A SCRIMMAGE FOR SLADE
Captain Slade Cutter is an authentic hero in the athletic and combat history of the United States Naval Academy. He kicked the winning field goal in the 1934 victory over Army, and he has been a distinguished naval officer since he left the academy. As a submarine commander during World War II he was awarded four Navy Crosses, the most ever held by one man. Since August, Cutter has been athletic director at Annapolis, and, as befits an old salt, he runs a taut ship. He has been close with athletic funds, saving toward a new stadium, and he cut out such tomfoolery as letting the players wear cowboy hats when they played at California. He also said, earlier this season, that all Navy games except the one with Army are scrimmages.
This Navy team, on the other hand, is a high-spirited, light-hearted one. After playing too tightly in their loss to North Carolina, the midshipmen dreamed up a girl friend to inspire them against Cal. She was a young lady named Rosy Rogoni, and all week before the game the Navy team kidded about winning the big one for Rosy. Bob Reifsnyder, Navy's 235-pound tackle, explained it this way: "We were sort of spoofin' Notre Dame. They're always winning for somebody, but sonofagun if it didn't work for us. So we decided to dedicate the rest of the games this year to somebody."
This week the Navy squad, a bit miffed at the hats-off rule in California and the remark about scrimmages, dedicated the Notre Dame game to Captain Slade Cutter, their new athletic director. They did it in the same facetious way they dedicated the Cal game to Rosy, and it worked just as well. It came as a surprise to Captain Cutter to hear about it after the game, but he took it like the good sailor he is. "I think it's just wonderful the spirit those kids had," he said. "They sure went out to win." And now Navy seems to be a taut and a happy ship.
PICKED UP: Coach Bobby Dodd of Georgia Tech grins delightedly over the Engineers' 13-0 upset win over Duke as he gets a lift from his happy players. They are (left to right) Taz Anderson, Jerome Green, Floyd Faucette, Jim Benson, Lester Simmerville and Cal James. Duke, a heavy-muscled power team, was stopped cold as its ground game, which has averaged more than 300 yards a Saturday, managed only 109. And the Tech backs whacked the third-best defense in the nation for 232 yards.
USED UP: Chuck Taylor of Stanford found himself in the coach's worst predicament Saturday. Playing Oregon with a possible Rose Bowl bid at stake, Taylor's Indians scored with five minutes remaining to trail 26-27. Then, with only 55 seconds left, Stanford had fourth down on the Oregon nine-yard line. A field goal was in order, but Taylor's bookkeepers discovered Al Harrington, his place kicker, had used up his fourth-quarter eligibility and could not return to the game. A pass failed, and Oregon won.
LET UP: Coach Forest Evashevski, the Iowa iconoclast, ignored his philosophy of winning football to settle for a 21-21 tie with Michigan before a nationwide NBC-TV audience, many of whom were watching TV football for the first time in full color. After the Hawkeyes had rallied for two touchdowns in the second half to overcome Michigan's 21-7 lead, they took possession of the ball in their own territory with four minutes left to play. Evashevski then instructed his quarterback to play it safe and freeze the ball to preserve Iowa's unbeaten record. Before the season began, Evvy had told a reporter (SI, Sept. 23): "You've got to play to win. Not to look good but to win." Nonetheless, Evvy still thought he was justified in going for the Big Ten title even though he was booed by the fans when the game was over.
HOWLER IN THE BOWL
The sad Yale bulldog, being comforted after Yale's 14-14 tie with Dartmouth Saturday, was the unfortunate victim of an official's bookkeeping error. Yale had Dartmouth on the hip with a 7-point lead and the game practically over when victory disappeared in a welter of confusion abetted by a real howler by Field Judge Henry D. Hormel. With 13 seconds to go, Dartmouth, moving on a belated but effective passing attack, scored the touchdown which gave them the tie, kept them undefeated and may have assured them of an Ivy League title. But Mr. Hormel, assistant principal of Medford, Mass. high school, contributed greatly to Dartmouth's game-saving touchdown by losing track of the Yale substitutions.
Yale had gone ahead 14-7 with only one minute and 50 seconds to play. Dartmouth returned the ensuing kick-off to its own 42. Now Dartmouth, which had completed only one pass in the first 58½ minutes of the game, went desperately to the air. Yale's astute coach, Jordan Olivar, hustled Bill MacLean, whose number is 88, back into the game at end after Dartmouth completed a pass on the Yale 40. The Yale student managers, who keep track of such things, had assured Olivar that this was the first time MacLean had been sent into the game in the fourth quarter, so he was an eligible substitute.
"MacLean is a strong pass rusher," Olivar said later. "I knew Dartmouth would be throwing long, and I wanted to put as much pressure on the passer as I could." But Hormel, consulting his list of circled numbers indicating the players who had already been sent in during the fourth quarter, waved MacLean back. Then he paced, off 15 yards, putting the ball on the Yale 25. The penalty was for an illegal substitution. MacLean was sent back to the bench, and Pete Riddle, whose number is 83, and who was to have been replaced by MacLean, was not allowed to play, since he had left the field when MacLean appeared. Olivar had to call on a third-string end who provided no rushing at all, and Dartmouth passed its way to the tying touchdown.
Later, Olivar checked the movies of the game, found that MacLean had gone into the game in the third quarter, played on into the fourth and was, indeed, eligible to return. The Dartmouth bench had been keeping check on the Yale substitutions, too, and their records also showed MacLean eligible. In face of this evidence against him, Hormel said, later:
"The boys on the sidelines told me I was wrong, but I had 88 circled, and my conscience wouldn't let me take their word for it. The day a football game can be officiated without mistakes that's the day we can quit. The players holler their numbers from 15 yards away sometimes, so certainly I could have made a mistake. But, according to my record, MacLean was entering for the second time. If I made a mistake, I'm sorry it happened."
Olivar was even sorrier about the error which could cost him the Ivy League title. "It's a bad rule," he said. Football, once a game of strength and speed and agility, has lately been overburdened by rulesmakers. Where once three men could officiate a game, five are needed now. As Olivar might have pointed out, the Yale-Dartmouth game, despite the thrills of its last-minute theatrics, wound up in an inconclusive tie which was clouded by too much unnecessary officiating.