FORMER SUBWAY ALUMNI LEADER REFLECTS ON HIS "NOTRE DAME ODYSSEY"


Herb Juliano
(1922-1998)

Herb's Archive features an article on the late Emil "Red" Sitko, star of the Irish in the late forties. It's from the December 17, 1973 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel article by Jim Costin.

 

Jim Seymour and Terry Hanratty, dubbed "Fling and Cling" by the media, at a practice session in 1966.

Jim Seymour and Terry Hanratty, dubbed "Fling and Cling" by the media, at a practice session in 1966.

 

We culled this yellowed clipping from one of Herb's files on Notre Dame football history. It's from the September 28, 1978 edition of The South Bend Tribune.
 
Purdue v. Irish - Some classic games
By BILL MOOR -Assistant Sports EdItor

Purdue came flushed with victory and confident af success. There had been nothing in Indiana to successfully stop her rushes, smash her interference, go through her lines or gollop around her ends.

So it was the unexpected that happened for after Purdue's first swift, almost flukelike touchdown, there was little in the playing of either to distinquish from the other .

* * * * *

The above excerpt is from The South Bend Tribune of Nov. 16, 1896, two days after Notre Dame was beaten by Purdue, 28-22, in the two schools' first of 49 meetings.

Football and writing styles have changed since then -you wouldn't want to call Purdue a "her" in this day and age - but when these two intrastate rivals collide, the unexpected still does happen and distinquishing one from the other (especially during some classics in rainstorms) is also hard at times.

The two fought to a 10-10 tie in 1899 and in the third game of the series in 1901, Notre Dame finally pulled one out, 12-6. Then after another tie and two more Boilermaker wins, the Irish dominated the series through 1957, winning 19 of 23.

But Purdue won six of the next eight (1957-65) in the series that has been going on continuously since 1946. Those were Jack Mollenkopf years and very few Notre Dame fans will ever forget that bespectacled, round-faced coach who always seemed to have the Irish number.

But in Notre Dame's 1966 season opener, coach Ara Parseghian's Irish showed they had the right number - No.1 -as they began their quest for the national championship with a 26-14 surprise over the Boilennakers, Mollenkopf and senior quarterback Bob Griese.

It was the showcasing of the sophomore sensations Hanratty and Jim Seymour -Fling and Cling -and this passing combination got together an unbelievable 13 times for 276 yards and three scores. Seymour's statistics are still Notre Dame one-game records and even the great Griese -who ended his three-year career against the Irish with 43 of 69 passing -- could not overcome Parseghian's new passing pair.

We just weren't prepared for a pass catcher like Jim Seymour," said Mollenkopf after the game. "We had no idea he was that great."

But Fat Jack and his band of Boilermakers got even during the next three seasons as another great Purdue passer, Mike Phipps, did what no other modern T-formation quarterback has ever done - win three in a row against Notre Dame.

"Phipps had great poise, great touch and great leadership " said Parseghian after the 1969 game -a 28-14 Purdue victory. "He has had three wonderful games against us."

And Mollenkopf had 14. That year was also the last for the Purdue coach who announced his retirement after that 1969 season. He finished 10-4 against Notre Dame, 4-2 against Ara and although most people give the nod to USC's John McKay as Notre Dame's No.1 coaching nemesis, my vote has always gone to Jack, says Tribune sports editor Joe Doyle who saw all of Mollenkopf's teams.

Unfortunately, Bob DeMoss had to pay for Jack's success the very next year when Notre Dame overwhelmed the visiting Boilermakers, 48-0. Joe Theismann found Tom Gatewood 12 times in the runaway -three times for touchdowns -and one press box wag was prompted to write, "Notre Dame gained more than 300 yards by land, 300 by air and if the rain would have, kept up, surely the Irish would have gained 300 more by sea."

The rain didn't let up in the 1971 clash at West Lafayette and neither did the Purdue defense. But with 2:58 to play and the Irish down 7-0, a bad snap on an attempted Purdue punt deep in its own territory found Irish lineman Fred Swendsen on the ball first for a touchdown. Mike Creaney's catch on a Pat Steenberge pass gave the visitors two more points and the 8-7 storybook finish.

"I thought I saw heaven when I saw the fooball lying on the goal," a jubilant Swendsen said after the thriller.

Notre Dame made it three and four in a row in 1972 and 1973 -another national championship year - and then one of Parseghian's old assistants, Alex Agase, led his Boilermakers to a shocking 24-0 first-quarter lead -the most ever scored on the Irish in the initial period and took  home a 31-20 major upset.

That was Parseghian's last go-around with the Spoilermakers and be bowed out with a winning 6-5 record. Only Southern Cal gave him more trouble over the years.

Then it was time for Dan Devine and although he is 3-0 heading into Saturday's games, he probably had a hard time sleeping after the 1975 and '77 games.

Although the Irish won the first one, 17-0, if was only 3-0 early in the fourth quarter with Purdue threatening when Luther Bradley intercepted a halfback-to-quarterback pass and went 99 yards for the score.

"One play, just one play," Agase moaned over and over .

Joe Montana needed more than one play but didn't have much more than a quarter as he engineered last year's 31-24 thriller.

Montana is back but the Comeback Kid and his teammates have two losses to come back from this time and Purdue sophomore Mark Herrmann wouldn't mind taking his first step at equalling Mike Phipps' three-year dominance.

 

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