Crimson Eleven Outscores Tufts in Scrimmage Here
The Crimson's "dark horse" football team ran quite strongly in its first outing in the Stadium Saturday, trouncing Tufts in a practice scrimmage by four touchdowns to one (or 30 to 8), and any Ivy oddsmakers who were present may well have had second thoughts about the lowly rating they assigned Harvard on the pre-season dopesheets.
Defense was definitely the Crimson's strong point. The Tufts backfield made practically no sizeable gains through or around the line, and scored only in the fifth period, which was essentially a separate contest between the rival third teams.
In spite of an exceptionally deceptive T attack in the Jumbo backfield, the forward wall of Stu Hershon, captain Bob Shaunessy, Jim Keating, Bob Foster, Harold Anderson, Pete Briggs, and Hal Keohane stood its ground and brought down any ballcarriers who happened to come their way, without needing much help from the secondary.
Particularly encouraging was the team's performance on defense against passes and end sweeps, which in recent years have becom almost chronic Crimson weaknesses. Once thwarted in the middle of the line, Tufts sent a few feelers around the flanks but was quickly discouraged in this line of attack by the varsity's ends, who reacted outward nicely, keeping themselves between the sideline and the ball carrier.
The Jumbos had no recourse but to take to the air, and here too the Crimson defenders kept up the pressure. Agressive rushing by the line kept the passes hurried, and the Crimson secondary had the receivers so well blanketed that in the second period alone, it made four interceptions.
Crisp, authoritative tackling marked the varsity defense in general; the number of would-be tacklers slithering off the ball-carrier or making futile grabs at the runner's legs, often a recurrent phenomenon in early autumn play, was surprisingly low. At least through its first two teams, the Crimson may well have one of the strongest lines in the Ivy League.
But if the defensive work was impressive, the squad's offense often looked sadly unpolished. Too often the quarterback collided with the back to whom he was trying to hand off the ball, the runners seemed hesitant and unsure of their course, the line didn't work together in opening holes.
Though the Crimson controlled the ball for most of the game, thanks to the efforts of the defense, its attack was stymied time after time in five full periods of opportunities. A scattering of costly fumbles,, three in one series of downs in the third period, added to this general frustration.
Yet there were bright spots that hopefully can be multiplied by the coming weeks of practice and refinement. Halfback Chet Boulris gave a taste of the skillful broken field running that won him a place on the second all-Ivy team last year when he danced and raced 35 yards through the Tufts line and secondary for the Crimson's first touchdown in the opening period. Another backfield returnee, fullback Sam Halaby, several times showed an awesome ability to charge through tightly congested lines of scrimmage.
Sophomores Charlie Ravenel at quarterback and Bert Messenbaugh at end, demonstrated that they are a fine pass combination that may prove extremely useful in the varsity's offensive strategy.
Finally, Tom Lawson, a senior halfback hitherto limited to J.V. play, broke loose for the most spectacular run of the afternoon, going off-tackle for an 80-yard touchdown. His shifty, driving runs probably earned him many more appearances in the Stadium.
Other Crimson touchdowns were scored by Halaby on a buck after a 20-yard Ron Johanson-Hershon pass and by Dick McLaughlin on a quarterback sneak.