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McNicol's Aerials Are Sorely Needed

By David B. Stearns

Without Don McNicol--not only the team's hardest running back but also the only polished forward passer and signal caller--Coach Dick Harlow's Varsity eleven pried the lid off the 1941 season in traditional early October form, losing 19 to 0 in the steaming jungle heat of Franklin Field, Saturday.

Since there is no truly capable forward passer on the squad outside of the Junior fullback, Coach Harlow's eleven found it impossible to present a varied offensive. Running plays were practically the only possibility as the statistics show.

12 Passes Tried

Out of 12 Harvard passes attempted, there were only three completed, one less than the number intercepted by the Quakers. It got so that the Munger-coached squad hardly even bothered to worry about Harvard's passing as a factor at all--as evidenced by the spectacular success of Loren MacKinney who snatched two successive aerials out of the air, when the Crimson finally turned to passes in desperation.

This concentration on running plays, this lack of variation in the Crimson attack, made it possible for the Penn backs to move in closer to the line, even to pull one or two men, who ordinarily back up the line, actually into the forward wall itself.

Plays Aimed Through Center

Not only were almost all the Harvard plays directed at the line of scrimmage, instead of over it, but they were also aimed almost entirely, through necessity, at the center of that Quaker front office. With a pair of opposing flankmen as effective as Kuczynski and Nelson (195 and 212 pounds, respectively) the Harvard signal caller Franny Lee, soon found it advisable to refrain from trying to go around the ends.

There was only thing left to do--keep piling the plays at the center of the line in a vain effort to find a weakness in the core of the Penn defenses. The final score indicates the result.

There were only two bright spots in the afternoon for the Crimson and they penetrated the gloom like neon signs in Harlem. Loren MacKinney's feat has already been mentioned--practically climbing up on the defending half back shoulders to snare a 31-yard Lee aerial and then on the following play snagging another 25-yard looper from Johnson to bring the Crimson to the Penn 14-yard stripe for their only serious threat of the day.

The other standout performance for the Crimson was turned in by an unheralded Sophomore, playing his first Varsity game. Wayne Johnson, who took over McNicol's place at full, handled his duties with considerable precision, and on the 14 plays that he actually carried the ball, his average was four and one half yards per try for a total of 63 yards gained.

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