1939, UCLA vs Montana

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Benefiting from a fabulous block being thrown by falling fullback LEO CANTOR (middle), explosive UCLA Bruins left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON (# 13) turns the corner on the way to a 68-yard gain versus the visiting Montana Grizzlies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; although Washington did not score a touchdown on this run as the headline indicates, but the dual threat UCLA superstar did register the first of what would be three touchdowns against the Grizzlies on this record-setting day only two plays later … (Photo from The Afro American newspaper published on October 28, 1939)
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October 21, 1939
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Attendance : 27,000

UCLA BRUINS vs MONTANA GRIZZLIES

UCLA starting line-up
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LE – # 27 … Woody STRODE …………. LH – # 13 … Kenny WASHINGTON
LT – # 15 … Del LYMAN ………………… FB – # 2 …… Leo CANTOR
LG – # 12 … John FRAWLEY ………….. QB – # 32 … Joe VIGER
OC – # 6 ….. Martin MATHESON ……. RH – # 28 … Jackie ROBINSON
RG – # 11 … Jack SOMMERS
RT – # 24 … Mladen ZARUBICA
RE – # 38 … Don MACPHERSON

Notes — The UCLA Bruins were without a pair of homegrown first stringers who had both attended Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles when the Montana Grizzlies came calling. Junior quarterback NED MATTHEWS had already made important interceptions for the Bruins against Texas Christian University as well as the University of Washington at the beginning of the 1939 NCAA campaign. And junior fullback BILL OVERLIN was UCLA’s leading scorer at present having run for touchdowns in the season opener opposite the TCU Horned Frogs as well as versus Stanford University the previous week … UCLA head coach BABE HORRELL also had to make due without second-string left halfback CHUCK FENENBOCK, who was unfit for action after being injured in the Stanford game.

UCLA BRUINS 20 – MONTANA GRIZZLIES 6

Game Statistics
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net total yardage ………………………. UCLA 325, Montana 185
first downs ……………………………….. UCLA 14, Montana 13
rushing yards ……………………………. UCLA 245, Montana 63
passing yards ……………………………. UCLA 80, Montana 122
passes attempted / completed ……. UCLA 5/13, Montana 15/34
passes intercepted by ………………… UCLA 0, Montana 0
fumbles lost ………………………………. UCLA 1, Montana 1
punts / average …………………………. UCLA 8 – 32.1, Montana 10 – 38.5
kick & punt return yards ……………. UCLA 84, Montana 167
penalty yards lost ………………………. UCLA 81, Montana 5

scoring plays
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1st qtr : BRUINS 7-0
Kenny WASHINGTON 10 yard run (John FRAWLEY kick)
2nd qtr : BRUINS 13-0
Kenny WASHINGTON 6 yard run (kick blocked)
3rd qtr : BRUINS 20-0
Kenny WASHINGTON 12 yard run (John FRAWLEY kick)
4th qtr : GRIZZLIES 6-20
Ed HUDACEK 1 yard run (kick failed)

UCLA individual net rushing statistics
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# 13 … LH – Kenny WASHINGTON …… 11 carries … 164 yards
# 5 ….. FB – Leo CANTOR …………………… 5 carries ….. 58 yards
# 22 … RH – Dennis FRANCIS …………… 12 carries ….. 16 yards
# 4 ….. FB – Don HESSE ……………………… 3 carries ….. 14 yards
# 2 ….. FB – John ZABY ………………………. 4 carries ……. 9 yards
# 20 … LH – Monte STEADMAN …………. 8 carries …. – 5 yards
# 40 … FB – Frank CARROLL ………………. 1 carry ……. – 1 yard

Note — FRANK CARROLL, the six-foot, 180-pound homegrown senior from Los Angeles who normally played at left end (the position at which he earned his first varsity letter as a junior in 1938) was moved to fullback for the Montana game by the UCLA coaching staff

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UCLA BRUINS vs MONTANA GRIZZLIES
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On a sweltering hot day (95 degrees Fahrenheit) in Los Angeles, two times within the first six minutes of this non-conference match-up the UCLA Bruins were forced to take possession on its own five-yard line thanks to the coffin corner punting of Montrana Grizzlies right halfback FRANK NUGENT. But then UCLA star left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON broke free on a 68-yard dash down the right sideline. Two plays later, the Bruins’ marquee ball carrier swept into the end zone on a 10-yard run off right tackle against the undersized (not to mention injury-riddled) Montana team.

UCLA right halfback JACKIE ROBINSON, the transfer from Pasadena Junior College who gained a combined 127 yards rushing against the Washington Huskies and Stanford Indians in the Bruins’ two previous games but would not carry the ball from scrimmage even once against the Grizzlies, returned a punt 33 yards to the Montana 24-yard line shortly thereafter. Soon enough, UCLA’s Kingfish scored his second touchdown of the afternoon on a simple blast up the middle. With the Bruins already leading 13-0 at the start of the second period, head coach BABE HORRELL yanked the first string and gave valuable playing time to the reserves.

The UCLA substitutes, sparked by the running of halfback DENNY FRANCIS, twice drove the ball inside the Montana five yard-line only to be stopped by a holding penalty as well as a lack of downs, respectively. The Grizzlies had a great opportunity to get on the scoreboard when little-used Bruins left halfback CLARK GEORGE fumbled on the kickoff return to start the second half and the alert Montana right halfback Nugent recovered. The visitors quickly marched the pigskin down to the UCLA 3-yard line but then Grizzlies sophomore left halfback JACK SWARTHOUT fumbled the football right back to the hosts.

UCLA wasted no time in punting the ball away but Montana initiated another drive which reached the UCLA 12-yard line, with the key play being a pass from the left halfback Swarthout to the right halfback Nugent. The Bruins were able to avoid conceding any points, however, after a fourth down pass from lightweight substitute left halfback DONALD “Red” BRYAN (157 lbs) intended for the wide open end NEIL JOHNSON missed its mark. Determined to see his side finally go back on the offensive, the UCLA bench boss Horrell then hurried his first stringers back out onto the turf at the sun-baked Memorial Coliseum.

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The Bruins regulars responded by immediately restoring order against a visiting school which had previously lost its first four NCAA contests with the Bruins in Los Angeles by a combined margin of 92-0. An eighty-yard march in seven plays, which culminated in a 12-yard touchdown run right up the middle by the irrepressible Washington, was more than enough to put the game effectively out of reach for the Grizzlies. With home team now ahead 20-0 in the third quarter after left guard JOHN FRAWLEY’s second successful extra point try in three attempts, the UCLA starters summarily took their seats on the bench for the rest of the afternoon.

The visiting Montana Grizzlies did salvage a measure of pride rather late by scoring points against the UCLA Bruins for the very first time in school history, however. The undersized Bryan connected with the reserve end Johnson on a “brilliant” 38-yard pass play which advanced the ball down to the UCLA 4-yard line. Another diminutive Montana second-stringer, right halfback ED “Butch” HUDACEK (145 lbs), carried over from a yard out with less than two minutes remaining on the stadium clock.

There no doubt that this battle had been largely won by the Bruins’ “General” Washington, who became just the second man in school history to ever record three rushing touchdowns in one NCAA game … (UCLA star halfback JOE FLEMING had accomplished this feat twice against something considerably less than the equivalent of modern-day Division I competition — that being little Redlands University in 1926 and La Verne College in 1928) … Washington’s impressive total of 164 yards on only 11 carries (14.9 yards per attempt) against the University of Montana in 1939 also established what was considered (by official NCAA standards) to be a new UCLA school record.

Attendance according to newspaper references
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27,000 ….. Eugene Register Guard …………. 10/22/39
27,000 ….. San Bernardino County Sun ….. 10/22/39
none ……… The Spokesman Review ………… 10/22/39
none ……… Berkeley Daily Gazette ………….. 10/23/39
20,000 ….. The Spokesman Review ………… 10/23/39
20,000 ….. The Afro American ……………….. 10/28/39

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