Saturday, November 5, 2016

UTA FB. Vol. 4, Gm. 10 - The Building Blocks

The 1960 Arlington State College team is somewhat of an awkward season for me to discuss. On the surface, you'd think there would be a lot about this team that would appeal to me or many other fans. They tied for the second best winning percentage in program history, truly played as a team with no one player dominating the stat lines and were hard-nosed players with many playing both ways. But it's just hard to find the excitement for a few reasons.

For starters, there aren't many teams on their schedule we identify with today. They joined the four-year ranks at the bottom of the totem pole. Given its size, academic aspirations and location, ASC was destined to rise in the ranks. The downside to that from a historical perspective is that many of the opponents for UTA in 1959 and early 1960's are in their same spot in the pecking order. UT Arlington today and ASC in the mid-1960's, just didn't and don't have anything in common with Delta State, Trinity, McMurray and Southwestern Oklahoma State, for example.

There also wasn't anything to play for. They didn't join a conference until 1964. That can actually piggie back on the point above. UTA knows Arkansas State, Lamar, McNeese State, etc. due to conference affiliation. But it also means there is something else to play for, a championship. For example, the 1968 UTA-Arkansas St. game was made much better since it was essentially a championship game.

There weren't many players that stick out either. Doug Hart, a defensive back, was the only player that went on to the next level. He went to the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent and played eight years at the highest level. He was also a two-time Super Bowl winner, playing on the Packer teams that won the first two AFL-NFL championships.

Charlie Key was another notable name, but mostly for reasons beyond this team. Yes, he was a Mr. Everything, leading the 1960 squad in rushing, scoring and punting, the 1961 team in scoring and the 1962 Rebels in punting. Despite 23 seasons between the time he stepped down as player and the end of the program, he still sits fifth in career scoring and fifth in TD's with 17. He also kicked 34 extra points, five field goals and scored two two-point conversions.

In reality, his biggest contribution was coaching. After he graduated, he joined the team as an offensive assistant coach in 1963 and stayed there until 1979. In 1980, he became the defensive coordinator and stayed there until 1983. In 1984, he moved to the offensive coordinator slot and stayed there until the program was canceled. In all, he coached under every Rebel/Maverick head coach and was thought to be the next in line when Coach Curtis would end his tenure.

1961 was also building the momentum for a move to the University level of college football. Winning the Junior Rose Bowls in 1956 and 1957, and then immediate success as a four-year school, records of 4-3 in 1959 and 9-2 in 1960, gave the program an almost invincible feeling during this time. All of UTA's programs are where they are now based on this team's success.

On this day in 1960, UTA plays the McMurray Indians in Arlington for homecoming.

Rebels Rock McMurray

News Staff Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas - Arlington State proved you can still win a war with your infantry Saturday night as it ground out a convincing 31-13 conquest of McMurray.

Charlie Key and Doug Wilson led a crowd of rugged Rebels foot soldiers through and around the Indians as ASC fashioned its seventh football victory in nine games. It was the Rebels' biggest point production of the year and they didn't use a single pass in any of their scoring drives.

Claude (Chena) Gilstrap's Rebels definitely showed more horsepower in a solid performance before a near capacity homecoming crowd of 5,700 in Memorial Stadium, but McMurray made it tough for them for two quarters.

ASC held only a 10-7 lead at halftime as Richard Compton and George Bridges kept the Indians in the battle with some flashy running. But the Rebels defense toughened considerably in the second half while Key, Wilson & Co. stepped up the tempo.

The Rebels surged to a 31-7 lead and never allowed McMurray to penetrate their territory until the final two minutes, 40 seconds.

Wilson, the classy freshman quarterback from Dallas Samuell, rolled around right end behind crisp blocking and raced 25 yards to highlight a 47-yard drive to the McMurray 14 on the Rebs' first possession. The Indians stiffened there, however, so Key kicked a 31-yard field goal.

But Compton quickly shook the Rebels up by wheeling 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play after the kickoff. The elusive West Texan shot around right end and reversed neatly, leaving pursuers in his wake. Key dived for him and missed at the ASC 25 and Compton breezed across.

The Rebels fired back with a 63-yard TD march, featuring Wilson's 25-yard roll around the right side with the tough-blocking Key clearing the way to the Indian 35. Amos North directed the second the remaining distance with Allen Anz scooting the last three yards around left end behind a wave of blue shirts.

The second quarter was scoreless but not scareless as McMurray drove to the Rebel 25, 28 and 7. The Rebels drove them back to the 17 on that last threat, however, and Doug Janes' field goal attempt for the 25 was blocked by guard Lewis Borgeson.

That ended the last big Indian uprising until the game was lost. Meanwhile, ASC drove for touchdowns on three of its first four second-half possessions.

Key's steady blasts and Wilson's 27-yard dash with Key blocking sparked a 68-yard thrust for the first TD. Key, a steady sophomore fullback who runs with surprising power for his 178 pounds, dug through the left side to score from the eight.

John Niederauer starred in the 67-yard march for the next score, tearing over the right side for 16 and then slashing across the left side from the 19 to score.

The Rebels quickly got another one after end Don Sanders jarred the ball away from Fred Austin and recovered on the Indian 37. Maurice Peterson skirted right end and 20 and Key finished the job with three straight blasts from the 15 to the end zone.

McMurray finally deserted Indian territory in the fading minutes when Lee King's passes to Don Davis carried them near the Rebel goal. Bridges took a pitch-out and barreled around right end to score from the 10.

McMurray offered the leading ground gainers in Bridges (90 yards on 10 carries) and Compton (81 on 4), but they didn't match the damage caused by Wilson (61 on 10), Key (57 on 13) and Niederauer (57 on 7).

                                   ASC          McM
First Downs....................14               11
Rushing Yardage...........256             220
Passing yardage..............39               85
Passes..........................2-9            7-16
Passes Intercepted by.......0                 0
Punts...........................4-34           6-30
Fumbles Lost....................0                 1
Penalties......................4-20            5-35

McMurray..................7  0  0  6 - 13
Arlington...................10 0  7 14 - 31
ASC - FG Key 31.
McM - Compton 80 run (James kick).
ASC - Anz 3 run (Key kick).
ASC - Key 8 run (Key kick).
Niederauer 19 run (run failed).
ASC - Key 2 run (neiderauer pass from Wilson).
McM - Bridges 10 run (pass failed).

Taken from the Dallas Morning News, 11-6-60.

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