Varsity Holds B.U. to Five-Point Edge In Controlled Football Scrimmage Here
Wylie and West Score; Kantner Blocks Punt For Safety; Hank Rate, End, Impresses
A number of agreeably surprised spectators watched the proceedings yesterday in the Stadium, where the varsity football squad scored 16 points and limited Boston University to 21 in a controlled scrimmage.
Harvard made a better showing than many observers anticipated, against a more experienced opponent that had an advantage in overall team size and team speed.
Still, it should be noted that this was B.U.'s third such engagement, within the last eight days and that their coach, Buff Donelli, has scrimmaged them hard in between. Thus it was understandable that the Terriers should appear somewhat tired, and it partly explains the fact that their backs fumbled the ball repeatedly.
Alert Line Play
But while some of B.U.'s errors might be attributed to the players' weakened condition, others cannot be. They were the result of alert Harvard line play and hard hitting by the Crimson defense. Donelli commented after the scrimmage that Harvard hit his men as hard as Army did, something of a tribute to Lloyd Jordan and his staff and the job they have done no far in teaching the fundamentals of tackling.
Nobody on Jordan's squad was hurt, while B.U., who came through its scrimmages against West Point and Brown practically unscathed, suffered three or four injuries, and one of them may prove rather serious.
Stargel First String
There were no kickoffs, and the scrimmage started with the home team on offense. Harvard lined up with Dike Hyde and Fred Ravreby on the ends; Bob Stargel, a last-minute addition to the first string, and Phil Connelly, tackles; Bill Rosenau and Jerry Kanter, guards; Paul O'Brien, center; Carroll Lowenstein, quarterback; Dave, Warden, wingback; Captain Phil Isenberg, tailback; and John West, fullback.
When Harvard went on defense, it lined up with three tackles--Dick Heidtmann, Duke Sedgwick, and John Nichols --up front along with guard Low Gordon and ends Paul Crowley and Stan Briton. Gill O'Neil and Red Lewis were the line-backers, Bob Ray and Dusty Burke the defensive halfbacks, and Warren Wylie the safety man.
During the course of the afternoon, almost everyone saw offensive and defensive action as Jordan sent on numerous combinations of men in both units. It is likely that Jordan will find his best offensive players will also be his best defenders, which means that some men will have to play both ways. However, there will probably be a number of specialists.
For those interested solely in the scoring, B.U. took a 14-0 lead. The Terriers moved from their own 35-yard line the first time they got the ball, with fullback Charles Kent driving over from about four yards out. In the second quarter, Bobby Whelan, an unusually fast halfback, broke over the left side of the Harvard defense, sped through the secondary, and raced 35 yards to the goal line.
Kanter Blocks Punt
Harvard gained a safety and two points before the half ended. Jerry Kanter blocked a B.U. punt but the ball bounded out of the end zone before he could fall on it. In the second half, Kent went over again from the two and Wylie and West scored for Harvard on short line plunges. Titus Plomoritus converted after each B.U. touchdown and Rosonau did the same for the Crimson.
Harvard seemed more successful on defense than on offense once the scrimmage got going. Yesterday marked the first time the sophomores had done any contact work on the Stadium turf, which is very different from the practice field, and the first time the players had scrimmaged against people other than themselves. When they found they could rise up and stop the B.U. backs, the Crimson defenders turned in an encouraging performance against the Terrier ground attack, with Heidtmann, Rosenau, and O'Neil standing out.
The locals' pass defense was very good at times, but also exhibited glaring weaknesses at other times when the secondary was feinted out of position, leaving a receiver in the clear. Four Terrier passes were intercepted by Burke, Tommy Ossman, Wylie, and Isenberg while Lowenstein had only one of his 12 serials grabbed by the opposition. The Terriers recovered only two of their fumbles, which numbered in the vicinity of eight.
The Crimson uncovered an excellent sophomore prospect in Hank Rate, an end. He played aggressively on defense and made several fine catches on Lowenstein passes on offense. A third string end with last year's freshmen, he has worked hard in the pre-season drills and has trained assiduously.
Harvard was not able to open holes for its ball-carriers except on a few occasions.
Boston University is no Army or Cornell. But it is a fairly experienced football team, probably equal in ability to four of the schools Harvard will play this season. Jordan hopes to scrimmage the Terriers once more before the season starts. It was evident from yesterday's workout that he has made considerable progress with his men.