For a disappointing, twice-beaten team, Army got a rousing send-off when it left West Point last week for its game with Syracuse. The corps of cadets disclosed and expended emotional reserves usually saved for the Navy game—signs, stunts, parades, a crackling determination all over the Point. Army, shouted 2,500 cadets, would beat Syracuse.
But Army was a 7½-point underdog, and sportswriters noted that under Ben Schwartzwalder the Orange—in two varsity games, numerous freshman games and several preseason scrimmages—had never lost to Army in football. Still cadet spirit soared. At Yankee Stadium dedicated gray-coats plastered "Slash Syracuse" signs on sideline barriers and scattered oranges around a symbolic cross planted at midfield.
Army stole the on-field show as well. Playing their most inspired game in years, the Cadets forced Syracuse into costly mistakes. One penalty helped Army reach the Syracuse 12, where Tom Blanda kicked a field goal. A fumble on the Army 20 cost Syracuse its one real threat to score in the first half.
At half time, the Orange band marched and the "national champion" baton twirler performed. But the corps roared back with choruses of On, Brave Old Army Team. Then, in the third quarter, with Fullback Al Rushatz doing most of the carrying, Army moved swiftly and scored when sub Quarterback Dick Eckert faked two handoffs and cut inside end from the two. Army led 9-0.
Then Syracuse came to life. Ernie Davis ate up 37 yards on two runs and, when Army braced, Dick Easterly passed to Ken Ericson for a touchdown. Syracuse grabbed the ball again but Army stopped the Orange. With fourth and 10 on the Syracuse 39, Tom Gilburg dropped back in punt formation. Army scouts had seen the Orange fake a kick in similar situations and had alerted Coach Dale Hall. Hall played for the fake and, when Gilburg threw a pathetically wobbly pass, Army was ready. Roger Zailskas intercepted and that was all. The game ended 9-6 with Army on the Syracuse one and a mob of cadets jumping up and down on the sideline. They swept Hall and their team right off the field and on toward Annapolis.