GAME RECAP (CHICAGO TRIBUNE)
(GREEN BAY) - The 24 to 14 score looks like the comfortable
margin it was at the finish, but it conceals the moments of
frustration and anxiety suffered this afternoon by the Chicago
Bears before they finally subdued the Green Bay Packers,
emotionally geared for one of their famous upsets in this
traditional NFL opener. The Packers actually led at the end of
the opening half, 7 to 3, over a Bear team which bumbled
along in the first 30 minutes. The Bears grabbed a 10 to 7
lead in the third quarter, but, in the final period, they were
perilously close to defeat when Bob Mann, in the clear,
dropped a pass 5 yards from the goal line.
HEAT WAS ON
This was the turning point of the bitterly contested match in
84 degree weather which attracted an overflow crowd of
24,656, several hundred of them Chicagoans. After Mann's
error, Ed Sprinkle, the Bears' veteran end, sparkled on two
successive plays which gave the Bears their late victory key.
The Packers were on the Chicago 20 after Mann's
misadventure. Tobin Rote replaced rookie Vito Parilli at
quarterback, and Sprinkle roared in, knocking him down on
the 27. Now it was fourth down and the Packers were
satisfied to go for the three tying points.
SPRINKLE BLOCKS IT
Bill Reichardt, freshman fullback from Iowa, stepped back on
the 35, but a moment after his foot crashed against the ball,
Sprinkle blocked it. The ball bounced all the way back to the
Green Bay 40, where the Bears took over. John (Kayo)
Dottley, who had 75 yards in eight carries, bolted for 11 and
Whizzer White, another prominent Bear today, bounced for 8.
After Dottley whirled to the 16, Bob Williams, making a
dazzling comeback after a jittery first half performance, fired to
lanky Gene Schroeder. The Virginia gentleman eluded Bobby
Dillon and ran for a touchdown. When George Blanda kicked
goal the score was 17 to 7.
MOSER GRABS FUMBLE
A minute and a half later - at 8:35 in the quarter - it was 24 to
7. After Big Bob Moser snatched Bobby Jack Floyd's fumble
on the Green Bay 44, Dottley busted through defensive right
tackle, bowled over one Packer, then went the distance. Green
Bay added its consolation touchdown at 10:10 in the period -
completing a rash of three touchdowns within three minutes -
when Parilli hurled a 39 yard pass to Bill Howton, rookie end
from Rice, who caught the ball over Billy Stone, the defender.
WHIZZER KICKS ONE
In the first half, Blanda missed on three field goal attempts,
from 49, 54 and 39 yards. Two of the misses - and they could
hardly be called that because of the enormous distances
involved - came in the first quarter. Later, in the same period,
White stepped back on fourth down and booted one from the
29 for the first points of the game. Then Whizzer's 62 yard
dash into the Packers' end zone on a punt return was
cancelled by a clipping penalty. And just before the quarter
ended, White fielded a pass for 30 yards.
BLOCK MORRISON'S KICK
After Blanda missed on No. 3 in the second quarter, penalties
and fumbles by the Bears gave the Packers their first scoring
chance. White fumbled Parilli's punt, but finally recovered it on
the Chicago 27. A clipping penalty put the Bears on their 13.
Babe Dimancheff was racked up on the 5. The Bears next
were embarrassed when John Martinkovic blocked Fred
Morrison's quick kick, Bob Forte capturing the ball on the 5.
PICTURE OF DECEPTION
Breezy Reid was restrained to less than a yard. Rote overshot
Mann on a pass deep in the end zone. On the next play,
Rote took a pass direct from center in spread formation. Bear
defenders faded back for an anticipated pass. Rote maneuvered to his right, roving at half speed while threatening to pitch, and went over standing up. Fred Cone added the point which gave the Packers a 7 to 3 lead at the intermission. Williams completed 12 of 22 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Steve Romanik hit on 5 of 11 for 106 yards. Rote had five completions out of 12 for 97 yards, and Parilli had 2 out of 5 for 32 yards. Morrison got 57 yards in nine thrusts, and Leon Campbell 4 in one try to make it a busy day for the fullbacks. Floyd was the Packers' top rusher with 45 yards on seven rushes.
CHICAGO BEARS - 3 0 7 14 - 24
GREEN BAY - 0 7 0 7 - 14
1st - CHI - Whizzer White, 30-yard field goal CHICAGO 3-0
2nd - GB - Rote, 5-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-3
3rd - CHI - John Dottley, 28-yd pass fr Bob Williams (George Blanda kick) CHICAGO 10-7
4th - CHI - Gene Schroeder, 10-yard pass from Williams (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 17-7
4th - CHI - Dottley, 45-yard run (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 24-7
4th - GB - Howton, 30-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) CHICAGO 24-14