Chapter 48

The First Quarter

Clark Hubbard, the Crimson's starting right guard, got his foot into the ball and booted a high, end-over-end kick which landed on the 10-yard line and bounced into the end zone for a touchback. The officials moved the pigskin out to the Centre 20-yard line, and the Colonels lined up on offense. Bo started the game just as planned, sticking to the ground. He picked up 2 on a plunge through the line and then Terry Snowday went for 9 off tackle, and it was 1st down Centre on its own 31.

The Colonels then ran 3 straight plays into the line, netting only 5 yards and had to punt. Red Roberts got off a decent kick and Frank Rouillard hauled it in on his 35 and advanced the ball 6 yards before being hit with a crunching tackle by Army. Centre took great pride in covering punts, and the team's speed often allowed a defender to reach an opponent as soon as the ball came down, resulting in no run-back at all.

First down Harvard on its own 41.

Rouilland picked up 1 yard, then 9 for a 1st down. Bo and Army were up and down the line, exhorting their line to charge hard. They knew it was important for the freshmen to have success early, gaining confidence on each play.

The "cubs" responded and hit Vinton Chapin hard on the next play, causing the Harvard halfback to cough up the ball and Bill James, the 5th year lineman from North Side High in Fort Worth, smothered it.

There was no way that the Colonels were going to let Harvard get off to a start like it did the previous year and score on the first possession. Army and Bo and their teammates didn't plan on Harvard scoring at all, must less early-on, as they had before. The Colonels were playing with confidence and determination.

Centre took over on the Harvard 49. Terry Snowday ran 2 straight plays off, picking up 5 and then 6.

Terry Snowday off the right side in the first quarter

First down Centre on the Harvard 38.

Bo shot over the left guard position but could get only 2. Snowday got another 3, and it was 3rd and 5 on the 33.

Bo had called nothing but simple runs through the line. It was as conservative an attack as Centre had ever used in a game as long as Bo and Uncle Charlie had been in the spotlight over the last 5 years. However, on the next play, Bo attempted a little of the razzle-dazzle that had so captivated the crowd in 1920.

The Colonel quarterback barked out the signals and took the center pass from Ed Kubale and flipped a lateral out to Army who had had stepped two paces back. Army fired a perfect strike to Tom Bartlett, but the Crimson backfield was alert and was able to get a hand on the ball just before it hit Bartlett's outstretched hands.

During the pre-game warm-ups, the Centre coaches had watched 19-year old Ray Class, a 169 lb. freshman halfback from Middletown, Ohio, dropkick several field goals from as far out as 45 yards. With the upright being on the goal line, as opposed to the present day's 10 yards back, an attempt for 3 points would be within, but stretching, the young man's range. The 8 or so yards back from the line of scrimmage where Class would receive the center pass from Kubale would make the effort be from just over 40 yards. Uncle Charlie, the Chief and Tiny Thornhill conferred and hollered down the bench, "Raymond, get in there and get us 3!"

Ray Class, Centre kicker

Class replaced Tom Bartlett and gave it his best, but the kick was unsuccessful and ended up in the end zone. It was the only play for Class during the afternoon. Hump Tanner replaced him, and he didn't get back into the game as Centre didn't try another field goal during the contest.

Actually, the field goal attempt made sense. Had Centre punted, by all odds the ball would have ended up also going out of the end zone the way that Red Roberts was punting, resulting in a touchback and 1st and 10 for Harvard on its own 20. As it was, the result was the same because the missed field goal also resulted in a touchback.

After Harvard took over, the Colonels' eagerness caused them to jump offsides and be penalized 5 yards on the next play. Chapin then got the call and swept around left end for 23 yards, and Harvard had a 1st down on its own 48.

                                                Harvard running away from "Red" Roberts, middle back, without helmet                                                                                                                                         Tiny Maxwell, the official far right

Again, the Colonels jumped offsides, fired up and trying to get the edge, and the ball was moved across midfield to the Centre 47. First down and 5.

Army and Bo ran back and forth, slapping backsides and shouting encouragement. "You can do it, Cajun!" to Abbeville, Louisiana's Minos Gordy.

"Go low, Shad. Go in low and fire!"

Harvard gained 2, then was met by the pumped up line and had  no gain, lost 4 on the 3rd down play and the Crimson now found themselves in a punting position with 4th down and 7 on the Colonels' 49.

Harvard punted and Hump snagged the ball, pivoted, avoiding a hard charging Crimson player, and made a nice run of 20 yards to get it out to the 30 before being brought down.

Hump Tanner returning punt. Shadoan ( 17 ) McMillin ( 11 ) Snowday ( 12 )

"Humpty," as the little fullback was affectionately known, was a fireplug, not much over 5'5". He was all muscle and ran with abandonment. When you hit Hump, you paid, and the Harvard defender who brought him down was slow to get up.

From the bench, "Great run! Way to take it to them!"

Bo kept to the ground, and after 2 short gains, quick-kicked.  

Bo punting with referee Tiny Maxwell watching the action

Harvard also couldn't move the ball and the Crimson punted it back.

The Colonels stuck with their game plan, and again had to punt it back to the Crimson. The game was entering a pattern, exactly as Centre had mapped it out. The 1st quarter ended with Harvard in possession on its own 45-yard line.

It had been a most uncharacteristic quarter for the Colonels. Bo had tried the one pass play, the lateral to Army who tried unsuccessfully to hit Tom Bartlett. The rest of the plays were simple runs.

The Colonels were pleased, however. They hadn't shown the Crimson anything.

They'd given as good as they'd gotten and they could hear their captain, Army Armstrong, who said over and over, "If we can hold them scoreless in the 1st quarter, we can win. As a matter of fact, we will win."

One person was tremendously pleased with the team's efforts. Tiny Thornhill felt his linemen had played as well as they possibly could. They'd played with strength. Tiny knew they were tough. But the really gratifying aspect of their performance was that they'd played smart. They had held their positions like they'd been taught. They hadn't fallen for any fakes. And they had constantly boosted each other's morale.

Red Roberts, Bill James and Ben Cregor had played flawlessly, like the veterans they were.

Ed Kubale, Minos Gordy, Buck Jones and Bill Shadoan were playing like veterans also. Tiny had confidence as the teams changed ends of the field after the initial quarter that his boys would continue to acquit themselves well.

As Tiny Maxwell marched the ball across midfield and carefully placed it on the opposite 45-yard line, a open cockpit biplane was seen to be banking around Harvard Stadium, a photographer leaning out and taking shots of the packed horseshoe, preserving the event for posterity.

Note end zone seats which were only erected for Yale and Princeton before the Centre games made them necessary.

( Robert W. Robertson, M.D., Red Roberts' "son," had an original copy of the photograph taken that afternoon hanging on his office wall for years, and now it is in the possession  of R.W.R., Jr., M.D. ).