General Washington Marches All Over Montana, Draws Comparisons To Galloping Ghost

(Associated Press – The Spokesman Review, Monday, October 23, 1939) … UCLA senior left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON (# 13) takes advantage of a superb block being thrown by Bruins sophomore fullback Leo Cantor (middle) and turns the corner on his way to a 68-yard gain against the visiting Montana Grizzlies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“That fellow (KENNY) WASHINGTON is even greater than RED GRANGE. No wonder he ran wild against us,” plainly stated University of Montana head coach Doug Fessenden after the UCLA Bruins star left halfback had picked up 164 yards on the ground while scoring three touchdowns against the visiting Grizzlies despite playing less than half of the game at the sun-drenched Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 21, 1939.

ucla-39-mont-fessendenThe curly-haired Fessenden was actually more than qualified to offer his opinion which favorably compared the UCLA Bruins star left halfback with the one player who, still to this very day, is widely considered to be the very best collegiate football player to have ever lived. It should be remembered that the fifth-year Montana bench boss had, in 1927, graduated from the University of Illinois — the very same institution “haunted” by the great Galloping Ghost on Saturday afternoons for three truly spectacular seasons concluding in the fall of 1925. Red Grange, meanwhile, was, in 2008, named the very best colleigate football player to have ever lived by no less a judge than the Entertainment & Sports Programming Network.

Fessenden (above) was the head coach at the University of Montana from the 1935 thru the 1941 NCAA campagins and compiled a record of 32 wins against 25 losses with four draws during that time span … Fessenden’s career total of thirty-two victories for Montana was not surpassed until former Grizzlies left halfback JACK SWARTHOUT racked up 51 triumphs (against 41 losses with one tie) while at the helm for his alma mater from 1967 thru 1975.


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