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Friday, September 9, 2011

Gators Beat Katy 41-13 (1956 Season)

My thanks to Leon Anhaiser (SLHS '57) for finding this newspaper account of the Sugar Land - Katy game played in the fall of 1956.  My thanks to his wife Bettye for retyping it from a bad original copy.

As I mentioned in one of yesterday's postings, I'll recap the '56 season each week with newspaper articles & memorabilia, so you can track what happened 55 years ago.  I'll do the same for the '51 season, which was the year Sugar Land High won its first regional championship.


Barton Stars As Gators Down Katy
By Dave Cooney
Sports Staff

Katy—Elusive Ray Baton, a hard-driving, two-time all-district halfback, led the Sugar Land Gators past Katy Friday night, 41-13, to open 1956 football activity for both teams.

Barton was magnificent as he operated from the tailback spot in Coach L. V. Hightower’s Notre Dame box formation.

Scoring 17 points himself, the 175-pound whiz carried the ball for a total of 195 yards in 18 carries and completed two passes good for 35 more.

The Gators marched 70 yards after receiving the opening kick-off to take a 7-0 lead with the game only minutes old.

It was Barton who scored on a four-yard sweep of right end.

Recovering a faulty Katy pitch-out on their own 47, the Gators made it 14-0 early in the second quarter by going over in only four plays.

Wingback Sonny Astorga on a reverse skirted left end from the six for the touchdown.

Sugar Land made it 28-0 before the half ended, using a beautiful 29-yard broken field scamper by Barton and a 14-year pass from Barton to Joe Lopez for six pointers. (Note from Chuck Kelly: The newspaper article is incorrect here.  The scoring pass went to Leon Anhaiser.)

The Tigers lost four of five fumbles in the first half, setting up two of their opponents’ touchdowns.

Katy finally broke into the scoring column in the third quarter, but only after the Gators had counted again, on a 35-yard end-around run by Punt Helcamp.

The Tigers traveled 61 yards on nine plays with fullback Ernest Thomas hitting the left side for the final three.

Sugar Land retaliated immediately, taking the kick-off and going over from their own 35.

William Boyd tallied from the six.

In the waning minutes of the game, Katy quarterback George Miller found John Culpepper with an 83-yard pass which closed out the scoring for the night.

                                             Sugar Land      Katy
First downs                                    14              11
Passes attempted                             9               9
Passes completed                            2               4
Yards gained by passes                  35            111
Passes intercepted by                      0                3
Net yards by rushing                     369            160
Total net yards gained                    404            276
Number of punts                              2                3
Punting average                            36.5           16.7
Number of penalties                         4                1
Yards lost by penalties                    40                5