Chapter 44

Harvard’s Line-Up/Reporters File Stories

Much has been written about how Harvard was going to hold out its starters and save them for the next week's Princeton game. Perhaps the Crimson supporters expected Coach Fisher to do exactly that, especially due to the fact that his team had so dominated a beaten down Colonels squad in the second half of the 1920 game. However, a summary written later about the 1921 season painted a different picture about the line-up which the Crimson planned to place on the field for the Centre game.

The season of 1921 season was a most trying one. In the first place, the schedule was perhaps a little too severe, and in the second place, the number of injuries was appalling. One only has to think of the Penn State game to realize what serious difficulties we were in. The squad was no smaller than in former years; in fact, it was larger by one or two men. Yet by the end of the Penn State game we were so destitute of substitutes that we had a backfield made up of one guard, two quarterbacks. and a halfback.

Therefore, most of the changes that were going to take place in the Crimson line-up were secondary to injuries suffered during the earlier Penn State game. Certainly, Harvard wanted to make sure its players were fit for Princeton, but several were not scheduled to start against Centre because of the bruises and strains which they had suffered against a very tough Nittany Lions team.

Also, the Harvard coaches were still shifting their lineup in an attempt to provide more offensive punch. Even though the Crimson had managed to tie Penn State 21-21 after being down 21-14 late in the game, their significant deficit statistically showed that the offense simply wasn't where it was felt it should be. Penn State gained 330 yards total yards while the Crimson had only 130. 

Harvard planned on starting 7 of the same players against Centre as had begun the game Penn State. New starters are in boldface.



Clark Macomber 

Left end

Clark Macomber 

Keith Kane

Left tackle

Alexander Ladd

Friske Brown

Left guard

Friske Brown

 Henry Clark


Francis Kernan

Charles Hubbard

Right Guard

Charles Hubbard

Alexander Ladd

Right tackle

Philip Kunhardt

Covington Janin

Right end

Covington Janin

Jewett Johnson


Jewett Johnson

George Owen

Left half

Frank Rouillard

Winthorp Churchill

Right half 

Vinton Chapin

Vinton Chapin


Edwin Gehrke

Other than a change in the center position, and one tackle, the line remained the same. Henry Clark was being replaced by Francis Kernan who was heavier and, as Melville E. Webb, Jr. stated in a story in the Boston "Evening Transcript," Kernan was a pretty rugged customer.

Keith Kane, the team captain, had been shaken up in the Penn State game and was replaced by Alexander Ladd, who was switched from right to left tackle. Philip Kunhardt was slipped into Ladd's former position at right tackle.

In the backfield, 2 starters against State remained in starting positions against Centre- Jewett Johnson at quarterback, and Vinton Chapin, even though Chapin was moved from fullback to halfback.

Winnie Churchill and George Owen weren't starting, but Coach Fisher stated that they were ready if needed. Owen wasn't 100% after the State game, and Churchill was being replaced by Edwin Gehrke who had been getting a lot of personal instruction from Eddie Mahan. Gehrke hadn't started the game against the Nittany Lions because of nagging injuries, not lack of ability.

George Joplin of the Danville "Messenger" spent the 28th with the team and  filed a story that afternoon. Joplin was privy to everything that the team did, as he was a Centre graduate, former cheerleader, and one of the greatest boosters the Colonels ever had.

There is a wonderful October 28 photograph of Joplin leaning with his hand on a brass-rimmed headlight of a convertible automobile, top up. He is dressed in a suit, wearing a topcoat, and Bo is sitting on the fender, wearing his helmet. The photo was taken outside of the Stadium. 

In another pose, Bo, has removed his helmet. Terry Snowday is standing along the side of the car, similarly with no headgear, displaying one of the green blankets with the gold "Centre" monogram clearly displayed. Uncle Charlie is sitting in the right front passenger seat.

Bo and George Joplin 

Terry Snowday holding blanket. Uncle Charlie in car,  face obscured by shadow. Bo on fender with George Joplin holding newspaper. 

A photographer also took a picture of the team outside of one of the buses during the morning ride to the Stadium. The players who later played in the October 29 game are indicated by being outlined. Lucy Covington, Herb Covington's sister, is between Ed Kubale ( 6 ) and Ben Cregor ( 8 ), and Helen James, Bill James' sister, is on the other side of Cregor.

Of the day's events, Joplin wrote:

The Colonels answered reveille at 6:30 this morning and were on the way to the Stadium at 8:30. They shook the Danville turf out of their uniforms and put in three and one-half hours at practice. The weather was ideal today. The air was crisp and only a mild wind was blowing over the Stadium. 

Players working out at Harvard Stadium-October 28, 1921, with the end-zone seats constructed which would complete the enclosure of the Stadium due to the more than capacity crowd expected. 

Bo McMillin

Red Roberts

After the noon meal back at the Lenox, team headquarters, the Colonels remained in the dining room for an hour and a half of skull practice. The three Centre tutors, Moran, Myers, and Thornhill took turn-about in chalk-talking to the boys.

While Joplin was wiring his reports back to Danville, Arthur Duffy of the Boston "Post" was writing in his "Sport Comment" column.

Danger signals are being shown all along the Atlantic Coast, from Danville, Kentucky to the Stadium in Cambridge, to watch Centre in the big Harvard game tomorrow-but whatever storms might be brewing, Harvard appears to be able to take care of the best that Uncle Charlie Moran's "Praying Colonels" may have to offer in the big contest.

One thing is sure. Harvard will not romp to the goal line this year because the Centre warriors this time will have no stage fright. Last year, the Crimson waded through the Kentuckians before they could come to earth, but when they did land on terra- ferma, they swept the Crimson off their feet until injuries and exhaustion so weakened them that they could not stem the tide in the second half.

Centre will miss Red Weaver, but Kubale has come as close as anyone could to replace him, and despite the loss of Montgomery at tackle, the line should be stronger with the addition of the new men in the front.

You cannot beat those "Praying Colonels" for having their nerve with 'em. They still think they are going to lick Harvard Saturday. A more cocky little group of footballers never hit these diggings. They argue that Centre is stronger than it was last year, and that Harvard is not tuned to the same pitch as it was last season. But if some of those Centre players had seen that Penn State game of last Saturday, probably they would have another think coming their way.

Centre will fight every inch of the way tomorrow. The great physical condition of every man on the squad has given the boys a lot of confidence, and they will have no alibi if defeat camps with them. They place little faith in the stories relative to Harvard's crippled condition, for they know that Harvard has a squad of 40 first-string men of real ability.

The old war cry, "Centre fights!" will ring out and the boys will be off.

May the best team win!

Yet, whether Harvard or Centre wins, there are not a few who are giving the Kentuckians a chance to prevail. Yesterday, I heard one football fan offer 100 to 60 that Harvard would win and the bet was taken so quickly that it almost took his breath away. Centre is going to try to defy the old illusion about Harvard getting the "breaks" in the game. They contend that they will get the "breaks" this time simply because they will create them.