(MILWAUKEE) - Frankie Albert, the harassed San Francisco coach, can thank his lucky stars there's still a Green Bay in the NFL. His 49ers went prospecting at the Stadium Sunday for a victory to save his job. The punchless Packers did everything they could to oblige with a sloppy second half performance and Frisco turned a must win situation into an easy 33-12 cakewalk. So Frankie will stay - at least for another week. Albert and his boys can live it up until they're tossed into the Baltimore meat grinder next Sunday. As far as the Packers are concerned, they're dead last in pro football with a 1-7-1 record. Thursday they'll eat crow at Detroit and then go west to hide in shame. Scooter McLean's bedraggled team hung on for three quarters to
satisfy a surprising turnout of 19,786. Although the 49ers controlled the ball from the start, the score was tried, 12-12, going into the final period. But leave it to the Packers to give it away. The 49ers should be given credit for the first touchdown in the 21-point spurt, it was a ​legitimate drive. Green Bay then handed San Francisco 14 points by fumbling on its own 22 and 31. Apparently, the Packers figured they had handed Albert too much of a scare and now was the time to be in the giving mood. The crowd had seen enough after the first gift so there was a sparse gathering left to see the 49ers blow things sky high. Green Bay, though, was not calling it quits. By no means. There was still fight in the old club when they mauled Jimmy Pace after he picked up 18 yards on the last play of the game. So inspired were the Packers that they got themselves into a king-size brawl. After players from both benches and a thousand fans swarmed on the field, law and order was restored and five players were sent to the shower. The clock showed 36 seconds to play, but the referee picked up the ball and walked off the field. An indication that Green Bay was a soft touch is evident by the 539 yards gained by San Francisco. Last week the Rams picked up 504 against the Pack. Y.A. Tittle, 31, and Hugh McElhenny, 29, could have beaten the Bays single-handed. Tittle passed for 283 yards and McIlehnny ran for 159. On the other hand, Babe Parilli couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and the Packers without the air game are dead ducks. Parilli, operating against one of the weaker pass defenses, completed only six in 19 tries for 58 yards.
The Packers took a surprising 9-6 first quarter lead on Paul Hornung's 41 yard field goal and Parilli's 16 yard
pass to Billy Howton. Hornung finished the Bay scoring in the third period with a 37 yard field goal. San Francisco needed only 107 seconds to score its first touchdown on Tittle's six-yard pass to Billy Wilson. Gordy Soltau added a 17-yard field goal in the second quarter and a 26-yarder in the third period. The big push came on Tittle's 15-yard pass to Wilson, McElhenny's two-yard run and Y.A.'s "Alley-Oop" pass to R.C. Owens from 23 yards away. The turning point of the game - there was no doubt about it - was a dropped touchdown pass by Howton in the third period. Hornung put the Bays in position to go out in front with a dazzling 55 yard run to the 49er 17. Howton, experiencing his worst season, got the jump on defender Jim Ridlen in the end zone. Parilli's bullet was right on target, but Billy Boy dropped the ball.
Any hate Marv Matuszak (the fired 49er picked up by the Packers) had for his old teammates wasn't evident. Playing as a right cornerbacker, Matuszak had a chance to go the distance if he could have held on to a Tittle pass in the third period. And in the fourth quarter, Matuszak let Wilson get past him and the touchdown was a cinch as the 49ers end literally walked into the end zone. Fans arriving late missed how the 49ers "foxed" the Packers for their first touchdown. On the opening kickoff, Soltau caught the Bays dreaming with an onside boot. Jerry Merten, the Racine rookie, recovered on the Packers 43 and three plays later Tittle hit Wilson, who had drifted behind Alton Romine in the end zone. Soltau's conversion was blocked by Dan Currie.
With a 6-0 lead salted away early, Soltau tried the same strategy on the next kickoff. The Packers almost gave this one away, but luckily someone kicked the ball out of bounds. The Packers couldn't register a first down until the second time they got the ball. The 49ers had to punt only once in the game and Bill Akins booted 51 yards from his own three to give Green Bay its second chance. From the enemy 49 the Parilli-triggered Packers could only reach the 33. So the field goal crew came in and Hornung split the uprights from 41 yards away. McElhenny, who gained 95 yards in the first half, put Frisco within striking distance after a 33-yard run but the 49ers bogged down and Soltau tried a 48-yard field goal. It sailed wide of its mark.
Green Bay then put together its lone TD drive of the game - 80 yards in five plays plus a penalty. Don McIlhenny's 36-yard run put the Bays on the 49ers' 44. Parilli then tossed a bomb to Max McGee. Interference was called and Green Bay had the ball on the 19. On second down Parilli hit Howton in the right corner for the TD from the 16. It was the first touchdown pass caught by Howton this season and when Hornung's PAT was blocked, it was another "first". While the 49ers controlled the ball in the first half, 44 plays to 28 by the Packers, they couldn't score a touchdown after penetrating Packerland twice in the second quarter. They reached the 10 and had to settle for Soltau's 17 yard field goal to tie the game, 9-9. Later in the period, the 49ers moved to the Bay 29. This time Soltau's 36 yard field goal was blocked when Tom Bettis shoved the 49er center into the ball.
Just before the first half ended, Mertens intercepted a Parilli pass to give Soltau another chance from the Packer 43. This one was blocked by Ray Nitschke. San Francisco controlled the situation almost completely in the third quarter, having 21 plays to the Packers' 10. Yet, they could only count on Soltau's 26-yard field goal after failing to continue their drive from the Packer 19. Green Bay came back with Hornung's 55-yard run, which was strictly an individual effort. But the old game was tossed out the window when Howton dropped Parilli's TD pass in the end zone. Hornung then tied the count, 12-12, with a field goal after 5:29 of the third period had been played.
The Gold Coasters took the ensuing kickoff and reached the Packer 12 when Joe Perry's fumble was recovered by Jesse Whittenton. Parilli couldn't find his mark, but Tittle could as he moved the 49ers to the Packer 12 again before stalling. This time Soltau's 19 yard field goal sailed wide to the left. The Packers failed to make a first down again, but the 49ers needed only four plays to go 40 yards and their second touchdown. Tittle hit Wilson, who had got behind Matuszak for 15 yards and the score. The 49ers red-dogged Parilli and the Babe lost the ball when Bill Herchman took it away on the Packer 22. Tittle tossed an Alley-Oop, but the jumping jack missed when he was pushed. An interference penalty gave the 49ers the ball on the one. After Tittle was thrown back to the two, McElhenny leaped over for the TD and Frisco was now well on its way with a 26-12 lead with 9:16 left.
Jim Taylor fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Soltau recovered on the Packer 31 to give the 49ers their last chance. They didn't fail as Tittle tossed another alley-ooper to Owens in the end zone. Joe Francis got the call in the final minutes but his erratic passes failed and all was lost when Ridlon stole the ball from Joe Johnson. Then came Pace's run and a good old brawl.
SAN FRANCISCO -   6   3   3  21 - 33
GREEN BAY     -   3   6   3   0 - 12
1st - SF - Billy Wilson, 6-yard pass from Y.A. Tittle (Kick failed) SAN FRANCISCO 6-0
1st - GB - Paul Hornung, 41-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 6-3
1st - GB - Billy Howton, 16-yard pass from Babe Parilli (Kick failed) GREEN BAY 9-6
2nd - SF - Gordie Soltau, 17-yard field goal TIED 9-9
3rd - SF - Soltau, 31-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 12-9
3rd - GB - Hornung, 37-yard field goal TIED 12-12
4th - SF - Wilson, 15-yard pass from Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 19-12
4th - SF - Hugh McElhenny, 2-yard rush (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 26-12
4th - SF - R.C. Owens, 23-yard pass from Tittle (Soltau kick)SAN FRANCISCO 33-12
NOVEMBER 24 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The 49ers had their best day of the season on offense, running and passing for 539 yards, while the Packers totaled only 230. That about sums up the 33-12 defeat hung on the Packers Sunday. As enthused as 49er coach Frankie Albert was, the reverse was true in the Packer dressing room where Coach Scooter McLean moaned, "the offense didn't do anything, especially after the first half." Someone mentioned that the Packer got tough inside the 20, but Scooter snapped, "So did they, but they scored." Regarding the Packers' overall effort, McLean said with a half smile: "They were working hard the first half as the 9-9 score indicated, but- " The sensational pass catching of R.C. Owens, 49er end, and the Packers' own fumbles broke the game wide open in the fourth period, McLean pointed out. "And if (Bill) Howton hangs on to that pass in the end zone, it might have been a different game," the headman recalled. What was the Packer coach's opinion of Marv Matuszak, recently acquired on waivers from the 49ers? "I thought he did a good job, considering he was with us only a few days and didn't know our defenses completely," Scooter said. In the 49ers' dressing room, Albert held a slightly difference view of the game's turning point. "We just wore down their defensive units, particularly, in the last quarter when we controlled the ball. And that fumble of theirs on the kickoff after our touchdown put them in the hole again." Asked to explain the Packers' blocking of two field goal attempts and one extra point by Gordie Soltau, Albert said: "They loaded up in the center and we just had a physical break at that point." Tom Bettis and Ray Nitschke were the key figures in the loading up. Twice they upended 49er center Karl Rubke into the ball after the boot. For a club that does most of its moving through the air all season, even Albert was a bit surprised at the amount of yardage the 49ers got on the ground. "But," he added, "for the first time this season we consistently opened the lanes for (Hugh) McElhenny and (Joe) Perry. At the same time our tackles were containing their defensive ends." One of the thorns in the Packers' collective sides, and Howton's specifically, was Jerry Mertens, the Racine youngster who plays defensive halfback. Albert tagged Mertens as "one of our better defensive backs. Jerry's only a rookie and has a very bright future. He's a good pro player." "I'm satisfied with the club," Albert stated. Was that to mean he had no intention of retiring as has been reported in some circles on the West Coast? "I never said I intended it," he retorted, "and you won't find a reliable quote by me saying that I did." Vic Morabito, president of the 49ers, as asked whether Albert's job was in jeopardy prior to Sunday's game as has been rumored. All of which indicated that Albert will remain as coach.
NOVEMBER 25 (Detroit) - Now that the Lions are mathematically eliminated from the NFL race, they would like to settle down and play some serious football without thinking of the pressure. "We'd like to do just that," said Coach George Wilson Tuesday, "but it's not possible. We're hurting so bad we won't even have 11 healthy starters." The Lions, out of the race with a 3-5-1 mark after winning the world championship a year ago, meet the Packers here Thursday in the traditional Thanksgiving Day contest. The game will be nationally televised (WXIX, locally, 11 a.m.). A previous Detroit-Green Bay meeting early in the season resulted in a 13-13 tie. Green Bay's overall record is only 1-7-1. Wilson insists Detroit will have trouble fielding a backfield. "I'm not crying just to make myself heard," he said. "I've been around too long to do that. But both our quarterbacks are hurt, three of our backs are hurt, two of our ends and several of our linemen just won't be able to go anywhere near full steam - and maybe not at all." Quarterback Tobin Rote hurt his shoulder in Sunday's 20-7 loss to the Bears and his replacement, Earl Morrall, has been hampered by injuries for several weeks. End Jim Doran is definitely out for the season with a pulled leg muscle. The Lions have signed a former University of Detroit star, Perry Richards, to take his place. Dave Middleton, another end, is out with an illness. Backs Gene Gedman, Howard Cassady and Ken Webb are slowed by leg injuries. "When I look down our list of ailments it looks like a hospital report," said Wilson. "We had several injuries to key players the week before the Bear game, too, and I thought it'd be a good idea to hide them. So I told everybody the Lions were in good shape physically. This week, I can't hide it. Anyway, it didn't do us any good against Chicago." A Thanksgiving Day game has been a Detroit feature for many years. The Packers have been on the holiday schedule since 1951, and have only one victory. That one, in 1956, knocked the Lions out of the Western Division title race.
NOVEMBER 26 (Milwaukee Journal) - Detroit's fallen champion Lions and Green Bay's last place Packers will meet in their annual Thanksgiving Day professional football game at Detroit Thursday morning. Neither team has much at stake. Both are long gone from title contention. The Packers' principal concern is to escape the cellar. They have won one game, tied one (with Detroit) and lost seven. The Lions are in fifth place, a notch ahead of the Packers. They have won three games, lost five and tied one. Detroit has a two game lead on Green Bay with three games to play. George Wilson, coach of the Lions, and Ray (Scooter) McLean of the Packers were roommates when they played for the Chicago Bears. Wilson was an end; McLean, a halfback. The Packers have lost four games in a row. They have scored only 29 points in that stretch. Their defense has been fairly respectable since the 56-0 whacking in Baltimore. The offense has done little. The Lions seemed to have straightened out when they defeated Eastern Division leader Cleveland and San Francisco on successive weekends, but at the moment they are bruised and battered, following the 20-7 besting which the Bears handed them at Detroit last Sunday. In the second half, the Lions made only 16 yards from scrimmage. "They manhandled us," Line Coach Aldo Forte said. As crippled in spirit as the Packers are, they come into this game in better shape physically than the Lions. Bill Forester, with a bum ankle, is the only Packer on the 34 man roster who might not play. The Lions have all sorts of walking wounded. Quarterback Tobin Rote has sore ribs; his understudy, Earl Morrall, a sore shoulder; tackles Charlie Ane and Darris McCord, the flu; ends Dave Middleton and Jim Doran and backs Hopalong Cassady, Gene Gedman, John Henry Johnson and Ken Webb, leg injuries. Doran has been placed on the injured reserve list and Perry Richard, formerly with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, signed as his replacement. Green Bay has won only one out of seven of their Thanksgiving Day games.
NOVEMBER 27 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Lions, who have a habit of being very, very good or very, very bad, meet the Packers Thursday in a nationally-televised Thanksgiving Day battle between two teams which have won only four games in 18 starts. The Lions, who walked off with the NFL title last year, were knocked out of contention in a hurry this season when they failed to post a victory in their first four games. They have won three of their last five starts but still rank fifth in the six-team Western Division. Green Bay, the winner of only one game, is in last place in the division. About the only thing at stake is the annual holiday clash is the order of selection in the 1959 NFL draft. The team with the poorest record gets the first crack at top college players in the draft. Green Bay would gladly relinquish the first draft choice in favor
of a late-season rally. But Packer hopes are dim because all three remaining games are on the road. The Lions still have a mathematical chance of finishing second in the division, but it would require three Detroit victories, three straight losses by the Bears, two losses by the Rams and at least one loss by the 49ers. Detroit has been a "riches or rags" team since 1951 when the Lions wound up second in the Western Division. The next two years, Detroit claimed league titles and in 1955 lost to Cleveland in the championship game. The Lions went on to the opposite extreme in 1956, finishing in last place. But Detroit rebounded in 1956 and finished second. Last year, the Lions won another title. The Lions and Packers met once earlier this season and fought to a 13-13 tie. It was after that game that Detroit traded quarterback Bobby Layne to Pittsburgh. Detroit apparently had the game won in the final minutes but was forced to settle for a tie when Layne cut loose a wide pitchout which the Packers recovered. Detroit will be minus the services of its top end, Jim Doran, for the rest of the season. Doran, who caught 22 passes for 495 yards and four touchdowns, was injured in last Sunday's 20-7 loss to the Bears. He was the third regular end from the 1957 title team lost to injuries. Steve Junker and Jerry Reichow were lost before the start of the regular season.
San Francisco 49ers (4-5) 33, Green Bay Packers (1-7-1) 12
Sunday November 23rd 1958 (at Milwaukee)