An unknown, untested, but potentially dangerous Tufts eleven will open its season against the Crimson Saturday at Soldiers Field.
Boasting 14 returning lettermen, the Jumbos will bring to the Stadium a team far more mature than the aggregation which edged out an informal Harvard eleven by a 7-0 score last fall. The roster abounds with 24-and 25-year olds, many of whom have been hardened by service experiences, and the combined tonnage of the Jumbo line comes close to the distance between two stars.
Fortin Potential Backfield Threat
All of which would tend to suggest that Coach Dick Harlow's proteges will have a busy time of it come next Saturday Most of their attention, if reports seeping out of Medford are even remotely correct, will be focused on 188-pound plle-driver Charlie Fortin, who operates pretty effectively from the right halfback slot. The lanky southpaw, who passes and boots as well as he runs, gained a total of over 80 yards against Brown, in 1943, which is, or ought to be, some sort or record. His all-round talents spearheaded the Tufts offensives in 1942 and 1943.
Heftiest Jumbo of them all is tackle Charlie Berndt, who strains the scales with a fighting weight of 235. The 6 foot 4 1/2 Sophomore a former Medford High star is remarkably fast for a man of his tonnage. Flanking him at end is fleet Phil Barnhart, who is also New England, intercollegiate champ in the 220-yard dash.
Jumbos Gunning for Crimson
Little is known of the capabilities of the Medford eleven as a fighting unit. Fred Ellis, who replaced veteran coach Lew Manley as mentor of the Jumbos this year, announced recently that he is pointing his charges for each contest as it comes, and it is an open secret around the Hub that a victory over the Crimson would be an especially tasty plum for the Tufts trophy board.
The Harvard-Tufts series, dating back to 1875 is one of the oldest in collegiate football circles. Of the 15 games played since then, Harvard has won 11 and dropped four and holds an 86-0 verdict over the Jumbos which dates back to 1887. That should be ancient history, but you know the one about elephants.