GAME RECAP (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL)
(DETROIT) - Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers ran up a 24-3 lead in the first 22 minutes, permitted the Detroit Lions to draw within a touchdown, then hung on grimly in the scoreless second half for a 24-17 victory here Thursday. This was in the finest tradition of the Thanksgiving Day games between the NFL rivals. The usual ingredients were presented to 49,221 live witnesses and millions more watching on national television - fumbles, interceptions, touchdown runs and passes, penalties, defensive stands, injuries, and even a brief scuffle or two. Not since the ninth game of the 1957 season, in Pittsburgh, had the Packers won any place but in Green Bay.
RECORD NOW .500
With their second straight victory, the Packers moved up to the .500 mark, five triumphs against five defeats (all in a row), a rather amazing reversal in Lombardi's first season of one victory, ten defeats and one tie. The Lions suffered their seventh defeat. They have won twice and tied once. Winning on the road by no means proved easy, although when the scoreboard read Green Bay 24, Detroit 3, with 6 minutes 51 seconds elapsed in the second quarter, there was reason to believe that the fighting Packers would run the generous Lions out of Briggs Stadium on this cloudy, chilly afternoon. At this point, however, the Packers rested their scoring case and George Wilson's Lions bestirred themselves to make it a lively battle.
The Lions actually outgained the Packers somewhat decidedly from scrimmage, but because the Packers were extreme opportunists, with three fumble recoveries and two pass interceptions, Green Bay not only won by a touchdown but passed up two excellent opportunities in the second half to make the score more secure. Bart Starr of Alabama went all the way at quarterback for Green Bay. He thus received credit for his second professional victory in five days. His first professional triumph in four years of trying was achieved only last Sunday (21-0 over Washington at Green Bay). Paul Hornung, the former Notre Dame All-American, scored 18 out of Green Bay's 24 points, including the first 17, but he was rarely on the field after the first quarter, except for kicks, because of slight but painful back and rib injuries suffered when he was stepped on by a teammate.
HORNUNG SCORES 18
Hornung ran around right end on the same play for touchdowns of 11 and 6 yards only 1 minute 35 seconds apart in the first quarter. He kicked a 39 yard field goal on the last play of the first quarter and also kicked the extra points after each of Green Bay's three touchdowns. Jim Taylor, the Packers' hard running fullback, who ran over Hornung when the blond halfback fell down in front of him trying to block, burst across from one yard out for Green Bay's third touchdown. Detroit opened the scoring with Jerry Perry's 22 yard field goal after only a minute and a half of play, then drew within striking range with two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first on Howard (Hopalong) Cassady's five yard run off tackle and the second on Earl Morrall's 27 yard pass to Jerry Reichow. Perry kicked the two extra points. Just before the Packers scored their last touchdown, they had a touchdown called back, an 11 yard pass from Starr to Don McIlhenny, because an official said that they had six men instead of the required seven, on the line scrimmage. In the second half, after Detroit had controlled the ball for the first 9 minutes 2 seconds without relinquishing it and without scoring a point, the Packers reach Detroit's 25 but failed to score when Hornung missed a 32 yard field goal. And later Bill Forester intercepted Morrall's pass and returned it 34 yards to Detroit's six yard line, but on third down from the two, Taylor fumbled into the end zone and Bill Glass recovered for Detroit. Starr was accorded excellent protection by the front line of Gregg, Kramer, Ringo, Thurston and Skoronski or Masters and completed 10 out of 15 passes for 169 yards. Perhaps he might have passed more, for Detroit never permitted the Packers much running room and, after Hornung's large punch was removed, the Packers could accomplish little on the ground.
Freshman fullback Nick Pietrosante of Notre Dame almost doubled Green Bay's running total with 134 yards by himself, and Detroit outgained the Packers on the ground, 190 to 73. The passing yardage was almost even, so Detroit wound up with an overall edge of 354 yards to 242 and had the ball for 69 plays to Green Bay's 51. The Lions, however, did not intercept any of Starr's passes, nor could they throw him for a loss attempting to pass. The Packers hurled Morrall for 29 yards in the wrong direction. Detroit recovered two Green Bay fumbles, but this left the Lions with a 5-2 deficit in the matter of snapping up loose and errant football. Forester and Reichow, the former Iowa athlete who sometimes plays quarterback, nearly came to blows. First Forester upended Reichow when the Lion was seeking to go out for a pass. Then, after Forester made his interception and was on the ground in the firm grasp of Charlie Ane, Reichow jumped on top of the Green Bay linebacker with intent somewhat less than friendly.
FORESTER, REICHOW BATTLE
Later, when John Symank made Green Bay's second interception, Forester and Reichow sought each other on Green Bay's 40 and went down in a heap of flailing arms and kicking feet. Teammates separated them without damage or penalty. Green Bay won the toss and chose to receive, which proved no advantage when Bill Butler fumbled the opening kickoff and Dick LeBeau recovered for Detroit on Green Bay's 19. The Packers gave the Lions five yards for being offside but would permit nothing in three tries from scrimmage and Detroit settled for Perry's field goal and a 3-0 lead. On the next kickoff, Butler returned 35 yards to Green Bay's 35 and held onto the ball. The Packers then moved 65 yards in six plays to their first touchdown. They were hampered by a five yard penalty on their first attempt, then were aided by an 11 yard penalty on Alex Karras, the Iowa wrestler and tackle, for stomping on Starr after a first down pass to Gary Knafelc on Detroit's 22.
DAVID FEINTED OUT
Earlier in the drive, Starr connected with rookie Boyd Dowler for a 32 yard gain. Hornung ran around right end for the score. His move was so good in dipping in and then out that halfback Jim David spun like a top with the fake and Hornung went over unescorted. On the next kickoff, Terry Barr was separated from the football and John Dittrich recovered for the Packers on Detroit's 18. A personal foul penalty against tackle Bob Skoronski moved the ball back to the 36, but Starr passed to Dowler for 30 yards and first down on the six. Here Hornung ran his right end play again. This time David was not faked out, so Hornung ran right through him. Now the score was 14-3 with only 6 minutes 23 seconds elapsed. After an exchange of punts, Danny Lewis, formerly of Wisconsin, dropped the handoff on an end run, picked it up, was tackled and dropped the ball again. Forester fell on it on Detroit's 39. Three running plays netted only seven yards and Hornung kicked his field goal as the quarter ended.
The Lions were still giving on Thanksgiving. Early in the second quarter, Morrall, who went all the way at quarterback, fumbled when Dave Hanner tackled him as he tried to pass. Henry Jordan recovered for Green Bay on Detroit's 49. Max McGee made two excellent catches of Starr's passes and Green Bay was on the 17. Taylor ran to the 11, then Starr passed to McIlhenny, who ran into the end zone, but the play was called back and Green Bay had to start from the 16. Taylor again ran to the 11, then on third down, Starr passed to Taylor on the right side and Joe Schmidt threw the Packers fullback for a five yard loss. Gary Lowe jumped in after the play was over and the Lions were penalized to their eight yard line and Green Bay had first down.
TAYLOR GOES OVER
McIlhenny, now running for Hornung, stepped and skipped to the one, then Taylor burst over left tackle for the touchdown. The 49 yard drive took eight play and the Packers had all the points they were going to get. Ken Webb fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but Jim Martin recovered for the Lions on their 32. Now Detroit front holes in Green Bay's defense and in six running plays, the Lions covered 68 yards to their first touchdown. Pietrosante hit the middle, Cassady the outside and Morrall ran the option play, lateraling to Pietrosante for additional yards. Cassady ran to the right, then cut back and scored standing up. Little more than four minutes later, the Lions scored again. Green Bay could not make a first down because McGee, who caught the hard ones, missed an easy pass. After three plays and a punt by the Packers, Detroit covered 53 yards in four plays. Pietrosante gained the first 26 yards in two rams at the line, then Reichow slipped behind Henry Gremminger along the right sideline, took Morrall's perfect pass on the five and scored on a 27 yard play.
LONG KICK FAILS
Near the end of the half, Martin tried a 54 yard field goal for the Lions. The mighty kick had the necessary distance but was a bit off to the left. At the outset of the second half, the Lions went from their 16 to a first down on Green Bay's 25 in 11 time consuming plays. Then Bill Quinlan dropped Pietrosante for a two-yard loss, the Lions lost five more yards for backfield in motion, and Forester and Tom Bettis burst in on Morrall and threw him for an 11 yard loss back to the 43. Morrall's pass to Cassady gained 12 yards, then with fourth down and 16 yards to go, Detroit chose to try for the yardage rather than the field goal. Morrall's pass fell incomplete and Green Bay took over. This was actually Detroit's last real threat, although because Green Bay failed to avail itself of its opportunities to clinch victory, the Lions remained within a touchdown of a tie the rest of the way. Because they won, the Packers remain mathematically at least, in the chase for the Western Division championship. They trail Baltimore and San Francisco, sharing first place, by a game and a half and the third place Chicago Bears by a half game.
GREEN BAY - 17 7 0 0 - 24
DETROIT - 3 14 0 0 - 17
1st - DET - Gerry Perry, 22-yard field goal DETROIT 3-0
1st - GB - Hornung, 11-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 7-3
1st - GB - Hornung, 6-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 14-3
1st - GB - Hornung, 39-yard field goal GREEN BAY 17-3
2nd - GB - Taylor, 1-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 24-3
2nd - DET - Hopalong Cassady, 5-yard run (Perry kick) GREEN BAY 24-10
2nd - DET - Jerry Reichow, 27-yard pass from Earl Morrall (Perry kick) GREEN BAY 24-17