GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE SENTINEL)
(GREEN BAY) - The Packers fumbled the ball away only once
of the rain-soaked, semi-gooey City Stadium field Sunday
afternoon. But what a brutally damaging bobble it was, for it
cost them the ball game - a 10-3 affair with the Bears,
remarkable well-played under the prevailing conditions. Almost
as remarkable was the fact that the crowd of 24,414, just a
shade of absolute capacity, dared to show up with a threat of
more rain after a total downfall of more than three inches the
past few days. Except for the last few minutes of the first
half, the faithful didn't need their raincoats, overshoes,
umbrellas and other bits of equipment designed to beat the
elements, it should be noted. The customers, almost all of
them naturally pulling hard for the home club, had every reason
to be in a happy mood as the Packers, obviously keyed for the
season's best effort, outplayed the ancient enemy from Chicago
through the scoreless first half.
PACKERS TAKE LEAD
Things looked even better when the Bays moved into what
looked like a safe lead on Fred Cone's beautiful 38-yard field
goal early in the third quarter. Hopes continued to mount as
coach Liz Blackbourn's operators stayed in encouraging
command until the second last play of that fateful third period.
It was at that point of the rugged battle that the fumble hoodoo
smeared mud all over the rosy picture and a Packer alumnus,
Paul Lipscomb, popped up to haunt the club from which he
once drew his pay. The Bays were pinned back deep in their
own territory, following Zeke Bratkowski's fine punt, when Tobin
Rote, swinging to his right on a keeper play, was jolted hard.
The ball slithered out of his arms and was up for grabs behind
the line of scrimmage. The 225-pound Lipscomb, released by
Washington early in the week and signed only Saturday by the
Bears, finally pounced on it only seven yards from the home
team's goal line.
BLANDA TO STONE - TD
The grown coming out of the stands must have been heard up
and down the Fox River Valley for the fans seemed to sense
this was it. They were right, for on the third play thereafter - the
second of the final period - George Blanda pitched a
touchdown pass to Billy Stone, who made a nifty catch in the
corner of the end zone. The official gain was five yards, but the
yardage was unimportant. Blanda converted and added three
superfluous points five minutes later on a 23-yard placekick.
But those happenings mattered not at all. The Blanda-Stone
pitch and catch act was the thing. With it, the Packers'
second bid for a NFL victory in 1954 went down the drain. Oh
that fumble: And oh, that spook Lipscomb: Why couldn't
Washington have seen fit to keep him?
BAYS HAD CHANCES
The Packers were in scoring position often enough to win this
low scoring game several times over, as this summary will
attest. They were within hailing distance on eight occasions -
on the Bears' 23, 48, 34, 31, 22, 36, 24 and 45. Four times
they penetrates beyond midfield on their own. Pass
interceptions by Val Joe Walker and Gene White set up two
opportunities, and John Martinkovic another with a fumble
recovery. Still another came on Bratkowski's short punt, a 15-
yarder that he was lucky to get off late in the game. But all
those chances produced only one field goal, plus two other
ties by Cone from 38 and 28 yards out. The first sailed wide in
the opening quarter and the last was blocked in the third.
Something always happened - a pass just over a receiver's
reach, a penalty, thrown for a loss in a key spot and so on.
57 YARD ROMP
The Bears' best opening before their vital touchdown was
provided by Wayne Hanson, who rambled 57 yards to the
Packer 22 after intercepting Bobby Garrett's pass late in the first quarter. Clarence Self snuffed out that threat by fielding Blanda's pass on the 19. Old Halas U. was on the home club's 21 and again on the 28 in the second canto. Blanda muffed a 28-yard field goal shot the first time and Harry Jagade's fumble ended the second bid abruptly. Then it was no dice for the visitors until the big break came. Their only real drive preceded Blanda's successful boot from the field. It was mainly a two play deal at that - a 19-yard gallop by Blanda when rushing defenders overran him and a 30-yard pass, Blanda to John Hoffman. The Packers, as you will note, won the battle of statistics, even more than the figures show, considering that the Bears picked up 51 of their 230 yards after the Bays hash was pretty well cooked. Blackbourn's boys had a slight edge in both passing and running. Breezy Reid was the boss runner with 71 yards on 15 carries. His top gain was 19 yards, the big one in moving the ball into position for Cone's successful field goal. The only challenge came from Jagade, who ground out 66 yards on 17 tries. Rote's big pitches were to Billy Howton for 45 and 26 yards, and to Al Carmichael for 45. Howton and Stone of the Bears tied for receiving honors with four each. But the Packers ace had a wide edge in total yards, 100 to 38. Carmichael caught three for 64. The Packer defense looked better than at any other time this season. It would be almost unfair to single out any of the front liners - Jerry Helluin, Dave Hanner, Bill Forester, Stretch Elliott, Clayton Tonnemaker, Roger Zatkoff and Martinkovic. But an extra pat on the back for Elliott is in order. The lanky Virginian did a terrific rushing job and generally conducted himself like a top-flight pro end.
CHICAGO BEARS - 0 0 0 10 - 10
GREEN BAY - 0 0 3 0 - 3
3rd - GB - Cone, 40-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
4th - CHI - Billy Stone, 5-yard pass from George Blanda (Blanda kick) CHICAGO 7-3
4th - CHI - Blanda, 23-yard field goal CHICAGO 10-3