GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(MILWAUKEE) - The Packers put on their greatest come-from-behind show of the 1955 season in County Stadium Sunday afternoon, scoring two touchdowns in the last 10 minutes to defeat the San Francisco Forty Niners 27 to 21. Green Bay whipped Detroit 20-17 in the last 20 seconds and downed Los Angeles 30-28 in the final 24. Both were fantastic, but yesterday’s triumph was even more spectacular because the Packers were eight points down and, after taking the lead, had to put on a desperate last minute defensive stand to preserve the win before 19,099. Thus, the Packers, in winning their fifth NFL battle, bettered the ’54 win total of four and remained in the middle of the rip-snorting Western Division race. The Packers are now in third place, one game behind the leading Chicago Bears, who whipped Detroit, and a half-game behind the Los Angeles Rams, who played a damaging tie with the Baltimore Colts. Green Bay plays its annual Thanksgiving Day classic in Detroit Thursday, and it’ll be another “must” effort for the Packers – just
Green Bay Packers (5-4) 27, San Francisco 49ers (3-6) 21
Sunday November 20th 1955 (at Milwaukee)
FORTY NINERS MADE 'A GREAT TRY', RED
NOV 21 (Green Bay) - Unlike many another losing coach, Norman (Red) Strader could find no fault with the way his San Francisco Forty-Niners had conducted themselves against the Packers at County Stadium her Sunday afternoon. “I have no complaints about our boys,” Strader, aboard the Billy Mitchell Field escalator that was speeding him toward a waiting Washington-bound plane, imparted. “They made a great try, a great try, but were just a little short today. We didn’t have enough to do it.” The Packers, he tacitly admitted, has more than a little to do with this circumstance. "They played good football today,” Strader declared. “They took advantage of most of their opportunities – and that’s what you have to do to win. But that Rote is the one who hurt us the most,” Red felt. “He killed us when he ran with the ball, particularly that last time when he set up the winning touchdown. In fact,” Strader added, “I thought Rote played very fine ball generally. It was not only his running – he also hit those crucial passes when he had to. Ferguson’s a great fullback, too, but I’ve always liked him.” Speaking of fullbacks, what had happened to Frisco’s Joe (The Jet) Perry, who had left the game in the fourth quarter? “Perry’s got a bruise on his knee,” Strader revealed. “I don’t know how serious it was but we had to take him out of there.” Did he think the Packers, still a potent factor in the NFL’s tight Western Division race, could win the rest of the way? “I think they can – except for us,” Strader replied with a smile. “I don’t think they can beat us again. I could be wrong but I don’t think so.” (The Packer-Forty Niner rematch will be played in ‘Frisco Dec. 4) “Yes, you can tell ‘em they can get over ‘em all yet but me,” he chuckled. “They should be able to get by Detroit and I think they can beat the Rams, too. The Packers are a good team. They’re a solid team – they stay together and they play together. Anything can happen.” Strader shot over his shoulder as he prepared to board the plane. “This is some division this year – it’s a great division.”…In contrast to last week’s triumph over the Cardinals, when the Packers took victory in stride, the lid was definitely off in the dressing room on this occasion. “What a game to win, wheeoh! What a game to win,” Head Coach Liz Blackbourn ejaculated as he administered pats on the back to all of his athletes on a tour of the area. Not long after, Liz brought them face to face with the business at hand, calling out, “Great game, fellows. We’d better take tomorrow off but get out to see Jergie (Trainer Bud Jorgensen) because we have a lot of nicks. Better take some calisthenics, too, to get the stiffness out,” he advised, “because we’ll only have Tuesday to get ready for Detroit.” Tobin Rote, mopping his face with a towel in a far corner of the room, revealed that the lateral from Breezy Reid which “set up” Tobin’s climatic run and led to the Packers’ winning touchdown, had not been unexpected. “I figured he was going to lateral to me,” Rote grinned,  “but I couldn’t see what was happening too well at first.
PACKERS OUT TO PROVE THEY'RE WONDER VS. DETROIT
NOV 22 (Green Bay) - The Green Bay Packers - always the sports wonder of the world because they represent a vest pocket-sized community in major league football - will be out to prove to millions of the nation's fans Thursday that they are the wonder of the 1955 NFL season. Few folks gave the Packers much of a tumble when the current campaign opened, but today they are resting just one game out of first place in the bitter Western Division championship race and flying high on the wings of a two-game winning streak. The entire Packer picture looks rosy this Tuesday, but it will look even rosier - with all the trimming, if the Packers can defeat the Detroit Lions in their fifth annual Turkey day classic in Detroit's Briggs stadium Thanksgiving Day. A victory would move the Packers into a virtual tie with the second-place Los Angeles Rams and place them only a half-game behind the first-place Chicago Bears. The pressure then would be on the Chicago Bears, who meet the spanked Chicago Cardinals and the Rams who battle the rugged Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. A loss wouldn't eliminate the Packers entirely but the possibilities of getting back up would be mighty slim. Thursday's game will start at 11 o'clock in the morning, Green Bay time, and will be televised nationally on a 160-station network, including WFRV-TV of Green Bay, WISN-TV of Milwaukee and WMTV of Madison. The game has the largest TV coverage in sports history. Attendance at Detroit is expected to run over 50,000 and the TV audience has been estimated at more than 10,000,000 on the coast to coast hookup. The Packers and Lions started tearing each other apart on Turkey Day in 1951 and the Green Bays have yet to enjoy their postgame feast. Starting in '51, the Lions made off with decisions of 52-35, 48-24, 34-15 and 28-24 in that order. The Packers have snapped many losing series streaks this season, including an 11-gamer held by Detroit and seven-gamers held by the Cardinals and Forty Niners, but the Turkey Day skein is one the Packers really have their heart set on. The Packers have had a lot of difficult luck in Detroit. A year ago, the Bays defensed 'em down to two touchdowns, but a punt return and a return of an intercepted pass gave the Lions the two TDs necessary to win. In '53, the Packers were eight yards from a 22-6 lead when a fumble turned the tide. In both of those years, the Lions were winging toward division championships. The shoe is on the other foot this year since the dangerous Lions are saddled with a 2-7 record and the Packers are rising. The Packers aren't in the best of condition for the big contest, although there are no serious injuries. Coach Liz Blackbourn found that at least eight Packers have bothersome hurts - things that could slow them down. Among the hurtees are fullback Howie Ferguson, who gained 85 yards despite a sore shoulder, Hank Bullough, Buddy Brown and Billy Bookout. Blackbourn gave the Packers Monday off despite the closeness of the Detroit game but ordered anyone with any kind of hurt to report to Trainer Bud Jorgensen. A number of them also exercised on their own Monday - some to work out bumps and bruises. Today's drill was the only down on blackboard practice, but the Packers had time to digest a scouting report by Wally Cruice who witnessed the Lions' 24-14 loss to the Bears Sunday in Detroit. Cruice noted, among other things, that Leon Hart, now playing fullback, furnishes plenty of protection as a blocker for passer Bobby Layne. Hart started the season as a defensive end. Hart is apparently doing his job because Layne completed 20 out of 32 pitches for 309 yards against the Bears. The Lions came out of their bruising game with the Bears in good physical condition. Several lineup switches, including shifting Hart to FB, were made for the Bears and they probably will be used against the Pack...DRILL AT 8 A.M.: The team will turn out for practice at 8 o'clock Wednesday morning after which they'll board the North Western at 10:25 for Milwaukee from where they'll fly to Detroit on Capital airliners commercial planes. Originally, the Packers were to fly out of Green Bay in the afternoon on a chartered Capital airliner but a shortage of flight equipment forced Capital to cancel the flight. The Packers, however, will return to Green Bay immediately after the game on a chartered Capital plane, arriving late in the afternoon.
THIRD DOWNS FEW BUT PACKERS PULLED 'TRIPLE PLAY' ON ONE
NOV 22 (Green Bay) - Sunday's Packer-Forty Niner game was chock full of turning points. You already know about the big ones - stopping Frisco on the one, Jerry Helluin recovering Joe Perry's fumble in the fourth quarter, Tobin Rote's long run, to mention a few. But how about some of those hidden turning points - third down plays, for instance. Quarterback Rote, oddly enough, wasn't confronted with an unusually large number of third down calls all afternoon but there were several and most of those were dillies. The Bays scored their first touchdown in four plays in the second quarter, none coming on first down. The next third down didn't gain but it's worth mentioning. Needing four yards for a first on the Frisco three, Rote handed off to Howie Ferguson who started toward right tackle. Ferguson saw a stone wall and flipped it out to Joe Johnson, who saw the same thing. So Johnson flipped it to Rote, completing a triple play. The play lost three 
COLTS RATE AS PACKERS' NO. 1 HEAD COLD OF 1955
NOV 24 (Detroit-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - A headache and the pro bowl: Regardless of what happened here today, the Packers still rate the Baltimore Colts as their No. 1 head cold of the 1955 season. Roger Zatkoff, Packer defensive captain, explained it during the dressing room celebration after beating the Forty Niners in Milwaukee Sunday: “The only two losses we really deserved were to the Bears (52-31) and Browns (41-10). There’s no question on those two. We just got bear. But we should have 7-2 right now, and we’d be leading the league. Never should have lost those two to Baltimore. They hurt.” The Colts handed the Packers two four-point setbacks – 24-20 in Milwaukee and 14-10 in Baltimore. The Milwaukee event, played before 40,199 fans, was the Packers’ first loss and left them with a 2-1 record. The Baltimore business was the Packers’ third defeat and left them with 3-3. Both Colt games were just plain tough from the Bay standpoint. Fumbles and pass interceptions set up three of Baltimore’s five touchdowns and put a collar on the Packers’ offense. But that’s football in this hectic season of 1955 when upsets were a dime a dozen in the first six weeks of the campaign. The Packers have won some tight games themselves, this season and their victims – Detroit 24-20, Los Angeles 30-28 and San Francisco 28-21 – undoubtedly are feeling the same about the Packers as the Packers are toward Baltimore. The Packers offset their two lopsided defeats with two lopsided victories of their own – 24 to 3 over the Bears and 31 to 14 over the Chicago Cardinals. While there isn’t much distance in the Bear score, the Chicagoans were badly outplayed and never threatened throughout. Oddly enough, the second Bear game (52-31) had the same spread as the first Bear battle – 21 points, but the Bears built up a 45-3 lead at one stage. The Packers scored four touchdowns in the last quarter…Playing in the pro bowl game is becoming a bigger and bigger incentive to the professional gridder. Being selected for the annual classic in Los Angeles in January is an honor in itself because the teams are chosen by the coaches. And who could pick a better all-pro club than the coaches? Nobody! Packers Howie Ferguson and Bobby Dillon are anxious to play in the ’56 battle. “That Ameche’s got to go; he’s a great one, but they’ll need another fullback,” Ferguson said the other day, obviously hoping that the “another fullback” would be H. Ferguson of New Iberia, La. Ameche and Ferguson are running one-two in the league ground-gaining race. Dillon certainly has a berth in the game coming. He should have been selected for the ’55 game, although he was selected on the United Press all-pro team. “I’d sure like to play in the game. I thought I’d make it last year but I didn’t and this may be my last chance,” Dillon said the other day. Bobby is among the leaders with eight pass interceptions despite the fact that he plays with the handicap of one eye. Incidentally, Bobby doesn’t think having one eye is too big a handicap, explaining: “I can’t ever remember seeing out of but one eye so I really don’t notice it too much.” Ferguson, too, deserves a berth in the bowl on the basis of play thus far but he’ll have to perform like made in the two windup games on the west coast. At the moment, Ameche and Ferguson rank as the two top FB’s in the league but Joe Perry of the Forty Niners is closing in. Perry was in the last two bowl games…HOW ABOUT ROTE?: A guy we’d also like to see represent the Western division is Tobin Rote, the Packers’ gallant quarterback. Rote has fought an uphill battle for recognition in the league but in the last couple of years he had to take a not-so-far-back seat to Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and Y.A. Tittle. Rote has edged all three of them in games thus far, not counting today. The colorful Rice Rocket is a fierce competitor and can match anyone in the league. Methinks a lot of folks would like to see Rote operate behind an all-pro line. The Packers have had a number of players in the pro bowl game, featuring the Western against the Eastern division. Among them were John Martinkovic, Dave Hanner, Roger Zatkoff, Clayton Tonnemaker, Deral Teteak, Dick Wildung and Billy Howton.
PACKER-LION GAME HELPS TO DECIDE ORDER IN MONDAY'S DRAFT
NOV 24 (Detroit) - Besides the Packers’ position in the tight Western conference race, Thursday’s battle here will help to determine the order in which the Packers and Lions draw in the preliminary college player draft in Philadelphia next Monday. The standings as of Sunday 
offensive battle, but the tackling was fierce and the defenses were cagey. The Packers recovered four fumbles, all resulting from wicked tackling, and the Forty Niners grabbed two. There were three interceptions, two by the Forty Niners and one by Val Joe Walker. Bobby Dillon had one nullified by a penalty and dropped one other sure strike from Tittle. Frisco made known its intentions when the Packers, receiving the opening kickoff, lost four yards in three ties, forcing Dick Deschaine to punt – the first of four long boots that averaged 48.8 for the day. The Forty Niners moved 59 yards in seven plays with ease. Perry went nine, Tittle threw to Wilson for 17, Perry and Dick Moegle blasted 28 yards to the five and Moegle ripped over from the three. Gordie Soltau converted for a 7-0 lead. Frisco permitted a first down, on two runs by Johnson, but forced another punt. This time the visitors moved 79 yards, 36 on a pass from Tittle to Soltau and 39 on a run by Moegle, reaching the Packer five. Perry reached the one in three tries. On fourth down, Moegle ran into Zatkoff, Dillon and Bill Forester – for no gain. After an exchange of punts, the Packers made their first serious TD move. Rote hurled to Howton for 21 and Al Carmichael ran 18 on a reverse to Frisco’s 25 early in the second frame. Rote found Howton for 12 to the 13 and Johnson ran to the eight. Johnson cracked to the five, but on his next attempt fumbled and Matthews recovered.
JENNINGS GRABS FUMBLE
The Packers weren’t denied after forcing Bobby Luna to punt. Starting on their own 47, Ferguson reeled off two six-yard runs to the Frisco 41. Two plays later, Rote, Howton and Johnson combined on an aerial-lateral for a tie score, with Cone booting the first of three extra points. On the following kickoff, Zatkoff cracked Joe Arenas, Jim Jennings recovering the inevitable fumble on Frisco’s 28. Johnson went three and Rote hurled to Howton for 12 to the 13, but the attack stalled and Cone hit a field goal from the 17 to put the Pack ahead 10-7. Frisco then proceeded 80 yards to go ahead 14-10 on Tittle’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Hardy, who worked behind Switzer in the end zone. In the drive, Moegle ran 18 yards and Tittle hurled twice to Soltau for 21 yards. Just before the touchdown play, Moegle was hurt and was out for the day. The Packers snapped right back, going 43 yards to set up Cone’s field goal from the 28 for a 14-13 score. In the drive, Rote ran for 18 yards in two carries and passed to Carmichael for 15. Green Bay got a good break to start the third quarter when Nate Borden recovered Laughlin’s fumble on the Frisco 37. Ferguson slammed 21 yards in three trips and Johnson two in one for position on the 14 but Carr intercepted Rote’s pass aimed at Hotwon on the two and returned to the 14.
BLACKEN PACKER HOPES
Frisco blackened Packer hopes, taking 86 yards in six plays for a 21-13 lead. Perry carried four straight times for 23 yards, Laughlin made five and Tittle and Hardy then worked a 58-yard TD aerial, Hardy getting away from Dillon and Walker. The Packers forced Luna to punt 3 times but the Forty Niners twice took the ball away from the pack, Stolhandske by intercepting a Rote pass and Matthews recovering Johnson’s second fumble. Near the end of the third period, the Packers set sail from their own nine. Ferguson went 11 in two carries and Rote hurled 12 to Carmichael to take the ball out of danger – on the 32 as the game moved into the fourth period. Rote lost six but then threw to Ferguson for 18 yards on two passes for a first down on the 44. Rote passes to Reid, Howton and Knafelc and Ferguson’s three-yard smash gave the Packers possession on the Forty Niner 30. On third down, after Reid lost four yards, Knafelc took Rote’s pass, which was nicked by a Forty Niner, on the 15 and slammed into the end zone for a 21-20 score. Helluin’s recovery of Perry’s fumble and Rote’s and Ferguson’s runs following to put the Packer ahead.
STOP FOUR PASSES
The Forty Niners quickly added a first down on their own 35 but the Packers, rushing Tittle furiously, stopped four straight pass with 2:50 left and took the ball on downs on the Forty Niner 35. The Packers needed a first down desperately and would have have had it but an offside penalty ruined Reid's four-yard gain. Rote made seven and then nothing when nobody was around to take his handoff, after which Ferguson crashed four to the 28. Cone's try for a field goal from the 36 was wide to the left, with 1:36 left. Then came Tittle's four completions and the fumble recovery.
SAN FRANCISCO -   7   7   7   0  -  21
GREEN BAY     -   0  13   0  14  -  27
                   SAN FRANCISCO     GREEN BAY
First Downs                   19            26
Rushing-Yards-TD        37-186-1      46-251-1
Att-Comp-Yd-TD-Int 28-15-225-2-1 32-14-201-2-2
Sacked-Yards                1-13          2-14
Net Passing Yards            212           187
Total Yards                  398           438
Fumbles-lost                 4-4           2-2
Turnovers                      5             4
Yards penalized             4-23          3-28
SCORING
1st - SF - Dicky Moegle, 3-yard run (Gordie Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
2nd - GB - Joe Johnson, 30-yard lateral from Billy Howton after an 11-yard pass from Tobin Rote (Fred Cone kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - GB - Cone, 11-yard field goal GREEN BAY 10-7
2nd - SF - Carroll Hardy, 33-yard pass from Y.A. Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 14-10
2nd - GB - Cone, 29-yard field goal SAN FRANCISCO 14-13
3rd - SF - Hardy, 58-yard pass from Tittle (Soltau kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-13
4th - GB - Gary Knafelc, 34-yard pass from Rote (Cone kick) SAN FRANCISCO 21-20
4th - GB - Howie Ferguson, 6-yard run (Cone kick) GREEN BAY 27-21
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Howie Ferguson 21-85 1 TD, Tobin Rote 8-81, Joe Johnson 13-46, Al Carmichael 2-38, Breezy Reid 2-1
SAN FRANCISCO - Dicky Moegle 9-83 1 TD, Joe Perry 21-79, Bud Laughlin 6-22, Y.A. Tittle 1-2
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Tobin Rote 32-14-201 2 TD 2 INT
SAN FRANCISCO - Y.A. Tittle 28-15-225 2 TD 1 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Billy Howton 5-68, Gary Knafelc 3-52 1 TD, Al Carmichael 2-27, Howie Ferguson 2-18, Joe Johnson 1-34 1 TD, Breezy Reid 1-2
SAN FRANCISCO - Carroll Hardy 4-122 2 TD, Gordie Soltau 4-72, Joe Perry 3-(-5), Billy Wilson 2-21, Harry Babcock 2-15
in case the Bears should slip in their backyard hassle with their traditional enemy, the Chicago Cardinals, next Sunday. The Forty Niners were high yesterday, and beating a fired team of their caliber stands as a special tribute to the Packers. Frisco was determined to end a two-game losing streak. The Packers might well have been behind 14-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game, but a tough goal line stand on their own one limited Frisco to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the TD coming on Dick Moegle’s three-yard blast to climax a seven-play, 57-yard move the first time they had their hands on the ball. Green Bay went ahead 10-7 with a touchdown and field goal in three minutes and eight seconds midway in the second frame. Tobin Rote hurled 11 yards to Billy Howton who lateraled to Joe Johnson for the last 30 for the first TD. Fred Cone booted a 17-yard field goal minutes later. Just before the half, Tittle hurled 23 yards to Carroll Hardy to put Frisco ahead 14-10 after which Cone booted a 28-yard field goal for a 14-13 count at the half. The Packers, had they been composed of less sterner stuff, could have lost the match in the third quarter. Twice, they had the door slammed in their face – once when Johnson fumbled on Frisco’s five and again when the Forty Niners intercepted a Rote pass on their two. In between, Tittle and Hardy worked a 58-yard aerial touchdown for a 21-13 Frisco lead. Starting near the end of the third quarter, the Packer labored in 14 plays on a 91-yard drive for their second TD and a 21-20 score, Gary Knafelc taking Rote’s 23-yarder on Frisco’s 15-yard line and bolting out of two Forty Niners and into the end zone with 10:03 left in the game. That TD set off the crowd, but the Forty Niners were just as determined and they put together two first downs to midfield where big Joe Perry fumbled and Jerry Helluin recovered on the Packer 40. The Packers scored in three plays, the second of which was the most bizarre business the Packers pulled in years. On play No. 1, Breezy Reid hit center for five yards. On play No. 2, Reid started around his own right end but about four Forty Niners loomed ahead. Reid made an about-face and started to his left and then suddenly lateraled off to Rote, standing about five yards back. Rote took off to where Reid was going in the first place, with the Forty Niners trying to recover, and continued down the sidelines for 49 yards to the Frisco six where Bobby Luna brought him down. Play No. 3! Ferguson zipped smack up the middle and into the end zone for the touchdown. The clock read 4:39 when Cone booted his third extra point. In those last crucial minutes, the Forty Niners had the ball first and lost it on downs on their own 35. An offside penalty brought on a field goal try, but Cone missed from the 35 with 1:36 left. The furious Forty Niners then set out to win the game. Tittle completed four passes for 53 yards to the Packer 33, when Billy Bookout, who had played a terrific game all afternoon, hit Harry Babcock, who had taken a six-yard pitch from Tittle, with such force that Harry fumbled and Val Joe Walker recovered. The big crash, which saved the day on the Packer 27, floored both Bookout and Babcock and they both had to be helped off the field. Rote ate up the last few seconds with a quarterback sneak and the celebration was on. Those are the key details but in the end the difference was the good right toe of Fred Cone. The veteran fullback’s two field goals were the margin of victory since each team counted three touchdowns. Cone, whose FG’s also were the “margin” in the tight wins over Detroit and Los Angeles, carved out No. 13 and No. 14 Sunday (in 22 attempts for the season to establish a new Packer record, breaking the club record of 1947 when Ward Cuff kicked seven and Ted Fritsch six. The heroes were many yesterday. Rote, wearing a heavy undershirt to protect a cold, had trouble getting hot, so to speak, but his touchdown passes to Howton-Johnson and to Knafelc were on the button and his long run actually broke the Forty Niner backs. Ferguson reeled off 85 yards in 21 attempts with a shoulder that would flood most athletes. He gained 58 in the crucial second half when first downs came as hard as pulling teeth. The Packer offensive line helped the Packers to 251 yards rushing and managed good protection for Rote, whose 14 completions netted 201 yards
863-YARD GAME
Defensively, the Packers played it tough. Tittle was hot, what with 15 completions in 28 tries for 225 yards, but in the clutch guys like Bookout, Deral Teteak, Roger Zatkoff, Dave Hanner and Jerry Helluin were there. The yardage total – 863 for both teams, indicated an
I should have stayed outside, though, and we would have had a touchdown on the play.” Reid, still patently delighted with the maneuver’s success, told a similar version – though it differed in one significant detail. “He (Rote) hollered and I saw him and threw it ‘over’,” Breezy said, adding with a chuckle. “Turned out pretty good, didn’t it?” Gary Knafelc, asked if he had seen “daylight” as soon as he caught the ball en route to the Packers’ first touchdown in the fourth quarter, replied, “A guy had hold of me but he just sort of fell off (with some assistance from Knafelc) and then I saw it.” Over in Rote’s corner, Billy Bookout “hurt all over”. The stubby Texan, one of the Packers’ most effective tacklers this pleasant afternoon, said he was “all right” but admitted “I hurt my leg and my ribs.” Co-Capt. Buddy Brown told him, “That’s the way to hit out there, Billy.” Bookout confessed wryly, “I think they hit me harder than I hit them today. I couldn’t seem to hit anybody solid.” Joe Perry might take issue with this last statement, however. Another who might is Frisco’s Harry Babcock, who fumbled to end the 49ers’ last drive after a head-on tackle by Bookout, although Billy admitted he was not himself either after that collision. “I didn’t know he had the ball until somebody told me,” he said. Howie Ferguson, who also had sustained his quote of bumps and bruises during the course of the afternoon, admitted, “Mentally, I feel good but physically, not worth a damn.” Asked if it had been inordinately rough, Len Szafaryn smiled ruefully and said, “It was the easiest day I’ve ever had. They played rough with us.” At this point, Joseph Leo (Roundy) Coughlin rumbled in to congratulate Blackbourn. The Sage of Madison was enthusiastic, telling Liz, “This is the best game I’ve seen all year. I saw more football today than I’ve seen all year. I’d better go home and write some stuff, eh?”…Later, analyzing the situation after the hub-bub had subsided, Blackbourn said, “I don’t think we played as well today as we have in other games. We were dull, very dull, for a while both ways. Of course, if Johnson hadn’t fumbled right after the second half started,” Liz observed, “we’d have kicked a field goal and we wouldn’t have such a rough afternoon. On the other hand, that goal line stand in the first quarter gave us a big lift.” Blackbourn permitted himself a hearty chuckle when jestingly asked if the opportune Reid-Rote collaboration had been in a “play”. Liz laughed and rejoined, “We worked on it all week. That’s our secret weapon – but we don’t think we’ll use it again this year. I’ll tell you one thing, though,” he said. “That reverse we put in this week gave us a good go.”…’NO SOONER SAID’: “We sure need this one, boy, we sure need this one,” Blackbourn muttered, half to himself, as the Packers, trailing 21-13, faced a third down and 12 situation early in the fourth quarter. As if he had heard him, Rote delivered on the next play. But he didn’t settle for a mere first down – he obligingly hit Gary Knafelc for a touchdown...SARTORIAL NOTE: The Packers drew a collection of whistles from the fans when they took the field sporting brand new blue and gold capes. The capes, which replace the brown sheepskins Green Bay's NFL representatives have worn for lo these many years, are the height of gridiron fashion - gold hoods with a gold border and solid blue back across which is emblazoned "PACKERS"...TV COVERAGE: Although the knowledge may afford Packer fans in the midwest little comfort, the game was televised. A 19-station ABC-TV network flashed the action to the West Coast, with Bob Louts describing the play. It also was broadcast to the land of smog over a 72-station Mutual Broadcasting System chain...ASSIST FROM MU: The Packers and Forty-Niners had Marquette University to thank for the surprisingly good condition of the County Stadium turf. The field was covered during the last week by the Warriors' tarpaulin, which university officials graciously permitted the Packers to borrow. Though the sideline terrain was muddy, the gridiron itself provided the athletes with good footing...DRILL TEAM SHINE: The 24-man Great Lakes, Ill., Naval Training Station drill team drew hearty applause for its performance, larded with intricate, precision maneuvers, between halves.
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
night will determine the final order. If the Lions lose, they will get first choice since their record then would be 2-8. No other team has less than three wins. The Packers, win or lose, will draft about in the middle depending on how the other games turn out Sunday. Ties will be decided by coin flipping. Only the first three rounds of the draft – plus the bonus pick – will be made Monday. The remaining rounds will be finished at the league’s annual convention in Los Angeles in January. The Packers are still in the running for the bonus choice along with Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cardinals. Green Bay stands a chance of coming out with two players – if Pittsburgh or the Cardinals win the bonus, because the Packers owe their third choice to Los Angeles in the trade that brought Tom Dahms to Green Bay. Who will be the bonus pick? The two best bets are Hopalong Cassady, Ohio State’s great halfback, and Earl Morrall, the Michigan State quarterback. Packer Coach Liz Blackbourn isn’t revealing any of his plans but he did point out the other day that “Tobin Rote can’t play forever.” The Packers are also in need of a hard-running, break-away back, Liz pointed out the other day, thus indicating that he has Cassady in mind. There are a number of ace backs around the country – not to mention big linemen, also a Packer need. The Lions would take Morrall or Cassady because they could use both of them. Bobby Layne’s quarterbacking days are numbered and the Lions have wept for a break-away back since they were “forced” to shift Dave Middleton to capitalize on his speed and pass-catching ability. Both Morrall and Cassady are interested in playing professional football. Packer Scout Jack Vainisi has just returned from a quick trip around the country, interviewing probably picks – to make sure they want to play pro ball. The Packers will be represented at the draft by general manager Verne Lewellen, Blackbourn and Vainisi. Blackbourn will fly out of Philadelphia Tuesday for San Francisco where he’ll join the team at Sonoma Mission Inn. The Packers will leave for the west coast by train Saturday. Whether they return to Green Bay as a unit depends on the outcome of the hot Western conference race. We reminded John Martinkovic that Wednesday’s practice was the last in Green Bay. But Big John smiled: “Don’t be too sure of that; we might be back here after the Los Angeles game!”
WRECK PACKERS! LIONS CRY NOW
NOV 24 (Detroit) - Coach Buddy Parker’s Detroit Lions are three-point favorites to play the role of spoiler for the second time this season when they clash with the Green Bay Packers in Briggs Stadium at noon Thursday. The Packers, entrenched in third place in the Western Division, have a 5-4 record and must win to stay a game behind the pacesetting Chicago Bears. Three weeks ago, the Lions virtually ended all hopes of the Baltimore Colts under similar circumstances. To collect their third victory of the season, the Lions will have to stop a potent air-ground attack built by the Packers. Coach Lisle Blackbourn has the league’s No. 2 ground gainer in Howie Ferguson and the top touchdown passer in Tobin Rote. The Bears riddled the Lions’ pass defense last week, and Rote’s passes to Bill Howton or Gary Knafelc could do the same thing. The Lions, however, will be in good shape offensively for the game. Dorne Dibble, regular offensive end, will return after an absence of four games. With Dibble joining the receivers, Bobby Layne’s passes may give the Packer secondary some headaches. Dave Middleton, Doak Walker and Jug Girard have been effective in their last four starts. There is little doubt that the game will develop into a passing duel between Layne and Rote. The Green Bay quarterback has thrown more passes than any other player in the NFL. Howton, with 39 catches, is tied for the league lead in pass receiving, Knafelc is eighth with 31. Each has scored five touchdowns. Layne’s favorite target in the last three games has been Middleton. The youngster has scored at least one touchdown in all three games. He’s Detroit’s first long threat since Cloyce Box retired. Leon Hart will start at fullback for the second week, primarily because of his value as a blocker for the passer. Hart, however, can pick up yardage up the middle if the Packers spread their defense too thin to protect against passes. Detroit will be attempting to gain revenge for the 20-17 defeat inflicted by the Packers in the opening game. Rote passed to Knafelc with only 20 seconds left to win that one. Parker will start the same team which played brilliantly against the Bears last Sunday. In addition to Layne and Hart, Doak Walker and Lew Carpenter will be in the backfield. Girard and Middleton will get the call at the starting ends. Defensively, the Lions will rely on the same three guardians of the middle, Lou Creekmur, Bob Miller and Darris McCord. They will be flanked by Sherwin Gandee and Jim Cain. Jim Martin and Joe Schmidt will be the linebackers with Chris’ (Jack Christiansen’s) crew intact for the secondary. Parker announced Wednesday that Richie Woit, speed merchant halfback from Arkansas State, was added to the roster. He probably will be used on punt returns and kickoffs and at the flanker back post. Woit, drafted by the Lions in 1954, scored 57 touchdowns for Arkansas State and gained 4,008 yards from scrimmage during his collegiate career. Leon Cunningham, rookie linebacker, was placed on the military reserve list to make room for Woit.
BAYS' TITLE HOPES AT STAKE TODAY
NOVEMBER 24 (Detroit) - A near capacity crowd of 50,000 in Briggs Stadium and an untold number of television viewers across the country will sit in on the traditional Thanksgiving Day pro football classic between the Packers and Lions. Thursday's game will start at 11 a.m. (Milwaukee time) and will be televised coast to coast on a 160-station network, including WISN-TV. This is the setting for perhaps the most important game of the Packers' surprising season. If the Bays should win they would move within a half game of the first place Bears in the down to the wire Western Division race. The pressure would then be on the Bruins Sunday, who must face an old nemesis, the Cardinals. Green Bay can sit back and await accounts of this one, having a 10-day layoff before playing the 49ers in San Francisco. The Lions, whose colossal collapse has shocked the pro football world, rule a three point favorite, probably because the Packers have not been able to win a game on the road this season. Then, too, Detroit has won four straight Turkey Day contests with Green Bay. Actually, a victory will mean little to the downtrodden Lions in the Western Division race. On the other hand, a defeat will give them the first regular choice in Monday's modified draft in Philadelphia. The Lions escaped serious injury in losing to the Bears last Sunday, 24-14, so will be in good shape. End Dorne Dibble, sidelined for four games with an injury, is due to return Thursday. End Jim Doran, out with a pulled muscle, is questionable. More than the usual bumps and bruises were suffered by the Packers in the 49er contest but there was nothing serious. Thursday's showdown matches Green Bay's fine running game against the passing-crazed Lions. The Packers have a fine double-threat quarterback in Tobin Rote, plus a line-splitting runner in Howie Ferguson, who ranks second in the league in rushing with 718 yards. Detroit still banks heavily on veteran quarterback Bobby Layne, plus a fine rookie in Dave Middleton. Converted from halfback to end, Middleton ranks with the leading receivers with 37 catches for 539 yards.
eliminate the Packers from contention by gaining revenge for that first-game setback.
HUNCHY PUT ON INJURED RESERVE
NOV 23 (Detroit) – Halfback Bob Hoernschemeyer was placed on the injured reserve list by the Detroit Lions Tuesday in a move which ended his season and possibly his 10-year career in the NFL. Hoernschemeyer suffered a shoulder separation in the Pittsburgh game. He had indicated that this would be his last season with the Lions. The former Indiana ace, at the time of his injury, stood only five yards short of the Lions’ individual rushing record, with 2,349 yards since joining the team in 1950. The record is held by Ace Gutowsky, who piled up 2,444 in 1934-38. To fill out the roster, the Lions removed end Dorne Dibble from the injured reserve list. He will be available for the game with the Green Bay Packers Thursday. Dibble has missed the last four games. He suffered a severe ankle sprain against the Los Angeles Rams.