(GREEN BAY) – The Packers had to dig into Scooter McLean's bag-full-of-tricks in the last two minutes Labor Day to earn a 20-17 preseason victory over the Eagles. The triumph sent 17,857 happy fans home with something to talk about. Howie Ferguson ignited the winning rally by taking a handoff from Bart Starr and winging a 20 yard pass to Al Carmichael. The play carried to Philadelphia's two yard line where Ferguson, who had fumbled twice earlier, punched it over. For three quarters, the Packers had sailed along smoothly, holding a 13-3 edge. But they nearly sank when Norm Van Brocklin pitched two fourth period touchdowns to put the Eagles ahead, 17-13, with six minutes left. As expected, the game turned out to be another rough house encounter, sparked by numerous fistfights. Men were fighting for a pro football livelihood and they played for keeps.
While the Packer offense was plagued by four fumbles and 74 yards in penalties, it did show a versatile attack directed by two good quarterbacks. Vito Parilli, the Kentucky Babe, had a terrific game, completing seven of nine passes for 89 yards and Bart Starr came up with six completions in 10 tries for 75 yards. Yet it was the defense which deserves the real bow. Bobby Dillon, Hank Gremminger and Billy Kinard came up with game saving interceptions when Van Brocklin was trying to fire the bomb.
The Packers took a 3-0 lead on Paul Hornung's 25 yard field goal after 12 minutes of the first quarter, only to have the Eagles tie it up on a 14 yard kick by Bobby Walston early in the second quarter. Starr hit Max McGee in the left corner for the first touchdown from 13 yards out with 1 1/2 minutes remaining in the second period and the Packers stretched their margin to 13-3 soon after the second half kickoff when rookie Jerry Kramer booted an 11 yard field goal. But, sparked by Tom Brookshier's interception of Parilli's pass in the fourth quarter, Van Brocklin engineered a quick touchdown, climaxed by his three yard strike to Walston.
The Eagles scored four minutes later when Clarence Peaks sprinted 36 and 24 yards, and Van Brocklin sneaked over from the two. That put Parilli ahead, 17-13. But not for long. Al Carmichael returned the kickoff 30 yards to the Packers' 42. Now with the reliable Starr at the throttle, the Packers began to chew up yardage as the last few minutes ticked away. In six plays the Bays were on the Philly 28, the big play being a fourth down quarterback sneak by Starr. The opportunity was ripe to uncork something new...and that's just what happened when Ferguson fired right on the button to Carmichael down the middle.
Besides kicking a field goal, Jerry Kramer booted the final extra point. Hornung did the honors on the previous touchdown, but relinquished the duties after being shaken up late in the third quarter. Coach McLean used every player except halfback Dick Christy and center Mike Hudock, both sidelined with injuries. Ron Kramer got in on the last extra point try. The play which ignited this old football hotbed occurred midway through the second period with the score knotted, 3-3. Van Brocklin, who played the whole game, let go with one of his famed long ones. It looked touchdown-bound when Pete Retzlaff reached out on the Packer 31 to take it in. But Dillon was swooping in low and took the ball away at the last split second. When Bobby ran into an Eagles' nest on the Packer 45, he whirled around and lateraled to Ken Gray. The rookie tackle from Texas took off like a Mack truck and rumbled to the Philadelphia 16 before the speedsters got him. A vicious block by Johnny Symank turned him loose.
Green Bay capitalized on the break when Starr fired his touchdown strike to McGee. While interceptions were saving the day, there were other Packer highlights which deserve mention...especially when cuts will be based on this game. Dick Deschaine had a 44.3 average. But a booming 58 yarder from the end zone got the Packers out of a hole. He is a pretty valuable piece of extra merchandise to have around. Jim Shanley, a 170-pound scatback from Oregon, sparked a drive which set up the Packers' second field goal. Parilli hit him on two passes and the little rookie, playing with a broken nose, skipped his way around the big bruisers with the greatest of ease for 18 and 20 yards. Tom Bettis and Ernie Danjean played a whale of game as linebackers and Bob Burris, making his third bid to stick, did a good job on pass defense. Out hat's off to the defense which held the Eagles without a touchdown for 49 minutes and 45 seconds. While there were numerous scraps, only two players were kicked out of the game. And it turned out to be two old teammates - Bill Forester of the Packers and Len Szafaryn, former Packer, who is a starting tackle for Philly. The game proved Scooter was right when he said his boys still have a long way to go. But plays will click after preseason tests. One thing for sure...this is a fighting Packer team. Just ask the Eagles!
PHILADELPHIA -  0  3  0 14 - 17
GREEN BAY    -  3  7  3  7 - 20
GB - Hornung, 25-yard field goal GREEN BAY 3-0
PHIL – Bobby Walston, 14-yard field goal TIED 3-3
GB – McGee, 13-yard pass from Starr (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 10-3
GB – Kramer, 11-yard field goal GREEN BAY 13-3
PHIL – Walston, 4-yard pass from Norm Van Brocklin (Walston kick) GREEN BAY 13-10
PHIL – Van Brocklin, 2-yard run (Walston kick) PHILADELPHIA 17-13
GB – Ferguson, 2-yard run (Kramer kick) GREEN BAY 20-17
This is a fine 1958 aerial view of the still-under-construction Green Bay Veterans Memorial Arena — later to be known as the Brown County Arena. In the background is Green Bay City Stadium, which only opened the previous year. As we have seen in previous photos, most of the land way out where the new Packers’ stadium was built was still pretty much farmland at the time. A few houses here and there have sprung up around the stadium where today there are solid residential neighborhoods. Across the street at City Stadium (later Lambeau Field), we see that there is only the one building at the south end (the team would not move their headquarters to the stadium until 1963), which housed the locker rooms for both teams. Also apparent is the lower “bowl” area which is actually below ground level. At this time, the upper grandstand seats are only along each sideline. There would not be a demand to enclose the stadium seating at both ends until the team started to win in 1960. (SOURCE: Packerville.blogspot.com)
SEPTEMBER 2 (Green Bay) - Veterans, who not too long ago had it "made" until they retired from the Packers, continued to fell the ax Tuesday as Coach Scooter McLean and his staff pared the Green Bay squad to 47. In the latest shakedown, McLean asked waivers on linebacker Ernie Danjean, a starter last season, and Frank Purnell, a fullback obtained last year from the Browns. Scooter also waived Neal Habig, center from Purdue who started for the College All-Stars; Bobby Lance, a halfback from Florida; Harry Horton, defensive end from Wichita and Roy Hodge, halfback from Toledo. Mike Hudock, making his second try with the Packers after being sidelined with an injury, was traded to the Steelers for an undisclosed draft choice. Halfback Earl Wayne Miller of Baylor was placed on the injured reserve list. He recently underwent surgery for an old leg injury. Danjean and Purnell were the fourth and fifth veterans cut by Green Bay. Dropped earlier were guard Norm Amundson and backs Joe Johnson and Willie Berzinski. The news broke after Scooter McLean, Ray Richard, Jack Morton, Nick Skorich and Breezy Reid graded the squad by viewing the film of the Eagle game. Earlier, the staff sat around the breakfast table and chewed the fat about victory No. 1, a 20-17 decision over the Eagles. McLean liked the way a veteran offense rallied to victory. He didn't like the four fumbles and three holding penalties which bogged down the offense. "We've got to perfect our timing," Scooter said, realizing that this was his squad's first real test. "The passing was good but the running was spotty. We'll get there, we have to." Looking at his defense, McLean had reason to smile. Three times the Eagles were within the Packer 25 and couldn't score a touchdown. Then, too, three interceptions got the best of Norm Van Brocklin, who went the route for Philly. "We've got to make up our mind on our defensive boys right now," Scooter explained. "The platoon we picked has to start working as a unit. Believe me, learning pass defense is pretty tough for a new man." McLean has delegated the defensive authority to Richards and Morton. This is a happy coaching staff which is getting the job done. Ron Kramer begged McLean for a chance to get into the Eagle scrap as Scooter played all but three men. Kramer worked on slotback Steve Meilinger who appeared somewhat groggy after being hit from behind. "Don't go back in there," pleaded Kramer, hoping to take his spot. "You could get hurt seriously and I don't want to see anything happen to you." Meilinger just smiled and Kramer had to sit this one out. But Ron will get his chance soon. His leg looks good. The Packers close their St. Norbert camp Friday, and fly to Boston to battle the Giants.
SEPTEMBER 3 (Milwaukee Journal) - No matter what Coach Scooter McLean says about not caring a whit about winning the "grapefruit" title, Monday's victory over Philadelphia was a good one for the Green Bay Packers. Sure, it was only an exhibition and they don't start to count until the NFL season opens against the Chicago Bears September 28. But a victory was nice to have, for morale and confidence. There are many encouraging things to report about the Packers and some discouraging. Green Bay showed it has the passing. Bart Starr ran the team especially well, and Babe Parilli seemed a little more steady than last year. The Packers have the catchers. Ron Kramer did not play at all, but the coaches know what he can do. In Bill Howton, Max McGee, Gary Knafelc and Steve Meilinger, the Packers showed four receivers, any one of whom would be No. 1 with the Eagles. Green Bay's running game, though, wasn't much. The blockers weren't there, most of the time. Many assignments were missed or fouled up. That was to be expected, however, for this was Green Bay's first real competition against outsiders. On defense, the Packers looked improved in many ways. The front line seems stronger, although just how strong remains to be seen. Len Ford and J.D. Kimmel, veterans obtained in trades, should shore it up against running. The rush on the passer wasn't savage, but Ford was playing with a bad leg and he may help remedy that situation when he comes around. The linebacking could be the best in the league. Veterans Bill Forester and Tom Bettis and rookie Dan Currie form a fearsome threesome. Carlton Massey is making a successful conversion from defensive end. Fighting to stick around are veteran Sam Palumbo and rookie Ray Nitschke. In the secondary, there may be a little trouble finding the fourth man to go with Bobby Dillon, Hank Gremminger and John Symank. Joe Francis has yet to be tested there and he might be the one. Bill Kinard and Bob Burris had their moments Monday and Monk Romine is still in the fight. The running game may come, but the blocking will have to clear the way. Forrest Gregg, who is away to get his Army discharge, will help. The others need coordination. They may star getting together once the squad is cut down to workable size. Paul Hornung is apparently going to be the chief runner. Howie Ferguson had returned healthy and that is important. Don McIlhenny is proven from last year. Jim Shanley of Oregon is by far the most exciting rookie runner thus far. His lack of size is against him, but he can scoot. Two Eagles were asked how the Packers look from their viewpoints. Coach Buck Shaw faced Green Bay many times as San Francisco leader and quarterback Norm Van Brocklin often encountered the Packers when he was with the Los Angeles Rams. "It's kind of hard to say off an exhibition game and this early in the season," Shaw said. "But I'd have to say the Packers looked much better balanced than they used to. They play hard. Their material seems quite a bit better." Van Brocklin agreed with the coach and then said, "They were really socking. Their spirit is high. Of course, the last time I saw them (late last season) they didn't have any incentive. So it's hard to compare, but they look a lot better to me."
SEPTEMBER 3 (Green Bay) - By trading center Mike Hudock and asking waivers on six other players, including veterans Ernie Danjean and Frank Purnell, the Packers have cut their roster to the NFL limit of 47. Danjean, a linebacker from Auburn, and Purnell, a fullback from Alcorn A&M, were in their second seasons with the Packers. Hudock, traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for an undisclosed choice in the next NFL draft, was making his second try with the Packers. He missed the 1957 season because of an injury. He played college ball at Miami. Rookies waived by the Packers were Neal Habing, center from Purdue who started for the College All-Stars in their game with the Detroit Lions last month; Bobby Lance, a halfback from Florida; Harry Horton, defensive end from Wichita, and Roy Hodge, halfback from Toledo. Halfback Earl Wayne Miller of Baylor was placed on the injured reserve list. He recently underwent surgery for an old leg injury. Included on the Packer list of 47 players are four service returnees.
SEPTEMBER 4 (Green Bay) - Coach Ray (Scooter) McLean said Thursday that four Green Bay Packers would probably be sidelined by injuries for the NFL exhibition game against the New York Giants at Boston Saturday night. The four players, all injured in Green Bay's 20-17 triumph over Philadelphia on Labor Day, are end Gary Knafelc, guard Hank Bullough, tackle Ken Gray and fullback Paul Hornung. Knafelc, Gray and Bullough have leg troubles and Hornung a bruised hip. McLean said that he was generally pleased with the line blocking after looking at the movies. "They had them moved out of these several times," he said, "but the backs didn't get to the hole in time or ran wide of it. It's a matter of timing. Except for penalties nullifying some good gains, our rushing yardage would have been almost as good as our passing."
SEPTEMBER 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers' season ticket sales in Milwaukee has reached 10,141, it was reported at a dinner at the Eagles club Thursday night. The figure will probably go higher as some reports are not in. The Packers will play two NFL games at County Stadium - against the Baltimore Colts October 12 and against the San Francisco 49ers November 23. Bob Curley and Jim Taylor were co-chairman of this year's Milwaukee ticket drive. Top salesman included Vic Kane, Jim Stransky, Bill Collins, Chester Kordas, Jim Draeger, Tom Stidham, Chuck Carmen and Oliver Van Eckteran...FRANCIS TO PLAY: Scooter McLean, Green Bay Packers' coach, said Friday that Joe Francis, rookie quarterback from Oregon State, will play at least a full quarter against the New York Giants in their exhibition NFL game at Boston Saturday night (WTMJ, 7 o'clock). Francis, a tailback in the single wing in college, did not play at all in the mud against Pittsburgh here August 20 and handled the team for only one series of plays against Philadelphia at Green Bay Monday. "I think maybe I'll use Joe for the entire second quarter against the Giants," McLean said. "I was thinking of starting him but then I decided that might not be too good for him. This way it may be easier for him to break in. Bart Starr will start." The Packers still have not looked at Francis on defense. He is a fine athlete and may wind up as a defensive back, at least part time. He could fit in as running back, too...The Packers may use both of their slotbacks, Ron Kramer and Steve Meilinger, in the lineup at the same time on occasion this fall. "When we get down near the goal," Coach McLean said, "we may get both of them in there for their blocking." One would play end...NO KRAMER DEAL: McLean snorted when told that a Detroit newspaper had reported that the Lions were after Kramer, Packers' slotback from Michigan. "They haven't talked to me," McLean said. "We wouldn't go for it. They haven't got enough on their ball club. Ron will play with us. He's coming along all right. He may play Saturday night if he feels ready. I want him to get a taste of it as soon as his knee is okay." The Detroit News quoted Edwain J. Anderson, Lions president, as saying, "The Packers have turned down several offer. Scooter McLean won't listen to us. It's his first year as head coach. He doesn't want to take the gamble."
SEPTEMBER 5 (Boston) - With a satisfying 20-17 preseason victory over the Eagles in their hip pocket, Scooter McLean's Packers will be out to step up their offensive punch when they take on the New York Giants in exhibition No. 3 Saturday night. More than 30,000 fans and Vice President Nixon are expected for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Boston U. Stadium. The Giants are seven point favorites. However, the odds aren't disturbing the Packer rooters who recall that a year ago the Giants walked into this game as defending NFL champions, built up a quick 10-0 lead and wound up on the short end of a 13-10 count. McLean, in his first year at the Green Bay helm, is remembered by New England fans as an all-time great at St. Anselm's College at Manchester, N.H., before he migrated to the Chicago Bears. McLean hopes to profit from the stiff competition Howie Ferguson is giving Paul Hornung at fullback and the battle between Bart Starr and Babe Parilli for the No. 1 quarterback job. "Ferguson always has been a steady player for the Packers," McLean said. "However, this year he appears to have more drive. I hope he keeps it up. He'll be tough for Hornung or any other fullback in the league." Last Monday, Ferguson picked up 44 yards in 12 tries, threw a pass  to set up a touchdown and generally made like miserable for the Eagles. The Giants, seeking to regain the top rung in the NFL's Eastern Division, are in the midst of an experiment trying halfback Alex Webster at fullback in a duel with Mel Triplett. If the experiment is successful, rookie Phil King, the Vanderbilt express who generates terrific power, may move into the halfback spot opposite versatile Frank Gifford who is back for another season. At quarterback, the Giants have Don Heinrich and the ageless Charlie Conerly with Tom Dubinski as reinforcement. The weatherman has promised clear skies and cool temperatures.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) 20, Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) 17
EXHIBITION - Monday September 1st 1958 (Green Bay)