklahoma Oct. 24
Missouri Oct. 31
Kansas Nov. 7
Pittsburgh Nov. 14
Kansas State Nov. 21
Oregon State Nov. 28

This day in history

Nebraska has played 13 games on Nov. 21. See them all »

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