(SAN FRANCISCO) - Green Bay’s spectacular aerial game clicked for tremendous yardage in their 1952 NFL finale here Sunday with the San Francisco 49ers, but the local club had the punch on the ground to score and wound up on the long end of a 24-14 count. The win gave the Forty Niners a 7-5 record and the setback left Green Bay with 6-6. A crowd of 18,086 saw the two rivals battle it out in a fiercely fought contest. The players of both teams were so keyed up that they squared off, with calmer teammates keeping a general fight from getting underway. John Strzykalski, the old Marquette star, playing his last game for the 49ers, suffered a broken nose for the fifth time in his professional career. It was his “retirement gift” and was suffered in one of the pileups when he was driving through the line. San Francisco’s great quarterback, Frankie Albert, who also retired with this game, turned in a brilliant performance in leading his team to three touchdowns. The game also marked the retirement of Green Bay’s halfback, Tony Canadeo, calling it quits after 11 seasons. When he ran onto the field to be introduced before the game, the crowd gave him a warm ovation. Canadeo was in and out of the game, and turned in his usual solid play.
Vito Parilli and Tobin Rote alternated at quarterbacking and kept the crowd in an uproar with their short and long passes. Parilli pitched one of the two touchdown passes to Bill Howton, and contributed half of the most thrilling play of the game. Howton was on the receiving end of the 90-yard gaining pass. The fans cheered as he snagged the ball on his own 47 yards line. Parilli had pitched the ball from own goal line as he faded back. Howton dodged three tacklers and outran the others, although he had to change course several times to throw them off their target. The forward passing team of Parilli and Rote completed 23 out of 47 passes for total yardage of 329 yards. Individually, it was Parilli completing 10 for 180 yards and Rote 13 for 149 yards. While the aerial phase of the Packer attack left nothing to be desired, they failed to move on the ground when appreciable yardage was needed. The 49ers played one of their better defensive games, to stop the Packers in the clutches. The Packers took the opening kickoff and started a march downfield, from their own 19. Parilli kept the crowd roaring with his sharp passes and it looked like they were on their way to justify their role of one-point favorites. Parilli passed to Bob Mann for eight yards, then to Howton for 11, and again to Mann for 12 yards. In between, Reichardt packed the ball three times for a total of 13 yards, and Reid punched out two. A five-yard penalty against the 49ers aided in the advance. With the ball 25 yards from scoring turf, Parilli missed on two passes, and on fourth down he called for a field goal try by Reichardt. It was a fake, however, and Forte, who came in to hold the ball, flipped a short pass to Floyd, who was tossed for a loss. The 49ers took over on their own 26, and went from there for a first score. The old master, Albert, was never in better form, mixing up passing and ground plays in the 74-yard drive that put the locals into a lead they never relinquished.
Green Bay took the kickoff and moved from its own 20 to San Francisco’s 39. Two plays lost a total of six yards, Parilli passed to Reichardt for five yards to the 40, and Reichardt missed a field goal attempt from the San Francisco 48 yard line. The ball fell short and the period ended shortly after. San Francisco made it 14-0 early in the second period traveling 51 yards on four plays, after recovering a fumbled punt by the Packers’ Billy Grimes. The biggest chunk was 44 yards by Joe Perry on a quick opener to the Green Bay seven. Hugh McElhenny went over from the one yard line. Green Bay got back into the game on a 76-yard drive with Rote passing the last four yards to Howton in the end zone. In this drive, the full power and skill of the Packer passing game was displayed. Rote, on a screen pass setup, rifled the ball to Floyd Reid who ran 72 yards to the San Francisco four yard line. However, the Packers were penalized five yards back to the nine because Reid made what the officials called an illegal lateral to a teammate. Rote passed five yards to Howton and then hit the latter in the end zone. Reichardt converted. Late in the same period, Reichardt missed on a 40-yard field goal try. The 49ers scored their third touchdown when they took the opening kickoff of the third period on a 73 yard advance. Albert completed one good for 42 yards to J.R. Boone and the scoring pitch to Joe Arenas from six yards out. The Packers came back with the sensational 90 yard pass play to put them back in the ball game, with Reichardt converting to make the count 21-14. After scoring the touchdown, the Packers recovered the ball on an onside kickoff by Reichardt. They put the ball in play on San Francisco 44. Parilli passed to Keane for nine yards and Reichardt added one to the 34. The 49ers swarmed on Parilli twice to hold him for no gain and drop him for a loss the second time. On fourth down, Reichardt attempted a field goal attempt from the 49ers’ 45-yard line which went wide. Early in the fourth period, Reichardt missed another field goal attempt – this one from San Francisco’s 42 yard line. The Packers had put the ball in play on their own 23 and moved to San Francisco’s 34, mainly on two passes to Keane good for 11 yards, one to Canadeo for 11 yards and another to Howton for 10 yards. Rote shot two passes for Howton which failed to connect and the field goal try followed on fourth down. The Packers staved off a possible San Francisco touchdown on the next series of play when Washington Serini, 235-pound tackle, recovered a fumble by Perry on the Green Bay 17 yard line. They lost seven yards on a pass play, and failed to gain on two other passes. Parilli then punted to midfield. The 49ers drove 30 yards and Gordon Soltau came in to kick a field goal from the 26-yard marker.
GREEN BAY     -   0   7   7   0  -  14
SAN FRANCISCO -   7   7   7   3  -  24
                       GREEN BAY SAN FRANCISCO
First Downs                   16            24
Rushing-Yards-TD         22-64-0      42-193-2
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 24-48-328-2-1 17-28-217-1-1
Sacked-Yards                 0-4          6-57
Net Passing Yards            324           160
Total Yards                  388           353
Fumbles-lost                 3-2           2-1
Turnovers                      3             2
Yards penalized             4-20          6-40
1st - SF - Joe Perry, 3-yard run (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
2nd - SF - Hugh McElhenny, 1-yard run (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-0
2nd - GB - Billy Howton, 4-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Bill Reichardt kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-7
3rd - SF - Joe Arenas, 6-yard pass from Frankie Albert (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-7
3rd - GB - Billy Howton, 90-yard pass from Babe Parilli (Reichardt kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-14
4th - SF - Soltau, 20-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 24-14
GREEN BAY - Bill Reichardt 11-43, Breezy Reid 3-12, Tobin Rote 3-9, Babe Parilli 4-4, Tony Canadeo 1-(-4)
SAN FRANCISCO - Joe Perry 20-109 1 TD, Hugh McElhenny 5-25 1 TD, Johnny Strzykalski 6-22, Joe Arenas 5-18, Frankie Albert 4-15, Bob White 2-4
GREEN BAY - Babe Parilli 22-10-180 1 TD 1 INT, Tobin Rote 25-13-149 1 TD, Bob Forte 1-1-(-1)
SAN FRANCISCO - Frankie Albert 26-16-213 1 TD 1 INT, Y.A. Tittle 1-1-4, Joe Perry 1-0-0
GREEN BAY - Billy Howton 8-162 2 TD, Breezy Reid 4-82, Jim Keane 4-29, Bobby Jack Floyd 3-11, Bob Mann 2-20, Tony Canadeo 2-19, Bill Reichardt 1-5
SAN FRANCISCO - J.R. Boone 5-108, Hugh McElhenny 4-39, Joe Arenas 3-28 1 TD, Billy Wilson 2-18, Joe Perry 1-17, Bennie Aldridge 1-4, Bob White 1-3
This is Tony Canadeo, who played HB for Green Bay from 1941-1944, and 1946-1952. The one missing year was spent in service with the U.S. Army during World War II. Canadeo played college football at Gonzaga University in Spokane, where he was first known as the "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga," due to his prematurely graying hair. He was selected by the Packers in the ninth round (77th overall) of the 1941 N.F.L. Draft. He was the first Packer to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the third player ever in the N.F.L. to accomplish this feat. Canadeo rushed for 1,052 yards in 1949, as the Packers struggled to a 2-10 record. In addition to his accomplishments as a running back, Canadeo also recorded nine career interceptions on defense and served as the team's punter. Canadeo is one of only five Green Bay Packers to have his number (3) retired by the team, which was done immediately upon his retirement in 1952. After his playing career, Canadeo continued his association with the team as a broadcaster and member of the organization's executive committee. He played a small part in helping Jack Vainisi reassure Vince Lombardi in 1959 that the transition from New York City to Green Bay would be comfortable for his family. "The Gray Ghost of Gonzaga," was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. He died in Green Bay in 2003 at the age of 84. (Source: blogspot)
San Francisco 49ers (7-5) 24, Green Bay Packers (6-6) 14
Sunday December 14th 1952 (at San Francisco)
DECEMBER 14 (Philadelphia) - Sunday was Farewell Day in the NFL. Four professional greats, including Milwaukee's own Johnny Strzykalski, played the final games of their careers. Strzykalski and Frankie Albert of the San Francisco 49ers, Sammy Baugh of the Washington Redskins, and Bob Waterfield of the Los Angeles Rams stood on the sidelines in ceremonies before or after the games and took their final bows with the cheers of fans ringing in their ears. After the game, a youngster asked Albert for his chin strap from his helmet. Frankie gave it to him. Another small boy asked for and received the helmet. Within seconds, Albert was engulfed in youngsters. He finally made it to the dressing room wearing an undershirt, football pants and sweat sox. Baugh wound up his fabulous career sitting on the bench and cheering his team to its upset victory over the Eagles. Asked after the game if he intended to lay around on his Texas ranch, Baugh replied, "Lay, hell. There's a lot of work to be done on a ranch." Waterfield, who was playing his final home game, received a fishing boat mounted on a trailer, fishing rod, golf bag, television set and other gifts from fans. During the game, Bob completed seven passes in 15 tries for 69 yards, then went home to wife Jane Russell.
DEC 15 (Green Bay) - Bill Howton, the Packers’ rookie end, broke Don Hutson’s all-time Packer record of 1,211 yards in 1942 on pass receptions in San Francisco Sunday by catching eight for 162 yards. Howton finished with 1,231 yards on 53 catches – an average of 23.2 yards per catch. Hutson caught 74 in ’42. Two of Howton’s catches went for TDs, giving him a total of 13 – four under Hutson’s league record of 17 set in ’42.
DEC 15 (Philadelphia) - The San Francisco 49ers’ veteran Gordon Soltau edged into the 1952 NFL scoring championship Sunday by kicking a field goal and three points after touchdown in the battle with the Green Bay Packers. Statistics released here by the NFL show Soltau wound up the campaign with 94 points, thus regaining the top spot held about 24 hours over the weekend by end Cloyce Box, Detroit Lions end, who tallied three touchdowns for 18 points against the Dallas Texans on Saturday. Box nosed out Lou Groza of the Cleveland Browns for the runnerup spot. Box had 90 points while the “educated toe” finished with 89. Dan Towler of the Los Angeles Rams wound up with 894 yards gained on 156 carries to take honors in that class. Eddie Price of the New York Giants did not see action Sunday, but held onto second place with a total of 748 yards gained. Joe Perry of the 49ers picked up 109 yards to take over third spot with 725 yards. Groza also set a new mark of 104 straight conversions, 20 more than the old record held by Philadelphia’s Cliff Patton. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Rams set a new standard for the most passes tried in a game by both teams with 91 attempted. The old mark was 89 set by the Steelers and Cleveland last Nov. 16. Dick Lane of the Rams grabbed three Steeler passes Sunday to establish another league record. Lane intercepted a total of 14 passes during the season. The old record of 13 was held jointly by Dan Sandifer of the Green Bay Packers, set while with the Washington Redskins and Orban Sanders of the old New York Yanks.
DEC 15 (Baltimore) - While the club Baltimore’s pro football fans are bidding for dropped a 41-6 finale, season ticket sales for next year reached 7,863. Commissioner Bert Bell of the NFL promised Baltimore he would transfer the Dallas franchise here next year if the city bought $250,000 worth of tickets before Jan. 22, date of the league meeting. That means about 15,000 season tickets. The drive began last Monday. The Texans Sunday lost to Detroit, its 11th defeat for the season. They defeated the Chicago Bears for their lone win. Baltimore previously had a team, the Colts, in the old All-America conference, but it folded shortly after entering the NFL.
Fullback Joe the Jet Perry running against the Green Bay Packers in Frankie Albert's last game as a player. (Photo Credit: Western Neighborhoods Project)
Hugh McElhenny scoring from the 1 yard line (Photo Credit: Western Neighborhoods Project)