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Green Bay Packers (4-6) 24, Chicago Cardinals (6-4) 21

Sunday December 2nd 1956 (at Chicago)



(CHICAGO) - The Packers continued to make a collective heart patient out of Packerland here Sunday afternoon. They whipped the Chicago Cardinals 24 to 21 with a touchdown in the last 65 seconds of play, and, if your heart didn't pump on this one - fan, you're dead! It was the Packers' second heart-stopped in two starts - if you must be reminded of their 21-17 victory in the last 85 seconds over Detroit Thanksgiving Day. Thus, the Packers knocked off two divisional top dogs in a total of 150 seconds (2:30), but the Cardinal test ranks as the juiciest because the triumph all but knocked the Red Shirts out of the Eastern Division championship. The Packers now have another notch in their six-six-in-'56 belt - not to mention a good shot at third place in the Western Division because San Francisco belted Baltimore yesterday. The Packers, with 4-6, need two closeout wins on the west coast, starting in Frisco Saturday afternoon, to match last year's 6-6. Green Bay is a half-game behind third place. The Packers had a real rugged task on their hands before 22,620 fans in Comiskey Park because this was a life-or-death struggle for the gallant Cardinals, who were higher than that proverbial kite. But the Packers, bottom rushing team in the league, whipped the Cards at their own game - rushing, and it was ever so fitting that the league's runningest quarterback, Tobin Rote, scored touchdowns on blasts of six inches, one yards and two yards. And it was equally fitting that the guy who kicked the field goal that won the game, led the Bays in rushing. That would be boltin' Fred Cone, who crashed for 92 yards in 12 attempts and, incidentally, outyarded the illustrious Ollie Matson, who got 70 in 16. Cone's 34-yard field goal in the second frame turned out to be the difference. Somehow, the big heroes Sunday had to be the bulls in the Packers' offensive and defensive lines. The Cards, No. 2 rushing team in the league, was salted down to a mere 80 yards on the soil by a fierce Packer defensive wall and linebacking crew. The Bay offensive line ripped the Card defenses enough to enable the Bays to rush for a whopping 194-yard total. The Packers had to win it the hard way. They were behind 14-3 after a rather frustrating first half. They put on touchdown drives of 85 yards - after the second half kickoff, and 39 yards, thanks to an interception by Bill Forester, to grab a 17-14 lead at the end of three frames. The Cardinals went 60 yards in 13 plays to take a 21-17 lead with only 3:12 left in the Pack's first league game here since 1949. Then it happened. The Packers took the next kickoff and slicked 67 yards in six plays, five of which gained, as follows: Rote opened the assault with a play that caught the Cards flat-footed - a keeper around left end for 15 yards, leaving 2:32 on the clock and first down on the Card 48. Rote then hurled eight yards to Bill Howton. His next pass went incomplete when he threw as he was hit, the ball popping way, with 2:00 on the clock. Howie Ferguson blasted off right end, with Howton throwing a good block, for five and a first down on the 39. Play No. 5 was the winner. Gary Knafelc, who hadn't caught a pass all afternoon, ripped straight down the sideline, whirled on the 10, took Rote's strike, and then fought through two Cardinals, including swift Jim Hill, to the one. Rote blasted home behind Forrest Gregg and John Sandusky, and Cone kicked his third extra point for the 24-21 score with 1:05 left. The Packers killed Detroit's last hope with an interception in the waning seconds by Bobby Dillon and they did the same here, Ken Gorgal snaring Lamar McHan's throw after it was batted up by Dillon, Glenn Young, and the intended receiver, Night Train Lane, on the Packer 10. One sneak by Rote made Green Bay a nut factory for another week. Knafelc's catch represented sweet revenge for the string-beaner from Colorado who was the Cards' second draft choice in 1954. Gary was released by the Cards during the training season that year and quickly snapped up by the Pack. Knafelc never got a league game crack at the Cards - until yesterday. As the halftime score would indicate, the Packers weren't exceptionally successful in the first half. They drove to the Card 25 and 7-yard lines, only to have Rote passes intercepted by Linden Crow. The Cardinals took advantage of "punt things" to set up their two touchdowns, recovering Al Carmichael's fumble of a boot on the Bay 32 and later fielding a short punt by Dick Deschaine on the Bay 38. After the fumble, Root pitched 16 yards to Max Boydston for a 7-0 edge. After the short boot, the Cards climaxed a seven-play push with Matson's eight-yard touchdown. In taking the play away, the Packers controlled the ball for 21 plays in the third quarter compared to eight for the Cards - for that 17-14 edge plus a wonderful Packer mental lift for the dog-eat-dog fourth quarter. The Cards were limited to a measly 18 yards rushing in the second half and 71 yards passing. The Packers split their 194 yard rushing total between the two halves - 96 in the first and 98 in the second, with three figuring in the gains - 92 in 12 for Cone, 63 in 15 for Rote and 50 in 12 for Ferguson. Rote passes sparingly in the second half, using short strikes as a means of keeping the Cardinal defenders back and giving Bay rushers more running room. Only one of Rote's 13 completions in 28 attempts went for "long" yardage and it won the game - the 34-yarder to Knafelc. The Cards got the first break of the game, recovering Carmichael's fumble of John Roach's punt with six minutes gone in the first quarter on the Packer 32. Jim Root ate up 25 of the yards with two passes, one to Joe Childress for nine and the second to Max Boydston for 16 and the score. Pat Summerall kicked the first of three extra points for a 7-0 Card edge with 7:32 gone. The Packers exploded in a hurry, with Cone ripping 18 off right guard. Rote hurled to Cone for 11 but a holding penalty set the Bays back. Rote made this up with a 33-yard strike to Howton to the Card 36. Rote banged nine and Cone two before Crow intercepted Rote's throw aimed at Howton on the 10. With Dave Hanner and Roger Zatkoff making key tackles, the Packers forced a punt and set sail again. In quick order, Ferguson made two, Cone 19 and Rote 14 after which Rote hurled to Howton for 10 and Cone for 14 to the Card five. On third down, Crow intercepted Rote's pass on the one and Ferguson brought him down on the two early in the second quarter. The Bays scored on their next move from midfield. Cone ran 19 to the Card 30 and three plays later Cone's field goal try from the 34 cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet for a 7-3 score. With four minutes left in the half, the Cards got position break on Dick Deschaine's 33-yard punt on the Pack 38. Root hurled to Stonesifer for 13 and to Johnny Olszewski for 17 to the eight from where Matson banged over for a 14-3 edge. The Bays almost got a safety on the last play of the half when Lane intercepted Rote's pass on the five and then ran back into the end zone where Howton almost nailed him. The Packers moved 85 yards in 14 plays for their first touchdown after the second half kickoff and 11 of the actions were runs. Rote hurled a seven-yarder to Ferguson and a 10-yarder to Howton and incompleted one. Ferguson carried the ball the first four times, gaining 24 yards. Cone then ripped four, five, seven, eight and two to the three. Ferguson crashed to within six inches and Rote then bumped over at 7:07. Cone kicked the first of his three extra points. John Martinkovic smeared Root for a seven-yard loss and on the next play Forester intercepted Root's throw on the Card 46 and returned seven yards. The Bays scored in seven plays with Rote rushing for 30 of the 39 yards. He opened with a 19-yard rip around right end. Ferguson added two and then Rote hurled to Johnson for seven to the 11. Rote then hit for yardage gains of 4, 5, 2 and 1 on successive plays, putting the Packers ahead 17-10 at 13:38 of the third period. The game developed into a punting duel until the clock showed only 6:50 left. Starting on their own 40, the Cards soon found themselves on their own 15 due to a holding penalty and a gang smear job on Lamar McHan. However, the Bays were holding and the Cards had first down on their own 30. From there, McHan opened up an aerial attack, hurling to Stonesifer for 17 and 8 yards, Dave Mann for 17 and Matson for 11 to reach the Packer four. Matson scored in two plays and the Cards were ahead 21-17 with 3:23 left. Jack Losch returned the Cards' kickoff 31 yards to the Packer 33 and from there the Bays performed the aforementioned deed!

GREEN BAY     -  0  3 14  7 - 24

CHI CARDINALS -  7  7  0  7 - 21

                       GREEN BAY CHICAGO CARDS

First Downs                   25            14

Rushing-Yards-TD        40-194-3       30-80-2

Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 28-13-168-0-3 28-13-136-1-2

Sacked-Yards                  11             7

Net Passing Yards            157           129

Total Yards                  351           209

Fumbles-lost                 1-1           0-0

Turnovers                      4             2

Yards penalized             5-56          4-43


1st - CHI - Max Boydston, 16-yard pass from Jim Root (Pat Summerall kick) CARDINALS 7-0

2nd - GB - Fred Cone, 34-yard field goal CARDINALS 7-3

2nd - CHI - Ollie Matson, 8-yard rush (Summerall kick) CARDINALS 14-3

3rd - GB - Tobin Rote, 2-yard rush (Cone kick) CARDINALS 14-10

3rd - GB - Rote, 1-yard rush (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 17-14

4th - CHI - Matson, 1-yard rush (Summerall kick) CARDINALS 21-17

4th - GB - Rote, 2-yard rush (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 24-21


GREEN BAY - Fred Cone 12-92, Tobin Rote 15-63 3 TD, Howie Ferguson 12-50, Jack Losch 1-(-11)

CHI CARDINALS - Ollie Matson 16-70 2 TD, Johnny Olszewski 8-10, Joe Childress 4-8, Jim Root 1-(-4), Lamar McHan 1-(-4)


GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 28-13-168 3 INT

CHI CARDINALS - Lamar McHan 12-7-72 1 INT, Jim Root 16-6-64 1 TD 1 INT


GREEN BAY - Billy Howton 5-70, Fred Cone 2-22, Joe Johnson 2-17, Howie Ferguson 2-10, Gary Knafelc 1-38, Jack Losch 1-11

CHI CARDINALS - Don Stonesifer 3-38, Johnny Olszewski 3-25, Ollie Matson 3-23, Joe Childress 2-17, Dave Mann 1-17, Max Boydston 1-16 1 TD



DEC 3 (Chicago) - The Chicago Cardinals' strapping Ray Richards is convinced that Gary Knafelc's clutch catch, which set up the Packers' winning touchdown at soggy Comiskey Park Sunday afternoon, should never have happened. "One play and you blow the game," the Big Red's likeable boss sighed. "It was a perfect ball for an interception - a big, high lob. Funny thing," Ray added with a wry smile, "the only pass Knafelc caught all day had to be the one to beat us. It sure came at a bad time for us, too, because with the Bears getting beat today, it was a perfect setup for us." (The Bears and Cardinals, both still in title contention, renew their rivalry next Sunday.) "Don't get me wrong, though, I don't mean the Packers were lucky to win," Richards wanted it known for the record. "Green Bay has a hell of a good ball club - good running and great passing." It was suggested that the "failure" of Cardinal rushing may have had something to do with the Cardinals' downfall. While admitting this might have been partially true, Richards pointed out," We threw more today than we have in any game this year, and that, of course, cut down on the number of rushes." Any particular reason for this change in policy? "We just though we could throw against you," the Cardinal strategist replied, adding ruefully, "We thought we could run, too. Of course, the footing was bad today, too, and it was hard for any runner to get started." The "footing" didn't appear to seriously handicap the Cards' Ollie Matson, it was ventured. "He hasn't had a bad ball game this year," Richards admitted. "He must have gained on Casares (The Bears' Rick) today. Ollie was only 30 yards behind him going into the game. But that doesn't mean anything," the big fellow mused sadly, "when you lose."...Any stranger who may have chanced to enter the steamy Packer dressing room immediately after this latest storybook finish would have been convinced Liz Blackbourn's athletes had just won their seventh world championship. Seldom, at least in recent years, has there been a more spontaneous, vocally boisterous victory celebration than this one. Everybody was shaking hands with everybody else and all, rookies and veterans alike, were bubbling over with congratulatory exclamations. Most of these, however, were drowned out in the general bedlam. Tobin Rote, who scored the winning touchdown to cap one of the greatest days of his seven-year career, made straight for Fred Cone as he came in the door and hugged the retiring Clemson alumnus, declaring, "That's the way to go, Freddie." To Cone's right, burly John Sandusky, fitting unfamiliar music to equally unfamiliar lyrics in an off-key but jubilant burse of song, blared, "There'll be a great time on the 'Frisco Rambler." "That'll make it a short trip," Cone grinned. Still relishing the victory, Sandusky asserted, "We beat 'em at their own game today. They thought they were going to control the ball." "Did you get into some rough stuff today?" Line Coach Lou Rymkus asked Jerry Helluin, hurt late in the game. "Not much," Jerry responded. "Dahm (ex-Packer Tom) clipped me across the back of the neck that time - but that was all." "You guys did a real good job," Lou declared. Blackbourn, grinning his way to the showers, called out, "Wasn't that a great one?" He drew immediate agreement from an ex-Packer, Nolan Luhn, who came upon the scene at this point to congratulate Rote on his performance. Tobin, still in the clouds, was off in a corner chatting with another former Packer, Gus Cifelli. Nearby, Knafelc was explaining his heroics after catching that big pass. "You don't think of anything," he grinned. "You just run." "You looked like a truck running down there," fellow received Bill Howton told him. "Somebody asked him how come he didn't score and he said he just stopped to have his picture made," Forrest Gregg chuckled. Further back, Jim Ringo was facetiously taking advantage of the situation. "Off 'til Wednesday morning," he quipped. There was, needless to say, no confirmation from Blackbourn...Blackbourn, analyzing what had transpired at his leisure, felt that "last drive was just like a piece of poetry." "As far as that's concerned, it was a real good effort all the way," Liz summarized. "The offensive line did a great hob and so did the defense. I may have noticed the offense more because we haven't been too strong there and today we had it in abundance," he admitted, "but the defense was real good, too." In this connection, somebody mentioned that Cone had gained 92 yards. "Cone outgained everybody," Liz smiled. "He's having by far his best year." He also tossed a big bouquet in Rote's direction. "Rote's quarterbacking in the second half was the greatest I've ever seen," Liz declared. "He never ceases to amaze me."...LIZ CALLS IT: There may have been others who weren't so sure but Blackbourn never doubted victory for a minute after the Cardinals moved into the lead with only 3:12 remaining in the game. As soon as the Cards scored, Liz wheeled and barked to his offensive unit. "Never mind that, never might that, we'll go get it." This one followed another accurate prediction, made at the start of the fourth quarter, at which point the Packers led 17-14. "We need two more," he asserted. "They're going to start hitting somebody out there pretty quick."...GOOD LUCK CHARM: Tarz Taylor, former Packer line coach recovering from a recent heart attack, may have brought the Packers luck. He sat on the Packer bench for the first time this season and sounded like his own self when he growled, "These guys better win today when I come out here to sit in the cold." Packer Trainer Bud Jorgensen kept a watchful eye upon the football veteran and when he grew excited during the Packers' winning drive, Blackbourn himself went over and cautioned Tarz to relax. Also on the bench were Joe Carey, a 1921 Packer who now lives in Chicago, and Larry Lauer, sitting out the last three games with a fractured left hand sustained in the Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit. Lauer amused himself taking pictures of the pregame warmup with a movie camera, although the cast encased wrist made this a difficult task..."OFFICIAL" TIMEOUT: A timeout had to be called for an official, Umpire Bill Grimberg, when he was injured midway in the fourth quarter. Grimberg's right leg was damaged when he was caught in a pileup on an Al Carmichael punt return.



DEC 4 (Green Bay) - The Packers are fresh from the most significant 11 days in their modern history. And there could be more to come! In the space of that time, starting Thursday, Nov. 22 and ending Sunday afternoon, Dec. 2, the Bays suddenly became the darlings of television football, the meanest and upsettingest guys in the NFL, the luckiest in the draft, the most-watched by college football addicts, and the champion of those who have suffered bad breaks. Before breaking down the above items, it must be reported that the Packers are presently stowed away in Boyes Springs, Calif., some 40 miles out of San Francisco, where they started preparations this afternoon for Saturday afternoon against the Forty Niners in Kezar Stadium. With a two-game winning streak going, the Packers now hope to win the December championship of California (they close at Los Angeles Dec. 16) and thus finish with a fancy 6-6 record – same as a year ago. The Packers launched their colossal 11-day nationwide uprising Thanksgiving Day when they upset the championship-bound Detroit Lions 24 to 20 before roughly 50 million people, the odd 14,945,913 being television fans who saw the Turkey special via 198 stations throughout the U.S. The fact that the Bays won it in the last minute was so much gravy – not to mention a rare treat to millions who just naturally pull for the little guy, the underdog. Four days later, college football trained its collective eye on Philadelphia where 12 major league clubs went to the grab bag. Packer coach Liz Blackbourn, armed with a hope and a prayer, drew the bonus and won a coin flip with two other teams to gain a third position in the first round. The result was the two most publicized and best all-around athletes in college football in 1956 – Paul Hornung of Notre Dame and Ron Kramer of Michigan, plus three highly-rated prospects. Hornung and Kramer never figured to wind up on the same pro club – but they did, much to the surprise of the college ranks and disappointment and envy of other pro clubs. Last Sunday, the Packers went to bat again before two TV networks – the Packer five-stater and the Cardinals’ far-flung grouping that goes around Illinois and south to Texas and west to the Rockies. The audience was estimated at 15 million. The Bays promptly put on a Hollywood production, beating the Chicago Cardinals in the last minute 24-21 and knocking them out of the Eastern Division championship. It was a bitter blow for the Cards, another lift for the underdoggie champ, and a television spectacular. The Packers won the two thrillers in spite of bad breaks. They couldn’t buy a break in the first halves of either game and in each case had to come from behind to win. Both games afforded many, many opportunities for the Packers to fold – but they didn’t; they got tougher. Now, the Packers get another chance to become heroes around the U.S., since Saturday’s show will be piped to an audience almost as large as the one that saw the Thanksgiving Day frolic. Some 180 stations will carry the picture. Maybe next Saturday, the Packers can add another six days to their hot streak – plus a third straight victory…The Packers, who left Chicago Sunday night by train, were due to arrive at their Sonoma Mission Inn camp at Boyes Springs this morning. One player change was made before the squad left the midwest. Billy Bookout, the tigerish little cornerbacker, was restored to the active list and Glenn Young, rookie defensive back from Purdue, was placed on waivers, keeping the squad at 33 players. Bookout was placed on the injured reserve list (an automatic 30 days) after suffering a fractured cheek bone in the Cleveland Browns game in Milwaukee Nov. 4.


DEC 4 (Green Bay) - Like Fred Cone was saying after the Packer-Cardinal game Sunday, “Those guards are just beginning to find themselves. Forrest Gregg is new but he’s learning fast, and Len (Szafaryn) hasn’t played guard for a long time before this year.” Gregg had been moving around, playing both tackles and guards, not to mention defensive end. But he’s found a home at right offensive guard. Szafaryn was at offensive left tackle for the past two years, but now he’s alternating with Joe Skibinski at left guard, thus giving Bob Skoronski a clean shot at left tackle. The inner offensive line, which has given Tobin Rote wonderful protection in the last three games and opened up terrific holes with force or trickery for rushers Rote, Cone and Howe Ferguson against the Cardinals, seems to have excellent balance from a rookie-veteran standpoint. Gregg, for instance, is flanked by John Sandusky at right tackle and Jim Ringo at center. Skoronski rubs elbows with Szafaryn and Skibinski. These men made life quite pleasant for Cone, Rote and Ferguson, who gained a total of 205 yards in 39 attempts against the Cards, although Rote gained most of 63 stripes on wide keepers. The Packer rushing game, which finished with a 194 total – the only loss being 11 yards in one attempt by Losch, cornered most of its yards in the third quarter when the Bays scored two touchdowns. Of the 124 yards piled up in the 85 and 39-yard pushes, an even 100 came on 17 rushing attempts. The other 24 resulted from three Rote completions in four attempts. Making the rushing advances more impressive was the fact that the Cards had rearranged their defenses to stop the Bays’ rushing in the second half since the Pack had gained nearly 100 yards in the first half alone. The Packers, on the other hand, adjusted as they went along, depending on the situation. The Bays stuck with what looked like a four-four-three defense, the middle four players being linebackers Roger Zatkoff, Deral Teteak, Bill Forester and Tom Bettis. This was designed chiefly to halt Ollie Matson, Joe Childress and Johnny Olszewski. If the Cards gained one, two or three yards on first down, it was pretty obvious that Jim Root or Lamar McHan would pass – depending, of course, on the position of the ball on the field. In this case, Coach Liz Blackbourn substituted Ken Gorgal for Bettis and the Packers slipped back into a three and/or two-linebacker setup. The plan must have worked because the Cards finished up with 80 yards rushing, including 70 for Matson (and that’s low for him) and darned few for Childress and Olszewski. The Packers came up with many key tackles. On the first play of the fourth quarter (just after the Pack went ahead 17-14), the Cards had third and four to go on the Card 35. Matson ripped outside right tackle but Forester slammed in and dumped him with a crackling knee-high tackle for practically no gain, forcing the punt. Another time, Matson caught a pass in the flat and promptly was bunted out of bounds by Bobby Dillon – after Matson evaded two tacklers, cutting the pass gain to three yards. After the Packers went ahead 24-21 with 1:05 left, Cone aimed his kickoff away from Matson, one of the loop’s top kickoff returners. Alex Burl, a 9.5 jet, took the ball on the run on the 12 and streaked for what looked like a dangerous opening until Gene Knuton uncorked a bone-crushing head-on tackle on the Card 38. The flying force knocked Gene cold momentarily but the tackle turned out to be one of many that helped save the day for the Pack.


DEC 4 (Milwaukee Journal) - The Packers, with a supposedly weak running game, gained 194 yards rushing against the Chicago Cardinals at Comiskey Park Sunday.So how come? Coach Lisle Blackbourn of the Packers tried to answer the question of Green Bay's suddenly potent ground forces as he waited Sunday for a train which carried the Packers to San Francisco Sunday night. "They weren't ready for us to run," Blackbourn said, fairly chortling, "and they couldn't stop us." What about Tobin Rote? Why is he running more than in earlier games? "I wouldn't know for sure," Blackbourn said. "We haven't told him to run more. It's up to him. I know his knee bothered him before. He felt gimpy. Now he's feeling good. He was great today." And Fred Cone and his large gains on quick openers up the middle? "They had it open for him. Sure our guards are blocking better. You've got to have the hole. Fred was really getting off the mark in a hurry." The Packer coach talked for awhile about the game itself. "I thought we were the better team all the way," he said, "but I was afraid we had let them get too far ahead at the half (14-3). We tried to pass when we got in close in the first half when we should have run. In the second half we got our offense balanced - plenty of running and enough passing to keep them honest. Then we moved - and scored - the way we should." Cone's case is an odd one. Here is a man, now 30, who appeared to be washed up as a football player two years ago. He stayed with the Packers on his place kicking ability only - and the way he can kick field goals and extra points, that was enough. Last winter he decided to give up pro football altogether. He took an assistant coach's job at a prep school in Mobile, Ala. The good looking man from Pineapple, Ala., was all done with playing football, he said. Blackbourn and the Packers finally prevailed on him to come back. He got the kind of deal he wanted, a year round job, working as an assistant publicity man in the off season. Then as this season progressed, it was suddenly noticeable that Fred Cone had come back to play football. On his kickoffs, he was making many of the tackles himself - hard, bruising tackles. Howie Ferguson suffered an ankle injury and Cone took his place. At first his start was too slow. He was caught on runs before he got started against Cleveland, but when Rote passed to him and he had room to get started, he began running over the other side's defensive backs. Sunday he really got rolling. He gained 92 yards - more than Matson, Olsxewski, Childress and the rest of the Cardinals' fine backs put together could make. Chicago gained only 80 yards all told on the ground. Several things helped Cone. First was his own determination - in his fast start - his shedding off of tacklers and his fight for the extra yard or yards. Rote's own versatility made the Cardinal defense guess. With five capable receivers to throw to, with Cone or a mended Ferguson to hand off to, with his own number to call on a draw, a rollout or a sneak, Rote probably had at his disposal as varied an attack as he has had all year. And he called his plays well, especially in the second half. Blackbourn said that the blocking up front had improved, although he would not single out any lineman "until I see the pictures." Jim Ringo at center, of course, has been doing a fine job all season. At guard Joe Skibinski has recovered from all of his injuries, especially a painful shoulder, and has teamed with rookie Forrest Gregg (Southern Methodist) in actually moving some of the opposition out of the way. Len Szafaryn, a converted tackle, also has come along to help there, too. John Sandusky, obtained in a trade with Cleveland, and Bob Skoronski, rookie from Indiana, have been adequate at the offensive tackles. Sunday they were more than adequate. Of Skoronski (245 pounds) and Gregg (235), Blackbourn has often said: "There are the kind of rookies with which to build a championship club. They have size, are learning fast, and have class." Unfortunately, both will probably be in the service before next season rolls around.


DEC 4 (San Francisco) - The victory flushed 49ers slipped into town almost unnoticed yesterday morning at San Francisco Airport and a beaming Frankie Albert immediately rewarded them with a two day vacation. The coach announced that preparations for Saturday’s game with Green Bay in Kezar would commence Wednesday at the Redwood City training site. Except for a few bumps and bruises and a batter knuckle on Bob St. Clair’s right mitt, the players were in as good a shape as they have been at any time this season. St. Clair had a dark bruise on his hand to show for the hefty punch he tossed at Baltimore’s Don Joyce after the Colt 250 pounder roughed up Y.A. Tittle on a pass play. Billy Wilson, who now must go down as one of the great pass catchers in NFL history, continued to be the 49er conversation piece. His tremendous catch of Tittle’s pass on the 77 yard winning touchdown play ranks alongside of Harlon Hill’s famous catch that enabled the Chicago Bears to tie the New York Giants a week ago. Everybody on the 49er team and many of the Colts, including Coach Weeb Ewbank, agreed that Billy’s catch was the greatest they had seen. Wilson himself said: “I knew I couldn’t go under or around those defenders so I did the only thing I could. That was go over.” It tied the second longest touchdown pass play ever recorded by the 49ers. The lengthiest was from Tittle to McElhenny against New York a couple of years back. The other, good for 77 yards, was from Tittle to Carroll Hardy against Detroit last year. The sudden success on the road – two wins and a tie – was the other topic. It was the first time since 1952, when they beat Dallas, Chicago’s Bears and Detroit, that they returned from a three game stand unbeaten. All hands agree that the reason for the success is due to improved blocking from fellows like Bob Cross, Ted Connolly and an air-tight defense led by Leo Nomellini, who is probably having his greatest year, Ed Henke and Bruce Bosley. Another fellow now playing great play is Dickie Moegle, who is turning into one of the greatest pass defenders in the circuit.



DEC 5 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – This is NFL Individual Statistics Day here (where the Packers are camping), San Francisco (where the Packers and Forty Niners play Saturday afternoon), Green Bay (where the fans are hoping for No. 5), and just about any community you want to name. The main feature seems to be centered in the Leading Pass Receiving department where Frisco’s Billy Wilson and the Packers’ Billy Howton are running one-two. Wilson, a short-catch artist, is leading with 47 catches for 765 yards and three touchdowns – one a 77-yarder that beat Baltimore last Sunday. Howton is second with 44 catches for a league-topping yardage total of 1,049 and the most touchdowns, 11. Frank Gifford of New York has 43 catches and Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears has 42. The antics of the two Bills may have a bearing on the winner of the nationally-televised contest Saturday. They rated as their team’s key receivers, although each club has excellent opposite-end catchers, Gary Knafelc of the Pack and Gordy Soltau of the Forty Niners. It was Knafelc who caught a 38-yard aerial that set up the winning touchdown for the Packers against the Cardinals. His only catch in the game gave him 26 for the season thus far – about 12th in the league. The other end of the Packers’ aerial game – quarterback Tobin Rote, remained in seventh place in the standings based on average yards gained per attempt, but the rangy Texan holds leads in attempts (262), completions (125), yards (1,882) and touchdown passes (16). Rote went through the Cardinal game without a touchdown pass – the first such experience for him this year, but scored three touchdowns, moving him into the first 10 in scoring with 54 points. He is close behind fullback Fred Cone, who has 55. Howton ranks third in scoring with 66 points. These three Packers have scored a total of 175 of the Packers’ 223 points in 10 games. Frisco’s leading scorer is Soltau with 57. The Packers aren’t represented among the top rushers despite their 194-yard total against the Cards but they not that the Forty-Niners’ Hugh McElhenny is ranking a solid fourth with 700 yards in 150 attempts. Hugh ran 86 yards for a touchdown against the Packers in Green Bay. The big stew in rushing is the all-Chicago fight between the Bears’ Rick Casares and the Cards’ Ollie Matson. Rick, saddled by New York and Detroit in the last two games, now holds only a one-yard lead on Matson, who picked off 159 against Pittsburgh and 70 against Green Bay in his last two games. Casares has 819, Matson 818. In other departments, Dick Deschaine is third in punting, Al Carmichael is seventh in punt returns and third in kickoff returns, and Bobby Dillon is in a second place tie in interceptions with Dick Lane of the Cards, with seven swipes apiece. Teamwise, the Packers have jumped into the league lead in passing yardage. But that’s a Thursday story…The Packers, seeking a sweep in California for a 6-6 record, shook out travel kinks Tuesday afternoon and returned to concentrated practice today. The squad arrived by train Tuesday morning after the happy trip from Chicago. The Bays will remain here all week and will take a bus down to San Francisco Saturday morning. They’ll leave for Pasadena Saturday night, arriving there Sunday morning to get ready for the windup at Los Angeles Dec. 16.


DEC 5 (Green Bay) - How about sending a Community Telegram to the Packers in San Francisco? A 40-footer with some 1,500 signatures of Green Bay and are Packer fans, urging the Bays to win No. 5 Saturday afternoon! The Press-Gazette and our town’s three radio stations, WJPG, WDUZ and WBAY, combined their forces today to make such a “wire lift” possible. The sportswriters of the four agencies will compose a 50-word message and the fans will garnish it with their signatures. There will be a slight charge but it is practically zero. If you wish to have your name on the telegram, just call Western Union at Hemlock 2-6441 and give your name. Then, send a dime to the Press-Gazette or one of the three radio stations. Actually, the cost of sending each name will be less than a dime. But money left over from the project will be turned over to the Community Chest. It is hoped to have 1,500 signatures on the wire, which would stretch out to about 40 feet. So, all you have to do is call Western Union and give your name and then send a dime to one of the four agencies. And don’t forget this: DEADLINE FOR CALLING WESTERN UNION IS 10 O’CLOCK FRIDAY NIGHT!


DEC 5 (South Bend, IN) – Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung couldn’t believe he had won the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the nation’s top college football player, because “I thought they were kidding me.” “I didn’t actually think I had a chance for it in the first place,” he said Tuesday. “Like sometimes when you’re playing a game, after it’s over, you don’t know whether you played well or not. But it meant the happiest day of my life to win it. I don’t think I ever received an honor which equaled this for myself or my family.” Hornung’s first reaction to receiving the trophy, established in 1935 in honor of famed coach John W. Heisman and awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York, was to give credit to his teammates and coaches. “I am grateful to Terry Brennan and his coaching staff and to the team as a whole – they deserve credit for making it possible for me to have a chance for such an award,” said Hornung. The senior from Louisville, Ky., who was the Green Bay Packer bonus choice, started the season at quarterback but later was forced to play halfback and fullback because of thumb injuries which hampered him in taking snap-backs from centers. Hornung became the 22nd winner of the trophy. Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago was the first and Ohio State’s Hopalong Cassady won the award last year. Tennessee halfback Johnny Majors was second in balloting. Hornung received a total of 1,006 points in the poll conducted by 1,318 electors across the nation and Majors had 994 points, marking the closest finish in years. Halfback Tommy McDonald and center Jerry Tubbs, both of Oklahoma’s national champions, finished third and fourth, respectively. Other players listed in the voting are Jimmy Brown, Syracuse; Ron Kramer, Michigan; John Brodie, Stanford; Jim Parker, Ohio State; Kenny Ploen, Iowa; Jon Arnett, Southern California; and Jim Swink, Texas


Christian. Hornung was the third Notre Dame quarterback to win the award, preceded by Angelo Bertelli in 1943 and Johnny Lujack in 1947, both also T formation signal callers. Two other Notre Dame Irish players, end Leon Hart in 1949 and halfback Johnny Lattner, in 1953, also won the trophy...One other former Packers won the Heisman trophy - Bruce Smith, the all-time Minnesota halfback, in 1941. Hornung, oddly enough, missed two high All-America teams - Collier's and Associated Press. He made Look Magazine, the Sporting News and United Press squads. Kramer, the Packers' No. 1 choice, made every All-America team as an end and was considered a good bet to win the Heisman trophy. 


DEC 5 (New York) - Paul Hornung, Notre Dame's backfield jack of all trades, Tuesday was awarded the Heisman Trophy as the outstanding college football player of 1956. Hornung was the bonus choice of the Green Bay Packers in the recent NFL draft. The award was established in 1935 in honor of John Heisman, veteran coach. Hornung got a total of 1,006 points in balloting conducted among 1,318 electors around the nation. Only 33 points separated the first three choices, making it the closest finish in years. Backfield star Johnny Majors of Tennessee finished second with 994 points and Tommy McDonald, speedy Oklahoma back, third with 973. Hornung joins such other Notre Dame luminaries as Angelo Bertelli (1943), Johnny Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949) and Johnny Lattner (1953) as former Heisman winners. Howard (Hopalong) Cassady, Ohio State halfback, received the award last season. Hornung, a 6 foot 2 inch, 205 pound triple threat performer, was handicapped part of the season by injured fingers and thumbs. Despite the troubles, Hornung stood out both offensively and defensively on a losing team. Hornung led Notre Dame in playing time, rushing, passing, scoring, passes broken up and kickoffs and punts returned. All told, 12 players were listed in the poll. Oklahoma center Jerry Tubbs ranked behind the first three with 724 votes. Others received votes were Jimmy Brown, Syracuse, 561; Ron Kramer, Michigan (another Packer draft choice), 518; John Brodie, Stanford, 281; Jim Parker, Ohio State, 248; Kenny Ploen, Iowa, 150; Jon Arnett, Southern California, 128; Joe Walton, Pittsburgh, 97, and Jim Swink, Texas Christian, 84.


DEC 5 (Milwaukee Journal) - Football statistics don't tell everything. In the game at Comiskey Park Sunday, the Packers three times declined five yard penalties because the Cardinals had failed to gain - twice on incomplete passes and once on a running play. So the Cardinals were right where they would have been anyway. Green Bay meanwhile was penalized once for offensive holding (15 yards) and once for defensive holding (5 yards). Besides the loss of 20 yards that way, the Packers lost a 16 yard pass gain and the Cardinals got out of a 10 yard loss to their passer. The Packers, then lost 46 yards on two plays; the Cardinals, nothing on three. Still, Green Bay won, 24-21...For a change last Sunday, the Packers controlled the football more than their opponents. Green Bay ran 68 plays from scrimmage, exclusive of punts; the Cardinals, only 58. The difference was in the Packers' re-discovered running strength. Each side passes 28 times and completed 13 of them...BITTERSWEET: Joel Wells, Clemson halfback whom the Packers drafted on the second round at Philadelphia last week, helped remove some of the bitterness from one of the South's bitterest football rivalries (Clemson vs South Carolina) when he married Jackie Furr, South Carolina cheerleader...Wells, a heavy duty player who powered Clemson into the Orange Bowl as Atlantic Coast Conference representative, was reluctant to turn out of for football because his brother Jim had been a high school and Clemson star before him and Joel was afraid they would expect too much of him...Carl Vereen, Georgia Tech tackle from Miami, Fla., the Packers' fourth round choice, said he had been contacted by Vancouver of the Canadian league, too. "I don't know about this cold weather," the 6-foot, 6 1/2 inch, 234 pounder said, "but I guess I'd better start adapting myself to it."...Wally Weber, Michigan assistant coach, says of end Ron Kramer, the Packers' first round draft choice: "He's a traffic director out there. He acts like a stopper in the pipe, causing ball carriers to flow to other tacklers. He plays defense in a manner to disturb unborn future generations."...BIG BUILDUP: When the Packers and the Cardinals got ready to find out which team would get the bonus choice, they (1) flipped a coin to see who would call the flip of the coin; (2) flipped the coin to see who would draw first; (3) drew from a hat with two pieces of paper in it labeled "one" and "two", and (4) the team that got "one" drew first of a hat which had in it two more pieces of paper labeled "bonus" and "nothing". The big buildup was worth it to Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn who drew "bonus" and picked Notre Dame quarterback Paul Hornung, who would have been the Cardinals' first choice, too. And that of every other team at the draft meeting if they would have a chance at him.


DEC 5 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The Packers Wednesday were ranked as pro football's best passing team. With Tobin Rote on the beam again last Sunday against the Cardinals, Green Bay upped its total passing yardage to 2,023 yards, supplanting Los Angeles which dropped to second with 1,982. Rote, who has directed two great comebacks to give the Packers a two game winning streak, ranks only seventh among the league's passers. However, the veteran of seven campaigns has completed more passes (125) for more yardage (1,882) and more touchdowns (16) than any other flipper. The NFL ranks its passers according to the average gain per pass. Eddie Brown of the Bears lead with 10.65 yards per pass. Rote has 7.18. Billy Howton, who has gained more yards (1,049) catching passes than any other receiver, trails Billy Wilson of the 49ers in the pass receiving race. The league ranks its end according to the number of passes caught and not total yardage. Wilson has caught 47 and Howton 44. Howton leads in touchdown catches with 11. Green Bay's Dick Deschaine who had his poorest punting average (37 yards) against the Cardinals dropped to third over the weekend. He was second to leader Norm Van Brocklin of the Rams last week but was passed by Washington's Sam Baker. Deschaine, who is carried by the Packers for his punting ability alone, is averaging 42.5 yards a punt compared to Van Brocklin's 42.7. The Bears, although cooled off by the Lions, are still the best point producers, chalking up 315 points in 10 games. The Packers are fifth best with 223 points. Ollie Matson of the Cardinals is making a determined last ditch effort to win the ground gaining honors. Matson gained only 70 yards against the Packers last Sunday to increase his seasonal ground gaining total to 818 yards for a 5.1 average. He is one yard behind Rick Casares of the Bears. The Packers are presently stowed away in Boyes Spring, Calif., some 40 miles out of San Francisco in preparation for Saturday's game against the 49ers. Seeking revenge for a 17-16 defeat inflicted by the Golden Gaters in Green Bay, the Packers will be seeking their third straight win. Both clubs have played their best games in the last two outings. The Packers pulled the rug from under the title bidding Lions and Cardinals. And the 49ers gained a tie with the Eagles and upset the Colts. It will be a battle for possession of fourth place. The Packers have won four and lost six, and the 49ers have won three, lost six and tied one.


DEC 5 (San Francisco) - Here's something to think about in your idle moments: Are the San Francisco 49ers too strong for the rest of the NFL, and has the time come to break them up? We know the idea  would have been preposterous a month ago, but since something wonderful has happened to the local humpty dumpties and right now they are the hottest outfit in the business, with or without their winter underwear. If the NFL championship were to be determined on the events of the last three weeks, they'd win it hands down. They haven't lost a game since November 11, and no other team can touch that record. In their magnificent finishing drive, Morabito's Miracle Men have run roughshod over the Green Bay Packers, 17-16, slaughtered the Baltimore Colts, 20-17, and tied the mighty Philadelphia Eagles, 10-10. They alone are unbeaten for the last three Sunday, and if you don't believe us you can look it up. The 49ers are the talk of professional football. Everybody's asking what's got them into them that they should come forward with such gigantic strides after having lost all but one of their first seven games. In some quarters, it is suggested that it calls for an investigation. Can the 49ers pass a saliva test or are they dedicated men sworn to do or die for the brothers Morabito and all the stockholders? An interesting thing about the 49er resurgence is that it started when the team was out of town and feeding at the management's expense. Does this mean that they eat better on the road that they do at home? Perhaps some of the 49er wives can shed some light on the subject. Speak up, ladies. Was your cooking at fault when the 49ers couldn't win for losing at Kezar Stadium?



DEC 6 (Boyes Springs, CA-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - First in passing. Last in rushing. That's the Packers' team figure situation after 10 NFL games, according to official yardage announced by the league last night. Green Bay hasn't won a passing-yards championship since 1942, when Cecil Isbell and Don Hutson were cutting up the air lanes for a total of 2,407 yards. The next two games will decide the Packers' chances of winning the air crown - not to mention finishing with a 6-6 record. They play San Francisco in a nationally-televised struggle in Frisco's Kezar Stadium Saturday afternoon and then close at Los Angeles Dec. 16. The Packers pace the league with 2,023 yards passing on 141 completions in 295 attempts, including 125, 262 and 1,882 by veteran quarterback Tobin Rote. Los Angeles is next with 1,982 yards while the Chicago Bears rank third with 1,888. With a 194-yard rushing total against the Chicago Cardinals, the Packers are close to moving out of the league's cellar in that department. They moved for 1,166 yards on the ground in 10 games - just eight yards behind the Philadelphia Eagles, who have 1,174. The Chicago Bears are leading the league in rushing by a good clip, 1,907 yards, despite a virtual standstill in their last two games against New York and Detroit. On the basis of their previous game in Green Bay, which Frisco won 17-16, the Packers will have to step up yards production. They came out of that fumbling performance (three in the last 12 minutes) with a  total of 348 yards, including 210 passing and 138 rushing. The total was enough to win most games. Rookie quarterback Bart Starr started that game and hurled the Bays to one touchdown, but veteran Rote will start Saturday's show - what with outstanding performances behind him...RUNNING INTO RAIN: Last week, the Packers practiced in 17-degree weather. This week, they're running into rain at their camp at Sonoma Mission Inn, about 40 miles from Frisco. The rain hampered yesterday's first tough workout. The weather is expected to clear for the weekend. Billy Bookout is being worked into the defensive unit, sharing cornerbacker chores with Kenny Gorgal and Hank Gremminger. Bookout is fresh off the injured reserve list, having replaced Glenn Young, who has been dispatched via waivers. Billy suffered a fractured cheek bone in the Cleveland game Nov. 4.


DEC 6 (Green Bay) - There were two developments on the Packer home front today - presentation of Fred Cone as the most valuable player in the Packers' 24-21 victory over the Chicago Cardinals and a heavy response to the Community Telegram to the Packers, who are now training in Boyes Springs, Calif., for their game in San Francisco. Packer scout Jack Vainisi, sitting in for coach Liz Blackbourn at Wednesday night's Quarterback club meeting, revealed Cone as the Card game's most valuable player and awarded the weekly watch from Fairmont Foods Co...FIELD GOAL WON GAME: The Packer fullback gained 92 yards rushing, caught two passes for 22 yards, and kicked the field goal that won the game. In answer to questions from Quarterbackers, Vainisi said that two of the Packers' five choices in the recent draft can be signed now - Paul Hornung, the bonus pick from Notre Dame, and Dalton Truax of Tulane since their teams won't be in any bowl games. The other three, Ron Kramer of Michigan, Carl Vereen of Georgia Tech and Joe Wells of Clemson, still have competition left - Kramer in basketball and track, Vereen with his team in the Gator Bowl and Wells in the Orange Bowl. More than 600 fans already have agreed - at a cost of 10 cents each - to have their names added to the Community Telegram to be sent to the Packers in San Francisco Saturday morning. They'll bid for their fifth victory in the afternoon. It is hoped to send a 40-foot telegram with about 1,500 signatures. The wire now stretches out to about 15 feet.


DEC 6 (San Francisco) - The San Francisco 49ers, coming off a three-game road trip that found them climbing out of the Western Division cellar with two victories and a tie, returned to work at their Redwood City training camp in preparation for Saturday's return engagement with the Green Bay Packers at Kezar Stadium. All hands are in good shape except for linebacker Ed Beatty, who has a slight knee injury. He is expected to play, however. The 49ers are figuring they'll have to get more points out of their offensive efforts if they are to beat the Packers again. When they put over their 17-16 victory in Green Bay last month, Lady Luck played right into their hands in a manner that isn't likely to happen again. That was the day the Packers fumbled the ball away to the 49ers twice when it seemed inevitable that they would score either a touchdown or a field goal. That also was the day that the 49ers got on the scoreboard by way of an 86 yards touchdown run by Hugh McElhenny with Gordy Soltau's field goal and two conversions providing the margin of victory. If San Francisco can handle Green Bay Saturday and the Baltimore Colts December 16, the local entry in the NFL will wind up with a 5-6-1 record in Frankie Albert's maiden trip as head coach. Last year, the 49ers had a 4-8 record.



DEC 7 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers never felt so low as they did after losing to the San Francisco Forty Niners 17 to 16 in Green Bay last Nov. 18. The Bay dressing room late that Sunday afternoon wasn't like a morgue. It was rather noisy - blue with a lot of stuff that couldn't be carried in the Press-Gazette the next day. In short, the Packers were mad - darned mad, and their feelings concerning their poor performance undoubtedly had a bearing on their success in the next two games. They stepped out and upset Detroit 24 to 20 with a 21-point fourth quarter and then canned the Chicago Cardinals 24 to 21 with a touchdown in the last minute. The two triumphs helped erase the black memory of Nov. 18 - plus setting up a two-game winning streak. The Packers get a chance to wipe out that 17-16 business for good in Kezar Stadium here Saturday afternoon and Packerland will get a chance to see it. It will be carried on a national television hookup of 180 stations, with an audience of 30 million. Kickoff is set for 3:35, Green Bay time...The loss to Frisco at the Bay saddled the Packers with a four-game losing skein, coming on the heels of successive belts by Baltimore, Cleveland and the Chicago Bears. Now, the Packers are in hopes of closing with a four-game winning streak and Stepping Stone No. 3 could be these same Forty Niners Green Bay closed at Los Angeles Dec. 16. A four-win finish would give the Bays a six-six record in '56, tying the mark of the 1955 upstarts. Finishing with a four-game sweep would be rather historic since the Packers haven't been able to match that kind of string (or better) at the end of a season since 1941. The Bays won their last eight games to gain a tie for the Western Division lead with the Chicago Bears and force a special playoff. In 1939, the Packers won their last four to clinch the championship. Even the unbeaten 1929 Packer machine had a blot; it tied the third last game, 0-0, against Frankford...As if the Packers weren't unhappy enough about losing to the Forty Niners earlier, they were somewhat incensed over Frisco coach Frankie Albert's sarcastic remark after the game. The Packers fumbled three times in the last six minutes, running all hope of scoring a victory. Albert opined that "you'd think the Packers put in those fumbles as plays." The fumbled were committed by veterans Howie Ferguson, Al Carmichael and Tobin Rote. It would be fitting if they could each score a touchdown Saturday!...The Packers came out of the Cardinal game without a scratch. In fact, the only business Dr. H.S. Atkinson, team physician, had after the game was administering a cold shot to guard Joe Skibinski. With everybody in good shape, Coach Liz Blackbourn may stick with the same lineup that produced the victories over Detroit and the Cards. Key figures will be Joe Johnson, Fred Cone, Ferguson and Rote in the offensive backfield and Hank Gremminger and Ken Gorgal at the vital cornerbacker spots, with Billy Bookout serving as first replacement in that position...The Packers practiced at Boyes Springs, 30 miles north of here. They will arrive at Kezar Stadium Saturday in time to relax and then suit up for the afternoon's work. The Bays will hop an overnight train for Pasadena Saturday night, arriving there Sunday morning. And Tuesday it will be back to work for the season windup against the Rams in Los Angeles.


DEC 7 (Milwaukee Journal) - Lisle Blackbourn's Green Bay Packers, fresh from successive triumphs over the contending Detroit Lions and Chicago Cardinals, will go for revenge and their third straight victory when they meet the San Francisco 49ers in Kezar Stadium in San Francisco Saturday. The 49ers rule as slight favorite, even though Green Bay stands a half game ahead of them in the Western Division. The Packers have won four games and lost six; the 49ers have won three games, lost six and tied one. Frank Albert's men are favored for three reasons: (1) they beat the Packers in their first meeting at Green Bay three weeks ago, 17-16; (2) they are playing at home where they are especially hard to beat, and (3) they have the league's best record for the last three weeks. Oddly, San Francisco has not lost its last three starts, a statement that no other pro football team can make, even though the 49ers have scored only four points more than their opponents in this span. They beat the Packers by one point, tied Philadelphia (10-10), and last Sunday cooled off the Baltimore Colts at Baltimore (20-17). Winning at Baltimore was more than either the Packers or the Chicago Bears could do this season or last. Two rookie quarterbacks started in the first meeting between the Packers and 49ers - Earl Morrall of Michigan state and Bart Starr of Alabama. This time, the veteran passers, Tobin Rote of the Packers and Y.A. Tittle of the 49ers, will be in there from the opening kickoff. Rote and Tittle have sparked their teams' late season splurges. Ace pass catchers Billy Howton of Green Bay and Bill Wilson of San Francisco will also duel. Wilson leads the league with 47 catches, but Howton is ahead in yards gained with 1,049 (to Wilson's 765) on 44 catches and in touchdowns with 11. Rote leads in touchdown passes with 16, although he got none last Sunday at Chicago, and leads in attempts, completions and yards gained. Neither teams's defense has been much, although each has done well the last three weeks. Green Bay will throw a revived running attack revolving around Rote, Fred Cone and Howie Ferguson against San Francisco's fine runners, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson. The Packers have worked out all week at the Sonoma Mission Inn, Boyes Springs, Calif.


DEC 7 (Green Bay) - “Operation Wire Lift” went over the top today – and the end is not in sight! More 


than 1,700 Packer fans have contributed dimes to have their signatures carried on a Community Telegram which will be dispatched to the Packers in San Francisco before Saturday’s game with the Forty Niners. This imposing total already had bettered the original goal, 1,500, before noon today and “Wire Lift” officials fully expect the final figure to soar well over the 2,000 mark. Number 1,500 was a high school student, Miss Theresa Barrett, of 445 S. Webster Ave. The deadline for calling Western Union (Hemlock 2-6441) and thus qualifying for tomorrow’s king-size message is 10 o’clock tonight. Expected to measure a whopping 50 feet, the wire will be delivered to the Packer dressing room shortly before Green Bay’s professional football representatives take to the Kezar Stadium turf against the Forty Niners. Actually, the cost of sending each name will be less than a dime. But money left over from the project will be turned over to the Community Chest. The project, cooperatively sponsored by the Press-Gazette and the city’s three radio stations, WJPG, WDUZ and WBAY, moved into high gear within the last 24 houts. More than 800 signatures were received from noon Thursday until noon today. The sportswriters of the sponsoring agencies have composed a 50-word message to accompany the signatures, the text follows: “Although the home season is over, and we won’t see most of you again until next year, be assured the fans of Green Bay are still behind their team. We hope this message will give strong evidence of our confidence in you. Let’s make this win number five. Good luck.”


DEC 7 (San Francisco) - Pro football’s two hottest passing combinations head up the cast tomorrow when the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers meet in their nationally (but not locally) televised rematch at Kezar Stadium tomorrow afternoon. They would be the 49ers’ Y.A. Tittle-Billy Wilson and the Packers’ Tobin Rote-Billy Howton combines. Both have been cookin’ on the high burner of late and, in the main, responsible for the resurgence enjoyed by their respective clubs. Official figures show Wilson and Howton leading all other pass catchers with 47 and 44 receptions and the Packer ace tops in TD passes with 11 and in yards gained with 1,049. The wafer-thin Wilson, bidding for his first outright pass catching title – he shared one with Philadelphia’s Pete Pihos in 1954 – has roared to the front by virtue of 17 catches during the three game road trip, made despite obvious attempts to gang on him…YAT STEPS OUT: Pass-wise, there hasn’t been any one close to Tittle the last three Sundays. Not too long ago an “outcast” with 49er fans and benched because of his ineptness, Yat burned the opposition with 43 completions in 67 attempts for 627 yards and a fancy 64.2 accuracy mark. Rote, like Y.A. reinvigorated by a benching, hasn’t been quite as accurate. But his 40 completions in 78 efforts has accounted for 616 yards during the same span. A total of 118 yards against the 49ers will enable the slender Texan to hit the 2,000 mark. However, there is reason to believe that the Packers aren’t going to put the heavy reliance on the air arm as they have in the past…PACKERS RUN NOW: Since the 17-16 loss to the 49ers at Green Bay, Coach Liz Blackbourn has landed on a running combination which has balanced out the attack. The key was the installation of Howie Ferguson and Fred Cone in the same backfield. With Howie as the tight back and Cone rumbling from fullback, the Packers ran farther than they passed for the first time this season during the upset of the Chicago Cards last Sunday.



DEC 8 (San Francisco-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Green Bay and San Francisco are both hot clubs, and they both expect to win this afternoon. The Forty Niners, a half game behind in the Western Division standings, actually have eclipsed the Packers by a half-game in the last three starts for both teams. In the trio starts, Green Bay won two and lost one while Frisco won two and tied one, beating Green Bay and Baltimore and tying Philadelphia. The Packers whipped Detroit and the Chicago Cardinals and lost 17-16 to Frisco. “We’re both going good,” Packer coach Liz Blackbourn said today after bringing his athletes into Kezar Stadium this noon after the trip down from Sonoma Mission Inn where the team drilled since last Tuesday. “This could be a terrific game – if one team or the other doesn’t have a real bad afternoon,” Liz pointed out, with crossed fingers. The Packers are in hopes of putting on a “terrific show” before a national television audience of some 30 million fans from coast to coast. Kickoff is set for 3:35, Green Bay time, and a live crowd of 30,000 is expected. With two victories under their belts, the Packers have designs on a six-six record to match the 1955 mark. Frisco can’t hit 6-6 anymore since they’ve tied one game but the Gold Diggers can finish third – the spot that Green Bay also covets…Green Bay goes into this afternoon’s action with a surprising shot in the arm from Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Packerland Fan – a 100-foot telegram that was delivered and spread out in the dressing room about the time the team arrived at the stadium. It was a wonderful expression of confidence, the players remarked. The Packers have one casualty – fullback Fred Cone, who has an ear infection. He stayed in bed Thursday in an effort to “boil” out the misery and was up and around Friday for light practice. If Cone can’t go the distance, Howie Ferguson will shift from left half to fullback and Jack Losch will work at left halfback, Liz said. Incidentally, Blackbourn said the squad displayed “lots of hustle in practice this week despite all the rain and cold we’ve had.”…The experts, who have made the Forty Niners a one and a half point favorite, are predicting a stiff passing battle between two veteran quarterbacks, the Packers’ Tobin Rote and Frisco Y.A. Tittle, with the league’s two top receivers, Green Bay Billy Howton and Forty Niner Billy Wilson doing most of the receiving. If the passing is to work, there must be

some yardage gained on the ground. Frisco rests its soil hopes with Hugh McElhenny, while the Packers, who knocked off 194 stripes on the ground last Sunday, will depend on Cone and Ferguson. It would be tough for the Pack if Cone is weakened by the infection…The play of Ken Gorgal, the Packers’ defensive back, has been encouraging. With the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears, Gorgal never had the reputation of being a sharp tackler – a Bookout, for instance. In his first game as a Packer – against San Francisco in Green Bay Nov. 18, Gorgal had a clean shot at Hugh McElhenny on the line of scrimmage but missed. Hugh went on for 86 yards and scored a touchdown in the Bays’ 17-16 loss. Against Detroit, Gorgal’s tackling picked up and against the Cardinals he got his nose downright dirty. What’s more, he intercepted one pass in each game. Actually, Gorgal played mostly as a safety with the Browns and Bears. But Blackbourn needed a cornerbacker in the worst way and the former Purdue player was placed up front where tackles must be made – or else. Gorgal likely will get a good chance to atone for the tackle he missed on McElhenny here this afternoon…The Packers will leave by train tonight for Pasadena, arriving there Sunday morning. They’ll get a chance to relax Sunday and Monday, and maybe even take in the Ram-Colt game. The Bays will stay at the Green Hotel in Pasadena and train at nearby Brookside Park for the windup against the Rams Dec. 16.


DEC 8 (San Francisco) - San Francisco’s 49ers are looking for nothing but trouble on the occasion of their “Homecoming” battle against the Green Bay Packers in Kezar Stadium today. Coach Frankie Albert, fully aware that the Packers have been giant killers in their most recent outings against league-leading Detroit and the high ranking Chicago Cardinals, nevertheless thinks his charges have now developed to the point where they can give any team in the league a strong argument…READY, ALBERT: “We’re ready for ‘em,” said Frankie tersely about the Packers and the game that will be nationally televised (CBS-TV) starting at 1:30 p.m., but blacked out within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco. Bay area nonattendants can hear the game via radio (KFRC). Albert correctly assumed that the second meeting with Lisle Blackbourn’s midwesterners, expected to draw some 30,000 fans, will be much tougher than the first at Green Bay. Then the 49ers fought from behind a 9-0 deficit, got an 86 yard touchdown sprint from Hurring Hugh McElhenny and made three key fumble recoveries to swing a 17-16 win…TITTLE, WILSON CLICK: He can see added troubles for the much improved 49er defenders because Blackbourn had coupled Howie Ferguson and Fred Cone in the same backfield with sharpshooting Tobin Rote to give the Packers a running compliment for the strongest passing attack in the NFL, both in yards gained and in accuracy. But, at the same time, he figures that the 49ers have come a long way since they departed on the eastern junket with a dismal 1-5 record, which ballooned to three wins, no more defeats. The 49ers have every confidence there isn’t a better passer going than Y.A. Tittle and “duplex in spades” when it comes to talk about the brilliant Billy Wilson as a receiver. And there’s new assurance in the running game which contributed 205 yards against Green Bay, 285 against Philadelphia and delivered for big chunks in the last part of the Baltimore contest when ball control was all important. Frankie refuses to go along with those who think that the 49ers’ win over Green Bay in the East was mostly the result of luck, particularly three key fumble recoveries by Bobby Holladay, J.D. Smith and Stan Sheriff, new men who have contributed measurably. The breaks helped, to be sure. But they were far from the entire foundation. For one thing, the 49ers outgained the Packers, 345-348, and Green Bay had a few lucky moments itself, which wiped out one San Francisco TD and a pass bobble by Gordy Soltau on an easy Tittle toss that was earmarked for six points. The 49ers will stand pat with the winning offensive and defensive combinations, except for a surprise move that puts Charlie Powell at middle guard on defense. Injury to Ed Beatty, the regular middle backer, forces the shift. Powell, moved out of his job as a defensive end by the vigorous Ed Henke, hadn’t appeared as a middle guard this season. But he worked the position part time last season and Albert assured he’ll be all right today. If not, John Gonzaga, who has had moments of greatness this year, can be rushed into the breach. Charlie’s height and long reach can be a factor in the containing of the Packers’ effective short passing game, featuring end Billy Howton and Ferguson. Howton’s personal duel with Wilson for individual receiving leadership will be of more than passing interest. The 49ers’ Billy heads the league with 47 catches. Howton, the NFL leader in yards gained on passes and TD receptions, is three behind with 44.

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