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Tulsa U. Stuns Grid World With 21-19 Villanova Upset

Tulsa stunned the collegiate gridiron world by knocking Villanova's Wildcats from the nation's undefeated ranks with a 21 to 19 defeat.
Tulsa stunned the collegiate gridiron world by knocking Villanova's Wildcats from the nation's undefeated ranks with a 21 to 19 defeat.
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Oct. 28, 2005

Philadelphia - Coach Buddy Brothers' supposedly "raggedy-Ann" University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane was winging its way homeward today after registering what will undoubtedly go down in the 1949 football records as one of the major upsets of the season.

Following three disappointing defeats in succession, the Hurricane suddenly found itself in Philadelphia's Shibe Park Friday night and stunned the collegiate gridiron world by knocking Villanova's Wildcats from the nation's undefeated ranks with a 21 to 19 defeat.

It was the first defeat in five games this season for Coach Jim Leonard's team, which had not only been rated on of the best teams in the east but also one of the best in the country. The almost unbelievable TU upset came after the Villanova team had rolled over such powers as Texas A& M., Penn State, Detroit, and St. Mary's

The battling TU eleven didn't catch fire until Villanova had scored early in the second period. But then the Tulsans pushed over two quick touchdowns to lead 14-6 at the half added a third touchdown midway through the third period and stood off a withering Villanova counterattack that produced single touchdowns in the third and final period.

Fullback Cliff Boucher added all three extra points to the Hurricane touchdowns and that proved to be the Tulsans' margin of victory, but to single out any one player in the triumph would be a farce.

Pete Annex, the little Hurricane quarterback playing with a couple of cracked ribs, did a brilliant job of directing and passing the team to victory. And he received brilliant offensive support from Backs `Dub' Graves, Paul Barry and Bob Stringer and End Forrest McLane.

Barry scored two of the Tulsa touchdowns, the first on a one-yard plunge and the third on a seven-yard sweep around end. Graves scored the second touchdown on a 75-yard punt return and set up the third score on a lateral pass play from Barry that covered 62 yards.

But the offensive quartet were just four ball players among a team of inspired Hurricane girders. Offensively it was Ken Click, Dick Bloom, Rogers Lehew, Billy Joe Cagle, Tony Burrough, Dave Rakestraw, Fred Smith, and McLane up in the line who made the attack click.

And on the other side of the picture there was still another great crew of defensive players, who stopped the vaunted Villanova attack and saved the victory for the Hurricane. In this group were Ernie Walkup, Lemoyne Jones, Tom Alexander, Richard Eddy, Fred Pennington, Jim Davidson, Jimmy Graham, Wesley Forbis and Ray Tallent in the line and Joe McGraw, Graves, Herb Roberts, Junior Baber, Click and Barry in the backfield.

Graham, Pennington, Tallent, and Click stood head and shoulder over anyone on the field defensively.

It was a great triumphs, too, for Coach Brothers and his aides Bernie Witucki and Dewitt Weaver, who have transferred a supposedly paper line into a cement wall, and the boys showed their appreciation by carrying Brothers off the field on their shoulders after the victory.

Villanova, sparked by fullback Ralph Pasquariello, quarterback Steve Romanik and tackle Joe Sandusky, was just as big and good as advertised but the Wildcats were no match for the Hurricane Friday night.

The two teams spent the first part of the opening quarter feeling one another out and then with just a few minutes left in the period the Wildcats started to roll from their own 45-yard line. They drove to a first down on the Tulsa ten yard line with the help of a 15 yard pass interference penalty, but at this point the Hurricane stiffened and took the ball on downs as the quarter ended.

Graves, kicking out of the end zone for Tulsa, had his punt partially blocked by Joe Rilo and the kick carried only to the Tulsa 30. The Wildcats quickly drove from there for a touchdown with Fullback Pete D'Alonzo splitting the middle of the Tulsa line to go the final 21 yards for the score. Tom Clavin missed the extra point and the fans started settling back to watch what they thought was the start of a rout.

They received a terrific surprise, however as Annex drove the Hurricane 82 yards for a touchdown with the following kickoff. Starting on his own 18, Annex passed to Forrest McLane for a first down on the Tulsa 28, Stringer picked up three and Annex followed with a pass to McLane for another first down on the Tulsa 43.

Another Annex to McLane pass and a two-yard plunge by Stringer made it first and 10 on the Villanova 46. Annex hit Barry with four-yard pass and Paul followed with a run through the line for a fourth first down on the Wildcat 32. Another Hurricane pass lost eight yards, but Annex followed up with a second to McLane on he 15 for a first and 10.

From there it took Barry three smashes at the Villanova line to hit pay dirt. Boucher added the extra point and Tulsa led 7-6.

Six plays after the following kickoff, Villanova was forced to punt and Graves grabbed the ball and raced 75 yards for a second Tulsa touchdown. Graves dropped the kick momentarily on his own 25, picked up the ball and with the help of some great downfield blocking went all the way to the goal. Boucher added the extra point and Tulsa left the field at half time leading 14-6.

Tulsa marched 45 yards with the third kickoff to the Villanova 30 before being stopped and the Wildcats followed by driving 59 yards to the Tulsa 11 before Graves broke it up by intercepting a Villanova pass on the TU two and returning to the Hurricane 17.

Two running plays moved Tulsa to the TU 31 and the Hurricane cut loose with the play that broke Villanova's back. Barry broke through the Wildcat line to the Tulsa 45 and as he was about to be tackled, lateraled to Graves and the Tulsa back sped 48 more yards to the Villanova seven. On the next play Barry started off tackle, cut back and skirted left end for a touchdown. Boucher again added the extra point and Tulsa held an unbelievable 21-6 lead.

Villanova cut loose with all its fury at this point, grabbing a Tulsa fumble on the Wildcat 45 and marching 55 yards for a score. Three long passes by Romanik carried to the TU three and Pasquariello pounded over the score. Clavin again missed the extra point and Tulsa was still out in front 21-19 as the third period ended.

As the final quarter opened Villanova staged another lightning like scoring march and it appeared like the Wildcats might catch and pass the tiring Tulsans.

Starting on the Villanova 49, Pasquariello plunged for a first down on the Tulsa 40. Frinzi made two more and Romanik passed to Rogers for a first down on the Tulsa 22. Romanik again cocked his arm and this time Rogers caught the ball on the goal line for a touchdown. Clavin's place kick was good and Tulsa's lead was trimmed to 21-19 with most of the final period yet to be played.

The Hurricane dug in at this point, however, and played smart defensive football the rest of the way to protect its upset triumph.

The Wildcats were never able to get pas the midfield stripe at any time they had the ball during the remainder of the game and just for good measure the Tulsans staged a final 47-yard march that carried to the Villanova 15 before it was stopped by a 15-yard penalty.

TU Won for Buddy

Tulsa Coach Buddy Brothers had a seven-word reason Friday night for his team's 21-19 upset over Villanova: "You know, we've he one coming to us for a long time. I guess this was it. We hadn't been doing much and Villanova was bigger, faster and a sound favorite. "But a half dozen of the boys came to me this afternoon. Thy said they were speaking for the team when they told me: "'We're gonna win this one for you, coach, just to make you coach of the week'." Brother's pupils were a gay bunch as they trooped yelling and shouting into the dressing room. They had picked up Brothers bodily and carried him off the field. Huge Leymoyne Jones, a tackle from Duncan, OK., stood at the dressing room door wrapping his arms around every man as he arrived. Inside the players and their handful of friends in this far-from-Oklahoma town put on a celebration that sounded like a World Series crowd. Over in the Villanova dressing room it was a different scene. A hushed crowd of friends and relatives waited in the hallway. Inside players ripped off tape and angrily slammed equipment into their lockers. Nobody talked. Big Jim Leonard strode silently up and down the room, shaking his head as though he was not quite sure yet that it had happened. "They just beat us," was the answer from the Villanova coach. "Beat us every way."

Reprint from the Tribune newspaper.