The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Related Items
 RFK Stadium Section

Redskins History

Redskins Section

NFL Section

  36,767 See First Game in Stadium

By Jack Walsh
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, October 2, 1961; Page A1

There remained some glaring unfinished business at the foot of East Capitol St. at 5 p.m. yesterday. The Washington Redskins still were looking for their first victory.

Playing the spoilsport role to perfection before a hopeful, almost prayerful gathering of 36,767 who wanted to see the magnificent District of Columbia Stadium opened properly, the New York Giants richly earned a 24-21 triumph.

Led by Y.A. Tittle, the bald gentleman who will be 35 later this month and who replaced 40-year-old Charlie Conerly, the Giants completely dominated the second half.

Fittingly, it was Tittle who gave them their first lead. At 3:51 of the final period. Yat carried the ball for the third straight time to go in from the one yard line.

Held in Last Half
With the Redskins getting only one first down in the second half, it was a wonder the Giants didn't live up to their 81/2-point favoritism.

They gained 416 yards to Washington's 145 and out first-downed the 'Skins, 30 to 8.

And yet, after giving away a touchdown on Jim Kerr's fumble of the opening kick-off, the Redskins started like gangbusters. Against a New York defense that was all but impenetrable in the final 30 minutes, the Redskins raced to a 21-7 first period lead.

Snead Blossoms
That's when rookie quarterback Norman Sneed was looking like the reincarnation of a famous passer named S. Baugh who played against these same Giants in the Redskins opener 25 years ago.

Snead, hit for touchdown passes of 29 yards to Dick James and four yards to Don Rosseler and Dale Hackbart, the new man from Green Bay, plucked a Conerly pass and raced 48 yards for a tie-braking touchdown.

Tittle went to work with the score 14-7 against him and helped dig the hole deeper when John Paluck batted down his second pass attempt, played with it and held onto it at the Giant 42.

When Snead smartly hit James, who looked like the secondary target, it was 21-7.

Tittle started and finished with interceptions and the second gave the Giants some late anxious moments.

In between, the former 49er completed 24 of 41 for 315 yards and called a remarkable game against the stubborn Redskin defenders who didn't make his job easy.

It was Kerr, as if atoning for his early- blunder, who made an exceptional diving catch of Tittle's pass with about five minutes left in the s game.

Kerr came up with the ball at the New York 44 and breathed new life into a crowd that became palpitating.

Snead did his best to become equal to the challenge. On the first play, he .shook off four or five Giants and ran four yards.

After a timeout, he passed to Bill Anderson for 11 yards for that only first down of the second half. Andy held the ball despite a ferocious tackle by Sam Huff.

From New York's 29, Snead missed connections with .James and Sam Horner, unhappily, found New York's .Jim Patton with his next pass at the Giants 10. It was the longest. interception off Snead.

After Patton killed off that threat, Snead and the Redskins had one more good shot. It turned out to he the tame winning play for New York.

Only 54 seconds remained when Snead found himself with much time. He cooly picked out his receiver, Dickie James, and let the ball fly. James appeared open at the Giant 35 but as he reached for the ball New York defender Erich Barnes made a marvelous last second batdown of a touchdown-bound pass that would have accomplished a second minor miracle at this stadium site. The first was getting it built.

On the wings of that good first quarter, Snead completed nine of his 13 first half passing attempts for 90 yards and the two touchdowns. When it was all over Snead, had 12 of 24; for only 123 yards and that costly interception.

What counted began on the opening kickoff. Pat Summerall. who missed field-goal tries of 37 and 35 yards but hit from 28, first appeared to have gotten off a poor kick when rookie Kerr fumbled and Summerall himself pounced on the ball at the Redskin 24.

The Giants scored and the led the game 7-0 with the game only 2.48 old.

The Redskins promptly retaliated and enjoyed their most productive 15 minutes in a long, long time.

Hitting James and Horner with passes, Snead drove the Redskins on a 67-yard scoring march. With third and 9, he passed to Anderson at the Giant 11 for a big first down.

Another first was registered shortly when Bosseler, a five-year man, made the firsts at touchdown of his Redskin life on a pass reception. It wasn't the play, but Snead was rushed, and in impromptu fashion threw to Bosseler a 4-yarder. John Avent tied the game.

Conerly then threw the one that Hackbart made the nice reception on and merely ran by Conerly when the Mississippian tried to make the saving tackle. That was the end of Conerly and Tittle was the end of the Redskins.

It was another first for Washington, the first time a Redskin made a six-point theft since 1953 when Harry Dowda went 23 yards with an interception against Philadelphia.

Then Paluck set up the Snead-to-James 29-yarder that made it look as if the home folks were in for a festive day.

But Tittle and the Giants hadn't begun to fight. They came back to 21-14 when Tittle passed to wide-open Del Shofner for a 1-yard touchdown.

Andy Stynchula, best kick-off-return man in the league, playing defensive end, tried to interrupt the inexorable Giant advance when he returned the kick-off for 40 yards to New York's 45.

But the Giants weren't about to give up any more points and precious few yards.

Summerall's third-period kick of 28 yards brought them within fear points, 21-17, and set the stage for the kill.

Tittle took care of that of course. With fourth down and inches he crossed up the Skins with a clever pass to Joe Morrison at the Redskin 11, a 12-yard advance.

Morrison made a great catch of a swing pass but the Giants were caught holding and were penalized back to the 30. Kyle Rote, who missed hanging onto two scoring passes during the long day, crossed over and took a perfect pass from Tittle to the Redskin 2, where Scotti and Fred Hageman momentarily saved the touchdown.

But Tittle carried one for the first down and then the touchdown and Washington had it, 24-21.

The Redskins now are 0-3 and the Giants 2-l. It was the 11th straight league loss for the Skins. Coupled with their 15-game exhibition losing streak they now have one more loss.

© Copyright 1961 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar
 
WP Yellow Pages