Saturday, October 31, 2015

UTA Football Vol. 3, Game 9: The First Hello of Old Friends

For the final time this year, we look back to the 1964 season. Remember, this was the inaugural year of the Southland Conference, and Arlington State College started it with neither a win, nor a loss. Since that time, the Rebels had done okay, but not outstanding, losing to Louisiana Tech in Ruston and beating McMurray at home. The second game of the first Southland Conference season would pit 2-3-1 ASC against 3-2 Lamar Tech in Beaumont.

I've always liked Lamar, partly because of the history between the schools. As founding members of the conference, they have played against each other...a lot...and in multiple sports. Lamar basically has two SLC eras. Once UTA dropped the sport, Lamar joined several schools and left the SLC. They would rejoin a decade and a half later.

Plain fact of the matter is that Lamar was superior to UTA in just about every sport during their first go around. UTA would finish with an 11-game winning streak in football, but Lamar would win two out of every three games in baseball and basketball, while having better Olympic sports like golf and track. Also like UTA, they dropped their football program in the '80's (unlike UTA, they have since brought it back).

However, something happened between SLC stints. UTA became better, due in part to dropping football, spreading the money around and beginning the student athletics fee. Lamar however, like many non-major powers, couldn't maintain their national prowess in the two other big men's sports and receded in national stature. That really put the two schools on the same page. I would even argue that UTA surpassed them eventually.

Lamar football had one winning conference season in their last 12 with the SLC, but was not always so bad, though. They were one of the more dominant teams in the Southland in the 1960's, winning the first three titles, before finishing as runner ups in 1967. When UTA won their first outright title in 1967, they fittingly had to go through Lamar to do it.

As for football, UTA has faced no team as a four-year University more than Lamar at 22 times, shared with SLC co-founder Arkansas State. On this day in UTA football history, Arlington State College would square off against the Lamar Tech Cardinals for the first time.

Lamar Tech Stymies Rebel Offense, 17-7


BEAUMONT, Texas - An Arlington State offense could do little right and a Lamar Tech defense could do little wrong here this humid Halloween afternoon in a bitterly-fought Southland Conference battle.

Such ingredients could lead to but one thing: a Lamar Tech victory, and a Vernon Glass' host Cardinals walked off with a banging 17-7 triumph.

THE LOCAL cause was led by stout, red-shirted pass defenders, who combined to pick off five stray Rebel bombs, two of them leading to Lamar Tech touchdowns.

Therein lies another heartbreak story for ASC's gallant defense, which did an outstanding jobcontaining the touted Cardinal offense for most of the afternoon.

Except for that battling Rebel brigade, led by tackle Ken LaJudice and linebackers Bill Jackson and Bernie Stewart, Rebel forces would have been in for a Lamar Tech rout.

The Rebel defense did more than could be asked of it, despite tiring weather conditions. It was a soggy 84 degrees at game time, with the sky smokey and dense.

The Cardinals, accustomed to the humidity, couldn't wear down the ASC defense, but they tore up the Rebel offense.

COACH CHENA Gilstrap tried three quarterbacks in the second half, but reserves Jimmie Brooks and Byron Stovall could do no more than starter Ed Noble in preventing the Cardinals from handing ASC its fourth loss against two wins and a tie.

More important, it was ASC's first loss in league play and Tech's second victory.

The Tech victory was assured until the second half, however, after safety Jake David picked off a Brooks' aerial at his own 41 and raced 13 yards to the ASC 46.

From here, quarterback Phillip Primm directed the Cards on a 9-play scoring march climaxed by fullback Darrell Johnson's 3-yard smash with 2:54 left in the second stanza.

Halfback Mike Allman's kick sent the hosts out front 10-7, after they had trailed at halftime, 7-3.

AFTER THE ensuing kickoff, ASC had the ball just three downs before halfback Burt Allman intercepted a Noble toss at his own 39 and raced 23 yards to the Rebel 38.

Five plays later Tech scored the game's final TD. Wingback Steve Bailey turned the big play, going the last 25 yards on a quick pitchout to the left.

Allman's fourth true kick of the day made it, 17-7, and a staggering offense could do nothing about it as two other interceptions killed ASC hopes.

It was almost unbelievable that ASC could claim a 4-point halftime advantage, for the Rebels had accounted for only 36 total yards, none in the air, and only two first downs.

YET, THERE it was on the electronic scoreboard: ASC 7, Tech 3, much to the dismay of 11,021 home-coming fans.

The first quarter was particularly sickening for the Rebeles, who gained only 11 yards on three rushes and three incomplete passes. The other two offensive downs produced only punts of 17 and 30 yards.

In that opening quarter, tech wasn't too much better, but the Cards did run 29 offensive plays to ASC's 8. And, they forced the Rebel defense to stop a threat at the 13 on Rick McConathy's pass interception.

Both teams managed to score in the second quarter. An offensive miscue by ASC and a defensive mistake by Tech led to the 10-points-a Cardinal field goal and a Rebel touchdown.

TECH GOT its field goal first, a 29-yarder by Allman, who got his chance when a 60-yard Tech charge fizzled at the 19.

The ASC defense gave the Rebel offense a chance to score with 2:55 left in the half when LaJuidice, who played a brilliant game despite being helped from the field twice with injuries, recovered a Tech fumble at the Cardinal 38.

Fullback Kenneth Bowman slashed three times at left tackle for 11 yards and a first down at the Tech 27. Wingback Kenneth Vaughn got one more on a sweep before a red flag cost the Cards dearly at the Tech 3-yard line on a pass interference ruling against defender Johnny Cook. It was a 24-yard penalty on an intended halfback pass from Buddie Langford to Phil Ford.

ONLY 63 seconds remained on the first-half clock, but it took Bowman only two cracks at left tackle and 30 seconds to make good on ASC's lone TD of the day.

                                            Lamar Tech                 ASC
First downs........................................14                      1
Rushing yardage...............................174                    71
Passing yardage.................................66                    62
Total offense....................................240                  133
Passes completed...........................7-16                 4-20
Passes intercepted by..........(unreadable)                      5
Punts and averages.............(unreadable)              7-36.2
Fumbles lost........................................2                      2
Penalties........................................9-84                  2-13

Arlington State.......0  7  0  0 - 7
Lamar....................0  3  7  7 - 17
Tech-Allman 29 field goal.
ASC-Bowman 1 run (Parker kick).
Tech-Johnson 3 run (Allman kick).
Tech Bailey 25 run (Allman kick).
Attendance: 11,021.

Taken from the Dallas Morning News, 11-1-64.

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