SPRING GAME: April 6, 1957
The Nebraska Varsity escaped with a 22-20 spring game victory after storming back from an 11-point halftime deficit and then watching a last-ditch field goal attempt by the Alumni's Sam Vacanti sail wide.
The Varsity was gashed repeatedly by lengthy runs on trap plays as the oldtimers built their 20-9 halftime lead. The Alumni's Bob Smith, Jerry Ferguson and Rex Fischer combined for 190 yards on 19 carries on the afternoon.
After intermission, the Varsity drove 48 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown after the Alumni turned the ball over on downs. The Varsity finally took the lead in the fourth quarter after Ray Engel blocked a Ferguson punt and covered the ball on the Alumni 18. Carroll Zaruba's five-yard touchdown run capped the short drive.
The Alumni weren't finished, though. Vacanti went to the airways to drive the graybeards into field goal range at the Varsity 32, only to have his fourth-down kick drift wide left.
NOTES: It was Bill Jennings' debut as head coach, and he doubled as referee. ... Attendance was estimated at 5,000. ... What ultimately proved to be the two-point difference-maker occurred in the second quarter. With the Alumni operating from their one yard line, the Varsity's Art Klein tackled Gordon Englert for a safety. ... A 39-yard pass from Harshman to Marlin Hilding helped set up the Varsity's first touchdown, which came in the game's first six minutes. ... The Alumni's Bob Smith fumbled during a run from the Varsity 35 to the 9, where teammate Dennis Korinek picked up the loose ball and ran the remaining distance for the Alumni's first touchdown.
COVERAGE: Lincoln Journal & Star: 1, 2 | Daily Nebraskan | Beatrice Daily Sun | Game preview
1 2 3 4 Final Varsity ........ 7 2 7 6 - 22 Alumni ......... 0 20 0 0 - 20 First quarter V - Larry Naviaux 1 run (George Harshman kick) Second quarter A - Dennis Korinek 9 run with recovery of Alumni fumble (kick failed) A - Bob Smith 26 run (Sam Vacanti kick) V - Safety: Art Klein tackled Gordon Englert in end zone A - Jerry Ferguson 14 run (Vacanti kick) Third quarter V - Naviaux 5 pass from Harshman (Harshman kick) Fourth quarter V - Carroll Zaruba 5 run (kick failed) Varsity Alumni First downs 12 11 Rushing 10 9 Passing 2 2 Rushing yards (net) 140 214 Passing yards (net) 85 56 Att-Comp-Int 10-6-1 5-19-0 Total offense 225 270 Punts-Average 6-27 4-18 Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-0 Penalties-Yards 2-20 5-35 RUSHING V - George 13-41, Naviaux 18-74, Cifra 5-12, Harshman 6-5, Zaruba 9-21, Sandage 3-4, Tolly 2-1, Stinnett 3-minus-20, Zentic 1-6. A - Mueller 5-13, Bordogna 2-3, Fischer 3-34, Ferguson 11-85, Smith 5-71, Korinek 3-21, Vacanti 4-minus-18, Harris 1-5. PASSING V - Harshman 6/7 85; Zaruba 0/1 0; George 0/1 0; Stinnett 0/1 0. A - Vacanti 5/17 56; Bordogna 0/2 0. RECEIVING V - Naviaux 3-28, Lee 2-18, Hilding 1-39. A - Harris 2-8, Bordogna 1-30, Ferguson 1-10, Simon 1-8. More individual stats