Chapter 111

October 13, 1923    Centre-Clemson

Clemson was next, the first hurdle in what Centre hoped would be at least a mythical Southern Championship.

Clemson  Tigers- 1923

With Uncle Charlie having missed the game with Carson-Newman, he was gratified to have his son Tom volunteer to stay behind in Danville for a couple of days to help in correcting some deficiencies which Tom had noticed during the previous Saturday's contest. Father and son may be rivals when their two teams met, but all of that was now past history.

Monday afternoon, October 8, the two Morans put the Colonels through a hard scrimmage, with Tom pointing out strengths and a particular weakness which he had noticed during the previous Saturday. Tuesday was more of the same, and by the end of the week, the team was a smoothly running machine, and even Uncle Charlie was pleased with his player's progress.

Uncle Charlie's son Tom pointed out a deficiency which he corrected.

The previous 1922 game over in South Carolina with Clemson had been an absolute sellout, with people stacked in everywhere to see the famous Colonels play. Centre put on quite a show and didn't disappoint the crowd in winning handily, 21-0.

The 1923 game in Danville wasn't played to a capacity crowd, but the west or "home" side of the stadium was full. Clemson brought only a handful of supporters and the "visitor" side was nearly empty.

The Colonels clearly outclassed the Tigers, winning 28-7. Clemson's points were the first scored on Centre's field since Louisville put across a score on October 28, 1922.

The Colonels were clicking again

Statistically, the game was even more of a mismatch than the score would indicate. The Gold and White picked up 21 first downs to 8 for Clemson. In yardage gained, the margin was a whopping 702 to 188.

Touchdowns were evenly spread with Case Thomasson, Minos Gordy, Albert Spurlock and Covey scoring. Lemon kicked 3 extra points, Covey got the 4th.

Herb Covington ran at will, picking up 353 yards, half of his team's total, and nearly twice what Clemson gained.

Clemson and Centre met in the 3 years, 1921-23, and the Colonels had outscored the South Carolinians by a cumulative, 63-7. The two colleges never played again.

I only had the pleasure of seeing Bo play during the 1921 season. I got to watch him in 3 games in Danville, against Transy over in Lexington, W&L at Louisville, and I was at the Auburn game in Birmingham. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest backs to ever put on a uniform.

How Bo was better than Herb Covington I don't know. Of course, I got to watch Herb for 4 seasons, so naturally I knew a lot more about him than Bo.

Herb Covington was the most exciting player I ever saw, at least for breakaway speed and downfield running. Every time he touched the ball, you felt he could score. Not only could he run like a deer, but he could change directions on a dime, letting people overshoot him and then dart off again. He was also a great passer, and he could kick the heck out of the ball.

That Clemson game I'll never forget. Herb ran them ragged, and their players were just worn out by the end of the game from chasing him all over the field.

The win over the South Carolinians was all the more impressive when Clemson's season was analyzed. The Tigers ended up 5-2-1, the only other loss being a road game with Virginia Tech. The tie was with Auburn.