LINCOLN — Larry Schreiber, a tall gangling sophomore from Sioux City Heelan High, put the frosting on an Iowa State victory cake Saturday afternoon.
The Cyclone neophyte in his debut as a field goal specialist, high school or collegiate, broke a 7-7 stalemate midway in the third quarter to give Iowa State a 10-7 victory over Nebraska.
As the ball sailed through the uprights and Referee Joe Paulson raised his arms to signal the three points, kicker Schreiber leaped high in the air.
And so did the two thousand Iowa State partisans who had joined a migration to cheer the unbeaten Cyclones in a third victory and a winning start in the Big Eight.
This was the third straight time in which the Iowa State-Nebraska meeting here has been decided by a kick, Husker George Harshmann spotting the Cornhuskers 7-6 and 9-7 wins in the last two Cyclone visitations.
The win was the first for Iowa State on Cornhusker sod since 1944 and Iowa State fans celebrated. Only united works by the campus gendarmes spoiled attempts to pry loose the goal posts.
Although Schreiber’s toe broke the deadlock it was Tom Watkins, who — for a second year — broke the Cornhusker backs. The 182-pound senior fullback from Arkansas ripped the Husker line with his plunges and befuddled the Scarlet defense with his spinners.
Watkins, with 99 yard in 23 carries, outshone teammate Dave Hoppmann, highly ballyhooed sophomore who went into the game the nation’s leading rusher. Hoppmann got only 55 in 18 tries before leaving the game with a mild ligament injury.
Watkins’ best effort was his 20-yard scoring sprint which enabled the Cyclones to tie the 7-7 by halftime.
The rugged fullback’s touchdown effort was all his own operation. He shot through a small break in the Husker bulwark and was into the secondary before the dazed Huskers apparently knew what was going on.
He spun for the fake and it was another spinner which enabled him to roll off a trio of Nebraskans who had converged for the stop.
Watkins entire trip was down the middle and he scored standing up. Cliff Rick’s conversion produced the typing point.
Nebraska’s touchdown was just as easy. On a third and eight situation from the Iowa State 15, Pat Fischer worked the option for the score.
With the Cyclones expecting a smash, it was a light chore for the blockers to clear the path.
All Pat had to do was tuck the ball under his arm and scoot for the corn and he did just that.
Only 35 seconds remained in the first quarter when Fischer scored and Ron Meade’s placement made it 7-0.
Although plagued by costly penalties, it was highly questionable quarterbacking which factored in the Nebraska defeat. Twice the Cornhuskers gambled and twice they lost.
Early in the third quarter with the score 7-7, with a fourth and one situation on the Cyclone 44, Meade elected a sneak for the first down.
The Huskers had taken the second half kick-off and marched 36 yards with Clay White, Thunder Thornton and Bernie Clay carrying the mail.
Meade was swarmed by Cyclones with Rick, whose conversion had pulled Iowa State even, getting credit for the kill.
Instead of making distance, the Nebraska try lost a yard and the Cyclones took over on their 45 and marched into position for the winning field goal try.
With less than six minutes left in the first half and Nebraska leading. 7-0, on a third and one situation backed up on his 25, Fischer reached in the bag and came up with a pass.
The pitch, almost a dead-ringer for the weird throw which was costly against Minnesota, plopped into the arms of Mickey Fitzgerald, Iowa State’s speedy wingback.
Fitzgerald pirated the throw on the Nebraska 34 and got to the 20 before he bogged down.
On the very next play, Watkins spun the 20-yard touchdown jaunt which pulled the Cyclones even.
Iowa State also was guilty of errors, the most glaring being a first-quarter switch from the ground to the air early appeared to signal a Cyclone defeat.
Returning the opening kick-off to the 23, Iowa State marched 49 yards with Watkins, Hoppmann and Fitzgerald alternating in 13 plays.
Suddenly the Iowans left the ground for two passes. Hoppmann’s second throw was pilfered by Nebraska’s White who ran from the Husker 24 to midfield.
White’s piracy eventually set up the Nebraska score. On an exchange of kicks, Rick of Iowa State got only 12 yards to the Cyclone 29.
Fischer scored on the sixth play.
After the early drive flopped Coach Clay Stapleton played it close to his vest.
He waited for the chance to tie the score and cut Watkins loose, then hustled Schreiber in when the field goal situation arrived.
Once ahead the conservative Cyclones with Watkins continuing to roll were ultra conservative.
Late in the third quarter Nebraska passed up a field goal possibility to go for broke.
The Huskers may have been influenced by the temporary injury to Pat Fischer, who holds the ball for Meade’s kicks.
Fischer was clobbered when he attempted a third down pass from the Cyclone 18.
John Faiman, Omaha sophomore, replaced Pat and Meade came in apparently to kick from the Cyclone 25. Faiman, the would-be ball holder, attempted the fake but was badly rushed.
His desperation pass to Meade at the sidelines and the latter’s frantic lateral to Tackle Ron McDole got only to the scrimmage line.
With Fischer returning to play, Nebraska made one final bid late in the last quarter.
Starting from the Husker 18, the Scarlet advanced to near midfield on a slant by Thornton , a keeper by Fischer and a 15-yard penalty.
From the Nebraska 43, Fischer broke loose for 28 on a journey which for several seconds appeared to be tagged with the winning ticket.
The doughty little scat-back was finally run out on the Cyclone 29 and, what was worse, a clipping penalty set the gain back on the Iowa State 44.
The first down and 25 was too great a handicap when Nebraska passes missed the target.
Watkins, who was the driving force in the Cyclone victory machine, was a World-Herald All-Big Eight choice as a junior along with Don Webb, who gave a great end performance.
The weight differential which bothered Nebraska against Minnesota didn’t seem to disturb the Cyclones as Tackle Larry Van Der Heyden went all the way.
Van Der Heyden, an Illinois senior, joined Guard Dan Celoni, Wisconsin junior, and Webb, a Missourian, in line honors.
Up front for the Huskers End Don Purcell was credited with a great one-arm stop of Hoppmann; Co-Captain McDole, apparently recovered from his post-game burns of a week ago, received frequent defensive calls.
Dwain Carlson, Fullerton sophomore, announced by Coach Bill Jennings, as a game starter at tackle, never left the bench.
Noel Martin, junior fullback who logged time against Texas and Minnesota also was missing.
Battered from the Texas-Minnesota openers and still seeking a first home victory, Nebraska hosts Kansas State Saturday. Iowa State has Kansas at Ames the same afternoon.
Nebraska is 86-17 all-time against Iowa State.
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