Bucknell Stuns Crimson Eleven, 24-21
Two ends who ran like sprinters and a quarterback who couldn't make the track team at Bryn Mawr led Bucknell to a 24-21 upset victory over Harvard Saturday in the Stadium.
Most of the credit had to go to quarterback Bill Lerro, demoted from the first string early this year despite his passing ability--he was just too slow.
Lerro didn't play in Bucknell's opener against Gettysburg. But he got in right away against Harvard after starting quarterback Bob Marks threw one pass. It was off course and Dave Poe intercepted.
When Lerro entered the game five minutes later, Harvard was ahead 7-0, the result of a 46-yard drive directed by quarterback John McCluskey and starring halfback Wally Grant, who set an all-time Harvard record with 11 pass receptions.
Grant ran for 25 yards in two plays, both on key third-down situations, and fired an eight-yard halfback pass to Poe for the score.
Lerro took over and for four plays he couldn't move Bucknell. But, suddenly the game changed direction as Pat Conway fumbled Tom Havern's punt at midfield. Now Lerro started throwing accurately. He hit Ron Kinsey at the Harvard 28. He hit Tom Mitchell, his other end, on the 17. He hit Kinsey on the eight. This time Bucknell settled for a 21-yard field goal, but Lerro never stopped after that.
He threw all afternoon, 32 times in all, and 23 of them were completions, all to Mitchell and Kinsey. The two big ends were running short patterns--the longest Bucknell pass of the day was 31 yards--but their shifty fakes drove Harvard's pass defenders beserk.
You couldn't blame it all on the pass defense: after end Ken Boyda (shoulder separation) and halfback Dave Poe (concussion) were hurt on consecutive plays early in the second quarter, Harvard was hurting.
Without Poe there was no experienced left safety - linebacker Jerry Mechling and John Dockery had to split the position. Without Boyda, the only man to get to a Bucknell quarterback all day, there was no pass rush. Both, by the way, will miss next week's game.
Boyda and Poe were hurt while Lerro was directing Bucknell 76 yards in 11 plays-six of them complete passes--for its first touchdown on Bob Coons' two-yard dive. The score, coming in the first minutes of the second quarter, gave Bucknell a 10-7 lead.
Once Bucknell got the ball again, Lerro went back to the airways. He went six for six passing to Kinsey and Mitchell, with Mitchell catching a seven-yarder down the middle for the second Bison score, just over Dockery's desperate leap.
It was Bucknell 17, Harvard 7, and time for a change for Harvard. Bilodeau took over at quarertback for McCluskey, who had been hasmpered by a leg injury and unable to show his usual speed.
With Bilodeau at the helm, Harvard Marched 72 yards to the Bucknell 2 before an illegal-receiver penalty stopped the drive. But Harvard scored quickly when the second half started.
Two runs by Bobby Leo, a 20-yard Bilodeau-to-Frank Ulcickas pass, and a penalty moved the ball to the Bucknell 17. On fourth down Yovicsin sent placekicker Maury Dulles into the game to try a field goal.
Bilodeau decided in the huddle to call a fake field goal and passed to Leo in the flat. Getting a key block from, of all people, placekicker Dullea, Leo spunaway from two tacklers and into the end sone.
Harvard came back again when Bob Laughton fumbled the kickoff and Ulciekas recovered at the Bucknell 39. Nine plays later it was Harvard 21, Bucknell 17, with Bilodeau flipping a nine-yard pass to Leo for the score. Leo took the ball at the five, slanting across the middle and just reachjed the corner of the end zone before two Bisons thraw him out of bounds.
One fumble and an interception later, Bucknell took over at its own 43 and it took just four plays--all passes, all complete--for the Bisons to march 57 yards and score. Lerro threw to Mitchell, to Kinsey, to Mitchell again to the Harvard 25, and to Kinsey, who eluded Dockery's tackle at the 10, sidestepped Mechling and scored. Al Siegfried's Conversion made it 24-21, the way it stayed.
The game wasn't over yet. After the ubiquitious Mechling punted to the Bucknell 21, a Lerro-to-Kinsey pass was picked off by Bilodeau. Three different Bucknell men hit him as he weaved and wobbled on a 21-yard return that brought the fans screaming to their feet and Harvard to the Bucknell 39.
Yovicsin took out the exhausted Bilodeau, who had played virtually every minute of the half, and brought in McCluskey. But on the next play McCluskey's pitchout bounced out of Leo's hands and into Morgan's
After two plays Coons quickkicked for Bucknell and the ball debated dying on the one-yard line before barely flipping into the endzone. It might as well have stayed: Bilodeau, now quarterbacking again, fumbled on the 16, the last of five Harvard fumbles.
But the defense dug in and Dockery made a goal-line interception of a Lerro pass. Again Harvard marched, with McCluskey at the controls, this time for 54 yards. Leo was the work horse, running 21 yards and catching passes for 12.
But the drive stalled, McCluskey was thrown behind the line on third down, and Bilodean came in to try a fourthand-17 pass with a minute remaining. Pete Hall, between two Bucknell defenders, went high in the air, but the ball slapped off his hands and fell at the five-yard line.
"We didn't change our pass defense at all this week," said John Yovicsin. "We just worked harder at it." There were four interceptions. But the books said Bucknell had passed for 231 yards, and that next week's opponent has a quarterback named Archie Roberts.