(LOS ANGELES) - The Los Angeles Rams kept their hopes of repeating as NFL champions very much alive and snuffed out the Green Bay Packers' chances with
a 45-27 triumph before 49,822 fans here Sunday. For
a half, Gene Ronzani's Packers were in the thick of it.
They recovered from an early 10-0 deficit and took a
14-10 leads in the second quarter. Then the Rams
exploded for three touchdowns in seven minutes and
turned the struggle into a route. The Rams increased
a 17-14 halftime lead into a 45-14 margin before the
Packers registered a pair of consolation markers.
By winning, the Rams remained in a tie with the
Detroit Lions for the National Conference lead with a
week of the regular season remaining. The Packers
are now two games behind, tied for third with the San
Francisco 49ers, whom they will play next Sunday. In
the matter of statistics, the Rams had little - if any -
advantage. But five opportune pass interceptions, a
fumble recovery for a touchdown and a long kickoff
return made it easy for Hamp Pool's alert and powerful
machine. The victory was the seventh in a row for the
Rams, who have bounced back in remarkable fashion
after a miserable start. Against the Packers early in
the season at Milwaukee, the Rams put on a
tremendous fourth quarter rally to win, 30-28. Here
Sunday they came from behind earlier and triumphed
in a much more convincing manner. One bright spot
in the Packer defeat was the pass catching of Bill
Howton, rookie end from Rice. Howton grabbed six
aerials for 200 yards and was instrumental in all four
Green Bay scoring drives. He was on the receiving
end of 76 and 64-yard pass plays. The Packers failed
to pick up a first down in the opening quarter; yet
most of the action took place in Ram territory. A
fumble recovery gave the Packers position, but Bill
Reichardt's field goal attempt was partially blocked.
Late in the period the Rams drove 65 yards in nine
plays for the first touchdown. Norm Van Brocklin was
at the throttle on the march, mixing passes to Tom
Fears and Elroy Hirsch with the power drives of Tank
Younger and Deacon Dan Towler. With 3:30 left in the
first quarter, Towler roared around end for the final nine
yards and Bob Waterfield made the first of six
conversions. Dick (Night Train) Lane, one of the
league's best pass interceptors, filched one of Babe
Parilli's aerials on the Green Bay 45 early in the
second quarter. Seven plays later Waterfield booted a
42-yard field goal and the Rams were ahead 10-0.
Then the Packers came to life. On the first play
following the next kickoff return, Parilli and Howton
teamed for a 64-yard gain to the Ram 2-yard line.
Breezy Reid scored from the one and Reichardt
added the first of his three extra points. The next time
the Packers got the ball they moved into their only
lead of the game. Tobin Rote sparked the 52-yard
drive with two first downs and a pass to Howton for
another first down. Rote dove over the one and the
Packers were front, 14-10, with 4:45 left in the half.
Vitamin Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards
to the Green Bay 39. Four running plats advanced the
Rams to the 19 where Waterfield, back to pass, saw
an opening and scooted into the end zone behind
excellent blocking. Parilli to Howton passes moved
the Packers to the Ram 45 with less than a minute
left in the half, but Lane came up with an interception
to thwart the effort. Then came the Rams' lightning
thrusts which put the game far out of the Packers'
each. Los Angeles had scored with two minutes left in the first half and now the Rams added 14 more points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. At the start of the second half, the Packers appeared headed for the lead again. Rote passed to Bobby Mann for a first down on the Ram 27, but on the next play the pesky Mr. Lane picked a Rote toss off his shoetops and scampered 80 yards to pay dirt. On the next Packer play from scrimmage, Jack Dwyer intercepted Parilli's pass and returned 25 yards to the Packer 17. Four plays later, Towler smashed over from the two.
Thirteen plays ate up 98 yards and the score was 38-14. The payoff pitch, good for 25 yards, went from Waterfield to Paul Barry. On the way, Waterfield and Hirsch got together on a 56-yard gain after a clipping penalty has apparently stymied the Rams. Andy Robustelli, Ram end, picked up Parilli's fumble early in the fourth period and dashed 29 yards for the final Los Angeles touchdown. A few minutes earlier he had accomplished the same feat, but the officials ruled the ball dead on the Packer 20 and the threat ended when Waterfield missed on a field goal try from the 27. Bob Forte recovered a fumble on the midfield stripe to set up the third Packer score midway in the fourth quarter. Parilli's passes netted three successive first downs and Reichardt bulled over from the two. With two minutes left, the Packers stalled the Rams on the Green Bay five and followed up with a 95-yard scoring march. Parilli connected with Howton for 76 yards to the Ram nine, then flipped to Stretch Elliott for the score. A bad pass from center ruined the extra point attempt, not that it mattered. 
GREEN BAY   -  0 14  0 13 - 27
LOS ANGELES -  7 10 21  7 - 45
1st - LA - Dan Towler, 9-yard run (Bob Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 7-0
2nd - LA - Waterfield, 42-yard field goal LOS ANGELES 10-0
2nd - GB - Reid, 1-yard run (Reichardt kick) LOS ANGELES 10-7
2nd - GB - Rote, 1-yard run (Reichardt kick) GREEN BAY 14-10
2nd - LA - Waterfield, 19-yard run (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 17-14
3rd - LA - Night Train Lane, 80-yard interception return (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 24-14
3rd - LA - Towler, 2-yard run (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 31-14
3rd - LA - Paul Barry, 25-yard pass from Waterfield (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 38-14
4th - LA - Andy Robustelli, 29-yard fumble return (Waterfield kick) LOS ANGELES 45-14
4th - GB - Reichardt, 2-yard run (Reichardt kick) LOS ANGELES 45-21
4th - GB - Elliott, 9-yard pass from Parilli (Kick failed) LOS ANGELES 45-27
DECEMBER 7 (Los Angeles) - Sunday's football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams was played under protest. The Packers showed up for pregame practice with yellow jerseys identical in color with the Rams. Only the numbers set them apart - light green for the visitors, deep blue for the Rams. NFL rules gave the home team choice of uniforms. The Rams have worn yellow jerseys in home games for years. Los Angeles coach Hampton Pool and his aides immediately protested to Packers coach Gene Ronzani. Ronzani answered that those were the only jerseys the Packers had with them. He pointed out the Rams had blue jerseys with yellow numbers that they could use. That didn't satisfy Pool and the Rams got on the telephone to league commissioner Bert Bell in Philadelphia. They said Bell promised an investigation. "It was mighty confusing. We were blocking the wrong guys all afternoon." But none of the scoring plays on either side seemed to hinge on any confusion in blocking.
DECEMBER 8 (Los Angeles) - The Green Bay Packers launched their final week of drills today as they got set for the last game of the season next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers will attempt to rebound after two straight losses with a win over the slumping 49ers who dropped another game to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday. Green Bay was trounced by Los Angeles Sunday, 45-27, after holding the Rams to a 3-point halftime edge. The Packers will continue their workouts here until Saturday when they will move to San Francisco for the final contest of the season. Coach Gene Ronzani's men, with a 6-5 mark for the season, still are experiencing their best year since 1946 and will wind up with the best season since 1945 if they win the last one Sunday. The Packers were 7-4 in 1945. The Packers are tied with San Francisco, two games behind Los Angeles and Detroit in the National Conference.
DECEMBER 8 (New York) - Larry Coutre, formerly of the Green Bay Packers and now stationed at Camp Breckenridge, KY, Monday was named at offensive back on the Service All-Star team.
DECEMBER 9 (Baltimore) - The drive to bring major league professional football back to Baltimore appeared to be off winging Tuesday night with 7,000 season tickets sold or pledged for. The city was told last week by Commissioner Bert Bell of the NFL that he would transfer the Dallas Texans here if fans would buy $250,000 worth of tickets - meaning 15,000 season ducats - by January 22. The ticket sale started Monday.
DECEMBER 10 (San Francisco) - Halfback Johnny Strzykalski, former ace at Marquette University and South Division High School in Milwaukee, and quarterback Frankie Albert, former All-American at Stanford, Wednesday announced their retirement from pro football. The two San Francisco gridders announced they would quit after the 49ers' Sunday game against the Green Bay Packers. Albert announced he was going to work full time as an auto agency employee.
DECEMBER 10 (Philadelphia) - Tobin Rote, the co-quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, held on grimly to the NFL's passing leadership today though hardpressed by Norm Van Brocklin of the Los Angeles Rams. Rote, a three-year veteran in the NFL, has shared the quarterback duties for the Packers with Babe Parilli, who's doing very well in his freshman year in the play-for-pay game. Rote, who sometimes starts and sometimes sits on the bench in favor of Parilli, has completed 69 of 132 passes - a 52.3 percentage - for an average gain of 8.48 yards. Van Brocklin has hit for 96 of 177, with an average of 8.18 yards gained on each heave. Van Brocklin's completion percentage is the best in the league. Parilli is in third place in the passing parade with 67 of 155 aerials completed for an average gain of 7.97 yards per completion. In fourth place is Cleveland's veteran Otto Graham  who has thrown 332 passes, completed 163, the most in the league for an average gain of 7.64 yards and a total 2,537 yardage. In the rushing department, Los Angeles' Dan Towler continues in the No. 1 spot, carrying the pigskin 144 times, gaining a total of 821 yards for a 5.7-yard average. Far behind is New York's Eddie Price, who has carried 183 times for 748 yards, or 4.1 yards per try, with San Francisco's Hugh McElhenny - an early season leader - third with 659 yards on 93 carries. Cleveland's Mac Speedie, target of many of Graham's bullet passes, retained the pass-catching leadership, snaring 56 for a total gain of 856 yards. Not far behind is Gordon Soltau of San Francisco with 54 for 759 and Philadelphia's Harry Grant with 52 for 941. Soltau, who has caught seven touchdowns passes, leads the scorers with 88 points. Besides the TDs this includes 31 extra points and five field goals. In second place is Cleveland's Lou Groza, who has 82 points on 31 extra points and 17 field goals. Horace Gillom, Cleveland Brown star, still is defending successfully his punting title. Gillom has averaged 46.5 yards on each of his 59 kicks with Detroit's Bob Smith not far behind with a 45-yard average on 56 boots. Jack Christiansen of the Detroit Lions took the lead in the punt return department having lugged back 15 boots for a total of 322 yards, or an average 21.5 yards each. Woodley Lewis of Los Angeles, last week's leader, fell to second with 17 returns for 305 yards, an average of 17.9. In kickoff returns, Pittsburgh's Lynn Chadnois retained his leadership, carrying back 17 for a total of 599 yards, including two for touchdowns, and one on a 93-yard run. In second place was Eddie Macon of the Chicago Bears with eight returns for 273 yards, an average return of 34.1 Dick Lane of the Rams took over sole possession of the pass interception department, snaring 11 enemy aerials. Tom Keane of the lowly Dallas Texans is second with 10 interceptions.
DECEMBER 11 (San Francisco) - Frankie Albert - who rose from a bench-warming substitute in 1939 to All-America quarterback for Stanford in 1940 and has stayed a T-formation wizard ever since - closes out his spectacular career Sunday. The master of the bootleg play announced that his appearance with the San Francisco 49ers against the Green Bay Packers in the windup of the NFL season will be his last. The 32-year old The 32-year old 49er quarterback is associated with an automobile agency in Palo Alto, where he makes his home, and also conducts a weekly television program. He says he is not interested in coaching college football. For seven season, Albert has been the guiding genius of the 49ers' T-formation attack. He has thrown 1,538 passes, completed 615 for 10,582 yards and 114 touchdowns. In 1948 he shared the All-America Conference most valuable player award with Otto Graham of the Cleveland Browns. He's sixth in the NFL passing yardage column this season.
Los Angeles Rams (8-3) 45, Green Bay Packers (6-5) 27
Sunday December 7th 1952 (at Los Angeles)
Hall of Fame wide receiver Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch of the Los Angeles Rams makes a leaping catch in a 45 to 27 win over the Green Bay Packers (Credit: Vic Stein)
DECEMBER 12 (Milwaukee Sentinel - Lloyd Larson column) - Another tipoff that time dashes on: Johnny (Strike) Strzykalski is retiring from football. It seems like yesterday or the day before that he was driving city high school opponents crazy as a great back at South Side and showing great promise as a freshman at Marquette. But a lot of yesterdays have been written into the big book since those first seasons of prominence (1940-41 at South Side and 1942 at Marquette). So many that Johnny is ready to call it quits after a brilliant professional career with the San Francisco 49ers. He will bow out officially Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, the club representing his native state. It promises to be a day "Strike" never will forget, for he will be celebrating his thirtieth birthday and returning to his old familiar starting role for the first time this season. "I'm starting Strzykalski in his final game out of memory and respect for the best running back in pro football before he broke his ankle," said Frisco coach Buck Shaw. "The spirit and enthusiasm he gave the 49ers through the years has become a part of them. Without those qualities, you're lost in pro ball." Jack McDonals, sports editor of the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, calls Johnny "the greatest clutch player ever to wear a 49er uniform." Frankie Albert, who is singing his swan song, too, added his own words of high praise for the hard-running halfback who has been his teammate since 1946. "Styzykalski was our most competitive player through the years," was quarterback Albert's tribute. "Calling Johnny to carry the ball in the clutch gave me a 'rep' as a smart quarterback in the early days of the 49ers. There was only one thing to do when you just had to have yardage - call Johnny's number. He rarely failed. I believe he made as many first downs those first four years as anybody in pro football." During the life of the late but not necessarily lamented All-America Conference, "Strike" averaged 5.4 yards for every crack at an enemy line. He was outgained by only one man, giant Marion Motley of Cleveland. It was a 60 minute deal for Johnny in those days, for he was just as proficient and rugged on defense as on offense. His days as a full-time, all-purpose back were numbered when he suffered a broken ankle in 1949. Injuries like a broken nose he shook off as through they were nothing at all. But that broken ankle was something else again. He just couldn't keep up the old pace. That, plus the fact that Frisco came up with a gem of a replacement at right half in Hugh McElhenny, cut Strzykalski's total playing time to 11 minutes thus far this season. But just about every second in those 11 minutes called for rough, tough action which saw Johnny at his best. "About the only time they sent Johnny in there was when the 49ers kicked off," McDonald pointed 
out. "The deadliest of tacklers, he'd head straight into a wedge and break it up with reckless abandon." Reckless abandon - that's the thing which marked Styzykalski's every move. It explains, partially at lease, how he happened to have his nose broken five times in his seven years with the 49ers. Just for good measure, the beezer was busted a sixth time, but that was done purposely by his doctor for straightening purposes. Incidentally, plastic surgery on the well-mashed nose will be the first order of business following retirement. For all the bumps and bruises, the broken ankle and the broken nose (plus repeats), Johnny has no cause to regret the day he signed with the 49ers. He's well situated from business standpoint in San Francisco, where he will continue to make his home with his wife and two daughters. Add those priceless gems - fond memories and solid friends - and it's apparent he has every reason to be supremely happy. It goes without saying that Coach Shaw and owner Tony Morabito always will look back thankfully to the day in 1944 when they decided to have a look at Strzykalski, then with the Second Air Force team, and promptly signed him. So it was a perfect deal both ways. Which is considerably better than par for business transactions.
DECEMBER 13 (Washington) - A former Wisconsin player and two ex-Green Bay Packers were listed Saturday on the nation's All-Star service football team. The Navy All-Stars - including Marines and Coast Guardsman - list guard Ray Suchy of Camp Pendleton, CA, who played for Wisconsin. Ex-Packers on the Army All-Stars are center Clayton Tonnemaker, All-America from Minnesota, and halfback Larry Coutre from Notre Dame. Tonnemaker is currently stationed at Camp Drake in Japan, while Coutre is at Camp Breckenridge, KY.
DECEMBER 13 (San Francisco) - The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers, with nothing more than a life in the NFL standings to aim for, close out the professional football season here Sunday. It will be the career-closing game for two 49ers, quarterback Frankie Albert and fullback Johnny Strzykalski. The two teams are tied at six wins and five loses apiece, and will shoot the works in the closeout contest before an anticipated crowd of 20,000 fans. The Packers, with a sensational aerial attack, have been installed one-point favorites to take the measure of the hard-running 49ers. Green Bay's quarterbacks, Tobin Rote and rookie Babe Parill, rank first and third respectively in the league in pass completions. Their main target, Bill Howton, has gained more yards on passes than any other receiver in the circuit. The Packers are expected to ride the airlanes for all they are worth. A fast playing field is indicated. The team, among other things, will try to break its all-time scoring record. Green Bay has counted 281 points thus far and needs only 19 more to tie the previous all-time high of 300, established by the 1942 Hutson-powered club. The 300 mark, however, was set in 11 games. Sunday's game will be the 12th of the season. The team will also be gunning for its best finish since 1944, when it won the title with an 8-2 record. The club presently has a 6-5 mark. No Packer team since 1944 has been able to win seven games. On the individual side, Rote will attempt to become the first Packer to win the league's passing championship since Cecil Isbell turned the trick in 1942. The 49ers, early season favorites to roll to the championship, go into the game weakened by key players. Gordon Soltau, great pass catching and point kicking end, suffered an ankle injury last Sunday against Pittsburgh which shelved him for the season. He is still the leading scorer in the league with 88 points, and the No. 2 pass receiver to date. In spite of losing five of the last six contests, San Francisco still leads the loop in rushing with 1,748 yards. Rookie Hugh McElhenny tops all ball packers with an average of 7.1 yards for 93 carries. Sam Cathcart, normally a defensive halfback, will replace Soltau at left and on offense. In addition to Albert and Strzykalski, seven-year veterans and members of the first San Francisco club, Norman Standlee, fullback and another charter member of the team, also is retiring. He is recovering from a recent polio attack. Green Bay also has a part in the retirement phase of the 1952 finale. Tony Canadeo, a Packer backfield fixture for eleven season, is calling it quits and recently was given a "day" by the club's hometown fans.