Chapter 49

The Second Quarter/ Halftime
( Roscoe Conklin Breckinridge )

Harvard began the 2nd quarter with a running play and Terry Snowday read it precisely and crashed through and tripped up the Crimson back 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. It was 2nd and 14.

Action early in the second quarter with Red Roberts without helmet and Tiny Maxwell running toward the play

On the next play, Jewett Johnson, the Crimson quarterback, floated a pass out to Clark Macomber who pulled it in right in front of Army, would made the tackle, but not before a 15-yard gain.

Macomber shown by arrow with ball, circled, coming down toward him. The pass actually gained 15 yards. 

It was first down on the Centre 44. Despite the gain, Army had picked up on a trait of Macomber that would later prove valuable. It was Army's 5th year of college football, and he was one of the most savvy Colonels to ever wear the uniform.

Macomber planted his feet in the direction that the play was to unfold. It was a subtle thing, but Army studied his feet each time Macomber lined up, and the slight foot variance was noticed every time the Harvard player assumed his right end position.

On 1st down, Edwin Gehrke broke through the Centre line and gained 7 yards before he was brought down by Bo. On 2nd and 3, Philip Coburn gained one yard before Red Roberts literally lifted him off his feet and drove him back. Coburn tried the opposite side of the line and Ben Cregor made a similarly savage tackle. No gain.

Philip Coburn found it tough going against the Colonels 

"Atta way, Red!"

"Great hit, Baldy!"

On 4th and 2, Gehrke bucked through the line after the Colonels felt it was probably a passing situation. It was one of the few totally unexpected plays called all afternoon by the Crimson, and while it caught Centre off guard, the middle of the Gold and White line, led by Bill Shadoan, reacted quickly and stopped the run. However, Gehrke managed to get the 2 yards needed, and it was 1st down on the Colonels' 33.

Harvard was driving and seemed content to stay on the ground.

Coburn got 4 before Red tackled him. Coburn again for 3. Bo hit him solidly. Bill Shadoan was shaken up on the play and Dick Gibson, another freshman who carried 180 lbs. on a 6' 1" frame, reported in to Tiny Maxwell. The Louisville native had played 3 years at Louisville Male High and had progressed well under the tutelage of Tiny Thornhill. Unlike last year, the Colonels could substitute in the line and keep the relative strength of the team intact.

Dick Gibson in for Bill Shadoan

It was 3rd and 3 on the Centre 26. Coburn got the call again and ran over his left tackle. Ben Cregor fought off blocks by Ladd and Hubbard and made the hit, and Coburn came up 1 yard short.

The Centre line was determined to hold. Harvard was just 3 feet away from getting a 1st down which would give the Crimson a great shot of putting some points on the board.

"We've got to hold them! Give it your all!"

Coburn took the snap for the 4th straight time and crashed directly behind his center, the forward wall of the Crimson trying to move the Colonels back enough for their halfback to get the needed yardage. It was a massive pileup, and the stands were quiet, not knowing if Coburn had been successful, or the Colonels had held.

The officials untangled the mass of players, determined to spot the ball just where Coburn's forward motion had carried it. Tiny Maxwell signaled for the chain gang to come out for a measurement, and when the chain was stretched out, the big referee turned and signaled, shouting, "First down, Harvard."

The ball was on the Centre 23. The Crimson lined up and kept Coburn as the attacker. He ran over his right tackle and Bo raced over from his linebacker position and hit him cleanly, driving him back, holding him to 2 yards gained. It was a leather smacking hit heard all over the Stadium.

Harvard again ran right into the line, this time with Gehrke testing the Colonels. Ben Cregor hit the Crimson back solidly, and the run gained only 2 yards.

On 3rd and 6, the Crimson ran a play off of a pass formation, but after feigning a pass, Chapin ran for 3 before Bo threw the streaking back to the ground.

The Harvard rooters were really getting into the game, urging their team on. They screamed for their boys, while the Kentuckians followed cheerleader George Swinebroad's repeated, "Hold them, Colonels! Hold them, Colonels!"

On 4th and 3, on the 16, the Colonels lined up suspecting a pass. Gehrke took the center toss and ran right over his right interior line, with Friske Brown and Philip Kunhardt providing excellent interference, and when the officials again peeled the players off the pile, the ball rested on the Centre 11-yard line.

Again, Tiny Maxwell shouted, "First down, Harvard."

The Crimson supporters erupted in a loud, spontaneous cheer as the yard markers once again were moved down the sidelines toward the goal.

Harvard was on the move. It was 11 yards to a score.

The drive had now reached 14 straight plays and covered 44 yards, and those in the stands who had been in the Stadium during the previous year's contest saw some similarity with how the game unfolded in 1920.

Harvard had opened up with a successful drive then, and seemed to be following the same exact pattern now, even thought it was much later in the game.

With a deafening roar from the crowd, the Crimson lined up with the intent of taking the lead.

The Colonels dug in, each man intent that, "They shall not pass."

Coburn fired through the right side and Red Roberts hit him so hard that he literally was knocked backwards and then crumpled to the ground, the wind knocked out of him. He managed to get up, but was visibly shaken.

"Great hit, Red!" Army hollered as the officials marked the ball a yard back from the line of scrimmage.

The Centre coaching staff and reserves on the bench hollered encouragement. Gehrke tried the opposite side of the Centre line, away from Red, and Bill James drove his shoulder into the stomach of the Crimson back, stopping him for no gain with a tackle as vicious as Red's on the previous play.

The Colonels cheered each other on.

"You can do it! Fire out! Go low, take them to their knees."

Chapin took a perfect pass from center and ran hard into the left side of Centre's defenders. The Colonels' front wall submarined under the blockers, bringing them down, and Bo, ever alert, raced forward, leaping over his linemen, and planted a solid hit, chest high, on the Crimson runner, stopping him at the line of scrimmage.

Three plays and a net loss of 1 yard! The Colonels were pumped! The Centre bench screamed encouragement and the little flock of Kentuckians, standing in their section on the 50-yard line, waved their streamers and danced around, shouting, "Hold them! Hold them!"

Fan with Centre pennant, cheering  

The Gold and White had shut down the Harvard attack. Coach Bob Fisher motioned to quarterback and field goal kicker, Charles Buell, to go in for Johnson to attempt a dropkick for 3 points.

As Buell was reporting to Tiny Maxwell, the Colonels huddled up and decided to put such a rush on Buell that he wouldn't have time to pass, if that's what Fisher had in mind. Also, a full rush may result in a hurried kick. Either way, Centre planned to go for broke.

If Buell had time to get a boot off cleanly, it would be a rather routine shot of 22 yards. The little quarterback had been a perfect 3 for 3 in extra points the prior week against Penn State, and all three had more than enough distance to exceed 22 yards.

Harvard broke from the huddle and the entire 11-man Centre squad spread across the line of scrimmage. The effect was to catch the Crimson off guard, as the blocking assignments would be different with an 11-man rush.

As the ball was snapped back to Buell, the two outside Colonels peeled back off to cover against a possible pass. The other 9 barreled through toward the Harvard place kicker.

Buell rushed his kick in the face of the crashing Colonels and hit the ball imperfectly, sending it just over the linemen and under the goal posts.

Buell attempting a dropkick for a field goal. The visible ball is low, barely over the Colonels' heads.

Centre had held!

The drive had been stopped!

There was applause throughout the horseshoe. Harvard's supporters were showing their appreciation for an excellent effort. It was different in the Centre section. It wasn't just applause. There was absolute joy- jumping, shouting, patting each other on the back. It was delirium, pandemonium!

"We held! Way to go Colonels! We held!"

Just as in the Stadium, roars erupted all over Kentucky when the results were announced from the "play-by-play" coming over the wires.

"We stopped them! We stopped them!"

The Colonels took over on their own 20 after the touchback.

Bo kept to the ground, with Terry Snowday picking up 2. Bo then ran around left end and had gained 5 yards when he was hit. The ball popped out of his grip, and an alert Clark Macomber recovered for the Crimson. Once again, Harvard had excellent field position. Once again, Centre dug in, determined to hold.

Chapin tried to skirt around his right end but was stopped for no gain by Red Roberts. The big redhead's position was impregnable. Buell, who had stayed in the game after the missed field goal, then tried 2 short passes, but they were knocked down by the Colonels' secondary. Once again, Harvard found itself with a 4th down and long yardage.

The Crimson decided again to try a field goal. This time, the ball would have to carry 35 yards to clear the crossbar. It was still within Buell's range.

Once again, the Colonels lined up with the intent of trying to block the kick. Firing through the line, one of the charging players get a hand on the ball, blunting its trajectory so that the effort was far short.

Another touchback! The Gold and White had held again!

The ball was again marched out to the 20. There were just a few seconds left in the half, and the Colonels were content to simply run out the clock, being extra careful to hold onto the ball.

Bo took the center pass and ran sideways, taking a 5-yard loss as Tiny Maxwell blew his whistle, signaling that the half was over.

The score was 0 to 0.

The Colonels were extremely pleased. They had played conservatively, exactly as Army and Bo had said they should in order to win. They hadn't shown their big plays, and were still even with the Crimson after 30 minutes of hard-fought football.

The little school from Danville, Kentucky was close to accomplishing its mission, a mission to which it had been totally dedicated during the past year. Thirty more minutes! The Colonels felt good as they trotted off the field toward the locker room.

After the teams left the field, an influx of "husky youths wearing red caps" marched into the stadium and knelt down behind the Centre bench.

"Are they the Centre porters?" a lady was heard to ask.

They were actually members of the University of Pennsylvania soccer team which had been over on the Harvard practice field.

As soon as the teams had cleared the field, the Centre "5" fired up and onto the turf went no one other than Roscoe Conklin Breckinridge, the Colonels' all-around helper, great supporter, and a person the players affectionately called, their "mascot." It was Roscoe who had been photographed with Red Roberts when the train had reached Lexington, the two of them riding in the engine.

Roscoe was wearing a tall, silk hat and was dressed in a black, swallow-tail coat, gold vest, white flannels and white shoes. He cakewalked, pigeon-winged, and pranced all over the field, waving the Gold and White's pennant on a shaft. The crowd, except for the Kentuckians, had never seen anything like it.

As Roscoe would near one part of the Stadium, the crowd closest would stand and cheer, and as he circled the field, it was like a modern-day "wave," as section after section stood and cheered the smiling performer. It may have actually been the original "wave," as there was only one Roscoe, and no one had performed similarly as far as has been recorded.

Roscoe Conklin Breckinridge


After Roscoe finished his circumference, it was time for the New York Newsboy's Band to play.

New York Newsboy's Band

The halftime entertainment was capped off by the Crimson band playing the Harvard songs, finishing with "Soldiers Field."

Everyone agreed that there had never been a halftime to match what they had witnessed, even when Princeton or Yale came to the Stadium.

Meanwhile, Uncle Charlie was praising the Colonels' play as the team met in the visitor's dressing room. 

"It's been a great half. Each of you played perfectly. You know how we've said we didn't think Harvard could score on you? It hasn't! You've played tough! You've played smart! Now we take it to them! If we score, we win!!"

The Chief jumped to his feet.

"Believe! Believe! Believe!"