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The Post's Shirley Povich

Shirley Povich Tribute

  This Morning With Shirley Povich

By Shirley Povich
Washington Post Columnist
Nov. 24, 1941; Page 18

Polo Grounds, New York — Well, the Redskins went as far as Sammy Baugh could take them, again today. He had them on his back, in a manner of speaking, and he took them a far piece, but his one-man gang act wasn't enough to beat the Giants.

When Baugh wasn't in there pitching the ball and making the Washington attack move, his team too often looked for all the world like a collection of cigar store Redskins. Those 20 Giant points speak for the Redskins' defense, and the Washington running attack was held to 67 yards all afternoon.

The Redskins were sort of city-slicked up here today. On that train back to Washington they aren't taking any deed to Brooklyn Bridge, but they have a pretty fair idea of how things are done in the big city. The Giants struck a blow for themselves last night, for example, by neglecting to cover the field when the rains came. On a fast field, Baugh might have completed even more than the 16 passes he did connect with in 31 attempts.

It was a slick piece of business by the Giants, too that fetched their important first touchdown. On third down, with 4 yards to the goal, the Giants conned the Redskins out of a touchdown. They had a play that called for Center Mel Hein to snap the ball to the wing back, of all people. The wing back in the case was George Franck, the old Minnesotian who was playing directly behind the left end. And were the Redskins surprised when he scooted around left end, untouched, for touchdown.

Bob McChesney and Bob Seymour were a couple of other guys who were in there giving for the Redskins. McChesney bobbed up with his finest performance in his six years with the Redskins with his pass-grabbing in the midst of the Giant secondary, and his touchdown gallop with one of Baugh's heaves was the play of the ballgame. He reared up on the 10-yard line to snatch a 26-yard pass in motion and leaped over the fallen form of Eakin on the 5-yard line to get home with the ball. Seymour's chief contribution was his 2-yard burrow through the left side of the Giants' line for the Redskins' second touchdown, but that was a fine piece of work at a time when the Redskins' advance threatened to stall.

In the main, though, it was Baugh who was making the Redskins move. It was old Redskin stuff, with their fate riding with Baugh. A minute after he entered the game in the second quarter, he started putting on his show. He missed with two short passes and then cleverly resurrected his pet scoring play, a long pass to Ed Justice, but Justice dropped the ball in an open field naked of Giants.

Baugh all but clicked for a touchdown on his first pass of the game. It was a startling variation fof the old screen pass, with a cluster of Redskins out on the scrimmage line flank this time, instead of at the middle. Millner took the pass from from Baugh behind a wedge of blockers near the left side line, but the one Giant who wasn't fooled on the play, Guard Kay Lunday, spilled the wedge and made the tackle.

The chief reason the Redskins are out of the Eastern Division race tonight answers to the name of George Franck. The former Minnesota All-American had been the All-American flop as a professional this season until last week when he ran wild against the Cleveland Rams. Franck was the Redskins' poison today.

Actually, Franck carried the ball only four times from scrimmage and he gained only 12 yards on those four attempts, but two touchdowns were wrapped up in that dozen yards. You know about that little wingback business that sent him across the goal for the first Giant touchdown. That was a bit of a hoax that bamboozled the Redskins. But in the fourth quarter, Franck made it on sheer speed with a 7-yard gallop around the Redskins' same left end.

If this ball game had a turning point, it happened in the fourth quarter after the Redskins had barged into a 13-10 lead. The Giants had the ball on their own 26 with a third down and 4 yards to make. If the Redskins had held at that point, the Giants would have been forced to kick. But Ward Cuff ripped through for a first down, and the Giants never gave up the ball on a 51-yard march that culminated in Cuff's 38-yard field goal that tied the score at 13-13.

Ten of the Giants' points originated from long run-backs of Redskin kicks. Tuffy Leemans took a boot by Zimmerman on his 25-yard line at the start of the third quarter and tacked on a lateral to Franck that carried the ball 25 yards to the Redskin 49. The Giants got home from here. A bit later in the same period, Franck found an open alley down the middle of the field which his blockers had cleared necely and returned a punt 30 yards to make possible Marefo's 23-yard field goal.

The 6000 Washington fans who came to New York to encounter only frustration will always be entitled to believe, however, that the Redskins could have beaten the Giants on a dry field. A half dozen times, Bob Seymour was seemingly under way on a fancy run only to fall victim to the treacherous footing. The failure of the Redskins' running attack served to increase Baugh's load, and he was able to take them only so far.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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