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September 15, 1954 - Image 34

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1954-09-15

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Four Stirring Moments
Stand Out Among Many

4895 to$19

Thrills Highlight Exciting Year

A dazzling run down a gridiron,
a last second basket, an unbeliev-
able hockey save, and a sensation-
al swimming upset highlighted
Michigan's sporting moments dur-
ing the 1953-54 school year.
Though only one of them meant
the difference between victory
and defeat, these thrills brought
the crow ds to their feet,' and pos-
sjbly some, if not all of these ef-
forts, will grow into legends dur-
ing the coming years.
These four events are the great-
est of many thrilling moments in
Michigan sports during the past
year. It is hard to discount such
thrills as Duncan McDonald's
clutch pass to Gene Knutson to
beat Iowa, Hoosier Bob Leonards'
last second shot to down Michigan's
cagers, or. the leaping catch of
Western' Michigan's Al Nagle to
rob Howard Tommelein of a home-
Such great performances a a
Michigan's two mile relay squad's
great victory at the Chicago Re-
lays, or the Hockey teams' sweep
of the crucial Minnesota series,
cannot be disregarded either.
But of all of them, the follow-
ing four events are in our choice
the tops--the best that the Michi-
gan sports scene had to offer in
Fans Provide First Thrill
The frrst thrill came on the grid-
iron of Michigan's mammoth sta-
dium on October 3, 1953, Only
52,914 fans were in the stands, for
the game was not an important
one--Just an exhibition tilt with an
undermanned Tulane team.
This great moment in Michigan
sports was not only a player's ac-
complishment, but the spectators
perhaps influenced it also.
It was midway in the fourth pe-
riod and Michigan held a comfort-
able 20-6 lead over the Green Wave
from New Orleans. A drizzle had
begun to fall as the fourth period
opened, and over half of the crowd

had left the stands for shelter,
most of them going home.
But the handfull that remained
were eventually rewarded for their
persistencein sitting through a
drenching rain fall. Suddenly, for
no apparent reason, these fans be-
gan to stand and cheer as the
Wolverines routinely played out the
clock in their own territory.
The Michigan band played the
"Victors," and as the rain fell
harder the now waterlogged Wol-
verines came out of a huddle on
their own 38 yard line.
. Why all this fan reaction to such
an ordinary situation? Nobody
knew but the fans themselves. The
play began with a routine off guard
plunge, as tailback Ted Kress
bulled into the right side of the
Big Green line. Suddenly Kress
broke through, and picked up block-
ers. Now the shouting faithful, who
had had the courage to sit there
in the deluge, really had reason
to yell. Kress continued his gal-
lop, and roared upfield 62 yeards
to score and the remaining twenty
some thousand went wild. They had
viewed an outstanding run, but it
was their demonstration of loyalty
and perserverance that made the
run one of the top sports thrills
of the year.
Last Second Baskets
Fall passed into winter, and it
was on the night of January 16,
1954, that the next top sports thrill
Only two weeks before, Michi-
gan's erratic basketball squad had
dropped a game by but one point
to Indiana's defending national
champs on a last second shot by
Bob Leonard, and this Wolverine
near-upset had excited the ima-
gination of Ann Arbor cage follow-
The fans came in droves to Yost
Field House on Jan. 16th when
Michigan State tipped off against
the Wolverines. There wasn't an
empty seat in the huge State Street
arena as the squad. battled through

GREAT SPORTS thrills happen every year in mammoth Michigan Stadium, where 97,239 specta-
tors can watch the Wolverines from the largest University owned stadium in the country.



nearly four quarters of neck and
neck play.
Only five seconds were left in
the game, and the green clad Spar-
tans led 62-61. Michigan's John Cod-
well drove- in for a desparation
shot but State's Julius McCoy
fouled him.
Two free shots were awarded to
the lanky senior, and the mam-
moth crowd hushed as he stepped
to the line. Codwell calmly swished
throught the first one to tie the
score at 62-62, and the very roof
of Yost Field House rocked as the
fans went wild. Suddenly they qui-
eted when they saw him take aim
on the basket for his second shot,
and they groaned as it hit the rim
and bounded into the air.
A tangle of players fought for
the rebound as the seconds ticked
away, but Michigan's Milt Mead
came up with the ball cradled in
his huge palm. Seeing no opening,
Mead wheeled and fired the ball
to Don Eaddy, standing just be-
yond the free throw line.
With but one second left to play,
Eaddy took dead aim, and fired
a two handed set shot. The ball
swished cleanly as the final buz-
zer sounded. Michigan had beaten

Its arch-rival, and the second great
sports thrill of the year was his-
Action at the Colisseum
Winter got worse in Ann Arbor
as Vic Heyliger's hockey team'
rolled into action down at the Hill
Street Coliseum. After a slow
start, the hockey team picked up
momentum and had a streak of
five straight wins going as it col-
lided with Colorado College on Feb.
Over 2,500 fans settled into their
seats to watch their favorites that
cold night, but they were to give
the night's loudest cheer to an
It was midway in the first period'
that the third sports highlight of
the year occurred. Neither team'
had scored, but suddenly Michigan
swept in unopposed on the astound-
ed Tiger goalie, veteran Ken Kins-
Center Bill MacFarland had the
puck off to the left and prepared
to fire it home. Kinsley saw hisj
only chance was to come out and
stop the flashy MacFarland him-
self, so out he came, leaving the,
net open.
This was what Michigan had

wanted. MacFarland q u i c k 1 y
slipped a pass to winger Jay Goold,
who had parked himself in front
of the Colorado net. Goold fired
a blistering shot at the open net,
and the crowd roared as a Michi-
gan goal seemed cinched.
But in the split second of Goold's
shot, Kinsley threw his body back
toward the open net, and as he
hurtled through the air, his out-
stretched stick Just touched the
puck, and deflected it off to the
Ken Kinsley had just made the
greatest save seen in the Colis-
seum in years, and the crowd rose
as one to applaud the rival player.
Michigan went on to win the game,
5-1 and later to extend its streak
to 12 games without a defeat to
gain an NCAA playoff berth. Brit
it was Ken Kinsley who was the
star of the night, as he starred
in one of the top sport thrills of
the year.
NCAA Swimming Meet
Spring came, and the eyes of
the swimming world focused on the
gleaming new pool at Syracuse,
New York, on March 26, 1954, for
it was here that the America'a top

collegiate swimmers were- compet-
ing for fame and glory-the' nation-
al championships.
This was the setting. for- the
fourth great sport thrill of the year
as Michigan and Ohio State, both
sporting the greatest teams in their
histories, collided head on
The 220-yard freestyle event fea-
tured the program that evening,
as Michigan's Jack Wardrop, half
of the famous Scottish duo, faced
world record holder Ford Konno
of Ohio State.
Konno had set a blistering world
mark of 2:04.6 several weeks be-
fore in the dual meet with Michi-
gan at Columbus. On this basis
the undefeated Hawaiian comet
was ruled odds on favortie.
But Wardrop evidently forgot to
read Konno's press releases. It
soon became evident that this was
to be a thriller, as the pair left
the rest of the field far behind,
and swam within six inches of each
other most of the way.
Wardrop was swimming the race
of his life. He held on to a slim
lead at the half way point and at
the three quarters mark, arid still
held a six inch lead as the pair
turned for the gun lap-the final
20 yard spring to the finish.
Here was where Konno was sup-
posed to take the lead. The experts
all confidently awaited the Buck-
eye's blinding kick-the always
successful last lap. But it never
Wardrop, swimming j u s t as
strong as ever, poured on the coal
himself, and withstood all that Non-
no could give. The huge natatorium
erupted into bedlam as Wardrop
hit the finish six inches ahead of
Konno to win the national 220-yard
freestyle crown.
Wardrop had traversed the dis-
tance in 2:05 Just shy of Konno's
world record, but better than any
other time ever recorded in the
From the Michigan angle, this
race was the high spot of the
swimming year, and though the
Wolverines finished second to OU
in the meet, the Wardrop triumph
will live long in the annals of
Michigan sport. Wardrop had swam
a truly great race, and he recorded
along with Kress, Eaddy, and Kins-
ley, the sports thrill of the year.







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OSU Game Provides Climax to 1953 Season

(Continued from Page 1)
ever to see Michigan play at East
Lansing, 52,324 fans, to Macklin
Field. R
Michigan wanted to win the
game for two reasons: first, be-
cause Michigan always wants to
win, and secondly, because the
Wolverines wanted to salvage
what little glory was left after the
other two Big Ten losses. I
They had started the season in
a big way and now were playing
their traditional rival for the first
time since the Spartans had been
admitted to Big Ten football.
The Wolverines opened the sea-
son with a 50-0 white-washing of
the Huskies from the University
of Washington. It was the first
meeting between the two schools
and the Maize and Blue showed
their visitors from the Pacific
Coast why Michigan for years has
been considered a football power
to fear.
Wolverines Romp
Michigan completely outclassed
the surprised invaders and tallied
practically at will. Alertness on the
part of the squad accounted for
the one-sided score as Wolverines
intercepted passes, recovered fum-
bles, and blocked kicks to keep
the Huskies in check.
It was this same alertness, the

opportunity to take advantage of
the opponents mistakes, that pav-
ed the way to Michigan's second
win a week later.
Another inter-sectional rival, the
Green Wave of Tulane, was the
victim this time as halfback Tony
Branoff led the Wolverines to a
26-7 victory. Branoff scored two
touchdowns, kicked two extra-
points, and made two pass inter-
ceptions as Michigan rolled to vic-
Bob Topp put the clincher on
the game when he recovered a
blocked punt early in the fourth
quarter. Tulane completely dom-
inated play in the third quarter
_ ! 10 , _

and had been threatening to come
wtihin six points of the Wolverines.
Michigan's star passer, Duncan
McDonald, put on a passing dem-
onstration the next week against
Iowa to make it three in a row
for the Maize and Blue. McDonald
tossed both touchdown passes as
the Wolverines squeezed by the
Hawkeyes, 14-13.
Dune Dunks Wildcats
The next week it was McDonald
again as the needle-threading
quarterback came off the bench to
toss three paydirt passes in Michi-
gan's 20-12 victory over North-

western. In each case
through in the clutch,

he came
firing for

the six-points in the last minute
of play in the quarter.
Then the trouble began as Mich-
igan ran into Minnesota, Illinois,
and Michigan State with only a
Homecoming Day victory over
Pennsylvania sandwiched in be-
tween. The Quakers, like all other
opponents last season, couldn't
tackle the Wolverines in their own
back yard and bowed, 24-14.
Then it was up to Michigan
State for the game, in which a
second half rally almost pulled the
Wolverines to within a point of the
highly touted Suartans. But the
State line proved to be too much
and Michigan had to settle for the
short end for the fourth straight
The last week of the season
proved to be the best of the long
schedule for the Maize and Blue
gridders. Playing in their last game
the Wolverines to a 20-0 win over
for Michigan, 14 seniors inspired
Ohio State and ended the season
on the same high plane as that on
which it was started.
The crowd went wild after the
contest and cheered on the Mict-
igan Marching Band for almost
an hour. The triumphant Wol-
verines lifted Coach Oosterbaan on
their shoulders and carried him
off the gridiron


I QJ -J"-. O-

i nattvtatuat 3tattstcs

Ted Kress, hb ............101
Tony Branoff, hb ..........101
Dick Balzhiser, fb ........ 54
Lou Baldacci, qb .......... 20
Bob Hurley, fb ............ 47
Ed Hickey, hb ...........35
Dan Cline, hb ............ 21
Tom Hendricks, hb ...... 4
George Corey, hb ........ 4
Bob Topp, end ... ... 2
Duncan McDonald ........ 1






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