Semper Victurus

Members of the 1928 Irish offense: (l-r) Jack Chevigny, Tim Moynihan, Frank Carideo, Butch Niemic and Fred Collins.

Members of the 1928 Irish offense: (l-r) Jack Chevigny, Tim Moynihan, Frank Carideo, Butch Niemic and Fred Collins.

 
Disce Quasi Semper Victurus Vive Quasi Cras Moriturus"
("Study like you will live forever; live like you will die tomorrow".)

Starting in the late 1870's, this rather intimidating phrase was the Scholastic Magazine credo. Ironically, the Scholastic proved to be the vehicle which has allowed the daily experiences of Notre Dame students during the past 150 years to truly "live forever". Scholastics are a virtual gold mine of Notre Dame history, and more importantly, of insight into the daily lives of its students. These first hand reports of campus life, written by student reporters, give a candid and personal view of important (and trivial) events on the Notre Dame campus. Joe Madonia, an '82 alum and partner in the Chicago law firm of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon, will edit a monthly column of excerpts from his rare and wonderful collection of original Scholastic Magazines spanning the period from 1869 - 1931.

Semper Victurus features an article from the November 16, 1928 Scholastic on the game. (Courtesy of the University of Notre Dame Archives)

 

Great Army Team Bows to Rockmen

Score 12-6 – Chevigny and O’Brien Tally For Notre Dame

Battered, outweighed, twice defeated, an underdog, the burning flame that is the 1928 edition of the Notre Dame football team, fought and smashed its way to a 12-6 victory over Army’s greatest team to accomplish the most startling upset of the season last Saturday at the Yankee Stadium.

From the opening minutes of play when Eddie Collins threw Cagle for a fifteen yard loss, to the last play when an exhausted Irish line stopped Hutchinson on its six inch marker, the men of Notre Dame played like supermen. The tradition of Salmon, of Eichenlaub and of Brandy was with this team and the spirit of the immortal Gipp seemed to have inspired every man. No words of ours can tell you how this team fought. All we can say is that it fought as no Notre Dame team ever has, and for you who know the traditions of your school no more need be said.

The first quarter was uneventful, the linemen of both teams smothering the opposing backs before before they could get started.  Notre Dame accounted for two first downs however, on passes from Niemic to Collins, but the part of period was taken up by a punting duel between Niemic and Murrell, with the former having the edge.

The second quarter opened with another exchange of punts, Brady taking Murrell’s on Army’s thirty-eight line. Freddie Collins ripped off twenty-two yards through left tackle, the first long run of the game. On two successive bucks he carried the ball to Army’s five yard line. Chevigny made a yard and Collins carried it across on the next play only to fumble, Murrell recovering for a touchback. Once more before the half ended the Blue and Gold marched deep into Army territory, this time taking the ball from its own thirty-five yard strip before being stopped.

Cagle got loose for the first time, early in the second half and ran twenty yards to his own forty-seven yard mark before Vezie downed him. Dropping back on the next play he whipped a beautiful pass to Messinger, whom Niemic downed with a flying tackle on Notre Dame’s thirteen yard line. In four tries Army made it first down on the Irish three yard line, where Murrell took it over for a touchdown two plays later. Sprague’s try for point was made.

An exchange of punts gave the Irish the ball on their own forty yard line and the march was on. A penalty and four plays with Chevigny and Collins carrying the ball made it first down on Army’s twelve yard line. Four tries made it first down on the West Pointers’ two yard line, but Army held and it took the Rockmen four plays more before John Chevigny crashed through for a touchdown on a cut-back over center. Niemec’s try for the extra point was blocked.

Carideo’s try for a field-goal was short and Army took the ball on its own twenty yard line soon after the fourth quarter opened. “Biff” Jones’ men failed to gain and several exchanges of punts gave the Irish the ball on their own forty-seven yard line. In exactly four plays Niemic and Chevigny made it first down on Army’s sixteen yard line. There seemed to be a mix-up in the signals on the next play and the ball rolled back to the thirty-three yard line where Chevigny fell on it with half the Army line on top of him. He was carried from the field, exhausted rather than knocked out. Then Rockne inserted the lithe-limbed Californian, John O’Brien, and the versatile Niemic promptly whipped a thirty yard pass to him as he fell across the goal line with the winning touchdown.

Army died hard. Cagle took Niemic’s kickoff and finally got loose on a typical Cagle run after being held in check all day; on and on he sped down the side-line with a clear field ahead, but fast as he ran the living flame that is Freddie Collins sped still faster and nailed him from behind on the Rockmen’s thirty yard line. Battling desperately Army surged to Notre Dame’s one yard line with one down left to score in.  Hutchinson hit center but a mighty Irish line was adamant, and even as the gun sounded he failed by a scant six inches.

Notre Dame’s stalwart left tackle.

 

No one stood out for Notre Dame. How could any man have stood out when Ed Collins threw Cagle for a fifteen yard loss,; when O’Brien dove after and clutched Niemic’s perfect pass; when Johnny Law, the lightest man in either line, stopped Cagle and Murrell time after time; when Twomey and Miller were immovable, unstoppable and Sprague left the game in a daze; when Moynihan outplayed and outlasted Army’s great center, Hall; when Leppig crashed through  time and again and wore down three opposing guards; when Vezie and Colrick stopped Cagle cold? How could any man have stood out when Chevigny blocked and ran and tackled like a fiend until he was carried exhausted from the field; when Niemic punted and passed and passed coolly and deliberately in the face of what was recognized as the country’s greatest team; when Fred Collins forgot his broken wrist, and slashed and tore through Army’s mighty line, and climaxed it all by bringing down the mighty Cagle after he had been shaken loose in the open field; when Brady and Carideo, playing under the terrific strain of calling signals in a game like this one, calmly and coolly chose their plays, and chose them right to the extent of sixteen first downs.

 

Line up:

Notre Dame

Ed Collins       LE

Twomey          LT

Law                 LG

Moynihan        C

Leppig             RG

Miller              RT

Vezie               RE

Brady              QB

Niemic            RH

Fred Collins    FB

 

Army

Carlmark         LE

Sprague           LT

Hammack        LG

Hall                 C

Humbert          RG

Perry               RT

Messinger        RE

Nave                QB

O’Keefe          RH

Cagle               LH

Murrell            FB

 

Notre Dame 0              0          6          6 –12

Army            0             0          6          0—  6

 

 

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