1939, UCLA vs Washington State

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(Associated Press photo – The Spokesman Review, December 1, 1939) ……… UCLA Bruins defensive back NED MATTHEWS (far right), the homegrown junior from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles who scored a touchdown on a pass reception against the Oregon State Beavers the previous Saturday, steps in front of a pass intended for Washington State left end HERB GODFREY (# 70) near the goal line during the Pacific Coast Conference game that was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a Thursday night.
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November 30, 1939
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Attendance : 50,000

(# 11 – AP) UCLA BRUINS vs WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS

UCLA starting line-up
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LE – # 27 … Woody STRODE ………… LH – # 13 … Kenny WASHINGTON
LT – # 15 … Del LYMAN ……………….. FB – # 5 ….. Bill OVERLIN
LG – # 11 … Jack SOMMERS …………. QB – # 55 … Ned MATTHEWS
OC – # 6 ….. Martin MATHESON …… RH – # 28 … Jackie ROBINSON
RG – # 12 … John FRAWLEY
RT – # 24 … Mladen ZARUBICA
RE – # 38 … Don MACPHERSON

substitutions
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E – Jim MITCHELL (# 41), Bob SIMPSON (# 44), Chuck CASCALES (# 54)
T – Ernest HILL (# 10), Jack COHEN (# 14)
G – Louis KYZIVAT (# 30), Nate DEFRANCISCO (# 31), Robin WILLIAMS (# 35), Joe RUETTGERS (# 43)
C – Gene ALDER (# 8), Ted JONES (# 37), Lynn HALE (# 17)
LH – Chuck FENENBOCK (# 45), Monte STEADMAN (# 20)
FB – Leo CANTOR (# 2), Don HESSE (# 4), John ZABY (# 3)
QB – Joe VIGER (# 32), Ben KVITKY (# 16)
RH – Ray BARTLETT (# 9), Clark GEORGE (# 53)

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Game Statistics
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net total yardage ………………………. UCLA 410, Wash St 114
first downs ……………………………….. UCLA 16, Wash St 7
net rushing yards ……………………… UCLA 301, Wash St 96
net passing yards ………………………. UCLA 109, Wash St 18
passes completed / attempted ……. UCLA 5/14, Wash St 4/9
passes intercepted by ………………… UCLA 2, Wash St 1
fumbles recovered by ………………… UCLA 2, Wash St 2
punts / average ………………………….. UCLA 6 – 28.7, Wash St 7 – 38.3
kick & punt return yards …………….. UCLA 93, Wash St 49
penalty yardage lost …………………… UCLA 82, Wash St 0

scoring plays
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1st qtr – BRUINS 6-0
Woody STRODE 44 yard pass from Kenny WASHINGTON (kick failed)
2nd qtr – COUGARS 7-6
Dick RENFRO 1 yard run (Fred BROWN kick)
4th qtr – BRUINS 12-7
Jackie ROBINSON 26 yard pass from Kenny WASHINGTON (kick failed)
4th qtr – BRUINS 18-7
Jackie ROBINSON 34 yard run (kick failed)
4th qtr – BRUINS 24-7
Jim MITCHELL 15 yard pass from Chuck FENENBOCK (kick failed)

UCLA individual net rushing statistics
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RH – # 28 … Jackie ROBINSON …………… 10 carries … 148 yards
LH – # 13 …. Kenny WASHINGTON ……. 20 carries …… 78 yards
FB – # 2 …… Leo CANTOR …………………… 10 carries ….. 47 yards
LH – # 45 … Chuck FENENBOCK ………….. 2 carries …… 11 yards
LH – # 20 … Monte STEADMAN …………… 3 carries …….. 8 yards
QB – # 55 …. Ned MATTHEWS ……………… 1 carry ………. 7 yards
FB – # 4 …… Don HESSE ……………………….. 2 carries …….. 7 yards
FB – # 5 ……. Bill OVERLIN ……………………. 3 carries …….. 2 yards
RH – # 9 ….. Ray BARTLETT …………………. 1 carry ……. – 7 yards

UCLA individual net receiving statistics
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LE – # 27 …. Woody STRODE ……………….. 3 catches ….. 68 yards
RH – # 28 … Jackie ROBINSON …………….. 1 catch ……… 26 yards
RE – # 41 …. Jim MITCHELL ………………… 1 catch ………. 15 yards

UCLA individual passing statistics
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LH – # 13 …. Kenny WASHINGTON …. 4-7 comp/att … 92 yrds … 2 tds … 0 int
RH – # 45 … Chuck FENENBOCK ……… 1-5 comp/att … 15 yrds …. 1 td ….. 1 int

Note — Fenenbock’s touchdown pass was the one and only scoring toss of the 175-pound junior left halfback’s two-year varsity career at UCLA. Previously, as a sophomore, Fenenbock rushed for two touchdowns during the Bruins’ 32-7 triumph over the University of Hawaii in the Poi Bowl game played on January 2, 1939. The product of Pittsburg High School in northern California later played in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions (1943 & 1945) as well as in the rival All-America Football Conference for the Los Angeles Dons (1946 & 1947) and the Chicago Rockets (1948). Fenenbock also played pro ball north of the border in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos (1949) and Calgary Stampeders (1950).

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(Associated Press photo – Spokane Daily Chronicle, December 1, 1939) ……… Washington State Cougars left halfback BILLY SEWELL (# 23), the talented sophomore who would go on to make some All-America teams in both 1940 and 1941 before being selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round (# 53 overall) of the 1942 National Football League Draft, is brought down by by UCLA junior quarterback NED MATTHEWS (# 55) with Bruins junior guard JACK SOMMERS (# 11) also in pursuit during the nighttime clash at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in late November of 1939.
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UCLA BRUINS vs WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
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Despite being subdued on the scoreboard for the first three quarters, the home team maintained both its undefeated record as well as its Rose Bowl aspirations by exploding for three touchdowns in final fifteen minutes as the # 11 ranked UCLA BRUINS ran away from the stubborn WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS 24-7 in a pulsating Pacific Coast Conference evening engagement played under the lights at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Washington State, who came into this Thursday night game having just defeated the very same Stanford University team that had held unbeaten UCLA to a surprising 14-14 tie early in the season, marched inside the Bruins 30-yard line on its first possession following a partially-blocked punt. The visitors were soon thwarted, however, when home team captain NED MATTHEWS picked off a pass by Cougars left halfback BILLY SEWELL near the goal line. Taking full advantage of the first of several turnovers that occured that night, UCLA immediately embarked on a nine-play, 81-yard drive to score the game’s first touchdown.

Bruins right halfback JACKIE ROBINSON, the speedy transfer from Pasadena Junior College just returning to form after sitting out two mid-season games with a knee injury, ripped off twenty yards on two reverse runs around the left end. The real key, however, was the third-down fake punt play that saw UCLA star left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON gain a vital ten yards after Bruins fullback BILL OVERLIN lined up deep in a traditional punt formation. A direct snap went to Washington, stationed in the backfield as an “up blocker”, and “Kingfish” quickly found a hole in the center of the Washington State line.

Shortly thereafter, Washington dropped back to pass and threw a strike over the middle to UCLA left end WOODY STRODE; the strapping (6’3″ 205 lbs) homegrown senior from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles who ended up leading the Bruins with fifteen pass receptions in 1939 swiftly turned the corner before outracing the desperate Cougars chasing him down the left-hand sideline on a spectacular 44-yard scoring play.

Washington State substitute right halfback FELIX FLETCHER, the seldom-used sophomore who was in the game as a replacement for injured starter EARLE ROSS (the Cougars’ leading rusher in 1939 coming into the UCLA contest), returned the ensuing short kickoff 24 yards to a point just shy of midfield. Once again, the visitors were able to move the football against the Bruins defense as Washington State drove down to the UCLA four-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, though, the Cougars sophomore fullback DICK RENFRO coughed up the pigskin after a short plunge into the line and a Bruins defender recovered in the end zone for a touchback.

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Just two plays later, however, the visitors got the ball right back when the UCLA quarterback Matthews fumbled after taking a direct snap and breaking through the line on a run up the middle. A 14-yard toss to Washington State quarterback DON GREELEY from the versatile left halfback Sewell, the talented passer who gained 46 yards on nine carries (5.1 avg) in the first half against the Bruins, set the Cougars up at the UCLA 9-yard line and, four plays later, the 200-pound Renfro plowed over from a yard out.

Thanks to a successful extra point kick from Washington State senior left end FRED BROWN, the home side trailed 7-6 when halftime arrived. With the Cougars’ most dangerous player, Sewell, now also out injured the two teams traded punts as each side jockeyed for field position after the break. Towards the end of the third quarter, the Bruins were, at last, once again able mount a sustained drive after taking possession on their own 18-yard line.

As was the case on UCLA’s first scoring march way back in the opening quarter, it was the fleet of foot Robinson who started things off with a sizable gain on a sweep around left end. Washington and substitute fullback LEO CANTOR then clipped off significant yardage on eight consecutive runs between them before Kingfish connected on his second touchdown pass of the night early in the fourth quarter. Robinson started in motion prior to the snap and pretended to take a handoff from Washington on yet another reverse run, then caught a swing pass in the left flat and used both his speed and swivel hips to score from 26 yards.

The Bruins came very close to scoring again on their next possession, as well, after a 30-yard jaunt from Robinson and a 22-yard scamper by Washington set the football on the Cougars 8-yard line but a subsequent fumble was recovered by Washington State defense. The turnovers did not cease, though, and UCLA quickly regained control of the pigskin just two plays later when Matthews made his second interception of the evening. Soon enough, the irrepressible Robinson was in the end zone celebrating his second touchdown of the game after sprinting 34 yards to pay dirt on still another reverse around the left end.

The Bruins’ much-ballyhooed right halfback also helped set up one last score after UCLA pounced on another fumble at its own 40-yard-line in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. A 32-yard burst by Robinson on one last reverse play left the ball deep in Cougars territory again. This time, the home team were able to cash in on prime field position when reserve left halfback CHUCK FENENBOCK threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to substitute right end JIM MITCHELL, the senior from Fremont High School in Los Angeles who earned three varsity letters for the Bruins during his collegiate career.

Attendance according to newspaper references
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50,000 ….. Lodi News-Sentinel ……………….. 12/01/39
50,000 ….. San Bernardino County Sun …… 12/01/39
25,000 ….. The Spokesman-Review …………. 12/01/39
none ………. Eugene-Register Guard ………….. 12/01/39
none ………. Milwaukee Journal ………………… 12/01/39
none ………. Pittsburgh Press …………………….. 12/01/39
none ………. Spokane Daily Chronicle ………… 12/01/39

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