(SAN FRANCISCO) - Saved from a tie by one yard on the last play of the game, the Green Bay Packers scored their first victory under Vince Lombardi here Sunday, 24-17. They beat the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers had the ball on Green Bay's one as the game ended. Y.A. Tittle, the veteran quarterback, threw an "alley oop" pass to R.C. Owens, the high jumping former basketball star, as the gun sounded. Tittle lofted the high pass more than 50 yards. Owens, who had ambled through the Green Bay defense, leaped for the ball on the goal. So did three Packer defenders. Owens, at 6 foot 4 inches and with springy legs, leaped highest and snared the ball. The defenders, however, kept him from going over. He was wrestled to earth on the one.
Since the play had started on Green Bay's 41 yard line with seven second left, the gun sounded while the final drama was unfolding. So Green Bay won a cliffhanger and it surely must have been a gratifying experience for the Packers, who in recent years have often come close but rarely have won. This was only an exhibition, played before 18,916 fans at Kezar Stadium, but once again the Packers showed that, under Lombardi, they are ready to play bruising, alert football. Green Bay now has a 1-1 record in games that do not count. The Packers lost in the last seconds to the Chicago Bears at Milwaukee in their opener, 19-16. The 49ers are also 1-1, having beaten Washington with a touchdown in the last nine seconds here a week ago, 27-24.
Green Bay touchdowns were scored on Lamar McHan's four yard pass to Gary Knafelc, Paul Hornung's nine yard run and Don McIlhenny's two yard drive. Hornung kicked the extra points and a 21 yard field goal. San Francisco had two one yard scoring plays, by Jim Pace and Joe Perry. Bobby Luna added the points and a 20 yard field goal. For the second straight game, Green Bay's defense held the opposition without a touchdown until the fourth quarter. In fact, the 49ers did not get a touchdown until six minutes had elapsed in the final quarter or 51 full minutes into the game. Meanwhile, the Packers had built up a 17-3 lead. Even though Tittle was sent in to pull the game out in the fourth quarter, the Packers never permitted the 49ers to come closer than seven points. Green Bay again showed a stronger running game than in the past. Vito (Babe) Parilli and McHan, the former Cardinal, shared the quarterbacking duties as Bart Starr, who may well be the team's best signal caller, sat this one out, as planned by Lombardi.
For the second straight game, also, the Packer secondary was riddled with passes, especially in the late going, but Green Bay was playing without Emlen Tunnell, who has a broken hand, and Bobby Dillon, who has not yet returned from his short lived retirement. The Packers had the edge in ground gaining with Jim Taylor again showing the way. The 49ers had a big yardage edge on the losing shots of John Brodie and Tittle, but Parilli and McHan showed good percentage, especially Parilli, who completed 9 out of 11 passes as he fought to retain a place on the team. The Packers had two interceptions to San Francisco's none and recovered two San Francisco fumbles and lost none of their own. After a scoreless first quarter, Luna kicked his field goal to put San Francisco ahead, 3-0. Hornung retaliated with his three pointer. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, rookie Paul Lowe of the 49ers coughed up the ball when Dan Currie tackled him and Bill Forester recovered for Green Bay on San Francisco's 34. Seven plays later, McHan put the Packers in the lead for good with his pass to Knafelc.
The third period was scoreless but on the first play of the fourth, Hornung ran nine yards around end for Green Bay's second touchdown. This culminated a 73 yard drive in eight plays with Parilli at the throttle. The 49ers came back after the ensuing kickoff for their first touchdown with Tittle in command. Lowe's 40 yard kickoff return and a 15 yard personal foul penalty on the Packers gave San Francisco a flying start and the remaining 42 yards were negotiated in 12 plays. At that, Tittle had to connect with Billy Wilson for a first down when it was fourth down and 14 to go. Then after the 49ers reached the one, it took three plays to make it home. Perry was held twice, then Pace scored. With the 49ers closing in, George Dixon took the next kickoff two yards back of the goal and set sail downfield. The 49ers did not stop the rookie Negro speedster from Bridgeport (Conn.) University until 96 yards later, when he was pushed out on San Francisco's six by Dick Moegle.
Lew Carpenter ran to the two and then McIlhenny put the ball across, only a minute after San Francisco's first touchdown. Again Tittle and the 49ers came back, this time 71 yards in five plays. Perry skirted end for the last yard after an interference penalty on the Packers had given the 49ers first down on the one. So it was 24-17 with 5:40 to go. McHan couldn't get the Packers going and they had to punt after three plays. Bobby Freeman stopped Tittle's first bid with an interception. Again the Packers ran three plays and punted. This time the clock and the margin of one yard stopped Tittle from a tie.
GREEN BAY     -  0 10  0 14 - 24
SAN FRANCISCO -  0  3  0 14 - 17
SF – Bobby Luna, 20-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 3-0
GB – Hornung, 21-yard field goal TIED 3-3
GB – Knafelc, 4-yard pass from McHan (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 10-3
GB – Hornung, 9-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 17-3
SF – Jim Pace, 1-yard run (Luna kick) GREEN BAY 17-10
GB – McIlhenny, 6-yard run (Hornung kick) GREEN BAY 24-10
SF – Joe Perry, 1-yard run (Luna kick) GREEN BAY 24-17
AUGUST 23 (San Francisco) - Vince Lombardi credited his offensive line with being the difference in the 24-17 victory over the 49ers Sunday. "I was very pleased with the whole line," Lombardi said in the dressing room. "I can't say any one of the linemen did a better job that the rest. The whole group got off the ball well, and I thought they caught the 49ers napping several times." All was not joy in the Packer quarters, however, for Vince pointed to the 49ers' passing gain of 268 yards and offered it as proof that "we have a long way to come defensively, especially against passes." Three times the Packers were penalized for illegal procedure when Fred Thurston or Norm Masters started to pull out of the line before the ball was snapped. "They just haven't become accustomed to the different count and our signal changes at the line," Lombardi said. The Green Bay coach liked the improvement shown in the club's passing attack, which Babe Parilli sparked with 10 completions in 11 attempts, but noted the ground game didn't function as well as it did against the Bears last week. Paul Hornung called the Packer offense "eight hundred thousand percent better than last year." He added that "it was a real pleasure playing behind a great line that opens holes. This is a hungry ball club and it's going to be a real good one," Hornung said. Red Hickey, new head coach of the 49ers, pegged the Packer offensive line as "the best I've seen on a Green Bay team in a long time." Jim Ringo "always was a good center," he added, "and now they've given him some help in there." Leo Nomellini, veteran 49er tackle, called the Packers "a rough outfit" that is "going to beat somebody else before they're through." Incidentally, Lombardi was asked if Bobby Dillon would be fined for reporting late when he joins the club September 1 after changing his mind about retiring. "That's nobody's business except the club's," the coach replied. The Packers suffered no serious injuries. The club remained at the Sheraton Palace hotel here overnight and is to fly out Monday for Portland, Ore., where they will play the Eagles Saturday night.
AUGUST 24 (Ottawa) - Two former United States players, picked up by the Ottawa Rough Riders last week from the Green Bay Packers, have left the Big Four club, Coach Frank Clair said Monday. Buddy Mayfield, a South Carolina graduate who was on the Rider negotiation list this spring, received his draft call from the U.S. Army and was forced to leave the team, Clair said. The other newcomer, Ken Higgenbotham of Trinity (Texas), was released.
AUGUST 25 (Milwaukee Journal) - After Vince Lombardi and his staff looked at the movies of last year's lost season, the new general manager and coach of the Green Bay Packers said, "The first thing we've got to do is strengthen the offensive line." Two NFL exhibition games have now been played and one of the encouraging things is the
work of the front line
blockers. They give hope
that Green Bay's running
attack will return to
respectability. The
Packers rushed for 190
yards in losing to the
Chicago Bears in the last
minute, 19-16, and they
gained 163 yards on the
ground in beating the
49ers at San Francisco
Sunday, 24-17. After the
49er game, Lombardi
gave credit to the blockers. "This was a victory for the offensive line." he said, "make no mistake about it. Their blocking was very good." He did not single out any individual. "They were very good as a group," he said. Red Hickey, San Francisco's new coach, agreed. "That's the best Packer offensive line I've seen in years," he said. Oddly, Lombardi made only one trade to strengthen the line. Jim Ringo, the all-pro center, came back and Jerry Kramer at guard and Forrest Gregg, Bob Skoronski and Norm Masters at tackle were Green Bay's property already. Fred (Fuzzy) Thurston was obtained from the champion Baltimore Colts for linebacker Marv Matuszak. Thurston, a native of Altoona, Wis., is Kramer's running mate at guard. John Dittrich of Cudahy, a former Wisconsin star, currently backs up the guards. Gregg, Skoronski and Kramer have always been rated as future stars of the league. Gregg and Skoronski put in their rookie season in 1956, then went into service. Their departure made the job that much tougher for Lisle Blackbourn, then Green Bay's head coach, and he finally traded away Tobin Rote to get replacements. The first linemen obtained from Detroit, guard Jim Salsbury and tackle Oliver Spencer, never did do much for Green Bay. Salsbury now has retired and Spencer has been traded back to Detroit, where, apparently, he is happier and working once again. Meanwhile, Gregg came back from the service last year but did not live up to his promise. Perhaps he needed another year to get his edge back and besides, the whole Packers team was under par in the disastrous season under Scooter McLean. Skoronski came back this season ready to play. Masters has kept coming and now, in his third Packer season, he give the Packers three good offensive tackles. This is one of the few positions where Green Bay has depth of any sort. It also means Gregg can be used at guard, if necessary. Masters, incidentally, also was picked up from Detroit in the Rote trade, as was Don McIlhenny, the halfback who seems to have found new life under Lombardi and his staff.
AUGUST 25 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Packer Coach Vince Lombardi is reported dickering with the New York Giants for one of their five quarterbacks, and, surprisingly, he wants Don Heinrich, rather than George Shaw. A Giants' spokesman admitted talks had been started over a possible trade, and that while Heinrich is Lombardi's first choice, the Packer pilot may settle for Shaw.
AUGUST 25 (Portland, OR) - Coach Vince Lombardi called for a morning workout Tuesday for his 47 Green Bay Packer players. The team arrived Monday for a week of drills and a meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday night. The squad has been headquartered at Portland University. Defensive end Emlen Tunnell, who suffered a broken hand in Green Bay's exhibition opener with the Chicago Bears, is expected to play Saturday. The Packers have a 1-1 record to date, losing 19-16 to the Bears and defeating San Francisco, 24-17.
AUGUST 27 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Al Carmichael, who holds the NFL record for a kickoff return (106 yards against the Bears in 1956), Wednesday was put on waivers by the Packers. In a surprising move, Coach Vince Lombardi cut a seven year veteran and kept three rookies. Still battling for halfback jobs are veterans Paul Hornung, Don McIlhenny, Lew Carpenter and rookies George Dixon, Alex Hawkins and Tim Brown. Carmichael was used chiefly as a specialist during his tenure at Green Bay. He was perennially a kickoff return leader, last year finishing fifth in the league with a 24.1 average in 29 carries. Apparently, Lombardi feels the club must strengthen itself before being able to be in the luxury class to keep a specialist. Carmichael was Green Bay's No. 1 choice in 1953. The USC grad was the culprit who caught the TD pass which beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. The 30-year old veteran in all probability will be picked up by one of the "haves". It could that Dixon, the Negro sprinter from Bridgeport, is the player who beat out Carmichael. It was Dixon's 96 yard return of a kickoff that set up the Packers' victory over the 49ers last Sunday. "Dixon is a big, fast boy who can really help," Lombardi said from the Packers' camp at Portland, Ore., Wednesday. "And we do need a fast, breakaway runner!" Dixon and Brown, another Negro sprinter, are the fastest backs on the Packers' roster. Both have turned in the best runs during preseason games. By cutting Carmichael, Lombardi reduced his squad to 45. The Packers Wednesday worked on passing in preparation for Saturday night's preseason scrap with the Eagles at Portland. The entire squad suited up. Defensive end Emlen Tunnell, who broke his hand in the Bear game, will play against the Eagles.
AUGUST 28 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles will meet in the late, late show at Portland, Ore., Saturday night. Their NFL exhibition game will start at 11 o'clock, Milwaukee time, and will be broadcast on WTMJ, the Milwaukee Journal radio station, with Mike Walden on the microphone. Vince Lombardi, seeking his second victory against one defeat in the game that don't count, will start Joe Francis at quarterback, Boyd Dowler at end and Alex Hawkins at halfback. Francis, the Hawaiian native who played single wing tailback at Oregon State, will get his first outside competition of
his second pro season. He was unimpressive at quarterback in the intrasquad game, then was switched to halfback, where he ran well, and made a sensational pass catch. He did not play in the 19-16 defeat by the Chicago Bears in Milwaukee or in the 24-17 triumph over the 49ers in San Francisco Sunday. Dowler, 6 foot 5 inch Colorado speed boy, replaces veteran Max McGee in the starting lineup. Dowler will get his first test since reporting from the College All-Stars. Hawkins, second draft choice from South Carolina, will get his first real tryout, too. How long Francis plays probably depends on how he does. Veterans Bart Starr, Babe Parilli and Lamar McHan, the former Chicago Cardinal, will be ready to take over. Lombardi especially wants to take long looks at Parilli and McHan as he decides on his quarterbacks. Starr, who did not play at San Francisco, was the top contender for the job when the team left for the Coast trip. After Saturday night's game, Lombardi is expected to begin concentrating on the lineup he will take into the league opener September 27. The Packers are in good shape physically, aside from defensive tackle Tom Saidock and defensive back Emlen Tunnell. Saidock, obtained from Philadelphia in a trade, will sit this one out with a sore knee. Veteran Jerry Helluin will replace him. Tunnell, purchased from the New York Giants, probably will rest his broken hand for the second straight game. Wally Cruice of Milwaukee scouted the Eagles in their 24-21 defeat by the Bears at Lynn, Mass., last Saturday night. He reported that Philadelphia's strong points continued to be quarterback Norm Van Brocklin throwing and Tommy McDonald and Pete Retzlaff catching. The Eagles have several rookies in their front line blocking and not much of a running game. Their defense is large and veteran Jerry Norton and Tom Brookshier aces in the secondary. Philadelphia opened its exhibition season with a 21-17 victory over the New York Giants. So Buck Shaw's team, like Lombardi's Packers, has a 1-1 record. The Packers will fly back to Green Bay Sunday. They will spend the week at their St. Norbert College training quarters, then head to the East Coast for exhibitions against the Giants in Bangor, Me., and the Redskins in Winston-Salem, N.C. Lombardi reduced his squad to 44 Thursday by asking waivers on defensive back Bill Butler, a native of Berlin, Wis., who played at Chattanooga University.
AUGUST 29 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The CBS television network announced Friday that 10 Packer games will be telecast this fall, but only four will be shown in the Milwaukee area. WITI-TV, the local outlet, has been told by Packer General Manager Vince Lombardi that it must black out Milwaukee for all games played in Green Bay and here. "Lombardi told us that Channel 6 can be seen in Green Bay," WITI-TV Station Manager Terry Lee said Friday. "Despite our protests in getting only four Packer games for the season, he wouldn't budge." Last year WXIX-TV (Channel 18) picked up all four Green Bay games but its signal could not be picked up in Green Bay. "The league rule says stations within a 75 mile radius of the site of the game must be blacked out," Lee continued. "We're more than 100 miles away from Green Bay, but they've come up with different interpretations of the rules. On the other hand, WBAY-TV, Green Bay, is being allowed to pick up the Packers' two league games in Milwaukee." Milwaukee viewers, therefore, will not see a league game until October 25 when the Packers play the Colts in Baltimore. The three other Packer games to be shown are November 1 against the Giants in New York, November 8 against the Bears in Chicago and November 26 against the Lions in Detroit. WITI-TV will also pick up the Bear-Cardinal game November 29; Colts-49ers, December 5; Steelers-Bears December 6; Colts-Rams, December 12 and Lions-Bears, December 13. Ray Scott is returning to do the play-by-play on all Packer games with Tony Canadeo, ex-Green Bay great, making his debut as color man and analyst.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) 24, San Francisco 49ers (1-1) 17
EXHIBITION - Sunday August 23rd 1959 (at San Francisco)