Chapter 21

The Second Half

Harvard had the option of either kicking or receiving to start the second half, and chose to kick. Bo brought it back to the 20, but Lefty Whitnell was shaken up on the return and had to leave the action. He was replaced by Chick Murphy. Bo called Murph's number twice but he only picked up a yard. Bo's third down pass was incomplete.

Whitnell had been doing the punting but he was on the sideline.

Lefty Whitnell getting off a big-time punt

Murph took over the kicking, and a full Harvard rush caused him to hurry his effort and the ball went off the side of his size 4½ shoe, nearly sideways into the stands.

Harvard had the ball, first and 10 on the Centre 30, not a good way to start the second half. The Crimson scored three minutes into the second half in 7 plays, kicked the extra point, and just like that, it was 21-14.

George Chinn had to come out after the Harvard score. He simply was in too much pain to continue. Jack Converse replaced him, and Centre lost a considerable amount of weight in the exchange, as Converse was 6' tall, but only weighed 158, compared to Chinn's solid 180 lbs.

After the score, there were two exchanges of punts and Horween put the Colonels back on their own 4 with a booming kick.

Bo gathered his teammates around him, bucking them up as only a captain, and as only Bo could do. Uncle Charlie had always said that his quarterback was a virtual coach on the field.

Bo then brought the crowd to its feet as he took the center pass and raced around his right end for 30 yards before being brought down. Red Roberts was still game, and bucked through for 2. The big redhead could go forward, but was unable to make any sharp cuts to either his left or right.

On second down, Bo faded back to pass and fired a bullet toward Terry Snowday. The Crimson's captain, Arnold Horween, cut in front of Snowday and intercepted the pass and was tripped up on the Colonels' 30.

Centre went back on defense. Bo cheered his teammates on even more. 

The outweighed Centre line held. Three Harvard rushes into the line were met with savage hits by the boys from Danville, the popping of leather hitting leather resonating throughout the stadium. On fourth down, Horween took the pass from center and kicked a 37 yard field goal, splitting the uprights with plenty of distance to spare.

It was 24-14.

Army hauled in the ensuing kickoff and returned it to the 30. Bo went off tackle for 10, Red rumbled over the right tackle for 5, and it was first down for the Colonels on their own 45.

Bo running in the 3rd quarter as Centre tries to come back being down 24-14

There was still a lot of fight in the Gold and White, but the mini-drive was halted and Red Roberts punted to the Harvard 28.

Harvard lost 4 on a running play, and the quarter ended.

After switching ends of the field, Centre proved its fighting spirit by totally shutting down the Harvard attack and the Crimson had to punt. The Colonels took over on their 30, but Bo realized that he had to get something going quickly, and after a slight gain on a run, he had another pass picked off.

Harvard had first down in great field position on the Centre 35.

No one in the Centre section had given up. They were very much into the game, and George Swinebroad had no trouble getting them on their feet, where they all shouted-

Hold that line, Hold that line, Hold it, hold it.

Hold that line, Hold that line, Hold it, hold it.

The Colonels heeded their fans exhortations. If they were going down, they were going down fighting to the last play, and fight they did. Harvard gained 3, lost 2, gained back 2, and attempted a field goal which was wide.

Centre had indeed again held that line.

Cheers went up all over Kentucky as the telegraphed play was announced wherever there was a wire.

Field goal wide  STOP  Centre holds  STOP

Centre from 20  STOP

There was still time even though the last quarter was half over. Bo and Uncle Charlie knew that their team needed two scores-a touchdown ( with Red Weaver's automatic ) and a field goal would tie it at 24-24. Two touchdowns would win.

From the 20 after the missed field goal, Bo ran the ball three straight times, getting 3, another 3, and then 4 for a first down. Time was on the side of the Crimson. Bo called a pass play in an attempt to move the ball quickly down the field, but again, Harvard was alert, knowing that the Colonels had to put the ball in the air, and Havemeyer intercepted, returning the ball to Centre's 20 before he was knocked out of bounds.

Horween, running with power and determination all day, now put the game away. He punched forward for 5. A Centre penalty moved it to the 10. Then it was Horween for 6, Horween for the final 4 and another TD, and after the extra point, the score stood 31-14.

If the Centre fans were dispirited, they didn't show it. Even though they knew time was running out, they still screamed for their team as enthusiastically as when the game began.

Fight, Centre Fight!
Fight, Centre Fight!
Fight, Fight, Fight!
Fight with all your Might!

Faxon, the big Harvard tackle, kicked to Army, who returned it to the 22. Bo knew he had to go to the air. Gus King came in for Jack Converse at left end and Bo hit the Dallas native for a 25-yard gain. Harvard was penalized 15 yards on the next play, and then Bo carried the ball to the Crimson 35. A flag was thrown for what was deemed a late hit.

Suddenly the Colonels had the ball deep in Harvard's territory, on the 20.

Bo hit King again on a perfect spiral and his end wasn't stopped until  he had bulled his way to the yard line where it was first and goal. Centre had moved the ball quickly down the field, driving 73 yards ( 30 of which were due to penalties) to run up their total offense for the afternoon to well over 250 yards against a defense which was felt by many to be the best in the East, if not in the country.

Everyone was on their feet, not only the Centre supporters, but even those who backed the Crimson. The grit of the little band of warriors was infectious. It was recognized that the Colonels couldn't pull it out- they couldn't win. Yet still they fought on, determined to take it to the Crimson until the last tick of the clock, realizing that even if they couldn't win, they were going to end the game hitting as hard, driving as hard, fighting as hard, as they had on the initial contact of the contest.

On first and goal, Red Roberts hit the line hard but was thrown back. Bo tried to sneak around his left end but was cut down for no gain. Bo tried a quick hitter to Terry Snowday, but a Crimson hand was flicked out and timed perfectly, and the pass fell incomplete to the turf.

On fourth down, Bo fired to Tom Bartlett on a short pass as he cut toward the goal. The toss was completed, but the Harvard linebackers gang-tackled Bartlett, and he fell just short, by less than a foot, from the goal.

After taking the ball back over, Horween made a long run out to the Harvard 42. Centre was penalized 15 yards on the next play, and the Crimson was on the Colonels' 43. Still, Centre hung tough, and on three straight rushes, held the Easterners to 4 hard earned yards. On fourth down, Harvard passed and Tom Bartlett intercepted.

Bo tried to get his team lined up for one more play, but before Red Weaver could snap the ball, Tiny Maxwell trotted over, blowing his whistle, and announced it was over, time had expired.

Program in possession of author with points recorded- Harvard 4 TD's and 4 extra points and a field goal, Centre 2 TD's and 2 extra points 

Centre had lost, but Centre hadn't been outfought. Each of  the over 45,000 spectators and the scores of sportswriters knew that they had seen a special  group of young men play a great game, and despite the loss, the afternoon of October 23, 1920 only resulted in further fame and acclaim for the "Wonder Team" from little Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, "wherever that is," as Howard Reynolds had written.

Bo raced over and congratulated Arnold Horween, captain to captain. There were tears in his eyes.

"We fought you as hard as we could. You have a great squad, and we got beaten by a better team." He wanted to say more, but the crowd streaming onto the field kept the two stars from talking more. Horween patted Bo on the helmet as the mass of fans forced them apart and the two captains left the field to the cheers of the fans and admirers who felt they had witnessed something special that fall afternoon.

Howard Reynold's story focused on Harvard's line being superior to Centre's 

A memorable day which guaranteed another