(LOS ANGELES) - Captain Bob Waterfield pitched five touchdown passes, three of them to star end Elroy Hirsch with the longest 73 yards, to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a 42-14 triumph over the Green Bay Packers. The other Ram scored came on a brilliant run by safetyman Jerry Williams - 99 yards after taking a missed field goal try by the Packers' Fred Cone late in the game. Hirsch's three touchdown passes brought his season total to 17 and tied the all-time pro league record established in 1942 by Green Bay's Don Hutson. The stubborn Packers held the vaunted Rams to a 14-14 tie at the half, and seemed destined to make things even tougher for the local golden boys. Waterfield's passing brilliance accounted for touchdowns for Hirsch of 73, 37 and 19 yards; to Dick Hoerner for 15 and to left end Tom Fears for 39. The Packers scored their touchdowns on throws by quarterback Tobin Rote, who hit Billy Grimes for a 33-yarder, and Carlton Elliott for 14. They made it a battle for two periods, but wilted under the battering runs of the Rams' bull elephant backfield, notably Hoerner and Deacon Dan Towler, and Waterfield's superb artistry. A 31-yard punt return by Glenn Davis to the Packers' 33-yard line in the first quarter set the stage for the first Rams' score. Fears took the ball to the 22, and two plays later Waterfield passed 15 yards to Hoerner for a touchdown. Waterfield converted.
The Packers came right back after Dom Moselle brought the kickoff back to Green Bay's 47. Rote fumbled, but made 11. In quick succession Rote tossed to Elliott for 13 and then to Grimes for 33 and a touchdown. Cone's conversion tied it up. After Davis returned the kickoff to the 33, Waterfield whipped a pass to Hirsch on the Packer 35. Crazy Legs swung into action and outsped Pelfrey in a race to the goal. Waterfield's kick made it 14-7. Green Bay counterattacked, driving to the Rams' 25 on a 38-yard Rote-Grimes pass, but the Rams stiffened and Cone's field goal try was wide as the quarter ended. The Bays swept back into the game later in the second period when Moselle recovered Towler's fumble on the Green Bay 36 after the Rams' fullback had broken away for 28 yards. A pass from Rote to Cone clicked for 28 yards, Fred going the last eight with defensive half Herb Rich riding piggyback. Then Rote hit Elliott three times in a row, the last toss good for 14 yards and the score. Cone's kick tied it up at 14-14. From his own 32, Towler got away for 25 yards to Green Bay's 43, early in the second half. He picked up four more, and Waterfield then sent a 37-yard bullet to Fears, who took the ball out of the hands of Ace Loomis on the two and stepped across. Waterfield tacked on the extra point. A Packer field goal attempt boomeranged into a spectacular Ram tally shortly after the next kickoff. Cone tried a three-pointer from the 50, but Ram back Jerry Williams took the short try a step from the goal and started up the middle. He didn't stop until he had crossed the goal line with a dazzling 99-yard scamper. Waterfield again was accurate, and the Rams led, 28-14.
Rote led an unsuccessful Packer thrust which wound up on the four after the next kickoff. An exchange of kicks followed and the Rams hit paydirt again after taking the ball on the Bays' 37 early in the fourth quarter. A quick aerial bolt from Waterfield to Hirsch chalked up the six points, while Bob's conversion made it 35-14. A 19-yard pass from Waterfield to Hirsch a little while later gave the Rams another score. It was Hirsch's third of the day and his 17th of the season, tying Don Hutson's pro football mark. Waterfield again kicked the extra point to hike the Rams' margin to 42-14 just as the news of the 49ers' victory brought the crowd to its feet with the biggest roar of the day.
All 275 pounds of Joe Stydahar quivered with excitement Sunday as his Los Angeles Rams backed into the pro football championship playoffs. "It was terrific," Joe enthused. Nobody was quite sure whether he meant the Rams' 42-14 win over the Packers or the upsets of the Bears and Lions which combined to give Los Angeles the conference title. The Rams played the game with an eye on the Packers and both ears tuned in for developments at San Francisco. They already knew about the Bears' defeat. When word came through that the 49ers, trailing by three points, had a first down on the Lion two, players on the Rams' bench leaped to their feet. The team on the field drew a five-yard penalty for delaying the game as they joined in the excitement. Stydahar clasped his hands, almost in prayer at this point. Joe only proferred a rosy "we'll be ready" in answer to a query as to his prediction of his Rams' game with the Cleveland Browns next Sunday for the pro crown. Green Bay's Gene Ronzani also played it cozy. "I think the breaks will decide it," he said. "Cleveland has the organization and Los Angeles the personnel. The coming Ram-Brown clash will be Los Angeles' third successive try for the title. They lost to Philadelphia, and Cleveland in the previoud two quests.
GREEN BAY   -  7  7  0  0 - 14
LOS ANGELES - 14  0 14 14 - 42
1st - LA - Dick Hoerner, 15-yard pass from Bob Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LA 7-0
1st - GB - Grimes, 33-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) TIED 7-7
1st - LA - Elroy Hirsch, 73-yard pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LA 14-7
2nd - GB - Elliott, 14-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) TIED 14-14
3rd - LA - Tom Fears, 39-yard pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LA 21-14
3rd - LA - Jerry Williams, 99-yd return of a missed FG (Waterfield kick) LA 28-14
4th - LA - Hirsch, 37-yard pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LA 35-14
4th - LA - Hirsch, 19-yard pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LA 42-14
Los Angeles Rams (8-4) 42, Green Bay Packers (3-9) 14
Sunday December 16th 1951 (at Los Angeles)
Hall of Fame wide receiver Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch of the Los Angeles Rams runs upfield in a 42 to 14 win over the Green Bay Packers (Credit: Vic Stein)