yards, but it certainly was exciting, and brought on Fred Cone's first field goal. Rote experienced two third-downers later in the second quarter. On one he rolled eight yards for a first down and on the next he threw low to Billy Howton, setting the stage for Cone's second field goal. The Packers didn't find themselves in another third down position until halfway in the third quarter when Rote overthrew Johnson on one and Johnson galloped six on another. Rote found success on three straight third down plays early in the fourth quarter. He threw seven yards to Ferguson on the first for a first down on the Forty Niner 44. Five plays later, Ferguson needed one yard on third but made three to the 30. Then, in the best third down play of the day, Rote and Gary Knafelc worked a 34-yard touchdown strike. Though the Packers scored again (on Ferguson's second down run of six yards), Rote had only one third down play left to call - with two minutes left. The play, which saw Ferguson gain four yards, would have produced a first down but the Packers were offside on the first play of the series, making it 15 to go. Rote then ran seven yards on the "new" first down. On second down, Rote started to hand off, apparently to Reid, but Breezy wasn't there so Rote nested the ball for no gain. Ferguson's run came next and on fourth down Cone missed a field goal in an effort to make it 30-21. Had the Forty Niners scored in the last minute (they fumbled only 33 yards short), that offside penalty and messed up signal would have been up for discussion today. Otherwise Sunday: Jim Jennings, the reserve offensive end who is a key player on Packer punt and kickoff platoons, started where he left off when Coach Liz Blackbourn unwillingly placed him on waivers after the first two games. The Missouri rookie recovered a fumble on one kickoff, setting up Cone's first field goal, and later ran into a spell of bad luck. He fielded one of Dick Deschaine's punts on the four-yard line, but his momentum carried him into the end zone, the officials putting the ball in play for Frisco on the 20. It is interesting to note that the Forty Niners' great pass catcher, Billy Wilson, caught only two passes (for 21 yards) all afternoon. Val Joe Walker had an answer for that: "We watched him so much that this Hardy got away from us for two scores." Deschaine punted beautifully Sunday, averaging 48.8 yards in four boots. Even better the Forty Niners returned only one - that for 11 yards by Rex Berry. Two were fair catches and one went into the end zone with Jennings.
LIONS TAKE HEART, BUT NOT TIME
NOV 22 (Detroit) - Detroit's downtrodden Lions will have only two days to prepare for the Thanksgiving Day engagement with the Green Bay Packers in Briggs Stadium. Coach Buddy Parker gave the squad Monday off after its 24-14 defeat at the hands of the Western Division leaders, the Chicago Bears. Although the Lions were handed their seventh defeat in nine games, Parker took heart from several developments in the Chicago game. Large Leon Hart, for five years an end for the Lions, moved into the backfield at fullback. His work as a blocker on pass protection and a threat up the middle as a runner has apparently earned him the job full time. Bobby Layne, behind improved protection, gave his best performance of the year. He gained 319 yards on 20 completions against the Bears. Dave Middleton continued to show improvement at end, gaining 168 yards on eight receptions. The Lions utilized a "different" defense against the Bears and came in for plaudits from the Bear coaches for the work of several interior linemen. Lou Creekmur, Darris McCord, Bob Miller, Joe Schmidt and Sherwin Gandee were credited with halting the power backs who had ravaged the league for five straight games for Chicago. The Lion linemen will have another opportunity to prove their worth when they face the Packers. Howie Ferguson, Packer fullback, is the No. 2 ground gainer in the league. Even more important for the Lions will be a tightening of their pass defense. The Packers can’t match the Bears’ Ed Brown in the passing department, but Tobin Rote poses a real threat, particularly with his wandering, running passes. The pass defense against the Bears was spotty. Brown completed 15 of 18 passes, but actually only two long gainers were permitted. These were to Harlon Hill, who fortunately doesn’t have a counterpart on the Packer team. The Packers, who beat the 49ers Sunday on Rote’s running in the final minutes, still have a chance of moving into the top spot if the Bears or Rams should slip. Currently, the Packers are one game off the pace with a 5-4 record. The Bears lead the league with a 6-4 mark and the Rams are 5-3-1. The Lions came out of Sunday’s game without serious injury. Dick Stanfel jammed his neck late in the game, but he is expected to be ready Thursday. Middleton will have some bruised ribs checked, but his injury isn’t considered serious.
WIN MOOD PAYING OFF FOR PACKERS
NOV 22 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - The winning frame of mind the Packers have adopted since the Bear rout should certainly make them a hard-to-handle contender down to the wire in the hot Western Division title race. Bouncing off the ropes of disaster with a convincing 31-14 win over the Cardinals and Sunday's 27-21 comeback conquest over the 49ers, Green Bay now goes into the annual Turkey Day clash at Detroit a game behind the pace-setting Bears. Title talk, however, is hush-hush with the Packers strategists now trying to figure what ticks with the Lions. "A win is always good, especially a comeback one like Sunday's. But right now we're thinking only about one thing - Detroit." That was far as Coach Liz Blackbourn cared to discuss his Packers' chances Monday. "We are thinking about this thing, one game at a time." There was no doubt this was the big one for Blackbourn, who can now show real progress since taking command last season. It's pretty much the same old talent at Green Bay, but it's clicking like never before. The key play and turning point of Sunday's win was Tobin Rote's 49 yard scamper to the 49er six after taking a lateral from Breezy Reid, who was a dead duck on the play. "That was a spoiled play which really broke for us," chuckled Liz. "It sure killed them right there." Rote was poison to the 49ers all afternoon, despite a cold first half. Tob completed 14 of 32 passes for 201 yards and ran for 81. Rote may not be the best quarterback in the league, but San Francisco can vouch that he's the most dangerous. Bobby Dillon, perhaps the fastest man on the squad, saves a possible catastrophe by catching up to Dicky Moegle and bouncing him out of bounds on the Packer seven after a 39 yard run. Moegle had burst into the secondary and was alone on the Packer 20. Moegle's a fast kid, but Dillon was faster. The Packers followed Dillon's effort with one of the finest goal line stands this season. Three plunges by Joe Perry and Moegle's wide pitch out attempt moved the ball to the one - no more. If the 49ers had scored on this one they might have had a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Hard telling what would have resulted. Injuries have been relatively few this year for the Packers, an important factor in Green Bay's success. Cornerbacker Billy Bookout was probably the most seriously hurt in Sunday's bruising struggle. "He was really jammed up and will probably see limited action the Lions," reported Blackbourn. "He was really racked at the end - bruised ribs, shoulder and neck." But apparently Bookout is a tough little hombre. He tackled Harry Babcock so viciously that it caused the 49er end to fumble. Val Joe Walker fell on the pigskin and that was the ball game. The Packers resorted to some razzle-dazzle stuff time and again with double reverses and laterals. The first touchdown resulted when Rote hit Billy Howton on the 'Frisco 30, and he promptly lateraled to Joe Johnson who went the distance. "Just heads up football," said Blackbourn, "nothing new." The Packers had the day off Monday while the planning board mapped strategy for the Thanksgiving Day game. "This game with Detroit really is a hard one to get ready for and figure. We'll need all the luck in the world."
LATERAL BIG TOPIC OF HAPPY PACKERS FOLLOWING VICTORY
NOV 22 (Milwaukee Journal) - The lateral play provided most of the conversation in the happy, warm atmosphere of the Packers' dressing room after their 27-21 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers. "We'll have to practice it this week," said Tobin Rote, quarterback. He was one who took the totally unrehearsed flip from halfback Breezy Reid and ran 49 yards to San Francisco's six, setting up the winning touchdown. Coach Lisle Blackbourn smiled, "We haven't tried that one before," he said, "and we probably won't try it again." Ray (Scooter) McLean, backfield coach, denied that he was the one who called the play. McLean and Tom Hearden spot plats from high in the stands. "Tobin gets the credit," McLean said, then added wryly, "It was a great call." Rote, who ran much better than he passes, was asked how come. "I had trouble getting loosened up out there today," he said. "I had on a heavy sweat shirt under my jersey (he has been bothered by a cold all fall) and maybe that was part of the reason. If I'd been throwing right we could have had a couple more touchdowns at least. Once Billy (Howton) was clear in the corner. All I had to do was get the ball to him and I didn't." Rote left and McLean said, "What a man he is. Did you see him on that one run on the other side of the field? He could have stepped out of bounds and no one would have touched him. Instead, he lowered his shoulder into those two 49ers and what a collision! Rote jumped right up. If they hurt him at all he wasn't going to let them know that they did." Blackbourn was asked what he thought might have been the turning point. "The lateral has to be one," he said. "Stopping them on the one was another. The defense really did a job there. That kept them from getting too big a jump on us and snapped us out of our lethargy at the same time." The coach also praised Billy Bookout and Veryl Switzer for their effort on the fumble which gave the Packers the ball with less than a half a minute to play. "Boy," he said, "did they go after Babcock. There they all were after the play, laid out this way and that and Val Joe Walker had the ball. We still could have lost until they did that."...'DESERVED TO WIN', SAYS STRADER OF THE 49ERS: Norman (Red) Strader, San Francisco coach, had no alibis after the game. "They (the Packers) deserved to win," he said. "They retained their poise all the way, were resourceful and played good football." Lou Rymkus, Packer line coach, walked over and congratulated guard Jack Spinks personally after Howie Ferguson scored the winning touchdown. "You really cleared the way," Rymkus told the converted fullback from Alcorn A&M. Bobby Dillon, Green Bay's leading interceptor, missed three chances to add to his total of eight. Once he caught the ball but a penalty nullified it. The two other times, he muffed opportunities when he apparently was so engrossed in figuring out where he was going to run that he forgot to catch the ball first. Ferguson's shoulder was so sore after the game that he had trouble putting on his sport coat. No one was seriously injured, but the Packers got more than their usual share of bumps and bruises. They will have to recuperate fast, too, because they play the Lions at Detroit Thursday. With Sunday's crowd of 19,099, the Packers drew 153,239 at "home", easily a club record. Three games at County Stadium here attracted 86,258 and three at Green Bay, 66,981.
PACKERS FACE LION AERIAL CIRCUS THANKSGIVING DAY
NOV 23 (Detroit-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Note to Bobby Dillon and Val Joe Walker: The Detroit Lions may put on an aerial circus here Thanksgiving Day and you two defensive aces had better be on your toes! And that also goes for Doyle Nix, Veryl Switzer, Billy Bookout, Roger Zatkoff, Deral Teteak, Bill Forester, John Martikovic, Nate Borden, Dave Hanner and Jerry Helluin – all key figures in the Packers’ defense against anybody in an enemy football uniform. Stopping Detroit’s aerial game may be the Packers’ main key to scoring their sixth win of the thrilling 1955 NFL season. Kickoff is set for 11 o’clock Thursday morning, Green Bay time, and a crowd of more than 50,000 is expected for the fifth annual Turkey collision between the two clubs. The game will be televised coast to coast, via 160 stations, and the audience is estimated at 10 million. Despite the records of the two clubs, the Lions (2-7) are favored by three points to make the Packers’ totals read 5-5. The Packers, now one game out of first place, can gain a half-game on the leading Chicago Bears and pull into a virtual second place tie with the Los Angeles Rams – by winning. Bobby Layne is expected to pitch most of the afternoon – if the Lions can’t gain on the ground. Detroit’s running game hasn’t been working too well lately (knock on wood, please) and the Lions have shifted almost exclusively to the air. Against the Chicago Bears last Sunday, the Lions gained only 63 yards on the ground. They ran only seven times in the entire second half, so Layne uncorked 32 passes and completed an amazing 20 for 309 yards. He hurled a 77-yard scoring strike to Dave Middleton and a 70-yarder to Doak Walker. The Packers hope to stop fullback Leon Hart and halfback Lew Carpenter, force the Lions into the air and thus provide chances for interceptions. That phase of the day’s strain will be on the Packers’ ability to clog up any holes in their defensive line and put a good rush on Layne. The rest will be up to the Packers’ offense – the rushing of Howie Ferguson, Breezy Reid and Joe Johnson and Tobin Rote’s passing. Ferguson will be lugging a bad shoulder, but he managed 85 yards with the same injury vs. San Francisco last Sunday. Biggest problem for ace receivers Billy Howton, Gary Knafelc and Al Carmichael will be Jack Christiansen, always a thorn in Packer sides. Jack is back in shape after damaging injuries. The Lions have experienced many changes since they lost a 20 to 17 decision to Green Bay Sept. 25. The big move was Hart, then a defensive end, at fullback. Carpenter, then a fullback, now is a right half and Doak Walker is flanked out on the left or right side. Girard, then a right end, is now at left end and the swift Dave Middleton, then a halfback, now is at right end. That’s not all. Jim Salsbury, a middle guard against the Packers, now is at right tackle on offense. Charles Ane has shifted from tackle to center, and Dick Stanfel has moved from guard to tackle, Rookie George Atkins has taken over Stanfel’s place at guard. Actually, the only two offensive players unchanged are Layne and Sewell. The defense is pretty much the same. There could be an additional change in the Lions’ offense. Dorne Dibble, Detroit’s great pass catching end, has been removed from the injured reserve list and will be ready Thursday. He would take Girard’s place, although the Jugger usually has a good day against the Packers in Detroit. Besides putting Dibble on the active list yesterday, the Lions placed halfback Bob Hoernschemeyer on the injured reserve list. Hunchy needed just five yards to set an all-time career rushing record with the Lions. The bumped and bruised Packers face an injury problem on offense due to Howie Ferguson’s shoulder and hurts of guards Joe Skibinski, Buddy Brown and Hank Bullough. Actually, Jack Spinks is the only uninjured guard. In playing the best game of his pro career last Sunday, cornerbacker Billy Bookout suffered injuries virtually from head to foot. If he has slowed down too much, the defense may be changed to utilize Tom Bettis and Switzer. The Packers are headquartering at the Fort Shelby Hotel here and will leave immediately after the game for Green Bay, via chartered Capital Airlines. They should arrive at Austin Straubel field about 4 o’clock. The Packers will leave by train Saturday for the west coast, going to Sonoma Mission Inn near San Francisco to prepare for the Forty Niner game Sunday, Dec. 4.
BILLY, AL HOLD THREE LEADS IN NFL FIGURES
NOV 23 (Green Bay) - Al Carmichael and Billy Howton hold three first places in the NFL’s individual statistics race, according to figures released today by the league. Carmichael, Packer right halfback, leads both the kickoff and punt returns with an average of 34.6 and 9.9, respectively. He returned nine punts for 89 yards and nine kickoffs for 311 yards, including a 100-yard shot for a touchdown against Cleveland. Howton, the Packers’ ace right end, is in a three-way tie for first place in pass catching with Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears and Tom Fears of Los Angeles. Each has 39 catches. Packer Gary Knafelc is moving up with 31 snatches. Packer fullback Howie Ferguson gained 14 yards on ground leading Alan Ameche of Baltimore last Sunday. Ameche is tops with 780 yards, but Ferguson, despite a bad shoulder, has 718. They have the same averages, 4.8. Packer rookie punter Dick Deschaine, with a 48.8 average against San Francisco, moved into third place with an average of 42.5. Norm Van Brocklin leads with 45.4, and Adrian Burk is second with 43.3. Packer Bobby Dillon is just one interception out of first place in that phase. He has eight and Bill Sherman of LA is leading with nine.
LIONS 3-POINT PICK OVER BAYS
NOV 23 (Milwaukee Sentinel) - Who will be more hungry Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, the title craving Packers, or the victory famished Lions? The "wishing bone" should snap in the Lions' favor, say the oddsmakers, who have predicted Detroit to win by three points in this Turkey Day pro football feast. The surprising Packers must win to keep their Western Division title chances alive. However, they have been unable to snatch a game on the road this season, losing 41-10 to the Browns, 14-10 to the Colts and 52-31 to the Bears. Detroit is strictly out of the running (2-7) and could be nothing, but a spoiler from here on in. The Lions can knock the Packers out of contention Thursday and have another crack at the Bears December 4. The Packers started the defending champs on the road to ruin with a 20-17 conquest in the last 24 seconds in the league opener at Green Bay. Detroit dropped the next five straight before beating the Colts and Steelers. Briggs Stadium has not been too popular with the Packers. They have taken a licking the last seven trips, including last year's 28-24 deal. Bobby Layne, the Lion with the buggy-whip arm, has been only the semblance of a champion. The Lions today are second only to the Steelers as pro football's best passing team. Green Bay's success can be measured to a large degree on its ground game. The Packers have gained 1,529 yards running to rank third behind pace-setting Bears and Browns. In total offense, the nod goes to Detroit. The Lions have finally started to roar and now edge the Packers' offense, 2,921 to 2,893. The Packers should be high for this one. Confident after two straight wins, Green Bay will be in the best position in many a moon if it can go out to the west coast with a 6-4 showing. Coach Liz Blackbourn has altered plans, taking the club to San Francisco Saturday for a whole week of drills in California. Last season the Packers drilled in frozen Green Bay until two days before the Frisco 35-0 rout. However, the western invasion will be nothing more than a formality if the Packers don't beat the Lions.
PACKER GATE 2ND BEST IN CLUB HISTORY
NOV 23 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers, rolling along in third place in the NFL's Western Division, drew the second largest home attendance in the club's history this year. The Packers drew 153,161 fans to six home games, three here and three at Milwaukee, as compared with their all-time high of 166,400 set in 1947. Three games at Milwaukee with the Baltimore Colts, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers attracted 86,178 while the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Chicago Cardinals drew 66,983 at Green Bay, where the seating capacity is much smaller.
MANN SUES PACKERS
NOV 23 (Detroit) - Bob Mann, a former end for the University of Michigan, the Lions and the Packers, Wednesday filed a $25,000 damage suit in Wayne County Circuit Court against the Green Bay team of the NFL. Mann charged he was released illegally after an injury in an exhibition game against the Eagles on September 4, 1954. He said he was released while injured in violation of NFL bylaws. He said his contract with the Packers called for $7,700 for the season plus a $1,000 bonus if he were among the six top pass receivers.
PACKER PAIR GOES FAR WITH OFF-CAMPUS CLASS
NOV 23 (Detroit) - College education unnecessary. That seems to be a motto for Coach Lisle Blackbourn and his Green Bay Packers, who engage the Detroit Lions in Briggs Stadium Thanksgiving Day. The Packers are utilizing a pair of gridders who didn’t have the benefit of college education – or coaching on the gridiron – to make a strong bid for the Western Divisin title. The two are Howie Ferguson, the second leading ground gainer in the NFL, and Dick Deschaine, the club’s punter. Ferguson, a power runner and an excellent blocker, learned the hard way in service football. He is making a great comeback after being cut twice by NFL teams. His first trial was with the Los Angeles Rams in 1952. He didn’t make the grade. The following year, the Packers picked him up, but were not impressed with his work and cut him again. Injuries cut a wide swatch in the Packer roster, and Green Bay recalled him. He served as an understudy to Fred Cone for the rest of the season and even last year didn’t set the league on fire. But this year he is just a little more than 60 yards behind Alan (The Horse) Ameche in the race for the league ground gaining title, He has power to run inside and speed enough to go outside on sweeps. In both spots, Ferguson is hard to stop. His total of 718 yards gained attests to that fact. Deschaine rivals little Tad Weed, Pittsburgh, a super specialist. All he does is punt. He didn’t go to college either, but he has managed to keep an average of 41.5 since he was lured from a chemical factory in Marinette, Wis., this summer. These unlettered gentlemen will be seeking to help the Packers notch their sixth victory in 10 games when they tangle with the Lions. Earlier this year, the Packers eked out a victory over Detroit in the final 26 seconds, 20 to 17. In that game, Ferguson carried the ball 18 times for 70 yards. The payoff pitch came, however, when Tobin Rote hit Gary Knafelc with an 18-yard pass at 14:40 of the fourth quarter. That stunning defeat started the Lions on a string of six straight defeats. Although the Lions are going nowhere in the NFL race, they could