"I couldn't name any particularly outstanding Harvard player if I had to," Yale's Coach Herman Hickman said at the press conference after Saturday's game, "they're a team." He was right.
Steady performers like Howie Houston and Hal Moillo grabbed most of the headlines again, but it was the whole "family" which Art Valpoy has built up so carefully this year that finally broke the Bulldog's back 20-7, and gave Harvard its first win over the Elis in seven years.
O'Donnell Comes Back
It was quarterback Bill Henry runing the show for three periods with one eye sealed tight by a scratch; Captain Kenny O'Donnell scoring what proved to be the winning touchdown with his fractured leg in a plaster cast; third string center Chuck Glynn saving a touchdown by knocking Keller out of bounds on the Harvard two on fourth down; third-string tailback Jim Kenary intercepting a Furse pass on the Harvard seven; and above all, it was the finesse with which everybody carried out his assignment, whether it was blocking, tackling, or running. "The most beautiful drilled team I've seen all year," Hickman said after the game.
Injuries Dangerous to Team
Few spectators realized how easy it would have been for the Crimson to split wide open in the first half when passer Jimmy Noonan and spinning fullback Paul Shafer hobbled to the Harvard dressing room. Here was the problem Art Valpey had to solve. Minus a passer (Kenary and Roche could hardly lift their arms above their heads), he had to figure out a way to gain on the ground against a Yale defense that was immediately rigged to stop such an attack.
Bill Conway and quarterback Tex Furse, the Eli backers up, played tight, often drifting in almost to the line of scrimmage, and with straight-ahead man Shafer out of the game, the Elis were able to stop anything through the middle. Valpey solved the problem with two bread-and-butter plays that have been gaining ground all fall--the wing-back off-tackle slant to one flank and the tailback sweep and or cutback to the other. Moffle, the wingback, clicked off 149 yards and tailback Roche added an other 130, including the two payoff long-gainers in the final period.
Ella Weak at Ends
Roth men were helped by explosive downfield blocking and a pair of Yale ends who either drifted too far out, allowing entbacks, or got blocked to the insides on sweeps. With the exception of left tackle Ed Pivcovich, the entire Blue line was outcharged most of the afternoon by Houston, Davis, Coan, Bonder & Co.
Only in the third period did the situation look Blue, with the Elis twice punching deep into Crimson territory. But after Kenary's fourth quarter interception, trying to kindle the Yale offense was like puffing on a dead cigar Yale was through. Why?
Power Pays Off
Captain Kenny O'Donnell, who stopped in at the Varsity Club yesterday with his wife and baby, said he thought it was because Harvard hit so hard for three periods that by the final quarter, the Elis were just getting knocked down like ducks. "I don't think our reserves were any stronger than theirs," he explained. "I think it was just a case of our hitting harder." O'Donnell added that he thought Coach Valpey "has been sensational" and that if Noonan hadn't been put out of commission in the first quarter Harvard might have won by three or four touchdowns. "Jimmy really found himself as a passer in the Brown game," Kenny pointed out, "and Saturday he might very well have played his greatest game of the year."
HARVARDIANA: Sophomore backer up Phil Isenberg, who was in on almost every tackle, considered Ferd Nadherns one of the best line-splitters he has seen all season, as did most of the other varsity players . . . quarterback Bill Henry denied that sending O'Donnell over from the two for the second touchdown was a sentimental gesture . . . "When you're that close, you use the best play you have and the best ball carrier available . . .
Wingback Hal Moffle, who ran so yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, praised end Art Hyde for his great block of safety man Nadherny . . . "The play was just an ordinary sweep," Moffle explained, "and then all of a sudden everything opened up." . . . "I hope this is the start of a long friendship," Coach Valpey said to Hickman at the post-game press conference . . . "Well, I'm certainly doing my part," Hickman drawled.
Although Noonan and Shafer were put out of action early in the game, they are in good condition now . . . Noonan suffered a concession while being piled up by the Yale secondary, and Shafer hurt his leg on a line plunge . . . a typical reason why Valpey is so popular with his athletes was provided towards the end of the game, when Art cleared the Harvard bench, enabling 47 nice to win varsity H's.