Chapter 96

The Second Half

The Colonels played their hearts out the 2nd half. There had rarely been hitting like the spectators witnessed that afternoon. Despite the ferocity of play, the officials said later in a post-game interview that it was as clean a game as they'd ever witnessed. Centre had 3 penalties for 25 yards, one for holding and 2 for jumping offsides. Harvard had 2 for 10 yards, both for being offsides. As in the previous encounters between the 2 squads, there was always a helping hand to pick up an opponent.

With the score still at 24-3 and 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Centre held the Crimson after 3 runs had picked up only 4 yards. Harvard punted to Covey, who returned it 43 yards, being brought down by sophomore M.W. Greenough, who was the last man between the speedy back and the goal.

Covington had electrified the crowd by cutting in and out of defenders, pivoting once when it seemed certain that he would  be brought down which caused 2 Crimson defenders to collide, taking themselves out of the play.

Red gathered the team around him and urged them on for a maximal effort, shouting as they broke apart, "We are Centre!"

Red wasn't known for his motivation like the previous captains, Bo and Army. Bo had led by both emotion and action, Army by his quiet determination and steadying influence.

For Red, it was mainly his example on the field. He was a bull amongst boys when he got riled up, and now he was ready to show some people how Centre played football, no matter the circumstances, no matter the score.

It was Red leading the way, and Covey following. Centre ran right over the Harvard right tackle position, nothing fancy, no "lock-step, just Red leading the way, and Herb following right behind him.

3 yards, 2, 2, 5- 1st down!

5 yards, 2, 4- 1st down!

4 yards, 2, 3, 2- 1st and goal on the Crimson 1 yard line!

The crowd roared its approval. Even the most partisan Harvard supporters were on their feet, urging the Gold and White on.

The Centre "Six" had started little bursts of music, time after time, halting for- "Go!"




Red moved back into the fullback position and crashed into the left side. Harvard held. Covey tried the right side with Red leading the way. Harvard held.

Covey off left tackle, again behind Red. Harvard held.

On 4th down, Covey asked Red if he wanted to try to take it in. Red, said no, he would lead the way, and for the little quarterback to follow behind.

Red looked over at Bill Shadoan and George "Buck" Jones, guard and tackle on the left side of the front wall. "Bill, you and Buck block your men out. I'm going right between you and Covey is going to be glued to my moleskins."

The play unfolded perfectly. The two linemen hit their opposite numbers hard, driving them both laterally, and Red barreled behind them with Covey as his shadow. The linebacker was hit by Red and knocked aside, and Herb shot into the end zone, untouched.

Highlights from the game. "Got him! But say wasn't he a scrappy rooster."

I was screaming as loud as I could, trying to be heard above the crowd. I had to run back and forth behind the members of the press so they could hear me.

"Covington scored! Covington scored! Red Roberts led the way! Shadoan and Jones and Red Roberts led the way!"

Then, even though it wasn't part of my job as "spotter," couldn't help but start jumping up and down and telling anyone who was near, "I told you we wouldn't give up! told you we'd never quit!"

I remember Howard Reynolds just looking over his shoulder at me and smiling.

Centre lost the game in the 1st quarter, falling behind 21-0.

The Colonels won the hearts of the crowd in the 2nd half with their never-say-die play.

Hennie Lemon's kick brought the score to 24-10.

The Colonels kept playing with an intensity rarely exhibited by any team on any field at any time in the history of football.

The Colonels got the ball back after Harvard had been forced to punt following the kickoff by Red. The Crimson kick was fielded by Covington on his 30 and he returned it to the 39.

Centre began to drive. Covey got 10 and a 1st down after dashing over tackle and then cutting to the outside. Red then smashed through for another 10. Covey picked up 5 behind a crunching block by Red. Covey was stopped for no gain, and on 3rd down his pass attempt was knocked down by Winnie Churchill.

Herb then followed behind Red who cleared out several defenders and Covey picked up 21 yards, and Centre had a 1st down on the Crimson 15.

On the next play, Covington, playing against the clock, went to the air but his pass to Lemon was just wide, and the ball went into the end zone for a touchback.

Still, the Colonels fought on.

"Hold 'em, guys! We can get it back! Hold 'em!"

Hold they did, and after 3 short gains, Harvard had to punt it out and Centre started another march.

The crowd was on its feet the entire 4th quarter, cheering every move of the Colonels during one of the most courageous comeback attempts they had ever witnessed in the Stadium. 

Centre worked down the field and got all of the way to the Harvard 12 yard line before another pass was again incomplete in the end zone. It was another touchback.

Still, the Colonels fought, harder and harder, hitting and hitting, cheering each other on.

"Way to go Baldy, great hit!"

"Cajun, watch for a sweep on your side!"

“Great play, Cajun! Great play, Louisiana!”

Harvard once again had 3 plays and a punt, and the Colonels lined up quickly, desperately trying to score.

A 23 yard pass from Covey to Hennie Lemon brought the ball to the Crimson 17.

It was the 3rd straight drive during which the Colonels had gotten inside the Harvard 20, each time coming close to another score.

But it was not to be. The whistle blew, and it was over.

Coverage even out in Butte, Montana