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Monday, December 16, 2013

David Whips Goliath - Dulles Over Liberty in '63 Semi-Finals

Fifty years ago Dulles faced a daunting opponent, the Liberty Panthers. The following article by Bill Murray, The Chronicle's high school sports writer, sums up the pregame situation.  As I mentioned last week, some experts were picking Liberty as the eventual state champs.  (Notice he picked Dalhart over Rockwall in their semi-final match.)

Here's another article Murray wrote before the game.  I'm not sure Bobby Husbands ever weighed 190 lbs., but I could be wrong.

I remember this one pretty clearly; of course, it helps that we have the game film.  (See the links below.)  It was a night for ducks: cold and very soggy.  Pasadena's stadium was filled nonetheless.  I recollect the Liberty team was gigantic -- not by today's standards, but big for that time.  (Note the Bobby Husbands quote.)

Liberty lost 4 fumbles, and Dulles scored on a trick play, the Viking Special, which seemed to deflate Liberty and pump up the Vikings.  I'm fairly certain they used it once in a regular season game, but it caught Liberty off guard.  It also caught the camera man off guard because he missed it too.  

There are descriptions of it in the articles, but essentially, Dulles waited for a placement of the ball on a hash mark -- as close to a sideline as allowed.  They huddled near mid field, but not so far away that Liberty knew something was up.  Liberty's defense lined up where the ball was placed by the referee, playing little attention to the Dulles huddle.  T.V. Abercrombie walked to the ball before the huddle broke, just like he'd done a thousand times before.  When he reached the ball, he quickly picked it up and tossed it across the field (maybe 10 or 15 yards) to Ralph Senior who dashed to the goal line with his team mates in front of him.  The play was legal because 6 lineman moved quickly to the line of scrimmage (as it extended across the field) just before T.V. tossed the ball.  As I said, it was a key play in the game.

One other item about the game.  Travis Gandy told me the team changed into dry jerseys at half time.  They were old ones the junior varsity used, and some players had to wear different numbers.

Here's a link to an earlier post on this game.  Note Carol Waldrop's (DHS '65) comment about Coach Hightower firing up the pep rally before the game.  You can go directly to the game film by clicking the following links.

Game Video Part 1.

Game Video Part 2.

The Viking Shield contained the following tidbits about events at the school.  (Unfortunately, I don't have the complete newspaper, so I couldn't post the continuation of several articles.)


Up in the far north, Rockwall faced a highly touted Dalhart team in Vernon.  The Yellow Jacket juggernaut continued rolling as they thumped Dalhart 35-7.  Notice the reference to Dick Todd, who's been prominent in posts about Sugar Land's 1953 season as Kenneth Hall broke his scoring records.  I guess Rockwall's football lore stretches pretty far back.  Also note that the weather was cold -- it seems all of Texas was in a deep freeze 60 years ago.

Well, the drama ends next week when the cinderella team (as Willis Webb termed Dulles) meets the Yellow Jacket juggernaut at Baylor Stadium in Waco.