Here for SI readers is a complete and authentic scouting report on the favorite—powerful Army
This is an article from the Nov. 22, 1954 issue
Army is not only well coached and well drilled, but it is also explosive. Although the team has run up its largest scores against Ivy League schools, it has shown this same scoring ability against stronger teams in Duke and Michigan.
Defensively Army is not strong in line backers. The pass defense is adequate. Army backs often fall into a semi-zone defense for opponent's passes and sometimes there are slips. The line, like most Army lines, is tough and strong. The whole team tackles hard and low.
Army has great team speed and plays hard, aggressive football. What cannot be overemphasized is the running ability of the Army backs and the over-all team effort. This is a team that gets off the mark fast, hits hard and goes all the way once it gets its hands on the ball. The strongest single feature is Army's consistent ability to move the ball. Specifically the team breaks down like this:
The Ends: Offensively they use the four-point stance, a shoulder block on opposing tackles. Man to man blocking predominates. Favorite pass patterns are deep criss-crosses, hooks and quick tosses over center. Defensively they have varied style. Generally they take one step, hold and react to play. Charge hard only occasionally.
The Tackles: Offensively they use four-point stance, and employ straight ahead or cross block on ends. Use fast offensive charge and get to their man fast. Defensively tackles vary their position, depending on split of offensive tackles. They pursue fast, recover quickly.
The Guards: Offensively use three-point stance. Pull out often to trap and lead play deep around ends. Use peel blocking downfield. In line, drive hard, aim block at the leg or the side. Defensively all use hand charge and react quickly.
The Centers: Offensively use two-hand snap, weight well forward and follow with diving lunge. Defensively they back up the line.
The Backs: All halfbacks are dangerous, hitting top speed in second stride. Quarterback and fullback excellent. Defensively backs come up fast on end sweeps, drop deep in pass situations and often utilize zone. As a unit they contain play very well.
General: They break huddle fast and get down at once. They sometimes run on quick snap. They use aggressive blocking to protect passer but on short passes they all fire out. Line makes quick contact on offense and quick pursuit on defense. Team is strong and tough.
Navy has been checked by scouts, too. Here is word on the middies—dangerous, strong, tough
Navy's well-coached, well-drilled and well-conditioned team does not explode. It varies its pattern—pass, run, pass, pass, run—and makes good yardage. But Navy isn't a constant threat to go all the way.
Like most Navy teams, this one is aggressive. It has good over-all speed, hits hard and has good over-all agility.
Navy runs a lot of option plays from both the split T and the solid T and that is the key to the attack—heaviest to the outside. On defense the team has standout linebackers and pass defenders. Pass defense is man to man and well handled. Tackling is hard. Specifically the team breaks down like this:
The Ends: They run the gamut of all pass patterns, deep and short. They have about as complete a set of patterns as any ends can. On runs they use the shoulder block primarily. Defensively they crash frequently off a three-point stance. They play close to the offensive ends.
The Tackles: They use fast offensive charge and get to their man fast, off a three-point stance. Navy tackles do not feint block. Defensively, like rest of team, tackles are on man-to-man setup; are good pursuers and recover well.
The Guards: Offensively they pull out of the line often from their three-point stance. They move over well on option plays around end. In line drive they aim block at the leg or side. Defensively they use hand charges and react well.
The Centers: Navy's center holds ball at angle with front tip on ground, back tip in air, then snaps ball apparently with one hand. Centers follow with diving lunge. Defensively they do a fine job of line backing.
The Backs: Quarterback runs very well on option play, and other backs know their roles, so their option is a constant threat. Halfbacks are speedy and dangerous. Fullbacks run hard but are not breakaway threats. Defensively, Navy backfield is outstanding. They are good pass defenders and line backers and plays are contained exceptionally well.
General: Team is strong and tough. Defenses include six-man line and 5-4 setup. Defenders react well with very rapid pursuit. Team breaks huddle fast, gets down at once, sometimes uses quick snap. Options are key to both passing and running offense and Navy knows how to make option plays click.
THE PLAYING PERSONNEL
PETE VANN, qb: Superb faker, ball handler and fine long passer. Tries to pass long too often but Army may be saving short pass attack for Navy.
TOM BELL, hb: Outstanding runner on team, must be tackled hard and low. Good pass receiver and blocker. Has great speed and running agility.
JOE CYGLER, hb: Strong runner, blocker, but not exceptionally fast. Used as blocker on weak side end run.
BOB KYASKY, hb: Another breakaway runner with extra speed. Does punting and punts well.
PAT UEBEL, fb: Was halfback last year but hits hard and likes to run over people. Backs line but is weak link in strong Army defensive line-up.
ART JOHNSON, end: Strong, fast, but not too agile, rushes passer well. Looks like most improved man on squad.
GEORGE WELSH, qb: Good short passer, likes to run. Can hurt you on option or end run pass: Not much on long throws. Good judgment as a rule.
BOB CRAIG, hb: Fast runner, moves well. Hard tackles make him fumble.
JOHN WEAVER, hb: Converted quarterback. Top pass defender. Deceptive runner but not especially speedy.
PHIL MONAHAN, hb: Hard, fast-running back, with power-plus drive. Good defender and team leader.
DICK GUEST, fb: Hard runner, fast for fullback, but can be moved by good shoulder blocking.
RON BEAGLE, end: Standout in class with Holleder. Fast, agile, tough.
BILL SMITH, end: Big, rough, and strongest as a defensive player.
DON HOLLEDER, end: Could be All-American. Fast, agile, will outrun halfback to catch pass unless played deep. Best all-around end Navy will see all year.
DICK STEPHENSON, tackle: Small but aggressive and fast. Plays in line well, but can back up well.
GODWIN ORDWAY, tackle: Small, too, but hits hard and reacts especially well on end runs.
RON MELNIK, tackle: Big, powerful man, subs for Ordway. Lacks speed.
BILL CHANCE, center: Fine blocker and middle backer-up on five-man line.
FLAY GOODWIN, guard: Aggressive, tough, very fast lineman. Pulls out of line well, using his speed.
RALPH CHESNAUSKAS, guard: Big and rough. Middle guard in five-man line. A little short on speed.
PAT McCOOL, tackle: Stands out as blocker. Keeps feet well. Plays off line on defense and charges across hard, but recovers very quickly.
JOHN HOPKINS, tackle: Replaces McCool. Fair blocker who reacts well.
JIM ROYER, tackle: Can be blocked. Notre Dame and Duke gained most of their yardage through his side. Good blocker on offense.
BOB DAVIS, center: Backs up right side but can be blocked. Has been hurt.
LEN BENZI, guard: Quick. Plays off line, hits high, slides with qb. Must keep feet when blocking him.
ALEX ARONIS, guard: Backs up left side. Aggressive. Does good job. Pulls out of line well on option plays around end.
WORDS TO SING
Stand, Navy, down the field
Sail set to the sky!
We'll never change our course
So Army, you steer shy-y-y-y!
Roll up the score, Navy
Sail, Navy, down the field,
And sink the Army! Sink the Army Grey.
Blue of the Seven Seas,
Gold of God's great sun,
Let those our colors be
Till all of time be don-n-e.
By Severn's shore we learn
Navy's stern call—
Faith, courage, service, truth,
And honor over, honor over all.
The goat is old and gnarly,
And he's never been to school,
But he can take the bacon
From the worn out Army Mule.
He's had no education
But he's brimmin' full of fight,
And Bill will feed
On Army Mule tonight.
Army, Army, call the doctor!
Army, Army, call the doctor!
Army, Army, call the doctor!
You're all in down and—
(Spoken)—Whoa! Any oats today lady?
Army, Army, call the doctor!
You're all in down and OUT.
On Brave Old Army Team
The Army team's the pride and dream
Of every heart in grey,
The Army line you'll ever find
A terror in the fray;
And when the team is fighting
For the Black and Grey and Gold,
We're always near with song and cheer
And this is the tale we're told:
The Army team.
Rah Rah Rah BOOM!
On, brave old Army team,
On to the fray;
Fight on to victory,
For that's the fearless Army way.
Slum and Gravy
Sons of slum and gravy
Will you let the Navy
Take from us a victory?
Hear a warrior's chorus,
Sweep that line before us,
Carry on to victory!
Onward! Onward! Charge against the foe,
Forward! Forward! The Army banners go!
Sons of Mars and Thunder,
Rip that line asunder,
Carry on to victory.
EDDIE ERDELATZ OF NAVY
Out of the ranks of football coaches come very few men distinguished for unabashed humanitarianism. But Edward Joseph Erdelatz, who has coached Navy to postwar heights, has been caught, in off-guard moments, expounding the Golden Rule.
"I told the guys when I came here," Erdelatz says, "that I was gonna coach the way I wanted to be coached when I was playing. Nobody ever helped me by cussing."
Without benefit of profanity, Erdelatz has helped Navy to a 6-2 record this season. More important is his past performance in the one game that is to Navy a season in itself. Navy has played Army four times since Erdelatz left an assistant coaching job with the professional San Francisco 49ers for Annapolis. Under Erdelatz Navy has beaten Army—and the cadets' famous Coach Red Blaik—three times and lost only once.
At 41, Erdelatz still finds himself called "Eddie" by everyone. He is a quiet and easygoing man, but for Navy's Eddie Erdelatz life has been rarely easy and never quiet.
Two weeks after his birth, in San Francisco, his mother died. Erdelatz's father ran a saloon. By the time Eddie was 2 years old he was being raised by a couple past 70. Growing up as an orphan, he went through troubled times until his father stepped back into the picture and sent him to St. Joseph's Academy in Berkeley. It was there that Erdelatz discovered football.
After that it was all football. Erdelatz starred in high school and at St. Mary's College. He started line-coaching at St. Mary's in 1936 and worked his way up as a coach, until Navy called for him.
That was in 1949 and Navy summoned Erdelatz because the Middies had grown weary of losing to Army. They are not yet weary of beating Army, but that's not the fault of Eddie Erdelatz.
THESE ARE NUMBERS TO WATCH
GEORGE WELSH, QB
Threw two scoring passes against Penn. Then proved he could run in Duke game with 46-yard romp that got middies rolling to impressive victory.
DICK GUEST, FB
Got off kick in game with Stanford that traveled 73 yards, put Stanford in bad hole. Played second string for a time but has caught many passes.
PHIL MONAHAN, HB
Injuries have slowed him down and kept him sidelined for large part of season. But he'll be well for Army and has a great deal of time to make up.
BOB CRAIG, HB
Ran back a kick 66 yards against Dartmouth for his standout play but has borne brunt of Navy attack on the ground for almost the entire season.
RON BEAGLE, END
Has caught touchdown passes three times this year. In Stanford game fell on fumble in end zone for score. He caught eight passes against Dartmouth.
BILL SMITH, END
"Navy's other end," he's been overshadowed by Beagle all year. Look for his blocks on end runs, though. He's not flashy. Hits hard but with no fuss.
PETE VANN, QB
He doesn't pass as often as some other quarterbacks, but when he does throw look out. He has flipped for 12 touchdowns so far, isn't afraid of 13.
PAT UEBEL, FB
Non-spectacular man in Army backfield who does a great deal of the work. He was hurt in game with Yale and sat out Penn game to be ready for Navy.
BOB KYASKY, HB
A speedy sophomore, he was hurt during Army's first game. Got back in time for Yale and tallied twice. Rated fastest Army back since great Glenn Davis.
TOM BELL, HB
Third in the nation in rushing, he has made at least one long run in every game this year. He sports average gain of 11 yards for each carry.
ART JOHNSON, END
Like Navy's Smith, he's overshadowed. But he is a fine receiver and he has nabbed many long passes including one for 61 yards against Dartmouth.
DON HOLLEDER, END
Among his catches this season there are passes of 67, 58, 55, 44 yards. After the Dartmouth game an Army coach compared his catching with Willie Mays's.
PLAYS TO WATCH
Navy screen pass starts when Welsh (11) fades and Guest (30) approaches line behind blockers. Guest hooks, Welsh throws and play rolls.
Navy trickery on play set to left begins with Welsh fake hand-off. Craig (44) sweeps wide from left, gets ball from Welsh, turns right end.
Army quick opener springs Halfback Bell (46) inside tackle. Vann (10) takes center snap, slides to right and hands off to Bell charging through.
Army pass favorite gives Vann three options. He can throw to Kyasky (42) or to Johnson (83) or Holleder (84) who goes deep into foes' secondary.