Los Angeles Rams (1-1) 21, Green Bay Packers (0-2) 17
Sunday October 6th 1946 (at Milwaukee)
(MILWAUKEE) - Six seconds were left when it happened. Mike Holovak, a 220 pound fullback in the bright yellow of the Los Angeles Rams, plowed over center from the one yard line for a touchdown, and the worst had come to pass again. The Packers were licked, 21-
17. The worst has happened to the Packers with rather
monotonous regularity this young football season, but
never anything like this before some 27,049 fans at
State Fair park Sunday afternoon. For this was a game
in which the Packers had completely redeemed 
themselves after their sorry showing a week ago. This
was a game they apparently had in the bag, And then
they lost.
The dramatic events of those last three minutes which
turned what looked like a 17-14 victory into a 21-17
licking, none among the 27,049 will soon forget. They
left the crowd limp at the finish, crushed the Packers,
who had waged such a good fight in their comeback,
and just about tore the heart right out of the volatile
Lambeau. Everything happened in those last three
minutes - everything bad, including a strange decision
by referee Bill Downes, which, in the final analysis of
this closing sequence of events, was probably the 
most decisive. For 57 minutes, this was as hard and
good a game as State Fair park has ever seen. It had
had spectacular passes, fine runs, great defensive
stands, rapidly changing fortunes - everything to keep
the crowd tense and on edge. It was Green Bay's ball
on Los Angeles' 39, fourth down, with three minutes
left, when Tony Canadeo punted into the end zone.
And here was the beginning of the end. On neither of
their first two touchdowns had the Rams scored on a
sustained march. A fumble which they recovered on
Green Bay's 21 had given them position for their first
touchdown. A pass which Tommy Harmon intercepted
and ran back 88 yards had given them their second.
Here was the goal 80 yards away - but here was also
the beginning of the end.
With undeniable class, the Rams began to explode all
over the place. Harmon on a quick opening, popped
over center for 30 yards to the 50. A pass failed. 
Another pass, Bob Waterfield to Woodrow Strode, who
lateraled to Harmon, picked up 15 yards and a first
down on the 35, and still another pass, Waterfield to
Jim Benton, picked up 17 yards and planted the ball
on Green Bay's 18. Lambeau, on the sidelines, was
frantic. He rushed in substitutes and he waved his 
arms appealingly to the bench. He ran up and down 
the field in the race against time. But still the Rams
came. A pass, Waterfield to Benton, picked up 11
yards and another first down on the seven.
Momentarily here the Packers held. They threw 
Harmon for a one yard loss at left tackle, and held
Holovak without gain at center, but on the second of
these plays, they were caught holding (Luhn) and drew
a penalty of half the distance to the goal, which gave
the Rams the ball on the four with first down. Again
Holovak was stopped, and when the Rams substituted
before the next play, taking time out, they drew a five
yard penalty, which set them back to the nine. It was
only temporary surcease, however. Waterfield passed
to Benton again, and the ball was planted on the one.
Only 10 seconds remained here, and the Rams wasted
no time. Waterfield, on a quarterback sneak, tried to 
go over center, but was met by a stonewall and went
down in a heap of players with the ball still a couple of
feet from the goal. And then Downes made his strange
decision. With six seconds left, he called a time out 
of his own, claiming, as he later reported to President
Bert Bell of the National league, that the Packers were
taking unnecessary time to disentangle themselves
from the heap. It was entirely within his right to call
such a time out, but whether or not the Packers were
really taking all the time he claimed is debatable, very
Lambeau, who by this time had advanced down to the
goal line, yelled out his protests from the sidelines in
his loudest voice but the decision stood, the clock was
stopped, and on the next play, Holovak rammed over
center. The game was lost. And then Lambeau
completely blew his top. He dashed out on the field,
collared the referee and for more than a minute 
demanded, with wildly flailing arms, why Downes had
stopped the clock. At the time Downes gave him no
explanation. That came Monday morning from Bell's
office. Lambeau protested the game but nothing will
come of it. There is no chance to throw the game out
or play it over, Bell explained, and it will stand as 
played. The events of the last three minutes were a
fitting climax to one of the best games played here in 
a long time. The Packers threatened first, driving 67
yards to the Los Angeles three, first down, before 
being forced to give up the ball on downs on the one.
The Rams scored first. A fumble by Comp, which
Schultz recovered on Green Bay's 21 late in the period
set the stage and one play, after a penalty to the 32
turned the trick. Tom Farmer ran wide around right end.
The Packers came back immediately, however. They took the kickoff on their own 29, quickly drove to the Los Angeles 27, and then scored on a pass, Herman Rohrig to Nolan Luhn, who stole the ball from Fred Gehrke on the goal line and fell into the end zone. They also scored the next points, taking a 10-7 lead, when Ted Fritsch kicked a 25 yard field goal just before the end of the half. Los Angeles remained the lead midway through the third period when Harmon intercepted a pass in the flat and with burning speed, dashed 88 yards down the west sideline. But once more the Packers came back. They started on their own 20, picked up 63 yards on a spectacular pass, Rohrig to Don Wells, and then ground out the rest of the distance. Fritsch, on the first play of the fourth quarter went wide around right end from the 11 to score. And so it remained, 17-14, until those last six seconds. For all the effort the Packers put into this battle of redemption they could have won it twice over. They were a good football team again, and a good one, and only some tough breaks kept them from really cinching the game long before the last three minutes. Once Aberson returned an intercepted pass 30 yards to Los Angeles' five, then fumbled. Another time Rohrig intercepted a pass and returned 25 yards to Los Angeles' eight only to have the play recalled because of an offside. Even in those last seasons, after the Rams' winning touchdown, the Packers threatened. They took the kickoff and completed a pass, Aberson to Luhn, to midfield, and he lateraled to Baby Ray. Anybody but the lumbering Ray, with the players deployed as they were, might have gone all the way. But the Packers have still come back. They were a football team, a tough luck football team. Baby Ray and Larry Craig in the line, and Bruce Smith in the backfield played especially good games. Smith did the finest running he ever has for Green Bay and on top of this, contributed sparkling defensive play. The Packers will make their next start against Philadelphia in Philadelphia Sunday.
LOS ANGELES -  7  0  7  7 - 21
GREEN BAY   -  0 10  7  0 - 17
1st - LA - Tom Farmer, 12-yard run (Bob Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
2nd - GB - Luhn, 32-yard pass from Rohrig (Fritsch kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - GB - Fritsch, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-7
3rd - LA - Tom Harmon, 85-yard interception return (Waterfield kick) LA 14-10
3rd - GB - Fritsch, 11-yard run (Fritsch kick) GREEN BAY 17-14
4th - LA - Mike Holovak, 1-yard run (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 21-17
OCTOBER 9 (Milwaukee Journal) - The most courageous guy on the football field at State Fair park Sunday afternoon was not one of the trained behemoths in pads and a helmet. The most courageous guy was a little fellow with a gaudy red striped short and a white baseball cap by the name of Bill Downes - referee Bill Downes. Referee Bill Downes dared in the last few seconds, with Los Angeles poised on Green Bay's one yard line with the winning touchdown - Referee Bill Downes dared in this ticklish situation to exercise his judgment and invoke a rule which he must have known meant the game as surely as the play which therefore followed. The situation has been so often rehashed since last Sunday that it hardly needs to be repeated. Bob Waterfield had just bumped into a stone wall on a quarterback sneak. The ball was still on Green Bay's one yard line. Only seconds remained as the players disengaged themselves from the scrimmage, and there was doubt whether there would be enough time to get another play. And then Downes blew his whistle. He stopped the clock and he assured the play. The Rams immediately scored and the Rams won...MATTER OF JUDGMENT: It was not a question whether Downes had the right to stop the clock with only seconds left. He had the right. The rules specifically give him the right at any time in the game - in the first minute as well as the last. It was a question whether he exercised the best of judgment in this particular situation. The writer thinks he did not. But that in this piece is besides the point. He was still a courageous guy. The rules are clear on the point involved. If in the referee's judgment a team takes excessive time to disengage itself from a pileup, hoping to exhaust the little time left and thereby prevent another play, the referee may stop the clock. It was on this authority that Downes blew his whistle. But what is excessive time when seconds are involved? It could be that Downes saw something in the pileup that indicated the Packers really were stalling - and tricks used to delay the action for 5, 8, 10 seconds could easily escape notice in the stands. Unless it was this, however, Downes, in this writer's opinion, was wrong. From up in the stands there seemed no undue delay on the part of the Packers to line up again. But the whistle blew...TWO EXPLANATIONS: Much has been made of the fact that even after Mike Holovak had scored the winning touchdown, enough time remained for a kickoff and two pass plays, indicating that whether Downes stopped the clock on the one yard line or not, there probably would have been enough time to run the game-winning play. There are two answers to this. The first is explosive Curly Lambeau's. "Those guys (the officials) were jittery after the boner they pulled on the goal line with 10 seconds left and gave us a couple of extra plays to make themselves look good." The second is perhaps a more logical explanation. If 10 seconds remained when the Rams line up for Holovak's game-winning play, if six seconds remained after Holovak scored, and time was out, of course, while Waterfield added the extra point - it would still be possible, within a few seconds, to do just what the Packers did. The subsequent kickoff, which the Packers received would take no more than two or three seconds, since time is in only from the time the ball is kicked until it sails into the end zone, as this one did. The first pass would take no more than three or four seconds since time is automatically out after an incompleted pass. And then the second pass of three or four more seconds on which the gun sounded. To add to the confusion, the big clock at the south end of the field, which 27,000 fans watched while they were not watching the action on the field, was not the official clock...RED-EYED LAMBEAU: In his hotel room after the game, Lambeau was again furious. He has often been furious, but never like this - not even after the Bear game a week before. After the Bear game he was livid with rage. Sunday night he was red-eyed with rage. It was almost funny to see such a big, vital guy as Lambeau with tears in his eyes over a football game, but he had them. "Look," he almost shouted, bending low to show just how he manipulated a stop watch still on his wrist. "With two 
minutes left, the officials come over to me and tell me there are two minutes left. I see it like this, see. I stop it like this if I have to, see. There are 10 seconds left when Waterfield is stopped. There isn't time for another play - Oh, what's the use." And the big guy went over to a window to look over the city and think what might have been. But that Downes - he's a game guy. He called it in the clutch as he saw it.
OCTOBER 11 (Green Bay) - In what was probably their best physical condition of the season, a squad of 33 Green Bay Packers left here Friday morning for Philadelphia, where Sunday they will resume their part in the National league race against the Philadelphia Eagles. It will be the second meeting of the season between the teams. In an exhibition in Milwaukee a month ago, the Packers, although roundly outplayed, were beaten by the margin of a point after touchdown. That the Eagles ruled 14 point favorites in this return game did not disturb Lambeau. "Except for Carl Mulleneaux and Bob Adkins, we're in the best shape we've been in for a month," he said, "and we're not going down there to take a licking if we can help it."
OCTOBER 13 (Philadelphia) - A crowd of 35,000 is expected here Sunday afternoon when the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles, one of the prime favorites for the eastern division championship in the NFL, meet the Green Bay Packers at Shibe Park. The Eagles have never defeated the Packers in a league game. They have thumped them in an exhibition in Milwaukee only a month ago, but they have never had the pleasure in a game which counted in the standings. Sunday may be the day, however. At least the oddsmakers think so, for they have installed the Eagles solid 14 point favorites. The Eagles, in their first two league starts, beat the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles two weeks ago, then walloped the Boston Yankees here last Sunday. Philadelphia's tricky attack, with numerous laterals, figures to be too much for a Green Bay team which for the first last Sunday, in a game with the Rams, approached its old-time form. The Packers have lost to the Bears and the Rams in league starts and before that dropped three straight exhibitions. Thirty-three strong, the Packers arrived here Saturday morning and worked out an hour Saturday afternoon. How much of a fight they will be able to wage will depend, according to most observers, on how well they have been able to keep the keen mental edge they had for their game with the Rams in Milwaukee last week.
OCTOBER 13 (Milwaukee Journal) - The game in Philadelphia between the Packers and Eagles will be one of a full schedule Sunday. In others, the Chicago Cardinals will meet the Detroit Lions in a return game in Detroit, the Chicago Bears will play host to the Los Angeles Rams at Wrigley field, the Boston Yankees will meet Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh and the New York Giants will invade Washington for a game with the Redskins. The Cardinals, who romped all over the Lions earlier in the season at Comiskey park, the Bears, the Steelers, the Redskins all ruled favorites. First place in the western division will be at stake in the  game between the Bears and Rams. Chicago has won its first two stars, Los Angeles has split even in two games.