Friday, October 28, 2011

Old News at the Anchor

This just in from the Anchor, October 26, 1961:

The N-K Vikings hung on for an 18-12 victory over the Garner Cardinals Friday night and go into the last home game against Belmond with two wins, one tie and two losses and in fourth place in the North Iowa Conference.  Coach Clarence Mounts switched Doug Fallgatter from guard to fullback, Jim Nelson from fullback to quarterback and the regular backfield men Mike Lien and Leallyn Turvold moved the ball for the Vikings a total of 164 yards rushing and 20 passing.

The report makes it sound like Doug and Jim were in the new positions for the first time but since this game was 2 weeks after Homecoming where we lost Phil Johnson and Gary Hengesteg for the year, I am pretty sure it was their second time to line up as they did.

The offensive production, especially on the passing side, doesn't sound like much, and I'd be willing to bet all 20 receiving yards went to Larry Holstad since he was our primary receiving threat.  But even more surprising to me was that the yardage was even reported, because I don't ever recall any emphasis placed on statistics like you read about today.

The two wins in the story above were conference wins, and this was the third and final victory of the season because we next lost 19-9 to Belmond, and tied Lake Mills in the final game 6-6.  No surprise - we missed three extra points in the Garner game, the plague of the season.  We obviously didn't do it very well, but kept repeating the same strategy for some reason.  Mike Lien was responsible for kicking the extra points, and was probably as puzzled as the rest of us as to those misses.

Lien vs Britt

In the game against Britt the previous week he was appointed co-captain and that may have given him a little more commitment than normal.  We had scored a touchdown, then let Britt score to get right back into the game that they finally won.  Mike had suffered a short term injury on their touchdown drive and was clearly upset that they had been allowed to score, so when he came back onto the field for their kick-off, I saw a fire in his eyes that was above and beyond what I normally saw.  I was hoping he would receive the kick-off, which he did, and though he didn't score on the return, he did run it back 35 or 40 yards and looked like he wasn't going to go down.

If nothing else, our team produced a couple of good coaches.  Phil Johnson was the basketball guy who took LaPorte City to the state tournament in the early 70's, and Larry Holstad did very well over a long period of time at Ventura and Forest City, today still holding down the Athletic Director position at Winona State.  If we just had a chance to re-play that 1961 season with either of those guys as coach, my guess is we'd be undefeated.  I can dream, can't I?

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