Washington Redskin running back Charlie Justice evades a tackler after catching a pass for an eleven-yard gain during an exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers at Riddick Stadium, Raleigh, N.C. on September 11, 1954. (Photo courtesy of "Processing Hugh Morton Photographs and Films")
(RALEIGH, NC) - Halfback Al Carmichael scampered 96 yards for a touchdown and set up another with a 49-yard run as the Green Bay Packers walloped the
Washington Redkins, 31-3, Saturday night in an
exhibition game before 16,000. It was Green Bay's
second win in five starts and Washington's fifth 
consecutive loss of the exhibition season. It was the
first professional football game ever played in Raleigh
and the crowd in Riddick Stadium, home of North
Carolina State was treated to a variety of thrills.
The Packers scored in every period. They posted their
first touchdown less than four minutes after the
opening kickoff. Taking over their own 43 after 
Washington's Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice had 
fumbled on fourth down, the Packers rolled 57 yards
for a touchdown with fullback Fred Cone diving over
from the one. Cone then converted the first of four
extra points. Washington threatened to score in the closing minutes, driving from its 43 to Green Bay's 11, but Don Miller snared Jack Scarbath's pass in the end zone and ran it out to halt the drive. Green Bay began a drive from its seven late in the first period that carried to Washington's three. As the second period opened, Tobin Rote went to the one. On the next play Rote barely missed a touchdown by inches. Green Bay was penalized five yards for backfield in motion. Cone then booted a field goal from the 12 to send the score to 10-0.
Late in the second period the Redskins' Ben Agajanian booted a field goal from the Green Bay 23. Washington kicked off and Carmichael took the ball on his four, cut to the left and dashed 96 yards down the sidelines for the game's biggest thrill. It was Carmichael who set up another touchdown in the third period. The former Southern California ace took a lateral from Bud Roffler and ran 49 yards before being hauled down from behind by Justice on the Washington four. On the next play Rote passes to Carlton Elliott for the touchdown. Washington's Dale Atkeson took the kickoff and ran it back 59 yards to Green Bay's 37 for the longest Redskin run of the night. Two plays carried the ball to the 21, where the Packers held. On fourth down Gene Knutson intercepted Scarbath's pass in the end zone.
Washington tried desperately in the early minutes of the fourth period to launch a drive, filling the air with passes, but not successful enough to do any damage. Midway through the fourth period, Green Bay launched its final touchdown march. One of the key men in the drive was Bobby Garrett, whose passing was a big help as the Packers traveled 82 yards with Veryl Switzer going the last 18 on a reverse that caught Washington unaware. Statistically, Green Bay rolled up 188 yards rushing to Washington's 144 and gained 135 passing to the Redskins' 124. Washington, however, had a slight edge in first downs with 18 to Green Bay's 17.
GREEN BAY  -  7 10  7  7 - 31
WASHINGTON -  0  3  0  0 -  3
GB – Cone, 1-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
GB – Cone, 12-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-0
WASH – Ben Agajanian, 23-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-3
GB – Carmichael, 96-yard kickoff return (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-3
GB – Elliott, 4-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-3
GB – Switzer, 18-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 31-3
Washington Redskin running back Charlie Justice rushing along the left sideline during an exhibition game against the Green Bay Packers at Riddick Stadium, Raleigh, N.C. on September 11, 1954. (SOURCE: See more here)
SEPTEMBER 15 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay
Packers Wednesday acquired halfback Tom
Pagna from the Cleveland Browns in a cash deal.
Coach Liz Blackbourn, who ran the Packers
through a lengthy afternoon drill at Green Bay
despite the wet elements, was certain the
acquisition of Pagna would give the club some
backfield insurance. Blackbourn remembers
Pagna well, as he was the boy who ran very good
against his Marquette team while a member of
Miami U. at Oxford, OH. Pagna is a 190-pounder
who possesses quite a bit of speed. Meanwhile, at
Wisconsin Dells, the New York Giants continued
preparations for their engagement with the Packers
Saturday night in the fifth annual Shrine game at
Marquette Stadium. Jim Lee Howell, Giants head
man, announced after a two-hour workout in the
rain, that Bob Clatterback, rookie from Houston,
will start at quarterback. Clatterback, who has
shown startling poise and deadly accurate passing
in early exhibition games, joins Frank Gifford,
Eddie Price and Herb Johnson in the Giant
backfield. With Em Tunnell returning to his safety
position, the Giants will be at full strength for the
first time this season. Tunnell broke his left ankle
July 24 on the first play of the New Yorkers' first
intrasquad scrimmage. There is only one
Wisconsin native on the squad, Bill Albright of
Racine, regular middle guard. Albright, former
Wisconsin star is now in his fourth year with the
New Yorkers. Albright, 6 foot 1, now weighs close to 240 pounds. Giant coaches say he's faster than ever. Clatterback startled Howell and his staff from the start. Within five weeks the 22-year old Texas had progressed to the point where Arnie Galiffa, former Army All-American, could be traded to San Francisco in one of the big deals of the year.
SEPTEMBER 17 (Milwaukee) - Midwest Shrine football goers Saturday will probably see the best Packer running attack in the past 10 years when Green Bay clashes with the Giants at Marquette Stadium. That was the prediction of Packer General Manager Verne Lewellen who emphatically pointed out "the morale this year in camp is as high as it ever was in the Packers' heyday." Lewellen wasn't promising a championship this fall, but he said the Packers under coach Liz Blackbourn will bear little resemblance to the clubs of the past few seasons. "Our backfield is really coming around. It looks like halfback Breezy Reid is going to have his most successful pro season. He was tremendous in the Washington game. Rookie Veryl Switzer and veteran Al Carmichael have given us much needed speed. And Tobin Rote's record shows he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league." The new Packer executive told of the numerous handicaps confronting Blackbourn when he opened camp in Stevens Point. "We expected more than 80 players, but only 43 reported opening day. Uncle Sam took about 15 and the All-Stars seven. Therefore, installing a new system with a draught of personnel showed up when we took a drubbing from the Cardinals in Minneapolis." Since then Blackbourn's gang has whipped the Steelers and Redskins and came close to beating the Browns and Eagles. "Last week against the Redskins we functioned 100 percent," said Lewellen. "End Bobby Mann and Billy Howton and defensive back Bob Dillon were out, yet our showing was the best yet." They're not predicting a championship in Green Bay this fall but they're going to give Packer fans a team they've wanted to see for a long time.
SEPTEMBER 17 (Milwaukee) - Lisle Blackbourn's Packers will seek to bring their exhibition record to 3-3 when they meet the New York Giants in the annual Shrine game at Marquette Stadium Saturday night. Despite a slightly better won-lost record so far, 2-3 against 1-4, Green Bay does not rate much of an edge, if any, over Jim Lee Howell's Giants. The Giants, their record notwithstanding, have shown plenty. They have gained more than 300 yards in every game except one and overall they have an edge in yardage over their five opponents. While the Packers were taking on five teams from the eastern division, the Giants were playing the big boys - San Francisco, Los Angeles and Detroit. Losing to any one of these three western division giants is no disgrace. The only time the Giants' much improved offense failed to role up at least 300 yards was against the Rams and that time they made 280 yards. In at least one respect, the Giants almost could be favored over the Packers. They beat the Chicago Cardinals, 26-0, and the Cardinals beat the Packers, 27-10. The Cardinals, however, caught the Packers in the first game, before they were ready at all, and since then Blackbourn's boys have come a long way. Further, the Giants caught the Cardinals in the third game in eight days for the Chicago southsiders, so comparative scores in this case could be discarded. The big thing about the Giants is their switchover from defense to offense. Under Steve Owens they would not permit the opposition many points but they could not score too well either. Now, under Owens' former assistant, Howell, the emphasis is all on attack. Giant officials figure they must have an interesting team to sell New York and the best way is with a team which can move the ball and score the points. The Giants have moved the ball very well so far and without hardly any help from two of their finest runners, fullback Eddie Price and right halfback Kyle Rote. Both have been hobbled by injuries, but Price will certainly start against the Packers and Rote is a possibility, at least for spot duty. At left halfback will be Frank Gifford, the former Southern California ace. This is in line with the Giants' new policy, for Gifford was a defensive specialist under Owen. On attack, he has proved more than adequate. Bob Clatterback, rookie from Houston University, will start at quarterback, replacing the veteran Charlie Conerly. If Rote does not start at right half, Buford Long will. For the first time since practice started, all of the Giants will be available. Even Emlen Tunnell, the defensive halfback star from Iowa, who suffered a broken ankle in July, may see at least limited action. Against the Giants, Blackbourn will turn loose what General Manager Verne Lewellen termed Thursday "the finest running game the Packers have shown in the last 10 years".
The backfield will include Tobin Rote, a first cousin to the Giants' Kyle, at quarterback, veterans Breezy Reid and Al Carmichael and rookies Veryl Switzer and Joe Johnson at halfback and fullbacks Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson. Reid, according to Lewellen, was in the midst of his greatest game as a Packer when he was hit in the Adam's apple in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at Raleigh, NC Saturday night. "Breezy was really running," Lewellen said. "His head wasn't more than two feet off the ground and he'd go for 10, 15, 20 yards at a crack." Reid has recovered from his injury and should be ready to resume against the Giants. Tobin Rote, who presents a threat both running and passing at quarterback, will be aided by Bobby Garrett, Stanford rookie. Garrett seemed to have found himself in guiding the Packers to their final touchdown in the 31-3 victory over the Redskins, Only Packer not likely to play Saturday night is Bob Mann, veteran end, whose leg injury has not responded to treatment. Bill Howton, the other veteran flankman, who also sat out the Redskins encounter, will play this time and so will defensive back Bobby Dillon. "Even without Howton, Mann and Dillon, all key players," Lewellen said, "we handled the Redskins early. That's an indication of how far Blackbourn has brought this team."
SEPTEMBER 18 (Milwaukee) - A crowd in excess of 20,000 is expected at Marquette Stadium Saturday night for the fifth annual Midwest Shrine football clash between the Packers and Giants. The weatherman gives every assurance it will be a perfect night for football. For all practical purposes, the Packers have completed the experimental stage and are now ready to get down to serious business. Coach Liz Blackbourn and his assistants are satisfied with the improvements of their athletes in five games. Saturday night's clash ends the exhibition trail and nothing would please the Packers more than to get off to a good start before their Milwaukee backers. New York enters the game with only one win in five pre-league encounters. However, the Giants' lone win was a stunning 26-0 slaughter of the Cardinals, a club which beat the Packers, 27-10. Since losing to the Cardinals, the Packers whipped the Steelers and Redskins and were edged by the Browns and Eagles. The Giants bumped into the powerhouses of the Western Conference (Lions, 49ers and Rams) and lost to them all. Jim Lee Howell, who succeeded Steve Owen as coach this season for the Giants, has undertaken a reconstruction program. Owen's celebrated A formation has been scuttled and Howell has been working to modernize the attack. Packer scouts report that in Eddie Price, Frank Ziegler, Frank Gifford and Kyle Rote, Howell has four of the finest running backs in the NFL. The passing will be handled adequately by Charlie Conerly, Don Heinrich and Bob Clatterback, the latter a rookie from Houston who will get the starting assignment. The Packers, who played their best game of the season whipping the Redskins, 31-3, last Saturday will enter the game in good physical condition. Only end Bobby Mann will not see action. Halfback Breezy Reid and defensive end Gene Knutson, injured in the Washington game, will be ready for the Giants. End Bill Howton and defensive halfback Bobby Dillon will be back for duty after sitting out a week.
SEPTEMBER 18 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The fifth annual Shrine football show Saturday night at Marquette Stadium offers an ideal combination: a professional game (Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants) that stands on its own merits as an attraction and an unquestioned charity hook. Every dime of the Shrine's profits will go into the fund devoted exclusively to the support of its hospitals for crippled children - children of all races, creeds and colors. The 17 world-famous hospitals maintained by the Shrine have helped or now are helping a total of 250,000 handicapped youngsters. Events like Saturday night's football game have played an important part in bringing hope and health to all those kids, and great joy to their families. Can anyone think of a more worthy charity. From a straight football standpoint, all the elements of interest are there. This is the Packers' first appearance of the season in Milwaukee and the first here under their new coach, Liz Blackbourn. It was right here in Milwaukee that Blackbourn spent most of his coaching years, at Washington High School and Marquette University. So this is in the nature of an unofficial homecoming for him. More important to average fans, those who ultimately determine the Packers' success or lack of it in the Milwaukee half of their schedule, everything points to a solid, entertaining club in the making. The odds naturally are against the Bays' chances of championship contenders. With a new coaching staff and new player personnel, they started from scratch, completely, when they opened training at Stevens Point. They weren't too well manned at best. In comparison with most of the other NFL outfits, they were really over the barrel. In addition, they suffered numerous unexpected losses of players who had been counted on heavily. Yet there is a growing feeling that Blackbourn's operators have progresses so well that they shouldn't be written out of the title picture. They have looked better with each passing week of non-league competition. They hit a new high in last Saturday's 31-3 over the rugged Washington Redskins. Top pro observers are particularly impressed by the Packers' know-what-it's-all-about look and the obvious desire to play all the football of which they are capable - maybe a little bit more. In fact, one key neutral, after seeing all the clubs in action said "only three clubs - Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco - have it on Green Bay at the moment. And even they will have to be at their best." That could be too rosy a view, but it does sort of indicate that the Packers aren't going to be pushed around. Which, next to winning every time out, is the guarantee most loyal fans want. Some of the top players in pro ball - Tobin Rote, John Martinkovic, Fred Cone, Dave Hanner, Bill Howton, Bob Mann and Clayton Tonnemaker, to mention a few - are back in the fold and give the Packers a vital foundation on which to build. A group of exciting newcomers like Veryl Switzer, Joe Johnson, Al Barry, Art Hunter, Jerry Helluin, Max McGee, Gene Knutson, Bobby Garrett and Hosea Sims promise to do their share to carry the load. Switzer, in particular, is living up to the fave noticed received last year as a senior at Kansas State. The same explosive running that caused him to be No. 1 on many a pro scout's list already has marked his play with the Packers. He could be the NFL's rookie of the year. Rebuilding is the Giants' keynote, too. As with the Packers, responsibility rests with a new coach, in this case Jim Lee Howell, a Giant alumnus by the way. His chief problem appears to be the development of a line up to pro standards, for he has some slick operators in the backfield - established stars like Kyle Rote, Charlie Conerly, Eddie Price and Frank Gifford. How far the building program has advanced will be pretty well determined against the Packers. Blow the whistle! The football season is with us for sure.
Green Bay Packers (2-3) 31, Washington Redskins 3
Saturday September 11th 1954 (at Raleigh, NC)
SEPTEMBER 12 (St. Louis) - The Eagles Sunday traded rookie lineman Charley Grant to the Packers for tackle Gus Cifelli. Commenting on the swap, Eagles coach Jim Trimble said he though Cifelli's four years experience as a pro "will increase the efficiency of our offense."
SEPTEMBER 12 (Green Bay) - Green Bay got its Packers back Sunday, the club shifting its training site from Stevens Point to its home base in preparation for Saturday night's annual Shrine football game against the Giants at Marquette Stadium at 8 o'clock. The Packers arrived home by air Sunday afternoon from Raleigh, NC, where they routed the Washington Redskins, 31-3, Saturday night. This was Green Bay's second exhibition win against three losses. But more importantly, it was the most convincing offensive and defensive showing under Blackbourn. "We looked real good against Washington," was coach Liz Blackbourn's reaction. "Our defense is picking up, but offensively we were hurt with ends Billy Howton and Bobby Mann sidelined with knee injuries." Max McGee, the Tulane halfback shifted to an end, and Veryl Switzer, the Kansas flash, have blossomed as rookies. Yet Blackbourn points out the club's steady improvement has not been accomplished by additional strength. "We haven't had a great deal of power," said Blackbourn. "Rather, the team's attitude, spirit and eagerness for hard work have given us a big boost. These guys just love football." Here's Blackbourn's starting backfield: Breezy Reid and Al Carmichael at halfbacks, Fred Cone at fullback and Tobin Rote at quarterback. What about those rookies? "Switzer is pretty good," confesses Liz, "but he isn't as good a pass receiver as Carmichael. Joe Johnson is another good runner but another fair receiver." And what about that prize quarterback, Bobby Garrett from the Browns? "Bobby is coming along, but it's going to be some time before he fills Rote's shoes. We've got a usable two-deep backfield at the moment. Injuries have been our biggest headache," says Liz. Reid and defensive end Gene Knutson were game casualties. Reid was resting in a Green Bay hospital Sunday after being rammed in the throat. Knutson returned with a slight concussion after being elbowed. Both should be ready to go against the Giants. The same is true for Howton. However, Mann is a doubtful case.
SEPTEMBER 14 (Green Bay) - If past performances are any indication. Saturday night's 5th Annual Midwest Shrine football game between the Packers Giants could blossom into an old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat at Marquette Stadium. The Packers' series with New York has been the closest in Green Bay's 35 years in the NFL. The Packers have won 14, lost 13 and tied two. At the present moment, Coach Liz Blackbourn's gang is out to even its exhibition slate before opening the season against the Steelers in Green Bay September 26. The Packers have won two non-league games, with Saturday's 31-3 rout of Washington the most impressive. New York's last outing was a 28-24 defeat by the Bears Sunday in Chicago. But new head coach Jim Lee Howell was anything but bitter after the defeat. "Our Frank Gifford was the best back on the field," Howell said, "and Charley Conerly's passing was splendid. The Bears looked like they're on their way back," Howell said. He used to play end for the Giants back in the glory years of Halas U. Monday Blackbourn showed the Packers the scouting report of the Giants-Bears clash. The club had no choice for outdoor work because of the all-day downpour. There are still 45 men in camp including linebacker Deral Teteak who is on the inactive list with a broken ankle suffered several weeks ago. Blackbourn figured Teteak will be available for the Bears game at Green Bay October 3. The Giants, now training at Wisconsin Dells, will arrive in Milwaukee Saturday afternoon as will the Packers.
SEPTEMBER 15 (Milwaukee) - Milwaukee and Wisconsin football fans will have an opportunity Saturday night to evaluate first hand the progress made by the Packers under coach Liz Blackbourn in an attempt to recapture that flaming glory of old. The Packers will meet the Giants in the fifth annual Midwest Shrine game at Marquette Stadium, starting at 8 p.m. The Giants, like the Packers, are in the midst of a rebuilding process. It was almost like starting from scratch for coach Jim Lee Howell, who took over this season to replace Steve Owen. And Howell hasn't done too badly. Howell's Giants tore apart the Cardinals, 26-0, but bowed to Chicago's other pro club, 28-24. The new Giant field boss has made drastic alterations in New York's offense. Blackbourn does not hide the fact that his Packers may lack the horses like the 49ers, Rams or Lions (all Western Conference opponents), but Liz stresses his Packers lack nothing when it come to spirit. "These fellows have put out with everything they had whether we were ahead or behind," said Blackbourn. "You can't ask for much more." Saturday's grid spectacle will feature one of the most impressive pre-game and halftime ceremonies ever presented. There will be precision marching by the Rockford, IL Shrine's Arab Patrol, its Oriental band and the chanters. Mounted patrols from the Rockford Shriners and Milwaukee's Spahl's will take part in the halftime festivities. Tickets are priced at $3.75 and $2.75.