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VIEWS: 33 PAGES: 129

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       1912 – 1971


      Robert S. Pastorino
It was the Littlest Big Game or the Biggest Little Game: The Polytechnic High School Parrots
versus the Lowell High School Indians was a true San Francisco football rivalry. Many fans
went to see the Cal Bears and Stanford play every November in the Big Game, and many other
Bay Area football fans went to see Santa Clara and St. Mary’s College compete in the Little Big
Game. But in San Francisco, the Lowell-Poly Annual Classic was something special.

The Poly-Lowell clash was possibly the biggest rivalry and the most exciting game in the City; it
was often even more special, being played on Thanksgiving Day. It often decided the
Championship of the San Francisco High School League. It drew up to 50,000 fans for some
games. Regardless of when or where they played, the Parrots and Cardinals had a fanatical
following among students, alumni and football fans for the sixty-two games over the sixty years
of the rivalry’s existence. For students, it was part of going to high school. And the game
extended that experience into the future for alumni.

For most of the rivalry, the football games were among the most important school activities of
the year, and indeed overshadowed almost everything else going on at Poly and Lowell. Football
at times became the schools’ identities. Students, alumni, and friends judged the schools by their
football programs. In the 1920s, Lowell and Poly were the largest and most prestigious schools
in the City, and they won many of the championships. In the 1950s, the football teams almost
described the schools for many San Franciscans: Poly, which excelled in football, was working
class, tough, and minority; Lowell, which didn’t do so well at Kezar, was “elitist” and for rich
people. Of course, Lowell supporters responded by noting that while Poly was producing sports
heroes like Duke Marlowe, Lowell was producing, Governors, Senators, and American
intellectual and business leaders.

It was a rivalry which seemed to run in streaks, or eras. It began in 1912 with rugby games,
which Lowell dominated for almost the whole decade. When the schools switched to American
football in the twenties, Lowell continued to dominate. That domination waned, and in the
thirties Poly took over the rivalry, winning most of the games. The Poly domination continued
big time in the forties and fifties, when Milt Axt led the Parrots to the top of San Francisco High
School football. Just before Poly gave up football and then the school was closed, the Lowell
Cardinals had become the dominating power, running up large margins of victory.

Over the sixty years, Poly won thirty-three games, Lowell won twenty-six games, and three
games ended in ties. The overall point scoring was in favor of the Poly Mechanics, as they were
first called. They scored 853 points while the Indians totaled 717 points. The series also featured
an innumerable number of great football players, many of whom played for local colleges and
many others went on to play professional football in NFL. Who will forget such names as Bob
St. Clair, Craig Kimball, Gary Lewis, Dave Marcelli, Jerry Dowd, or Merrill peacock? Nor
would fans ever forget high school heroes who went on to other endeavors, such as little Ignatius
Foley, the Rubin twins, or Sheldon Potter. And there were the two great coaches, Milt Axt, and
Mike Voyne.

The rivalry finally ended with the last game in 1970, won by the Cardinals, just as the Indians
had won the first game so many years before, and many long time San Francisco fans, and
especially the alumni of the two schools, have been disappointed ever since. To many,
Thanksgiving Day was never the same when Poly and Lowell weren’t playing, even if they
weren’t playing for the City Championship. But those fans have memories, and hopefully this
brief recap of the Littlest Big Game will bring some of them back.

                                 THE RUGBY ERA

                          1912: LOWELL WINS 32-0
                        BEGINS EARLY DOMINANCE

Poly and Lowell first played football in October of 1912; it turned out to be a rugby game. The
San Francisco schools were playing rugby as part of the sub-league of the Academic Athletic
League (AAL), a larger Northern California League. The SF schools included Lowell, Poly,
Cogswell, St. Ignatius, Mission, and Lick Wilmerding; most games were played at St. Ignatius

The San Francisco Municipal Railway began its service that year, and women voted for the first
time in the City.

Poly was playing its first year of rugby while the Lowell Indians had played in 1911, finishing in
the middle of the pack with an average season. Mission had won the title.

The 1912 season was to be a dismal one for the Parrots; in fact they ended the year prematurely
when injuries and academic difficulties made it impossible to field a full team. They lost an early
October practice game to Hitchcock Military Academy by 34-0, after trailing by 12-0 at
halftime, and were then beaten by defending champion Mission. Lowell fared somewhat better,
although their practice season was also dismal. They tied Oakland High School 0-0, and were
routed by perennial power Palo Alto by 39-3.

Poly’s season did, however, last long enough to play the Indians in mid-October; they probably
wished they hadn’t made it that far; the Parrots were soundly thrashed by a 32-0 count at St.
Ignatius field. In fact, the Chronicle headline read “Lowell Overwhelms Poly’s Rugby Team”.
The game was an open affair with the play mostly among the forwards; none of the scores were
made from long passes. Lowell’s weight and experience won the game early. They led by 16-0 at
half time with tries from Hooper, Bender, and Deane, with two conversions by Hooper.

The second half was a better game, but Lowell continued its mastery with more tries by
Taufenbach, Oleson, and Tissot, and Hooper converted a penalty and a try. The Lowell scorers,
as well as forwards Captain Bell, Griebe, and Brown played well for the Indians. Standouts for
Poly in this first Littlest Big Game were Borchers, Mober, and Blake.

The lineups for that first Classic game were as follows: (fifteen players for rugby)

                LOWELL                                                     POLY

                  Tissot                      Forward                     Campin
                  Deane                       Forward                      Casey
                McGinnts                     Forward                      Carbin
                  Griebe                     Forward                      Douglas
                   Bull                       Forward                      Grant
                 Bender                       Forward                     Hanley
              Brown, White                   Forward                      Gowles
                Bell (capt)                  Forward                       Winn
              Oleson, Katten                 Half-back                    Cashin
               Taufenbach                    First five                Blakely (capt)
                 Hooper                     Second five                 McDonald
              Hun’ton, Flood                 Wing 3 qtr                  Worheton
                  Agee                      Center 3 qtr.                 Moher
                  Black                      Wing 3 qtr                  Borchers
                H. Lewis                     Fullback                      Leoni

Lowell went on to finish its San Francisco season with ties with Mission by 5-5 and with SI on a
3-3 score, and losses to Lick and the ultimate SF AAA winner Cogswell. The Lick game began
with a long try, which the Indians loudly protested, but Bell, the Indian captain, finally agreed to
finish the game; Lowell maintained that the Lick team was offside when scoring its try. The
Indians then went on to officially forfeit their game with Cogswell, playing it as an exhibition
and losing 9-0. Lowell stars throughout the season were second-five Hooper, a prolific scorer,
Captain Bell, and Oleson.

Evidently, after the game, many Poly and Lowell fans went to Fior d’Italia restaurant in North
Beach, which advertised unsurpassed cuisine, featuring shellfish, pasta, and ravioli.

                    1913: LOWELL WINS EASILY 48-0
The 1913 season was a good one for Lowell; the Indians were in the running for the SF Title.
The year was more promising for Poly, but they still lagged far behind their rivals.

Poly had more practice for the 1913 season, actually winning a game against Commerce, but

losing against St. Mathews Military Academy by 5-0. The team was led by Coach Beverly
Nevison, and such players as Captain Liversedge and forwards Westfall and Joles. Lowell Coach
Rev. M. Millineux, who had played for the British National Rugby team, managed an
experienced group of players, captained by Bender, and Lowell was one of the favorites along
with Cogswell. Lowell played practice games against the Stanford Frosh and Oakland,
unfortunately losing both.

The league season began in late September with the Littlest Big Game, Lowell winning
decisively by 48-0. Playing at St. Ignatius field, the Indians took a quick 38-0 lead by halftime
and won going away. The Parrots stiffened defensively in the second half, playing more
aggressively, but still could not score. Captain Bender and Conrado were the Lowell leaders,
both scoring frequently. As would be a feature in many Poly-Lowell classics, both coaches
heavily criticized the referees of the game, in this case for allowing too much hard play; they
also complained that the fans were too close to the field. Liversedge and Borchers were
standouts for Poly. Nevertheless, the Red and White now had a 2-0 lead in the series, Poly still
not having scored a point. Lowell had scored 80 points.

Poly played out the rest of the season with little improvement. They were able to defeat San
Rafael in a practice game by 18-0 with scores by Westfall, Liversedge, Joles, and Leone, but lost
another practice tilt against Oakland Tech. The Parrots played poorly within the SF sub-league,
losing to St. Ignatius by 11-0, and to Lick by 37-0.

Meanwhile, Lowell was fighting for the San Francisco Championship. After beating Poly, they
then defeated a strong Mission team by a 6-3 score on Flynn’s 30-yard try. The Indians then lost
a heartbreaker to Lick by 8-6, a game that Coach Millineux protested because of poor officiating.
Bender was the Lowell star. Lowell then beat Cogswell by 8-5 with Hawk scoring a try and
Knight converting, but lost a second game to Lick by another 8-5 margin.

This regular season left the three powerhouses, Lowell, Lick and Cogswell, all with one official
loss (the first Lick win over the Indians being thrown out), and officials held an important
meeting to decide on how to break the tie. A flip of the coin was won by Lowell and it was
supposed to play the Lick-Cogswell game winner. Lick rejected the decision and argued that the
winner of their game against Cogswell should decide the Championship. After all, they argued,
they had already beaten Lowell twice. The Lick boys went out and beat Cogswell by 10-3, and
then refused to play Lowell. Amid much wrangling and what some called “railroading”,
Cogswell agreed with Lick and the season ended without Lowell having a chance to win the title
on the field. Lick also claimed a technicality in that Lowell had not returned the official
eligibility player list in time. After charges such as “the sub-league is a rotten bunch of
grafters,” Lick was declared Champion and went on to lose to Palo Alto by 28-0 for the AAA

Lowell High School, at Masonic and Hayes Streets, was dedicated in 1913. The cornerstone of
the new San Francisco City Hall, with its golden dome, was laid, and the Lincoln Highway was
opened in the City.

                        1914: LOWELL WINS TITLE;
                              BEATS POLY 6-3
Lowell won it all in 1914, becoming San Francisco’s sub-league Rugby Champion. Poly was
improved, actually winning a league game, and nearly winning the Classic.

The Sub-league was divided into divisions, Mission, Poly and Lowell playing in Division B.
Cogswell, Lick and St. Ignatius were in Division A. Lowell was favored, along with Cogswell,
to win the title, but it was expected that all schools would be able to challenge.

After several practice games in September, Poly got off to a good start by shellacking Mission
by a 22-4 margin. They led at half time by 5-4 and then poured it on in the second stanza, led by
McAdams and Whitman. The same two Parrots led their team to a close victory over Lick by 5-3
in a practice game in mid-October.

Lowell got off to a good start, defeating Mt. Tam by 8-0, and then walloping Lick Wilmerding
by 65-0 with Vucoselevich and Turkington scoring 33 points between them. The Indians were
up by 27-0 at halftime. Going into the big Poly game, Lowell now had seven wins, two losses,
and two ties, the ties coming against Belmont and Oakland.

The 1914 Classic was a thriller, which was in doubt until the last minutes. Many said it was the
best game of the year. One newspaper’s story described the game as follows:

                            “Lowell Ruggers Win Game From Poly”

           “The Lowell High School Rugby team defeated the Polytechnic High School
           ruggers 6 to 3 in a game in the SFAL series, staged yesterday at Recreation
           Park The game was one of the best high school contests of this season and the
           result was in doubt until the final whistle.

           Lowell’s backfield was working in fine style and scored the two Red and
           White tries. Polytechnic ‘s backfield did not figure in a passing rally but the
           forwards were easily the equal of the Lowell pack After a passing rally in
           which the entire Lowell backfield handled the ball, Mike Voyne went over the
           line for the first score near the corner flag, about the middle of the first half

           Turkington scored the other Lowell try after a short dash through the
           scattered field near the end of the first half Don missed a field goal and the
           Lowell scoring was over. Polytechnic put up a better game in the second
           period and held Lowell scoreless. Wiel, the Poly back, took the ball from the
           loose and dashed over and the kick failed”

The Red and White marched to the City Championship after the hard-fought win over the
Parrots. They beat Mission by 50-0 to wrap up the division title. Leading by 24-0 at halftime,

Lowell was led by Jimmy Conrado with a 50-yard run, three Turkington tries, and a 45-yard run
by Billie Crawford. They then won the SF title at the end of November, defeating Lick by 2 1-0;
the Indians were led by Voyne, the outstanding star of the game, who had three tries; Conrado,
Atchison, and McKenzie also scored for the Indians. Lowell did not go on to play for the AAA
Bay Area title, which was won by Palo Alto over Berkeley by a 6-5 margin.

So, after three games in the series, the Lowell boys led three games to none, still heavily
outscoring Poly. But, finally the Parrots seemed to be competitive.

                        1915: LOWELL WINS TITLE;
                              BEATS POLY 11-0
Lowell had a great year in 1915; it ended the rugby season as San Francisco Champions;
meanwhile Poly continued its improvement but still couldn’t beat its chief rival, the Indians. The
City schools continued to play rugby, but other local school districts went back to American
football. The 1915 season took place in the midst of San Francisco’s Pan-Pacific Exposition,
which had attendance as high as 55,000 people on some days.

Poly had a pretty good season, winning three games. The Parrots had a great defense, shutting
out Lick by a 5-0 score, then blanking Commerce by 13-0, and finally keeping St. Ignatius
scoreless 12-0 to end the season. Poly standouts included Wiel, who starred against Lick, scoring
one try, and Mohr (}{B) and Bender (1st 5/8), who were also good scorers. In fact, the Parrots
were in title contention until the end of the season. Unfortunately for the Red and Black, they
could not beat Lowell.

The two rivals met in late September, at the beginning of the season, and the Lowell Indians
prevailed by 11-0; one paper called the game “a crushing”. The issue was never in doubt as
Lowell led by a 5-0 margin at halftime. The Indians were led by Turkington, who scored an early
try, and Captain Voyne. Poly was expected to do better, but the Parrots did put up a good fight,
staying close until the end, when the Red and White scored two quick tries within the last three

Lowell went on from its win over Poly to a very successful season. After losing an early practice
game to Alameda by 17-5, and a regular season tilt against Lick, the Indians marched to the title.
After disposing of Poly, the Indians won a hard fought, tough game at Ewing Field over
Cogswell by 16-9, in what might have been the season’s best match. Captain Voyne used his
weight and speed to great advantage, leading his teammates to a first place tie with Cogswell.
The game was tied 5-5 at halftime. Charlie Low, all 110 pounds of him, was the star in the win
over Commerce at the end of October and the scene was set for a climatic rematch against
Cogswell for all the marbles.

Lowell won the City Championship, its second in a row, on November 19, by a convincing 14-0
score, duplicating its earlier victory over Cogswell. More than one thousand fans turned out for
the contest: the game coverage stressed “the pretty girls” and flashy colors among the spectators.
On the field, Lowell took a 6-0 half time lead and stretched it out in the second stanza. It
featured willing and aggressive forwards and flashy backs: Bering scored a try at the 10-minute
mark, and then twice more; Hooper made a 50-yard try; and little Mr. Low made a conversion.
Cogswell threatened often but could not put any points on the board. The game was well played
and interesting.

                    1916: LOWELL BEATS POLY 11-0;
                            WINS SF TITLE
Lowell won its third consecutive San Francisco Rugby Championship but this time had to beat
Poly in the last game of the season to do it. Poly was coming on, scoring several big wins, but
Lowell had one of the greatest seasons ever seen in San Francisco Rugby.

No one scored against the Indians in the regular San Francisco AFAL season. In fact, counting
practice games, Lowell outscored its opponents by a whopping and almost unbelievable 243-16,
a record “to be proud of” according to one Chronicle sportswriter. They scored impressive
practice game victories over Berkeley, San Jose, the Stanford Frosh, and tied perennial power
Woodland. By late October, they had won eight games with one tie, and had run up a scoring
margin of 145 points tol6 points against the opposition. During the regular season, the Cardinals
ran roughshod over Commerce by 76-0, and St. Ignatius by 57-0. Turkington scored three tries
against Commerce in a game that ended after dark.

Their win over Lick was tough, by only 6-0. Turkington was again the hero, giving his team a 3-
0 lead at the 50-minute mark with a try. Adams scored a second try as time ran out. The game
featured spectacular runs, hard tackling, and hairbreadth escapes from scores by both sides. The
Red and White outweighed Lick by ten pounds per man, but Lick never gave up. Lowell stars
were Turkingtoff, Voyne, and Hooper, and Low made a series of lusty boots.

Poly also had a winning season, losing only one regular season game before meeting the Indians.
They had practiced hard, beating Belmont High Military Academy by 9-0 in the opener, on a try
by Peroni and two by Lorigan, defeating Belmont High School by 8-5, but then losing badly to
the Stanford Freshmen. The Parrots beat Commerce early in the season by a 23-3 margin with
Perrotti, Etchebra, and Casey making tries, and “Speck” Lorigan scoring three conversions. A
victory over St. Ignatius by 23-0 was matched by a close 9-6 loss to them.

So, it came down to the Lowell-Poly game on November 19, with Poly ready to claim a share of
the title if they could beat the Indians. Lowell assured there would be no tie for the title; they
easily defeated the Parrots by an 11-0 score. The game was hotly contested, and Poly played
with a reckless desperation but could never cross the goal line. Lowell’s experience and its

weight advantage were the determining factors. In the first half, Turkington scored on a 40-yard
run, with a Low conversion. Finally, after Poly held off the Indians for most of the second half,
Lowell scored two more tries at the end, courtesy of Bassett and Schaeffer.

The lineups for this first Poly-Lowell title game were as follows:

               LOWELL                      Position                 POLY
        McMillan, Manelli                Front Rank            Skinner, Gordon
        Bassett                             Lock                     Casey
        Cunah, Postlethwaite             Breakaways          Conlon (Capt), Perrotti
        Wilson, Scanon                   Rear Rank           Tracy, Tozo, Echebra
        Bering                          Wing Forward                 Rubin
        Young                             Halfback                  Hamall
        Schaeffer                          First 5/8                Lorigan
        Hooper (Capt)                    Second 5/8                Hayward
        Turkington, Voyne                 Center ¾                  Peroni
        Stevick                           Left Wing           Madden, McKenna
        Weil                             Right Wing               Casenario
        Low                                Fullback                Kilkeary

                            1917: LOWELL 5 POLY 0
Neither Poly nor Lowell had a very good season in 1917. The Red and White finished third and
Poly trailed, with Lick being the power team and winning the Championship. The winds of war
were hitting San Francisco although much of the war activity centered on the other coast. Sales
of War Bonds in the City was high, topping $20 million.

San Francisco’s private high schools began to play American football again in 1917, while the
public ones continued with rugby. Lowell’s “second” team actually played football while some
football was played internally at Poly. Commerce’s rugby team was disbanded, and only Lick,
Lowell, Poly and Cogswell played in the SFAL.

After playing the Stanford frosh in a practice game, the Parrots, coached by Willis Hunter, began
the regular season with a 0-0 tie against Lick at Ewing Field.

The two big rivals met on October 19 at Ewing Field in a game that was expected to be exciting.
The Indians came out on top by a 5-0 score. Lowell, coached by Overin, won the match in the
second half with a try by Cunha after a long run by Gettings. Captain Bering converted for the
final score. A Poly score in the first half by Peroni was nullified by an offside penalty called by
referee Card. Lowell’s passing was the ultimate difference, with Poly making up for its major
weakness, a lack of speed, with its fighting spirit and aggressiveness. In fact, Lorigan saved the
Parrots frequently with his kicking. As would become more and more frequent in the series,

there were “extracurricular” activities, as reported by the Chronicle:
            “The game was featured by a fight, fumbles and flops. The boxing
            match was put on by a Lowell cadet and a small spectator. The
            fumbles were practically all made by the Polytechnic team, and the
            “flops” were evenly split with players on each team “taking the
            count” every five minutes.”

The season ended with Lowell losing to Lick by a convincing 13-0 tally on tries by Maillot and
Roberts, and then losing to Cogswell by 6-0. They threatened in both games but could not cross
the goal. An All-Star team was chosen by the coaches at the end of the season to play Oakland
All-Stars. Both Poly and Lowell were included with Tracy, Gordon, Fawks, Toso, Rainey,
Hayward, and Kilkeany representing the Parrots. Lowell players honored included McMillan,
Getting, Cunha,, Bering, Lynn, Schaeffer, Brown, and Villain.

                     BEAT PARROTS 18-0
With the war raging in Europe, the SFAL continued to play rugby with Lick barely nosing out
Lowell for the City Title in an exciting overtime game. Poly had a bad year.

The Parrots opened the SFAL regular season at Ewing Field in late September, losing to Lick by
6-3. The game was described as “full of pep”, with fast playing on both sides. Poly played
aggressively but found itself outplayed early in the game, and for the rest of the contest the
Parrots were on the defensive with most of the play on its own side of the field. Lick scored one
try in each half.

The two classic rivals met in early October with Lowell coming in with two well-played
victories to its credit. The Cardinals carried the day with a relatively easy, and convincing 18-0
shellacking of the Parrots, or as they were also called the Poly Mechanics. Lowell used its speed
to overwhelm Poly in the first half and then eased up during the second period to avert a rout.
Lowell Captain Brown scored the first try early in the game by plunging between two Parrots;
he then scored again and a Smith conversion gave Lowell the 8-0 lead; they were never headed.
Janssen scored on an 8-yard try and the scoring was finished by a Ferri try. Smith made good on
three conversions. Poly’s backfield injuries never allowed it to rally. Thus, the Lowell
domination continued; the Indians had won seven straight games; Poly was still looking for its
first win in the series; and Lowell’s monsters had outscored Poly by 131 points to just three

The season ended early, on October 10, as Lick defeated the Indians by 8-5 at Ewing Field. The
win wrapped up Lick’s second consecutive championship, but it took ten minutes of extra play to
vanquish the hard fighting Lowell players who played their best game of the season. Lick took a
5-0 lead at halftime with a Tosi try and a Lynn conversion. Lowell tied the game in the second

                                             - 10 -
half with Villain scoring both the try and the conversion, the try on a 70-yard run. Lick won it in
overtime with a Tosi score.


The Red and Black won their first San Francisco City Rugby Championship in 1919. They also
finally ended their abysmal losing streak against their Lowell rivals, tying the Indians 8-8 in the
last game of the season to clinch the title.

The 1919 title chase promised to be a close one. Lowell as always was given a good chance to
win it all. Captain Scott Campbell, and such players as Janssen, Tiddle, and Wagner led them.
The Indians began their season with four practice wins, including a big 14-0 win over Fremont,
and a loss to San Mateo. Poly was expected to be improved and both Lick and Cogswell were
also thought to be in the title race. Commerce High School had returned to American Football.

Lowell began the season with a 4-0 win over Lick, with a 35-yard dropkick field goal by Jerry
Villain being the winner. Poly’ s first regular season game was a relatively easy 11-0 victory
over Cogswell, with Dick Van Horn scoring two tries and Moose Fawke another one. Poly then
tied Lick at 3-3 at Ewing Field; the Parrot score came on a 25-yard try by Toso.

The season had started with a series of close games, but then Cogswell got up and smacked
Lowell down by a surprising 16-3 score at Ewing Field, in a game that was as lopsided as the
score indicated. So, the championship came down to two of the last games, both played on
October 25: Lick against Cogswell, which was won 6-0 by Lick, and the classic Poly vs. Lowell
rivalry game.

The Red and Black and the Red and White tied at 8-8 in the big game at Ewing Field. Poly
considered protesting the tie game because of a questionable second-half try by Lowell in which
a Lowell free kick was recovered by Silverman in the Poly end zone, but not until after the ball
had been touched by a spectator. Meanwhile, Van Horn and Switzer scored Poly tries. Villain
kicked a field goal and the conversion after the Silverman try. At least two Poly players were
hurt during the hard fought game: “Jap” Toso, and Kenneth “Hot Man” Miller.

The Red and Black were awarded the City Title, after a stormy administrative meeting, based on
their record of one win, two ties, and no losses, against the Indians’ one loss. Just as importantly,
the Parrots finally broke their long losing streak against Lowell.

                                               - 11 -
                       1920: POLY WINS CITY TITLE;
                             BEATS LOWELL 5-3
The 1920 season was another good year for the Parrots, ending with a fabulous title game in
which Poly and Lowell continued their historical duels for the City Championship, duels which
often went down to the final game of the season. The two schools actually played twice during
the season, with the first game ending in a lackadaisical 3-3 tie.

Both teams played interesting practice games. In two early games at Bayview Field in Oakland,
Poly was whooped by Oakland Tech, while Lowell played a 0-0 tie in two overtimes against
Oakland High. Lowell, coached by former player Voyne, also lost to Oakland Tech by a 6-0
score, but later beat Fremont three times. Meanwhile, Lick was playing football, losing to
Centerville 20-7.

The Red and Black was captained by Moose Fawke, and they opened the season by smashing
Cogswell by a 32-0 score, which set up the first Poly-Lowell match of the year. The game ended
in a 3-3 tie after a ten-minute overtime, with Pera scoring for Lowell and Hillman for the Parrots,
both in the first half. Both conversions were missed. It was a hard fought game without many
scoring chances, with Lowell exerting the pressure at the end to such an extent that Poly had to
block a Lowell fifteen-yard dropkick try. Poly controlled most of the overtime period but could
not score.

Blackfield and Rankin both scored two tries, and Poucher, Pera and Lecaire each scored once in
a big Lowell win over Cogswell by 25-0. That led to a Thanksgiving Day showdown for the San
Francisco title, and what a game it turned out to be!

Poly won it by 5-3, in what was described as “one of “the most exciting rugby games ever
played in San Francisco.” And along with the big win went the City Title. Perhaps as
importantly, Poly had its first win against the Indians after seven losses and two ties. The game
was a battle of the forwards for most of the time; Poly outweighed Lowell and was able to push
the scrum back for most of the game. But Lowell scored first early in the opening half when
“Red” Silverman, the Lowell wing, ran over the goal for a try. Unfortunately, Poucher missed
the conversion and the score stood at 3-0.

From this moment on, the match took on a different aspect with Poly taking control. The Parrots
finally won the game with a rush at the beginning of the second half. “Dutch” Matsen scored the
tying try early in the second half, charging in from close to the goal, and then, in the year’s
biggest play, Captain Fawke converted the try from 25 yards out to make the score 5-3 in favor
of the Red and Black. Fawke thus became Poly’s first great hero of the rivalry. Controversy
again reared its ugly head when Poly scored a try, legitimately according to the press, which was
first allowed and then disallowed by the referee. On the play, Saville appeared to have crossed
the goal line with the ball after a thirty-yard run, but might have been out of bounds before
scoring; in any case the ball ended up in the hands of Lowell wing Gerhardt. But the call did not
change the outcome of the game and Poly had its first win.

                                              - 12 -
The lineups for this first great Thanksgiving Game follow:

                    POLY                       Position                 LOWELL
                  Mo Manigal                    F.R.                       Kratz
                 Mullin, Myers                  F.R.                       Eakin
                 Francis, Tuttle                Lock                     O’Brien
                    Hillman                     Break                     Hooper
                     Heron                      Break                Blackfield (Capt)
                 Fawke (Capt)                   W.F.                        Pera
                 Auger, Snead                 Rear Rank                 Harrington,
                    Estrella                     Half                    Poucher
                     Little                   First Five                   Ferris
                    Saville                  Second Five                  Lecarie
                    Harries                  Center Three                 Pelton
                   Svendson                     Wing                     Gerhardt
                      Rae                       Wing                    Silverman
                    Matsen                    Fullback                   Jennings

The rugby era had ended and American football was about to return to San Francisco High
Schools. So far in the series, Lowell had seven wins, one loss, and there had been two ties. The
Indians held the point lead by 145 points to only 19 points for the Parrots.

                     THE ROARING TWENTIES
                   BACK TO AMERICAN FOOTBALL

                           1921: POLY 7 LOWELL 3

The San Francisco High Schools returned to American football for the 1921 season. It was a
good year for both the Poly and Lowell squads as both finished high in the standings.
Polytechnic won the rivalry game by a 7-3 margin, thus extending their winning streak over
Lowell to two games, and beginning the next 50 years of exciting American football between the
two schools. During the year, the DeYoung Museum opened in Golden Gate Park, and Joseph
Strauss presented the first plans for the Golden Gate Bridge.

Eight schools played in 1921: Poly, Lowell, Cogswell, Lick, Mission, Sacred Heart, Commerce,
and newcomer Galileo. It was a good football year, although there were several lopsided games
and Galileo couldn’t win a game. Commerce and Lick were favored for the title and Commerce
got off to a good start by defeating the Galileo Lions in the opener by 14-3, but Lick ultimately
won the title. Babe Hollingberry, who went on to college coaching fame, coached the champs.

                                             - 13 -
Lowell was coached by Mike Voyne, who was in one of the early years of his long tenure at the
helm of the Cardinals, and the Indians got off to a rousing start with lopsided wins over
Cogswell by 48-0 and over the hapless Lions by 86-0. Later in the season, the Red and White
scored convincing wins over Sacred Heart by 34-0 and Commerce by 62-0. There were
numerous Lowell stars: Fullback Kratz ran for three touchdowns against Galileo; Quarterback
Bill Rankin, all 146 pounds of him, threw for three scores vs. Commerce; and brother Forrest
Rankin ran for 70 yards against Galileo and for two touchdowns vs. Sacred Heart. Even Lowell
linemen, such as tackle O’Rea, scored for the Indians. The game against Galileo had a line score
seldom seen:

                           Lowell       20-26-19-21         86
                           Galileo       0- 0- 0- 0         0

The Indians went into the Poly game undefeated and in first place with three straight wins.

Meanwhile, the Parrots, coached by Dave Cox, were more than holding their own. They opened
the season slowly with a close loss to Lick by 7-0. But then the Poly football power began to
show as the Red and Black trounced the Mission Bears by 53-0 and defeated Commerce by a
39-0 score, just before going into the Lowell game. “Smoke” Francis was a Poly star throughout
the season, scoring four touchdowns against Commerce, and throwing for one and running for
another against Cogswell. Fullback Charles “Dutch” Matsen was another star; besides calling the
signals, he had a 80-yard scoring jaunt against Sacred Heart, scored three times vs. Mission, and
twice more in the tilt with Commerce. Poly lineman, Granucci, was one of the best in the City.

So the Poly-Lowell classic game in the middle of the season was an important one for both
teams. After scoring almost at will earlier, the two teams turned to defense for their big rivalry
game before 10,000 fans at Ewing Field. “Smoke Goes to Victory” was the headline after the
tough, hard-fought 7-3 win by the Parrots. “Smoke” Francis scored late in the fourth quarter after
a short run, and tackle Packer kicked the extra point to bring Poly from behind. The Red and
Black’s score came after a long drive, and actually was Poly’s only real drive of the game.
Packer had a key interception in addition to his extra point and was one of the game’s stars.

Lowell had taken a 3-0 lead in the third quarter with a 20-yard field goal by Captain Kratz, as
they took advantage of a Poly fumble and a short drive to paydirt. Lowell did not give up easily
and only the clock stopped them from pulling out a last minute victory. The Cardinals drive was
sparked by a last minute 40-yard pass from Frazier to end Smith, but the whistle blew before the
Indians could cash in.

Lowell’s 7-7 tie with Lick the week after the Poly game ended its chances for the title, but the
teams ended the season in second and third places. Both clubs finished strongly; Lowell went on
to rout Mission and Commerce and ended the season with five wins, one loss, and one tie. Poly
ended its season with a forfeit win over hapless Galileo and wins over Cogswell and Sacred
Heart, thus finishing with six wins and only one loss. The Parrots even beat their Alumni in a
practice game by 12-7. Lick’s quarterback Crane, who weighed in at 129 pounds, Mission’s

                                              - 14 -
Captain Lewis Ferrogiaro, and Lang of Commerce were among the most outstanding players in
the SFAL.


    Poly      0         Lick              7            Lowell   4         Cogswell          0
    Poly     53        Mission            0            Lowell   8          Galileo          0
    Poly     39      Commerce             0            Lowell   3       Sacred Heart        0
    Poly     7        Lowell              3            Lowell   3          Poly             7
    Poly     20      Cogswell             0            Lowell   7          Lick             7
    Poly     26     Sacred Heart          0            Lowell   3         Mission           6
    Poly     W         Galileo            L            Lowell   6        Commerce           0
                                         (by                    2
    Tota     14                           10           Total    2                          20
     l        5                                                 7

                       1922: MUD, RAIN, AND SLOP:
                          POLY-LOWELL TIE 0-0
The SFAL 1922 football season was bigger than ever, both with respect to attendance at the
games and the number of schools. This year St. Ignatius became the ninth team and the squads
were split into Divisions 1 and 2. The first division was comprised of Poly, Lowell, defending
champ Lick, Mission, and Commerce. The second division was comprised of Galileo, Cogswell,
Sacred Heart and St. Ignatius.

Lick was favored to repeat, having several of its returning stars such as Crane, and new star
“Red” Chisholm, as well as two huge tackles, Sellman and Kendall. And, Lick raced through its
pre-season with wins over San Rafael and Fremont. Lowell was also a pre-season favorite,
playing well against both the Cal and Stanford freshmen teams, but losing to Oakland Tech. The
Parrots lost to Sequoia and Berkeley, but had Granucci back, as well as several other veterans.
Galileo was still looking for its first SFAL win.

The regular season opened on October 18 with a great game at Ewing Field. The Cardinals lost
the opener in a heartbreaker by 20-19 to Commerce before 3,000 fans. The game ended in
darkness with a Lang 55-yard scoring reception in the last two minutes, and the all-important
extra point by Conlan to win it. Lang and Conlan made the other two scores. Lowell guard Dahl

                                              - 15 -
began an Indian comeback with a score, recovering a kick in the end zone; Cardinals end Crick
scored in the same fashion, and Newman ran for one score.

Poly began the year being trounced by 32-0 by Lick. Galileo wrapped up its first league victory
ever, the next day, with a big 47-6 win. Poly rebounded during the second week with an upset
win by 13-7 over Commerce, and then scored a 6-0 victory over the Mission Bears. “Red”
Marcus scored a touchdown against Commerce and the winner versus the Bears. The Parrots
dominated against Mission but could only score once, the domination being provided by its two
large ends, Stockton and Snead. The Poly QB, McDougall, who weighed only 125 pounds, was a
standout in the first win. Lowell’s season all but ended the next day with another heartbreaking
loss, this time by 13-12 against Lick, after leading by 12-0. Morris led the Indians with a 70-yard
scoring run, and another 45-yard scamper.

While not playing for any championship, the stage was set for the annual Poly-Lowell classic,
which was becoming a big event, being between the City’s two largest schools with the best
athletic records. Several thousand fans showed up at Ewing Field to watch a scoreless tie played
in the mud and slop, during a steady downpour. Both teams threatened to score but couldn’t
cross the goal line. Lowell twice got to the Parrot eight yard line, including once with three
minutes remaining, but Poly stiffened each time, and the game ended with the ball at midfield.
Reed, Marcus, and Captain Guido Granucci were Parrot stars, while Rankin and Newman led the

Poly’s SFAL season ended with two wins, one loss, and a tie, while Lowell finished its year with
a close 13-6 win over Mission, coming from a third quarter 6-0 deficit. Halfback Newman scored
both Lowell touchdowns. Lick went on to win Division 1 by beating Commerce by 20-19 at
Ewing Field before 7,000 spectators, and then took its 3-1 regular season record into the playoff
against Division 2 winner Cogswell. Lick was given a tough game by the surprisingly strong
Cogswell eleven, finally winning by 2 1-14, getting two breaks in the last period, and getting the
game winner by “Red” Chisholm. The game had started with lots of offense with a 14-14 first
period tie, and then the teams settled down to play tough defense.

The 1922 season assured the comeback of American football for the SF schools. Interest was
way up even with scoring down. The Poly-Lowell scoreless tie, a couple of 6-0 games, and a 3-0
win by SH over SI, courtesy of a 35-yard dropkick field goal by Garricho, evidenced strong
defense and at times lousy weather.

After eleven years and twelve games, Lowell still led, but the Parrots were catching up:

                 Team                                             Points
                                 W        L       T         For       Against
                 Lowell           7        2          3     148           26
                 Poly             2        7          3     26           148

                                               - 16 -
                          1923: POLY CHAMPIONS:
                            BEATS LOWELL 20-14
Both Poly and Lowell had high hopes for the 1923 season. The Parrots were returning several
heroes, including Granucci and Marcus, and had a successful pre-season by beating the Santa
Clara preps by 26-13, Fremont of Oakland, and the School of the Deaf. The second-string QB for
Dave Cox’s Poly team, was a man who would become famous in San Francisco sports history---
Milt Axt.

Lowell Coach Voyne was optimistic after last year’s poor season, with the return of Gene
Van Horn, and a line averaging 200 pounds, led by All Star guard McGuire. Of course,
defending champ Lick was waiting in the wings. The year saw the death of President Harding in
the City’s Palace Hotel, but also the opening of the Steinhart Aquarium. Pat Brown, who would
be Governor of California, graduated in 1923 from Lowell.

Poly started off the season with three straight shutouts, beating Commerce by 33-0, Mission by
19-0, and Cogswell by 20-0, followed by a 13-6 victory over Sacred Heart. Marcus and QB
Eisan were big stars, each accounting for two scores against Commerce. Granucci ended his
career, turning 21 years old before the Mission game, while Eisan returned a kick-off 50 yards
and Marcus scored again. Axt started the game against Cogswell but the script remained the
same: scores by Eisan and Marcus; and then Marcus scored twice vs. SH. Meanwhile, Lick was
on its way, trouncing SI by a 61-0 score, led by Lawrence with four scores, along with tallies by
Crane and Chisholm. Lawrence, a great halfback, came back to score three times with four extra
points against SH.

Lowell got off to a slower start despite the optimism. They opened by whipping SI by a 45-0
tally, led by three scores by Cerutti and two by Van Horn. But then they lost to Lick by 21-6 in
front of 8,000 fans at Ewing Field out on Masonic Avenue; Cerutti scored on a 10-yard run,
while Lick turned as usual to Crane and Chisholm for their offense. A surprising upset loss to
Commerce by 7-6, in spite of great games by Van Horn and Cerutti, set up the annual match with
the Poly Parrots.

                               POLY-LO WELL ALL STAR

                                      “RED” MARCUS
                        Poly fullback, halfback in 1922-23.... also
                        nicknamed “Brick”... scored TDs in 1922 vs.
                        Commerce and Mission was star both years
                        vs. Lowell. scored twice in 1923 vs. SH and
                        Commerce, and was All City …
                        great defensive halfback

                                             - 17 -
Poly was tied with Lick for first place with four wins and no losses, and had title aspirations as
they took the Ewing Field turf in early November. More than 12,000 fans saw an exciting game
with all of the scoring action packed into the first half and Poly leaving for the break ahead by
20-14. Two early fumble losses by the Red and White led to two Poly scores in the first period,
one by Marcus and the other by Eisan on a fake field goal attempt on which he caught a
touchdown aerial. Eisan scored again in the second stanza. But Lowell did not give up easily
and came back with two Van Horn touchdowns in period two, making it 20-14. Cook’s two
extra points for Lowell completed the scoring. After the intermission, the two schools slugged it
out, but could not cross the goal line, and the victory was a big boost to Poly’ s title hopes. Only
Lick now stood in the way to the title, while Lowell would play out the string.

In fact, Lowell came back strong, going on a winning streak in which they defeated Galileo by
31-3, and Sacred Heart by 19-12 on a Van Horn 30-yard touchdown run, and touchdowns by
Cook and Bradley. Bradley also scored twice against the Lions. A 14-14 tie with Mission was
followed by a season-ending rout of Cogswell by 3 3-7, in which Van Horn and QB Cook
starred. Lowell thus finished with three wins, three losses, and a tie.

Meanwhile, Poly went right back to work after beating Lowell by defeating defending champ
Lick by 21-13, basically sewing up the title with two weeks still to play. Marcus recovered a
fumble and scored on a statue of liberty play from Eisan. Kotta scored twice, once on a punt
return of 50 yards, to defeat the efforts of Chisholm, whose one-yard plunge gave Lick an early
6-0 lead. Now confident, the Parrots finished out the season with an easy 14-0 win over SI,
courtesy of two Marcus touchdown runs, and a 15-0 shutout of Galileo. The Parrots finished the
perfect year with eight wins and no losses, easily the best team in San Francisco in 1923. They
scored 155 points to 33 points for their opponents, and recorded five shutouts.

For the first time, an All-City team was picked and the Parrots dominated it with Eisan, Marcus,
and Stockton on the first team, and Lindgren and Kotta on the second team. Lowell stars
McGuire and Smith were MI-City while Van Horn and Bradley were selected to the backup
team. Other prominent names were Lick’s Chisholm, Lawrence, and tackle Sellman. Benny Lom
of Mission was a third string back.

                       1924: LOWELL WINS CROWN:
                         NO POLY- LOWELL GAME
The Lowell Cardinals won the 1924 SFAL title, their first Championship in eight years. But, it
was a strange season because the Indians and Poly didn’t play for the first time since the series
began in 1912.

The SFAL was again divided up into two groups; Group A was comprised of Lowell, Potter,
Mission, Galileo and Commerce, while Group B had Poly, Sacred Heart, Lick, Cogswell, and St.
Ignatius. The 1924 season saw ten teams playing, Potter High School being the new entry.

                                               - 18 -
Poly had a decent year, actually forcing a special playoff game in Group B after winning three
and losing one in the regular season. The Parrots lost a close practice game against Berkeley in a
7-6 squeaker, and then began the regular season by losing to Lick by 19-7. They then righted the
ship, winning easily by 26-8 over Cogswell. The win was led by a 25-yard scoring pass by
Ward, a short scoring run by Vierra, the Captain, and two fourth quarter touchdown runs by Milt
Axt. Two scores by Frenta were the margin of victory in a 12-6 win against the SH Irish, and
that was followed by a victory against St. Ignatius. This left the Parrots tied with the Irish and a
special playoff took place against Sacred Heart in late November in order to meet Lick. The
Irish took a close 13-0 victory before 7,000 fans at Ewing Field. After a scoreless first half, two
long runs set up the Irish scores. While threatening several times, including reaching the two-
yard line at the end of the half, Poly could never penetrate SH’s end zone and their season ended.

                                LOWELL-POLY ALL STAR

                                      GENE VAN HORN
                          Lowell backfield star in 1922-24... two
                          scores in 1923 vs. SI; starred vs. Poly with 2
                          TDs … 2nd Team All-City … Big season in
                          1924 with 12 TDs … 7 TDs and 92-yard
                          KO return vs. Galileo … four TDs and 378
                          rushing yards vs. Potter; 2nd Team All City
                          … 168 pounds, LHB, #5

Meanwhile, Lowell was having a great season, beginning with six practice wins in a row over
San Mateo, Vallejo, Fremont, Oakland Tech, Tamalpais, and Sequoia High Schools. Three of
those wins were by shutouts. Lowell then opened the SFAL season with an easy 18-0 win over
Galileo. Gene Van Horn, who may have been the best halfback in San Francisco, scored one
touchdown, while Cook scored twice, on runs of 59 yards and one yard. The Lowell machine
continued to roll with a 16-7 victory over the Mission Bears, led by touchdowns by Grigsby and
Ewing, and a 24-yard field goal by left guard Vrendenburg.

A 59-0 trouncing of Commerce followed, with Van Horn scoring record seven touchdowns,
including a 92-yard kickoff return. Cook and Grigsby also scored for the Indians. Van Horn ran
wild again the next week in a 59-0 rout of Potter. He ran for 378 yards, scored four touchdowns,
three on the ground and one through the air, and kicked two extra points. His scoring runs ranged
from 25 yards to 65 yards. By this time in the season, he already had twelve touchdowns.

This four straight regular season wins led to the title game against Lick, which had reached the
final by beating Sacred Heart by 27-7 in the Group B playoff. During the regular season Lick
had lost to the Irish but scored wins over Poly, Cogswell and St. Ignatius.

The Lowell Cardinals were the only unbeaten team in San Francisco and Lowell seemed to be
the favorite in the showdown. The alumni, waiting for a title since 1916, held a huge pre-game

                                               - 19 -
pep rally at the Palace Hotel, and more than 15,000 tickets were put on sale at 25 cents each.
Lick of course had beaten Lowell three times in the last three years. The game was one of the
most anticipated games in many years.

Once the game started, on a wet, slippery field, it was clear Lowell was the better team, and they
scored a relatively easy 12-0 win. More than 15,000 fans attended the game at Ewing Field.
Lowell scored once in each of the second and third periods and played stout defense throughout
the game. Lick rarely threatened until the end and most of the game was played in Lick’s end of
the field. The first Indian score came on a 10-yard pass reception by Edwards from QB Cook,
who had begun the scoring drive with a 38-yard interception return to the Lick 22-yard line. The
first half ended with the score 6-0, and Lowell clinched the title with a third period tally. Miller
plunged over from the one-yard line after the Indians recovered a Lick fumble on the eight.
Several desperate Lick passes failed in the last quarter and Lowell was SFAL Champion.

Over the year, including the practice games, the Indians were undefeated with eleven straight
victories, outscoring their opponents by a huge margin, 260 points to 45 points. Coach Mike
Voyne, who had played for Lowell’s 1916 champions, could certainly be proud of his boys,
certainly one of the City’s best teams ever.

Lowell dominated the All-City team with five players, a team so strong that Van Horn was
selected only to the second team, beaten out by Edwards. Edwards was joined by Jimmy Eagan
(LE), Smith (RT), Cook (QB), and Vrendenburg (LG). Benny Lom of Mission was a unanimous
choice for the first team; he was joined by Lick’s giant tackle Sellman. Fosse of Poly made the
second squad.

              No.         Player       Age     Weight     Position
               6        Jim Eagan       18       150        LE
               1     Joe Smith (Capt)   17       220        LT
              29         Joe Must       17       168        LG
              18        Cress Cole      17       165         C
              16       Vrendenburg      19       202        RG
              25       Dick Witter      18       169        RT
              30       Russ Ewing       17       167        RE
              13      Banning Cook      18       165        QB
               5      Gen Van Horn      18       168       LHB
               3       Bill Edwards     18       173       RHB
              28       Mel Grigsby      19       186        FB

                            1925: LOWELL 6 POLY 0
The scheduling format was changed again for the 1925 SFAL season, and the year ended in

                                               - 20 -
controversy with Lick being declared champion. Ten schools were in the League again, with
each team to play six games, beginning in mid-October and ending in mid-November. On
May 2, Kezar Stadium opened in Golden Gate Park, just across the street from Poly, and the old
stadium would remain the home of the high schools, several colleges, and the San Francisco
49ers for many years.

Poly began the year by losing to its Alumni by 12-6 and then beating Oak Tech by 14-7 and
McClymonds by 6-0. The Parrots then began the regular season across the street at the newly
dedicated Kezar Stadium by tying Commerce at 6-6. Five thousand fans watched Guerra score
on a one-yard plunge after Ward had run back a kickoff 40 yards. Poly earned its first league
win, over Potter by 13-0, behind a Ward score on a 60-yard punt return and a 4-yard run by
fullback McGuirk. Lick then defeated the Parrots by 7-0 in a bitterly contested game; Ward and
Farina starred but couldn’t avoid the loss. Guerra’s short touchdown run led a difficult 6-0 win
over Cogswell.

Meanwhile, Lowell, the defending City Champions, were off to a slow start, losing to San
Mateo, and playing a regular season tie with James Lick. Lowell was greatly surprised at the
“upset” tie. The Indians finally won with a 9-0 victory over Commerce, highlighted by a 70-yard
scamper by Welch, and a 10-yard touchdown run by Shumaker, but that was followed by a 6-0
loss to Mission. The Mission game ended in controversy when a Lowell player was tackled just
short of the goal line, according to the referee; it would have been the possible tying score with a
chance to win the game with the extra point, and the decision was bitterly contested by the

This set up the annual big game between the Parrots and Indians; the Red and White triumphed
by 6-0 in a thrilling game. More than 15,000 fans turned out for the first-ever Classic at Kezar
Stadium, to watch the slipping and splashing of the two teams in the mud. It was Lowell’s first
win since football was re-instituted. They scored early in the first quarter before everyone was in
their seats when Welch took the ball over from the five-yard line; Saunders missed the extra

Poly and Lowell battled desperately the rest of the afternoon. The Parrots got to within the
shadow of Lowell’s goal at the end of the second period, and twice in the last stanza, but could
not push the pigskin over. The Parrots actually outplayed the Indians everywhere but on the
scoreboard. The star of the game was Ernie Ward, Poly’ s hard-running halfback, who also did
the punting, and was a standout safetyman. Lowell stars included Russell Ewing at LHB, Bill
Welch, back John Valianos, and Captain Merle Glasgow.

Both teams played out the season with Lowell making a run for the title, but finally finishing in
second place to Lick. The Red and White finished the year by beating Potter by a 44-0 score,
with Welch scoring three times and Ewing once. The Indians then defeated St Ignatius by 18-6,
Welch and Ewing again providing the points; they ended the season with four wins, one loss, and
a tie. Poly limped home with three wins, two losses and a tie, beating Mission by 12-7 on a
Farina short run to. win the game in the fourth quarter. Captain Ernie Ward was Poly’s most
valuable player, and but for injuries, “Lefty” McGuirk would have played even better than he

                                               - 21 -

The SFAL season ended in controversy and confusion as the Sacred Heart Irish, which ended
with four wins and one tie, and first place in the Group B Division, had used an ineligible player
and had to forfeit some wins. A torrid session at SFAL headquarters decided the title around the
debating table, instead of on the field, finally awarding the SFAL Championship to Lick without
any further games being played.

                           1926: LOWELL 16 POLY 0
The 1926 season was another strange one in San Francisco High School football. Again the title
was not completely determined on the field, where Lick won the final game and the
Championship by 7-0 over Galileo. The Lowell Indians had withdrawn from the final playoffs,
stating the season was too long and the Championship should be shared between Lowell, Lick
and Galileo. It was not!

Several of the schools were given a chance at winning the title at the beginning of the season,
including Lowell. The Indians had a good year, beginning with practice wins over Fremont and
Santa Cruz, and a scoreless tie with Oakland Tech. The regular season started with a 3-0 loss to
the up and coming Galileo Lions on a Bromberg field goal. The loss was followed by wins over
Cogswell and Lick by 27-0 and by 6-0 respectively. Guido Caglieri was the hero of the first
game with a 70-yard kickoff return on the opening play, a two-yard touchdown run, and a pass
reception for a score. Dave Hewes won the Lick game with a 40-yard scoring run with a
recovered fumble. Wins over St. Ignatius by 14-6 and Commerce by 14-0 followed and Lowell
had four wins and a loss, and was fighting for first place. “Shell” Potter scored the first
touchdown against the Saints and “Kanaka” Bill Welch thrilled the crowd with an 80-yard
touchdown run in which he reversed field and employed a strong stiff arm three times on the way
to the end zone. The Commerce Bulldogs were shut out and overwhelmed on offense by
touchdowns by Potter and Valianos. A forfeit win over Potter followed, when the school was
beset by too many injuries.

Meanwhile, Poly was also playing well, after a slow start in the practice season, only being able
to defeat Oakland High School by 27-7. The regular season started similarly to that of the
Cardinals: the Frank Needles coached St. Ignatius Saints beat Poly by 3-0 on a field goal by
Casey. A 33-13 win over Commerce followed, with Conrad scoring and contributing several
long runs, and Green scoring two touchdowns. The Parrots then crushed Potter by 33-0 on
scores by Watts, Conrad, Gold, Rintala, and a kickoff return by Worthington.

Conrad and Worthington, who ran the pigskin in from 20 yards, spurred a 13-0 win over Mission
by the Poly Mechanics. Coach Cox’s Red and Black then was defeated by Lick by 20-6 in a
game totally controlled by the Potrero Avenue school, which out gained Poly by 427 yards to

                                              - 22 -
less than 180 yards, and which ended any Poly aspirations for the City title. The Sunset school
came back to beat Cogswell by 20-0, again led by Green and Conrad. This set the scene for the
Poly-Lowell Classic.

Going into the big game, each school had won four games with Lowell losing only one game and
Poly losing two. The contest had been scheduled for the week before but rain necessitated a
postponement until Thanksgiving Day. The Cardinals had the better record and were favored
although Poly outweighed their rivals by twenty pounds on the average. It would be Lowell’s
day with an easy 16-0 win at Kezar with 15,000 spectators watching the action during a drizzling
rain. According to one story the Parrots were “scalped and tomahawked.”

Lowell was in control from the start. On the first play after the opening kickoff, Lowell end
Hedge ran 35 yards and minutes later a 30-yard field goal by Captain Ted Sanderson gave the
Indians a lead they would not relinquish. Before the first half ended, Potter had scored twice on
runs of one yard and five yards. Sanderson converted on the second score and the scoring was
finished for the day. Poly barely moved over mid-field during the game, and the second half was
a tame affair, owed largely to the downpour, and liberal Lowell substitutions.

The half-time festivities were becoming a tradition, with students becoming much more involved
in the game. One spectator described them as follows:

              “Between halves, the respective rooters of the two schools pulled
              some real collegiate “stunts forming letters and various designs

              with colored cards right cleverly. Mention, too, must be made of
              the parading of the rival bands up and down the field, capped by
              their playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” in midfield,
              assembled together.”

Lowell, Lick and Galileo all ended the season with identical records. Lowell wanted to share the
title and end the season, declaring that too much time was being taken away from studies. The
Lowell announcement was a “bombshell”. The other schools disagreed, Lowell pulled out of the
playoffs, and Lick defeated Galileo for the title by 7-0 on a trick run for a score by 125-pound
Phil Daver. Lick End John Hurley captained the All-City team, with Galileo’s field goal kicker
Bromberg at QB. The Indians were represented by Hawes, Shulte (G), and Potter on the first
team, and Hedge, Big Bill Welch, and guard Gray on the second team. Poly tackle Murray and
guard Brown made the third team, while Conrad made honorable mention.

The Poly-Lowell classic series now stood still very much in Lowell’s favor, the Cardinals having
won nine games, lost three, and tied three times. The historical scoreboard was an overwhelming
184 points to 46 points in favor of the Lowell Cardinals.

                           1927: LOWELL CHAMPS:
                                BEAT POLY 12-6

                                                - 23 -
As would happen many times in the future, Poly and Lowell played on Thanksgiving Day for the
football title. In a battle of two powerful, unbeaten teams, Lowell won by 12-6 and won the title.
Mills Field was dedicated and Lindbergh visited the City in 1927.

Both teams were among the favorites as the season began, along with Galileo. Lowell went
undefeated in practice beating six straight schools from all over Northern California, four of
them by shutouts. Poly won its two practice games, beating San Rafael and Burlingame. Both
squads returned a nucleus of veterans. The League, now called the AAA, was cut back to nine
schools for 1927, Potter having dropped out.

Poly opened its regular season by disposing of Galileo by 21-0. Milo Quisling accounted for the
first score after Craig blocked a punt and Brown recovered it. Wilton Sass then ran back an
interception 65 yards, and Gold scored on a one-yard plunge. A Poly star was Hank Schaldach,
who punted and converted three extra points. The Parrots then defeated Commerce and went on
to rout Sacred Heart by 33-0, with Rintala scoring twice, Smith accounting for two touchdowns,
and Gold also hitting paydirt. The game ended in fog and darkness. A 13-0 win over SI followed
with Schaldach starring, hitting Vivaldi for long passes, including a 45-yarder for six points.
“Happy” Watts scored on a five-yard run. The Poly powerhouse rolled to a 40-6 win over the
Mission Bears, after letting the Bears jump in front by 6-0. Then it was all Poly, with scores by
Vivaldi, Gold, Rintala, Quisling, and Smith. Schaldach again was outstanding. Mission fans
retaliated by stealing a Parrot flag. Now with five straight wins, Poly proceeded to defeat
Cogswell by 19-0 and Lick by 18-0. The Parrot defense was better and the offense remained
powerful. The heroes were the same: Gold, Rintala, Schaldach, Watts, and Vivaldi.

Meanwhile, the Lowell Indians were also marching along. The two Hedge brothers, Arden and
“Ham”, led them to a victory by 27-6 over Sacred Heart with the defense scoring three of the
four tallies. Commerce fell the next week by 27-0 with both Hedge brothers crossing the goal
line and Sheldon Potter running 20 yards for a score. In a close, very hotly contested game, the
Indians beat rival Lick by 6-0 for its fourth win before 7,000 fans. Potter broke the game open
with a three-yard score in the third quarter after a methodical 70-yard march by the Indians. The
Lowell line dominated, and held Lick to only two first downs. This big win gave Lowell the
inside track to the title.

Lowell’s biggest win then came by 13-7 against Galileo when the Red and White had to score
twice in the fourth quarter to erase a deficit that could have ruined the season. With only forty
seconds remaining on the clock, Lowell passer “Red” Dunn hit “Ham” Hedge in the end zone
before another large crowd. While the Lions, led by massive FB Bob Paige, who could not be
stopped, outplayed the Indians, Lowell was able to come through in the clutch, the mark of real
Champions. Valianos’ two scores were the margin of victory over Mission and Thanksgiving
Day loomed.

Going into the Thursday game, Lowell was 13-0 overall while Poly was 9-0, and both had
perfect 7-0 records in the AAA. Lowell was a slight favorite, if only because they were
defending champs and had beaten the Parrots the year before. One of the largest crowds in San

                                              - 24 -
Francisco high school history was expected to see the heated rivalry. When the game finally
started, there were 30,000 fans in the overcrowded Kezar and they saw a whale of a game. The
Lowell Indians prevailed by 12-6 to retain the title. The winning score came from Arden Hedge
after a big break in the third period. “Happy” Watts grabbed a punt from Potter on his own one-
yard line and dropped the ball when tackled by “Hercules” La Borde. The younger Hedge was in
the area and he smothered the ball for six points. Lowell then held on for the win and the

Both teams had scored in the second period. A long pass to “Ham” Hedge, the older brother,
brought the ball to Poly’s eight-yard line and Lowell broke the scoring ice when Valianos caught
a six-yarder from Dunn for the touchdown. Poly equalized soon thereafter when a 65-yard march
ended with Rintala hitting Vivaldi in the end zone. Rintala had hit Goldman for a 35-yard pass
play, and had run 12 yards during the sustained march. While always threatening, the Parrots
couldn’t score in the second half, and their attack was weakened by the injury loss of Rintala.
But, regardless, Voyne’s boys were not to be beaten on this Thanksgiving Day. The
Championship game itself brought in total receipts of $10,000, making the full season’s total
revenue about $25,000, the best financial season ever for San Francisco High School football.

The All-City Teams had few surprises. “Ham” Hedge, Woodworth, and Potter were Lowell
players on the first team, while Poly provided tackle Brown, guard Pendleton, Vivaldi, and
Rintala. Of course, Paige of Galileo was there, as was triple-threat Casey of St. Ignatius as first
string QB. La Borde, Dunn, Schaldach, and Valanos were also on the second and third teams.

                             STARTING LINEUPS
                     THANKSGIVING DAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1927

        No.      Polytechnic     Position      Lowell                         No.
        52       Vivaldi         L.E.R.        H. Hedge                       10
        62       Ososke          L.T.R.        Laborde                        36
        12       Pendleton       L.G.R.        Eschen                         6
        61       Craig           C             Woodworth                      30
        60       Wunderling      R.G.L.        Ashely                         28
        18       Brown           R.T.L.        Vendt                          31
        1        Baldwin (Capt.) R.E.L.        Long                           15
        58       Watts           Q             Campbell                       2
        56       Schaldach       L.H.R.        Valianos                       20
        55       Rintala         R.H.L.        Dowd                           14
        52       Quisling        F             Potter (Capt.)                 19
                             KEZAR STADIUM 10:00 a.m.

                   1928: LOWELL W1I~S TITLE:
                BEATS POLY 8-6 BEFORE 50,000 FANS

                                              - 25 -
The Lowell Indians won the San Francisco title again, winning it easily and beating Poly in the
final game in an 8-6 squeaker. Lowell was easily the class team of the City.

The AAA went to a round-robin format in which each team played every other for a total of
eight games, beginning in mid-September and ending on Thanksgiving Day. Lowell had a large
contingent of returning veterans and was among the favorites, while Poly had a mixture of
veterans such as Vivaldi, and several newcomers.

Lowell’s only problem all year was its first regular season game when it tied with St. Ignatius at
0-0 at Ewing Field before 4,000 fans in a hard fought game. The tie, which threatened to put a
damper on the Lowell season, was reversed two weeks later when an ineligible player caused SI
to forfeit the game and give Lowell the win. They were never challenged again, coming back in
week two with a 32-7 trouncing of Cogswell, highlighted by a 50-yard scoring run by end Arden
Hedge, two touchdowns runs by Gunn, a 70-yard kickoff return by Green, and outstanding play
by Captain Valianos.

Mission was then shutout by 20-0 in front of 8,000 fans as Valianos scored two touchdowns on
short runs and Gunn also hit paydirt. The Indians followed with a squeaker over the Galileo
Lions by 13-12, taking the lead in the fourth quarter before 15,000 screaming spectators.
Outplayed most of the game, with Valianos getting injured, Cruze and Monsalve scored to pull it
out for the Cardinals. They scored their fifth and sixth straight victories over Commerce by 12-0,
and over Lick by a 31-0 score. FB Scott Gunn starred, as did Gil Dowd at running back, with
Hedge, Schutzer, and Cruze scoring. A 20-7 triumph over Sacred Heart set the stage for the Poly
match-up. “Wee” Wessinger starred against the Irish with two running scores of 20 yards and 35
yards. The Indians then had a perfect season with seven wins and no losses.

Poly, now coached by Paul Hungerford, who was later to become Poly principal, was also doing
well. Their season started with an easy 14-8 victory over Sacred Heart; that was followed by a
rout over Lick by 3 8-0, Bogdanoff returning a kickoff 70 yards, and newcomer freshman Henry
Decia breaking off several long runs and scoring once. Welsh, Giuntini, and Kimball also put
points on the board. The Parrots squeaked by SI by 7-6, Kimball bearing the brunt of the attack
and scoring the winner from the six-yard line.

The Parrots then annihilated Commerce by 31-0 behind Kimball, who scored three times, and the
play of Decia and Giuntini. Now with three straight wins, the Red and Black blanked Mission by
20-0 with Vivaldi, returning from a practice injury, scoring on a 60-yard run. Decia dominated
the next week, scoring five touchdowns against Cogswell in a 47-0 win. The freshman scored on
two punt returns of 65 yards and 60 yards, and three runs. Welch tallied twice. Now tied with the
Indians, the Parrots unfortunately ran into Galileo the week before the Lowell game and were
upset by 12-0 at Kezar with 12,000 frantic fans in the stands. The big play was a 92-yard run
with a fumble recovery by Slavish.

So Poly went into the Classic game with Lowell in second place, tied with Galileo, one game

                                              - 26 -
behind the Indians. Thus, Poly had to win or the Cardinals would be champions. With the title on
the line becoming a routine situation, the game spurred enormous anticipation, with Lowell
emerging as clear favorites. Lowell won the game and the title by 8-6 before 50,000 fans,
straining the Kezar capacity, and setting a high school attendance record. The Examiner’s lead in
the next day’s edition tells the story:

              “One of the greatest backs ever to wear the colors of Lowell High
              School, dazzling Lee Valianos, carried a rip tearing foot ball
              yesterday to the summit of its pigskin heights to hurl back the
              challenge of Polytechnic at Kezar Stadium   “.

              “Stopping Valianos, the fastest back in prep circles today, was like
              trying to imprison a raging lion in a cardboard
              box. Behind a line that thundered and tore to shreds the Poly
              barrier when it most needed tearing, ‘Mad Lee” ran like a speedy
              ghost, kicked beautiful spirals, and threw forward passes that
              utterly dismayed the Parrots”

Valianos wasted no time, throwing a beautiful 64-yard touchdown pass to Dowd on the first
drive of the game, giving the Indians a quick 6-0 lead. Valianos and Poly’s Kimball then began a
punting duel which lasted most of the game, and which Valianos won. At the beginning of
period two, the Cardinals lengthened their margin to 8-0 on a safety when Lowell tackle Molina
tackled Kimball in the end zone after a bad snap. Henry Decia came alive in the second quarter
for several good gains but could not score. Poly finally did get on the scoreboard in the third
stanza, with Gerry Vivaldi, the captain, recovering a Lowell fumble and rambling 50 yards to the
end zone. The rest of the game was scoreless, with Poly’ s attack stalling when Decia went out
injured. But, regardless, Lowell deserved the win and the City Title, won before the largest high
school crowd in San Francisco history.

There were no surprises on the All-City team. The Examiner picked Monsalve, Ashley, and
Valianos on the first team, while Poly placed end Lenkowitz, tackle Stothman, and Kimball as
first team All-City players. Other first teamers included big Bob Paige from Galileo. La Borde,
Slavish, Bogdanoff, and Gunn were on the second team.

                           1929: BORING, BORING:
                          LOWELL WINS AGAIN 6-0
Both Lowell and Poly had great years in 1929. But, both fell short, with the Mission High
School Padres winning the City Championship. Still, the annual Thanksgiving game was a great
thriller with the Cardinals emerging victorious by a 6-0 margin.

The roaring twenties came to an end, and with it prosperity, as the stock market “crashed” and

                                             - 27 -
depression was on the horizon. All was not bad news, however, in San Francisco: Mt. Davidson
was dedicated as a city park, the ocean seawall was completed, and the Graf Zeppelin flew over
the City.

Mike Voyne’s boys began the season with an easy 13-0 win over Commerce with fullback Ferris
scoring both touchdowns. The Red and White then had an easy time at Ewing Field with a 26-0
triumph over Sacred Heart, with Indian Bob Hay scoring on a short run in the first half, which
ended at 6-0. Lowell’s depth then took its toll on scores by Ferris, Hay and Gunn. The Indians
hit the wall after that victory, losing by 7-0 to Mission in a great upset; the Bears scored on a
fourth quarter touchdown.

Walt Schutzer and “Wee” Wessinger hit paydirt in an easy 33-7 rout over Cogswell’s Dragons.
Lowell now went into high gear, swamping Lick by a 57-6 score, which included six
touchdowns in a breezy final period. Gunn scored three times; Wessinger scored on a 60-yard
run; and Grace, Potter, Farris, and Monsalve also tallied. Shutouts over Galileo by 19-0, and over
St. Ignatius by 6-0 followed the rout over Lick. Farris and Gunn led the Indians in the first game
and Hay scored the game winner against the Saints. Lowell now had six wins and a loss, and was
awaiting its classic rival on Thanksgiving Day.

Hungerford’s Parrots were also rolling along as late November approached. A 35-0 win over the
Irish opened the season. The Mechanics’ powerful running attack made the difference with
Pappas (twice), Welch, and Sauter running for short scores. Last year’s freshman sensation,
Henry Decia, did not play because of an eligibility technicality, but he returned the next week
with a 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage to lead a win over Cogswell by 3 5-0. Sauter
ran for two scores and passed for a third, and Joe Bacoline ran back an interception for 60 yards.

After beating Stockton and Palo Alto High Schools in practice games, the Parrots beat SI by 12-
0 behind Decia. They then ran aground against the powerful Mission Bears, tying them at 6-6,
the score coming on a pass reception in the end zone by Decia from Sauter before a crowd of
20,000 spectators. Poly stopped the Bears’ dangerous running game for the most part; Harper,
Pendleton, and Howard starred for the Parrots.

The Parrots re-grouped the next week and trounced Commerce by 31-6 at Kezar; the game ended
in a near riot as a “free for all” broke out among the players. Easy wins against the Lions of
Galileo by 39-6 and against Lick by 27-0 led up to the Lowell game. Decia scored an amazing 32
of the team’s 39 points against the Marina squad on five touchdowns and two extra points,
including runs of 75 yards and 22 yards. Lick barely survived the last game due to injuries and
the game was reduced to two five-minute quarters in the second half

Poly and Lowell went into the Thanksgiving Day game with the Parrots needing a win to tie
Mission for the title, while the Indians were playing only for second place. Voyne’s boys came
through with a 6-0 win before a large crowd, their fifth win in a row over their bitter rivals. The
winning score came in the second period after the Cardinals center Fontana recovered a Decia
fumble and his mates marched down to the Poly five-yard line. Hay knifed to the goal line where

                                              - 28 -
he fumbled the ball into the end zone. Lowell’s Monsalve came up with the ball after a mad
scramble with three Parrots. The conversion was missed and that was all the scoring for the day.

Poly threatened several times but its attempts to score were thwarted by fumbles and
interceptions, and Lowell controlled most of the game. Lowell’s tiny QB Wessinger made two
nice second-half runs of 42 yards and 36 yards but the Indians could not take advantage of the
good field position. Poly Captain Walker starred for the Parrots, while Lowell linemen
Monsalve, Miller, and Mueller stood out for the Cardinals. The game film was shown the next
day at the Fox Theater on Market Street in downtown San Francisco

Lowell placed four players on the All-City team and a total of nine players on the first three
teams. Linemen Mueller and Dowd, and backs “Wee” Wessinger and Hay were the first
stringers, while Miller, Monsalve, Fontana, tackle Eagle, and guard Kahules were backups. Four
Poly linemen, tackles Walker and Farber, and guards Limneos and Homel, as well as Henry
Decia, were also selected to the various teams. Champion Mission had nine honorees, including
three on the first team.

                                 THE 1930’S
                            POLY TURNS THE TIDE
                            1930: POLY 6 LOWELL 0

Both the Red and White and the Red and Black had good seasons in 1930 as the decade of the
30’s kicked off. Their annual battle was one of the City’s major sporting events as the Parrots
pulled out a slim 6-0 victory before 40,000 fans in an exciting contest. William R. Hewlett, who
would later co-found Hewlett Packard, graduated from Lowell, and more than 40 million
passengers rode the San Francisco Bay ferries during the year.

Going into the 1930’s, the Indians were still riding high in the battle with the Mechanics. Lowell
had won twelve games, lost three, and three games had ended in ties. The Indians still had a big
scoring advantage over the Parrots, 210 points to 58 points. Poly was improving against its rival
but the progress was still slow, according to Parrot fans.

Both schools got off to good starts in 1930, with Poly beating Galileo by 13-6 on a Decia 25-
yard touchdown run, and a 70-yard punt return for six points by Harper. Lowell opened its
season with a rousing 34-0 victory over Sacred Heart. Potter, Parsons, Eagle, Sims, and
Earlenhorn all scored touchdowns for the Cardinals. Poly next defeated the Irish, with Henry
Decia carrying on from last year---three scores on runs of 37 yards, 19 yards, and 17 yards.
Harper scored again on a 19-yard touchdown reception. Lowell, after scoring practice wins over
Monterey and Burlingame, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat St. Ignatius.
Lowell end Roy Fellom, and running back Norton played well.

                                              - 29 -
Poly fell behind the Indians in the standings in the third week, being upset by Commerce by a
12-8 score. Decia remained a big threat, but could not score; the Poly score came from a Harper
22-yard run with a lateral. Both teams won the next week, the Indians defeating Cogswell by
20-0, using its reserves for the most part, while the Parrots easily defeated SI by 13-0 behind
Decia, who scored on a three-yard run, and an 82-yard run; he also had an interception.

At this point, Lowell, Poly and Mission, coached by Pop Elder, were fighting it out for the title,
but Lowell stumbled slightly, being held to a scoreless tie by Galileo before 8,000 fans. The
Lions threatened at the end of the game but the Indians’ defense held firm. Poly then battered
Cogswell by 33-0 behind a Henry Decia 95-yard TI) run (he seemed to be unstoppable), and two
Harper scores. The Indians almost matched that Poly win with a 32-0 lacing of Balboa, a new
member of the AAA in 1930. Great running by Torney and Norton, each of whom scored once,
led Lowell.

The stage was set now for the classic game with Lowell slightly favored, having a marginally
better record, four wins and a tie, versus Poly’s four wins and the upset loss to Commerce. As
had become normal, anticipation was high for the game and 40,000 people turned out.

The Parrots turned to Decia, and he came through with a 34-yard pass reception from
quarterback Gibberson to give Poly the 6-0 win, its first victory in six years. Lowell went down
fighting, ending the first half on Poly’s six-yard line after a 71-yard pass play from Gray, on
which Poly’s Rice made a saving tackle. The Indians got to the Poly ten-yard line with thirty
seconds go but time ran out. Gibberson had a magnificent game, passing for about 100 yards,
while Poly’ s captain Peterson, as well as Walker and Bordi starred. Harper also played well, at
halfback, for the Parrots. Poly was now a half game behind the Mission Bears while Lowell fell
further behind.

Lowell finished its regular season on a winning note, but only after losing to Mission in the mud
by 7-0. That loss effectively eliminated Lowell from the title chase. Gray, the Red and White
fullback, had a great day on the ground racking up rushing yards, but he could not score, while
Milt Evans, the Mission fullback, scored on a short run, after an interception by Bassi. The Red
and White then defeated Commerce by 14-0 with Gray and Parsons scoring. That victory ended
Lowell’s season.

Poly prepared for the title game by beating Balboa by 19-0, Decia scoring twice on short runs
and nabbing pass receptions of 40 yards and 33 yards; the Parrots then defeated the Mission
Bears by 7-0 to forge a tie for first place in the AAA. On a very rainy day, the Bears suffered
their first loss in two years. Not to be repetitive, but Decia scored the winning touchdown on a
one-yard plunge, and Harper converted in the first period; the two teams played scoreless
football thereafter.

The Poly Parrots could not sustain the momentum and fell to Mission in the title game by a 20-6
margin before 25,000 spectators. The game was tied 6-6 at halftime on a Gibberson to Kelly
touchdown pass of ten yards after Bordi had recovered a fumble. Mission sewed up its second

                                              - 30 -
consecutive title in the fourth stanza with an Evans run, and a pass interception, which was run
30 yards back into Poly’s end zone. Poly had beaten the Bears in 1930 but not at the right time.

Both Poly and Lowell were represented on the All-City Team. The Parrots had first and
foremost, Henry Decia, the City’s leading ground gainer, and its shiftiest runner. Poly’s
Pendleton, Frank Walker, the city’s most aggressive tackle, and Peterson were also on the first
team, while Harper received second team acclaim. Duane Parsons, Lowell end, and Indian guard
Lettenich were first teamers, along with Evans of Mission.
                        1931: PARROTS WIN TITLE;
                            BEAT LOWELL 12-0
The Poly Parrotts came back to win it all in 1931, defeating the Lowell Indians by 12-0, and
going on to win the City Championship. The AAA was back to eight schools with Cogswell and
Lick dropping out of the league. Seals Stadium opened in the City for baseball, and Goat Island
in the middle of San Francisco Bay was renamed Yerba Buena Island

The Mechanics swept to the title, winning six regular season games and tying only one, being led
again Henry Decia. They started their march to the title with a win by 6-0 over the powerful
Bears; Decia scored the winner in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run. Next week was easier, a
24-0 defeat of SI. Poly’s “Big Three” backfield of Decia, who scored two touchdowns, Walker,
and Carlson led the way at Kezar as Coach Hungerford used almost every man on the team. Poly
then suffered a setback with a 6-6 tie game with Commerce, when it couldn’t score until a Decia
run late in the fourth quarter.

This was followed by an important victory, a 6-0 squeaker over Galileo, in which Captain Frank
Walker scored late in the game on a two-yard plunge. The winning drive was started by a fumble
recovery by Ken Harper on the Lions 32-yard line. Poly outplayed the opposition in every facet
of the game but could only cross the goal line once. Sacred Heart and Balboa were the next
victims, by scores of 25-6 and 19-0. Decia was the big star: in the two games he scored four
touchdowns and threw for a fifth one, while throwing in several non-scoring long runs. Harper
scored on a long touchdown pass reception and was outstanding in his line play, while Meister
and Ryan were also stalwarts. After the win over Balboa, the Parrots had five wins and a tie and
were one-half game in front in the standings, and ready for the Cardinals.

The Indians were also playing well, still behind Coach Voyne, who was the veteran mentor in
the AAA. They got off to a good start, winning their first two: a 13-0 win over Mission, sparked
by short touchdown runs by Torney and Norton, both coming after recovering turnovers; and an
18-6 victory over the Irish of Sacred Heart. Against the Irish, Indian tackle Rouble recovered a
blocked punt in the end zone for one score, and Norton and Hay also scored; Potter led the
running game. The Red and White then defeated SI by 12-7 as their brilliant signal-caller
Erlenheim led the way with a 40-yard kickoff return to lead a comeback. Potter and Norton
scored to cement the win.

A 6-0 victory over the Balboa Buccaneers was next, but not until the fifth play of the fourth

                                             - 31 -
quarter, when Norton scored from the one-yard line. The Potter to Hay passing combination was
critical in the win, as Balboa held the Indians three times within the five-yard line. Lowell
suffered its first loss, by a 16-0 score against Commerce, to run its record to four wins and a loss.
The Bulldogs, coached by Dutch Conlon, dominated this game, playing most of it in Lowell’s
territory. The Indians were shut out again the next week, losing by 6-0 to Galileo, before 10,000
fans at Kezar.

Poly was heavily favored in their annual clash, which was played in mid-November. The Parrots
were undefeated and leading the league, and going for their first title since 1923; some were
describing the Parrots as having their best team in a decade; meanwhile Lowell was sniffing an
upset to ruin Poly’ s title chances. The Indians were led by its sparkling backfield, while the
Parrots were depending upon their gigantic tackles, Kolsoff and Meister, and brilliant backs
Decia and Walker.

In fact, the Parrots won the 2:00 PM game by 12-0, controlling much of the game, which was
played before about 25,000 fans at Kezar Stadium. The game was a kicking duel between
Walker and Lowell’s Potter for a large part of the contest. The Parrots scored in the second and
fourth quarters, with Decia making a one-yard plunge after a 42-yard march, and Walker
throwing to Harper for 24 yards to wrap up the win after a 43-yard drive. Lowell’s one big play
was a 52-yard kickoff return by Norton, who was stopped on a desperation tackle by a Poly
player in the most exciting play of the game. The Cardinals reached the Poly six-yard line, and
the fourteen-yard line on another drive, but were stymied both times. Captain Carlson, Ritchie,
and Rouble played well for the Indians. The hard fought win was enough to give the Red and
Black the City Championship.

                              POLY-LO WELL ALL STAR

                                      BIENRY DECIA

                       Poly TD “machine” 1928-31 … scored TDs
                       in bunches, including five vs. Cogswell with
                       two long punt returns; five more and 37
                       points vs. Galileo; and three scores vs. SH; …
                       made All-City in 1929-30-31 … excelled vs.
                       Lowell with winning score in ’30 and key TD
                       in 1931 … leading AAA rusher in 1930.

The Red and Black finished its wonderful season with a 20-0 victory over Stockton High School,
which established the Parrots as one of Northern California’s greatest teams. Harper was the
outstanding player in that game, even overshadowing Decia, when he scored two touchdowns
and passed for an extra point. Poly still wasn’t finished and went on the defeat Galileo by 7-0 in
the first PTA Charity Game before 40,000 fans at Kezar. Walker and Harper were scintillating,
with the first scoring on a two-yard run in the third quarter. The Red and Black had had a truly
remarkable season.

                                               - 32 -
Poly dominated the All-City Team. Harper, Meister, Kolsoff, Decia, and Walker, who was a
unanimous selection, were all on the first team, while Norton, who represented the Cardinals,
was acclaimed the best safetyman in the City. Erlenheim made second team quarterback, behind
Reisner of Commerce, who was one of the League’s high scorers.

                            1932: POLY 6 LOWELL 0
The 1932 season was a miserable season for both schools, with only the Parrots having
something to cheer about, given its 6-0 win over the Indians. This is a chapter that should go
unwritten as the two schools, coached by Paul Hungerford and Mike Voyne, were a combined
three wins, eight losses, and one tie during the AAA regular season. St. Ignatius had left the
league; thus each school played six regular season games.
The SF Opera House was dedicated with a performance of La Tosca, and Herbert Hoover visited
San Francisco in 1932.

Only a 19-6 win over SH, in week four, kept Lowell from being winless. Erlenheim scored twice
on runs of 52 yards and 4 yards, and also had an interception. Vecki, Badras, and J. Brigham,
who also scored, were the rest of the Indian backfield. The Indians were shut out by Galileo 7-0
before 7,000 fans at Kezar, and then by both Balboa and Mission.

Poly’s regular season was little better. The defending champs has lost many of its stars,
including Decia and Walker, and got off to a fair start, but then the season went downhill. The
Mechanics defeated Sacred Heart by 18-0 with Crowe and Grattan scoring, after a loss to the
Galileo Lions, and a 0-0 tie with Balboa during the early season. A 7-0 loss to Commerce, which
was led by 140-pound left halfback Jimmy Coffis, followed. Captain Castro of the Parrots
recovered a fumble and Crowe had an interception against the Bulldogs. The Parrots were then
trounced by Mission by 27-0 in what was the highest scoring game of the year---too bad the
Parrots were on the short end. The Bears were led by Yotz Klotovich who had a short touchdown
run, an interception return of 30 yards for six points, and an extra point. Klotovich was to be the
first of a long line of Mission stars from his family.

So both the Red and Black and the Red and White went into their annual battle with nothing to
play for except a win over their rival. The game appeared to be a toss-up. Before 35,000 fans,
Poly scored early and held off a furious Lowell offensive rush throughout the game to win by a
close 6-0 margin. Grattan returned a punt 68 yards to the end zone with only two minutes gone
in the game and that was all the scoring; he also intercepted a Lowell pass in the end zone, and
had yet another pass theft. Brigham almost tied the game in the first half, but was stopped on the
Parrot one-yard line. Bedras kept Poly in its own end of the field most of the day with his
booming punts. The game featured a spectacular Elks Pageant, which aided the Elks Charity

                                              - 33 -
Meanwhile, the Mission Bears swept on to the AAA title, defeating Galileo by 13-0 for the
Championship. Klotovich scored both touchdowns on long passes from Swanson before 15,000
spectators. The Bears then went on the tie a team of AAA All Stars at 0-0 in the second PTA
Charity Game. Lowell’s Brigham played in the game.

Klotovich led the AAA in scoring with 59 points, followed by Commerce’s Davis with 37
points. Erlenheim and Grattan scored twelve points each. In all, scoring in the AAA was down,
with one game ending 2-0, a Balboa win over Sacred Heart. There was not much Lowell and
Poly representation on the Examiner All-City teams, which were led by unanimous choices
Klotovich and Davis. Poly’s Henry Sparks at end and Grattan at halfback were second teamers,
while Erlenheim and Panels of Lowell made the second and third All-City teams for 1932.

                   1933: POLY BLANKS LOWELL 12-0
Both Lowell and Poly had mediocre years in 1933, although vastly improved over the year
before. The Parrots made their season a success by beating the Indians once again, this time by a
12-0 shutout. With both Poly and Lowell out of the title race early, Galileo went on to win its
first AAA Championship.

Good news or bad news in San Francisco? Prohibition was repealed (if it ever was really in
effect in the City); Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill was dedicated, and it was announced Alcatraz
Island would become a Federal Prison.

Poly’s overall record was five wins and five losses, including a practice win over San Mateo, and
practice game losses to Sequoia, Stockton and South San Francisco. The Parrots began their
regular season’s four win and two loss campaign with a loss to defending champ Mission by 13-
6, which later turned into a Red and Black win by forfeit when a Mission player was declared
ineligible. The Mechanics then suffered two straight defeats at the hands of Galileo and
Commerce by scores of 15-6 and 14-6. The first loss was a combination of Galileo breaks and
Poly miscues. The Parrots score was a long 30-yard touchdown run by star Al Minvielle.
Minvielle also had a hand in the score against Commerce, throwing a 15-yard six-pointer to
Henry Sparks before a good crowd of 12,000 fans. In fact, the Poly score was the first against the
powerful Commerce squad all year; its scoring margin was now 127 points against only 6 points.
Little Jimmy Coffis starred for the Bulldogs.

Poly then turned its season around with a big 45-13 win over Balboa, the highest AAA score of
the year. Fullback Blair Beckett scored twice on short runs; halfback Minvielle, who did almost
everything, scored on a 41-yard scamper and passed for three touchdowns: 37 yards to Sparks,
45 yards to Ignatius Foley, and a 26-yarder to Eagle. He also converted after a couple of scores.
Bob Maguire, a 9.9 sprinter, sped 77 yards around end for a score in the fourth quarter. Tackle
Marcus and running back Bill Kirsch also starred. The Parrots then warmed up for Lowell by
easily beating Sacred Heart by 16-0 on touchdown runs by Maguire and Beckett, and a safety by

                                              - 34 -
Lee Scatena.

The Lowell Cardinals ended their season with four wins, six losses, and a tie, two of the wins
coming against Castlemont, and Palo Alto, the latter game featured by an 80-yard punt by Jerry
Dowd, and then a close 2-0 loss to the Polk Athletic Club. The Cardinals finished with two wins
and three losses with one tie in the AAA, beginning the regular season with shutout losses to
Commerce by 12-0 and to Galileo by 19-0, the two strongest squads in the league. They finally
got into the winning column with a 12-0 victory over doormat Sacred Heart, the win being led by
ex-SI footballer Jimmy Phelan, who scored on a 27-yard run. The Red and White then tied
Balboa at 0-0 and got their second win with a 12-0 victory over Mission. Little-used sub Ed
Harrington scored on a two-yard run and gained over 200 rushing yards, including 57 yards on
one drive. Dowd, the fullback, scored the other tally on a two-yard run. This evened the Lowell
regular season record and set up the Big Game against the Red and Black.

Coaches Voyne and Hungerford had their teams ready for the November 18 game. Both coaches
were hoping their backs, Harrington and Kirsch, who had not played very much, would have big
games and help their teams win third place in the AAA. Lowell rated a slight favorite according
to prep toutster “Little Hermie”, a contact of columnist Art Rosenbaum. It turned out to be a
close game before 22,000 fans at Kezar with Poly finally scoring twice in the final quarter to win
it by 12-0. According to one writer Lowell played three quarters, but Poly played four. Beckett
scored on a three-yard run early in the final stanza after a 77-yard sustained drive, and Kirsch
wrapped it up late in the game with a 12-yard scoring jaunt. Lee Scatena blocked a punt and set
up the clinching drive. Lowell could get only three first downs the whole game against Poly’s
twelve, and only Dowd’s superb punting kept them in the game. Dowd also made several key
tackles. The win was the fourth straight for the Red and Black.

The big game of the year was Galileo’s 7-6 victory over Commerce, which clinched the 1933
title for the Lions. While Coffis starred for the Bulldogs, QB Dario Lodigiani won the title for
Galileo with an extra point after a Chevalier scoring run. This is the Lodigiani who later starred
in baseball for the White Sox and Athletics, and finished his career with the Oaks and Seals. The
1933 season ended with the PTA Charity Game in which the Eagles, made up of Lowell, Poly,
and Commerce players defeated the Galileo, Mission and Commerce players by 20-6 in a series
of mini-games, which drew 30,000 spectators. Proceeds went to the Philanthropy Department of
the PTA, which in 1932 had helped more than 12,000 children.

Yotz Klotovich of Mission and Jimmy Coffis of Commerce headed the All-City Team. Lowell
was represented on the first team by center/punter Jerry Dowd, while Poly placed tackle Bill
Marcus and end Sparks on the first team. Dario Lodigiani was second team quarterback, while
Scatena was at center, and Lowell’s Ed Butler won an end spot. Minvielle and Beckett were on
the third team.

                              1934: POLY WINS 6-0:

                                              - 35 -
                    KNOCKS LOWELL OUT OF TITLE
The 1934 season was an exciting one with Lowell fighting for the AAA Title with Galileo, but
losing it when Poly knocked off the Indians in the final game by 6-0, giving the crown to the
Lions. Both Poly and Lowell returned several veterans and had high hopes. The Parrots became
the “mystery” team, playing well but not being able to win games.

This was the year of San Francisco’s infamous, two-month long, longshoremen’s strike, which
included a City wide general strike and “Bloody Thursday”. Earlier, the Easter Cross on Mt.
Davidson was dedicated, lit up electronically by FDR.

Lowell had its usual long practice season, defeating former great rival Lick, Burlingame,
Martinez, and Castlemont, and once again losing a game by 2-0, in this case to Vallejo. The
Indian regular season got off to a fast start with an 18-7 win over Balboa in a wild contest in
which Lowell fullback Chad Reade starred, scoring three touchdowns on short runs. Left tackle
Al Malatesta starred for the Bucs, blocking one extra point try. One paper headlined the game
with “Lowell Returns to Prep Domination”. A disastrous 0-0 tie with Commerce followed, in a   ,

game in which Lowell piled on the yardage but could not score; Dowd won a great punting
contest with McPhail, and Commerce’s Loskutoff played heads-up ball for the Bulldogs. The
Indians then shut out Sacred Heart by 20-0 and Mission by 13-0. Against the Irish, Reade
returned a punt 48 yards for a score, Butler scored on a 54-yard pass reception, and Dowd hit pay
dirt on a short run in a rough game with several injuries. The win over the Bears was lackluster
with Dowd scoring all the points, two short runs and the conversion.

Lowell now had two wins and a tie, and then won a big upset victory by 19-9 over Galileo; this
vaulted the Indians into the favorite’s role for the AAA title. It was a thrilling game before
10,000 fans in which Captain Jerry Dowd had one of the best games of his high school career.
He scored on a short run, Butler returned a fumble to the end zone, and Harrington returned a
pass interception 40 yards for a score with only seconds remaining. Only Poly now stood
between the Indians and the Championship.

Poly had a disappointing year. After a practice game loss to Sequoia, it opened the AAA season
with successive shutout losses to Galileo and Mission, and a scoreless tie with SH. The Mission
“surprise” was caused by too many Parrot fumbles and a short scoring run by the Bears’ 148-
pound quarterback Maloney. Vance Peters played well against the Lions but Poly couldn’t get on
the scoreboard; the Parrots clearly outplayed and outgained the Irish and threatened constantly; it
was after this game that they earned “mystery” tag. But, they did come back the next week with
a convincing victory over Commerce by 26-0, showing off their vaunted power. Blair Beckett,
one of the AAA’ s high scorers in 1933, scored twice on short runs and Peters threw to Feren for
28 yards and six points.

Balboa fell to the Parrots the next week by a 12-6 score in an exciting game; Poly won it with
only forty-five seconds left on the clock before 5,000 fans at Kezar when Bob Everding picked
up a fumble in the end zone. Beckett had scored earlier on a one-yard plunge. Peters was the

                                              - 36 -
Poly star, punting for an average of 41.5 yards per punt, as the Parrots had ten first downs to
Balboa’s six.

Art Rosenbaum began his column reporting on the Poly/Lowell Big Game with the words: “It’s
all so sad”. The game had been rated a tossup, even with Lowell’s better record, because the
Parrots had come back strongly at the end of the season. Lowell was playing for everything, the
AAA Championship, and then the right to play Castlemont in a post season game; Poly was
playing just to beat the Indians.

The Indians outplayed the Poly the whole game, but lost in a heartbreaker by a close 6-0 score.
Lowell out gained the Parrots 166 yards to 114 yards, ringing up twelve first downs to four, and
threatening throughout the contest before 15,000 fans at Kezar. Poly scored early in the first
period. The Poly drive was started by a 39-yard punt return by “Little” 5’4” Al Baylacq to the
Lowell 41 yard line, from where Peters led the Parrots to the end zone, the score coming on a
short run by Beckett. The rest of the game belonged to Lowell, led by Jerry Dowd. Led by power
and passes, the Red and White reached the Poly 16-yard line in the second period, the one-foot
line in the third stanza, and the nine-yard line at the end of the game. Poly was able to hold off
all the Lowell drives. Not only was Lowell all-powerful, Dowd had an outstanding afternoon,
reported as follows:

               “There is no doubt, and Poly men were as loud in their praise as
               any, that Jerry Dowd was all kinds of hero yesterday for Lowell. In
               his defensive fullback role he collared Poly runners time and
               again. As a plunging fullback he smacked through for first down
               after first down. As a passer he kept Poly guessing every minute of
               the way. And his kicks, on the few times Lowell was forced to punt
               yesterday, were easily outstanding.”

                               LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                                      JERRY DOWD
                         Lowell’s “all everything” in 1933-34,
                         playing center, linebacker, fullback, and
                         punting … All-City both years; had 80-yard
                         punt one game … scored all 13 points vs.
                         Mission in 1934 … starred vs. Poly, kicking
                         superbly, making key stops in 1933, almost
                         taking over 1934 contest.

Thus, Galileo became AAA Champions and went on to defeat Castlemont in the PTA Charity
Game by a 49-0 score at Kezar. The All-City Team was lead by Vance Peters and Jerry Dowd.
Lowell center Dick Sutton made first team, as did four Galileo players, led by end Ted Spirz and
back Gene Lacau. Malatesta made first team tackle and Harry Aronson of Commerce was the
quarterback, beating out Yotz Klotovich of Misson. Lowell’s Pedrin, Butler, and Reade made the

                                              - 37 -
second team while Poly placed Beckett and linemen Nielson, West, and Thomas on the second
and third teams.

Poly was slowly reducing Lowell’s big victory margin in the series, now having won eight
games against twelve losses and three ties. And, the Parrots broke the century mark in scoring,
but still trailed 210 points to only 100 points. And, 1934 would not be the last time one school
knocked the other out of the City Championship.

                                             - 38 -
                     1935: POLY ALMOST PERFECT:
                    WINS TITLE; BEATS LOWELL 13-7
The Poly High School Parrots did it all in 1935. With a veteran line-up, they defeated Lowell by
13-7, went unbeaten and untied in the AAA regular season, and won the San Francisco City

Poly began the practice season with a win over Castlemont by 6-0, which had won the Oakland
title in 1934, and then defeated Oakland Tech by 7-0. The Parrots started the AAA season by
downing Commerce by 20-0, and followed up with a 14-2 victory over the Galileo Lions, one of
the City’s stronger teams. Peters was tackled behind his own goal line, which gave the Lions a
short-lived 2-0 lead. Poly’s strength and brawn then told, and Peters scored from 13 yards out in
the second period and duplicated the six-pointer with a nine-yard run around end in the fourth
stanza. Peters and Kuhn made the conversions; Stengstack was a force in the Red and Black
running game. Sacred Heart was the next victim, going down by 18-6. Poly scored all of its
points before halftime while the Irish waited to the last play of the game to hit paydirt---an eight-
yard run by Mariaux. Peters ran 25 yards for a score and Stengstack scored from the 46-yard

That brought on one of the big games of the year: Poly versus Balboa. The Parrots won by 12-7
with a furious rush in the last five minutes to overcome an almost certain 7-6 defeat. The big win
almost clinched the title for Poly; they had scored in the first quarter on a short Peters plunge,
and then held on. Balboa finally overcame the deficit in the last period on a one-yard run by
Schiechl, after a long 34-yard pass from Roy Yuretich to “Beans” Campbell. Poly immediately
drove back, moving on the shoulders of Peters, who ran for 42 yards on 8 carries including the
one-foot run for the decisive six points on a 48-yard drive, which he had set up with a long
kickoff return. Both conversions were missed. Poly’s great front line of Davidor, Young,
Sinclair, West, and Wunderling opened up massive holes and together were awesome. Guard
Malatesta stood out for Bal. Poly then stopped Klotovich, and Peters scored three times in a 27-6
win over Mission.

Meanwhile, Lowell was having its problems. A poor pre-season was followed by an opening loss
to Balboa by 6-0, and then a surprising 6-0 victory over Mission, which evened their record. The
upset win was the result of a 27-yard scoring pass in the first quarter from Bill Ward to end
Harold Meller, who grabbed the ball on the five and squirted out of the arms of two Bear
defenders to score. The Indians next lost to powerful Galileo by 19-7, scoring on a 49-yard
touchdown run by Ward. The game was a passing delight with Galileo passer Missamore
throwing the ball all over the field and Lowell putting the football in the air no less than twenty-
nine times on the afternoon. The Red and White bounced back, defeating Commerce by 14-0
behind Chad Reade, who had come back from an injury; that set up the classic battle with Poly.

The Parrots were undefeated and almost assuredly on its way to the title; some were calling it the
greatest team in Poly history. Lowell was playing only to improve its record and the Parrots were
strong favorites. There were 22,000 spectators on hand for the “Big Game”, which the Parrots

                                               - 39 -
finally won by a 13-7 margin. The game was played on a Monday and to the surprise of the
crowd, Lowell dominated the game for all but ten minutes. The Red and White actually out
gained Poly by four yards, 196 yards to 192 yards. But, during those ten critical minutes, Poly’ s
star, Vance Peters, scored a touchdown, and then a 27-yard touchdown pass to Garner Smith
from Pete Guaraglia clinched the victory. “Red” Lewis scored for the Indians on a 65-yard pass
from Chad Reade. Lowell threatened throughout the game, but Poly’s tough defense kept them
from scoring.

Lowell left guard Stockton Shaw was a standout for the Cardinals against the powerful Parrots.
Indian end Doug Grant shaved off his whiskers even though he couldn’t make good on his
commitment not to shave until he played in a Lowell win. Parrot fans crowed after the game that
they had now won six straight games against their rivals, matching an earlier Lowell six-game
winning streak, which the Parrots had vowed to match six years ago.

                                 POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                        VANCE PETERS
                         Poly star backfielder 1934-35 … triple threat,
                         running, passing and punting from LHB slot …
                         All-City both years … Great 1935 year, scoring
                         more than nine TDs, including three vs.
                         Mission, both in critical win vs. Bal, two vs.
                         Galileo, and key score vs. Lowell … star of one
                         of greatest ever Poly teams … was # 13.

Poly’ s Championship season ended with a Parrot trouncing of Mission by 27-6 behind three
touchdowns by Peters. Lowell ended its year with a loss to Sacred Heart. The PTA Charity
Game was a complicated affair played in mid-November. There were five 16-minute games on
one afternoon, witnessed by about 35,000 fans. The Indians got some solace by winning two of
the games, against Commerce and Mission. Poly actually lost to Balboa, but by then the
Championship trophy was in the halls on Frederick Street.

The Parrots dominated the All-City team, with five players on the first squad: Glen Wunderling
at end, Joe Davidor at center, Bill Sinclair at guard, along with Fidel Neilson and Vance Peters.
Fred Bennett of Lowell was a first team tackle, while Mike Klotovich of Mission and Ray
Yuretich of Balboa led the backfield.

                             1936: WOW! POLY 39-0
The 1936 season was not a good one for either team, but Poly did score a big win over the
Indians, piling up a 39-0 score, one of the most one sided games since the rugby era. Lowell
ended the regular season with two wins and five losses, while the Parrots were somewhat better

                                              - 40 -
at four victories, two losses and a tie, but still a disappointment, and a significant downturn from
the title year of 1935.

It was the City’s “bridge” year: The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge opened, dedicated by
future Pope Pius XII, and the main span of the Golden Gate Bridge was joined. Another
waterfront strike took place; Abe Reuf died; and George Bernard Shaw visited.

Paul Hungerford was still coaching at Poly, and the Parrots started the season by tying
Commerce at 0-0. They beat Galileo by 13-0 and then followed with an easy 19-0 win over the
Irish, as Poly scored twice in the last minutes. Captain Sammy Johnstone scored twice on one-
yard and 25-yard runs, and Kurtella hit pay dirt after a 27-yard romp.

The PTA tournament then followed, early in the season, and Poly scored a 13-0 win over Lowell
in a 30-minute encounter in which the Indians touched the ball only twice. Lowell had beaten
Galileo by 12-0 earlier in the afternoon on Ward and Youdall scores.

Poly’s season fell apart after the PTA game when it lost to Balboa by 7-0 and to Mission by
19-12. The largest weekday crowd of the season saw Yuretich of the Bucs win the first game on
a touchdown pass, and Poly was overwhelmed by Mission after leading by 12-0 on Johnstone
heroics. The Bears marched behind Klotovich and a new star, Andy Marefos. Johnstone did run
for 93 total yards against the Bears, including an 83-yard score. Poly then defeated SI by 19-6 as
Johnstone ran for 127 yards in the game.

Lowell was having problems. During its first five games, it could only defeat SM, by a 7-0 score.
The Indians were shut out by Balboa, by Commerce, and by Mission. Even SI beat Lowell this
year, by a 12-6 final score, Lowell’s score coming from Ward. Joe McEntarrfor of SI packed the
ball for 124 yards and scored once. Lowell then did warm up for its annual Poly game by beating
Galileo by 6-0 on Kimball’s 61-yard run.

So Lowell and Poly met in late November with the Parrots favored to win their seventh straight
game. Before a relatively sparse crowd of about 10,000 fans, the Parrots could do no wrong and
won the contest easily by a 39-0 margin. In fact, one newspaper called the game “legalized
mayhem”, and noted that not since 1913 when Lowell won the rugby game by a 48-0 tally, was
the game so one-sided. Johnstone tallied four touchdowns, three on runs, and once on a pass
reception. In total he carried for 65 yards, while backfield mate Al Darien also gained 65 yards,
on 17 carries. The Parrots registered nineteen first downs against Lowell’s six, and ran up 391
total yards against only 82 yards for the Red and White. Al Ward, Poly’s tackle, was the player
of the game, while Youdall stood tall for the Indians. Lowell’s Ward did not play, having left

Pop Elder’s Mission Bears ran off with the title when they won a close 6-0 win over Commerce,
coached by Bill Fisher. Ten thousand fans watched a Klotovich to Marefos touchdown pass
clinch the Championship. It was a thrilling game; Commerce gave up its first points of the year.
The All-City first team featured Poly’s Ward, and Johnstone, who led the AAA in scoring with
ten touchdowns and sixty-one points; Andy Marefos, Yuretich of Balboa, and Klotovich, were

                                               - 41 -
also on the first squad. Derian of Poly made the second team, while Youdall of the Indians was a

Poly was now rapidly catching up to its great rival, both in wins and in scoring. After the 1936
game, the statistics showed Lowell with a reduced 12-10-3 margin of wins, and a smaller lead in
scoring, by 217 points to 152 points. And, Poly had won seven in a row.

                          1937: POLY CHAMPIONS:
                         LOWELL UPSETS THEM 13-7
Poly had high hopes for the 1937 season; in fact, they were co-favored with Commerce to win
the title. They returned stars like Al Ward and Al Derian, and had an exciting newcomer, end
Alyn Beals. Lowell also had high expectations, and wanted to break its losing streak against the

1937 was an exciting year in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge was dedicated with a
week-long festival; the Cliff House was refurbished; and the San Francisco’s fishermen installed
La Madre del Lume Patrona di Porticello as their patron saint in a ceremony which would
continue until today.

AAA officials, worried about the spate of injuries in 1936, had made several changes in the
rules: there would be strict, new medical provisions, physicians present always at games and
practices, more substitutes to rest players, and an age limit of 14 years and 10 months for
eligibility. The new rules seemed to sway Mrs. Klotovich who had forbade her youngest son,
Tony, from playing because of his small size. She changed her mind before the first game.

Poly got off to a fast start, tying Commerce, its predicted rival for the title, in a 6-6 hard fought
game. Before 15,000 fans at Kezar, Commerce started the scoring on a Bob Wilson 62-yard punt
return in the second period. Poly came back to tie in the last minutes on a clutch touchdown pass
from Slepnikoff to Alyn Beals for 45 yards. The extra point attempt to win the game was
blocked by fullback Bill Loskutoff Al Ward, George Podesta, and Dave Roher played well for
Poly, and the attack featured a 52-yard pass completion from Slepnikoff to Derian.

Three shutout victories followed for the Red and Black: a win over Sacred Heart by 12-0,
another by 21-0 over St. Ignatius, and then by 13-0 over the Balboa Buccaneers. Hall and Derian
scored against the Irish, and Slepnikoff got off a 63-yard quick kick. Hall, Derian, and Beals hit
pay dirt against SI, which threatened but couldn’t penetrate the Parrot defense; Beals and Derian
led the effort against Balboa, and Al Ward blocked a punt to set up one score. After the Balboa
game, Poly coach Paul Hungerford called Beals, “the best end he ever watched in this league”.
Derian had two touchdowns, O’Malley two extra points, and Jack Moore caught a Scoring pass
in a win the next week against Galileo by 20-7. The Lions’ Russo scored on a 72-yard run.

                                               - 42 -
Poly wrapped up the Championship with a 40-0 trouncing of the Mission Bears. With a record
on five wins and a tie, they could not be caught even with one week left on the schedule. The
rout featured a long Derian interception return, touchdown runs by Hall and Derian, a Derian
pass reception for six points from the AAA’s most accurate passer, Slepnikoff and several other
big plays, including another Al Ward blocked kick. The Parrots were crowned champs but still
had to face Lowell.

The Indians were also having a good year. They started by playing a scoreless tie with Balboa
and losing to Galileo, but then came back with four wins in five games before the big rivalry
game. The streak started with a 19-0 blanking of St. Ignatius on touchdowns by Milt Vucinich
and Sloan, together with a fumble return for a score by substitute tackle Bob Camarco A weird
2-0 win over Commerce followed, when Commerce punter Olsen stepped out of his own end
zone while attempting to punt. Lowell out gained the Bulldogs by 205 yards to 68 yards, and
Commerce never crossed Lowell’s 25-yard line.

                              POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                         AL DERJAN
                      “Little Al”, great Poly QB, LHB 1936-37... #1...
                      .2nd team All-City 1936... .first All-City in ‘37,
                      scoring seven TDs, among scoring leaders,
                      including two vs. Balboa and three vs. Mission,
                      including long int. return.. . went on to play for
                      Cal Bears.. . scored big 46-yard TD run vs.
                      Stanford in “other” Bi Game.

Mission topped the Cardinals by 18-7 behind a 90-yard touchdown kickoff return by Peter
“General” Franceschi, who figured in all three Mission scores. Lowell couldn’t score until the
final quarter when Honnert ran in from the five-yard line. The game ended early when Mission
fans tore down both goal posts “in glee”. Lowell’s title hopes were gone, even though they
followed the Mission loss with an easy 13-0 win over Sacred Heart, courtesy of two Sloan
touchdowns. This game was one of the roughest of the year and ended in a “youth riot”.

“Lowell Clips Parrots’ Wings in Grid Surprise” was the headline following the Poly-Lowell
annual clash. More than 25,000 fans saw the Cardinals pull the big upset by 13-7 to end its
season on a high note. As expected, Poly took an early, first period lead, on a score by right
halfback Mike Slepnikoff, but couldn’t hold off the Indians who scored in the second and third
quarters while the Indian defense bottled up the Champions. Lowell took a 7-6 lead on a short
run by Vucinich and an extra point by Morgan; this came on a drive which featured a fancy
double reverse run for 23 yards carried out by Vucinich to Jimmy Honnert to Jack Conney. Don
Grant scored Lowell’s clinching touchdown on a 38-yard pass interception return. Walt Kaplan,
Ernie Gentner, Cooney, Vucinich, Ambrose, and Jack Sloan starred for the winners.

                                            - 43 -
  The final AAA standings showed Poly and Lowell in the first two places:

            Team                        Won      Lost   Tied     Points
            Poly                        5        1      1        11
            Lowell                      4        2      1        9

                Poly and Lowell also dominated the All City Teams:

             Position             Name                     School
               RE       Alyn Beals                           Poly
               RT       Al Ward                              Poly
               RG       Walt Kaplan                        Lowell
                C       Eddie Forrest                    St. Ignatius
               LG       Bill O’Malley                        Poly
               LT       Frank Zmak                         Balboa
               LE       Nate Howard                      Commerce
               QB       Al Derian                            Poly
               RH       Jack Francis                       Balboa
               LH       Pete Franceschi                   Mission
               FB       Milt Vucinich                      Lowell

Al Derian of Poly was among the leading scorers with seven touchdowns. O’Malley was at the
top in conversions, while “Little” Tony Klotovich had returned a punt 53 yards after his Mom
relented and let him play.

                           1938: POLY 9 LOWELL 0
The Lowell Cardinals were heavy favorites to win the AAA title in 1938. In fact, some called it
the “Champion Team of the Century”, according to Chronicle Hall of Fame writer Bob Stevens.
Poly was expected to be in the hunt after its 1938 title. George Washington High School entered
the League. Herb Caen was first published in the Chronicle; a horse named “Blackie” swam the
Golden Gate in 23 minutes and thirty seconds; President Roosevelt visited the City.

The Cardinals started off like a house on fire with consecutive wins over Jefferson, Balboa,
Vallejo, San Rafael, St. Ignatius, Burlingame, Sacred Heart, Commerce, and the San Francisco
Junior College reserves. In fact, only Commerce could score a point, while Lowell was racking
up 173 points. Lowell began its regular season with the win over Balboa by 15-0 before 4,000
fans at Kezar. Vucinich threw a touchdown pass, scored on a one yard run, and Joslyn booted a
field goal. SI went down by 12-0 on two Jackie Sloan tallies. The one-sided nature of the game
was illustrated by Lowell’s 176 yards from scrimmage, while SI picked up a minus 13 yards.
The biggest factor in the win was Lowell’s impregnable line of Gentner, Chase, Joslyn, Cooney,

                                            - 44 -
Moore, Berwick, and Ed Epting. A rousing 31-6 win over Commerce followed as the Lowell
boys fought back after seeing their goal line pierced for the first time. A pass from Sloan to
Vucinich started the Indians scoring in the second period, and they tallied four times in the
second half with Gregory, Sloan, Honnert, and Council racking up the points.

Mission went down by 19-0 to the Indians, who scored on touchdowns by Gregory, Sloan, and
Vucinich; the Cardinals out gained the Bears by 183 yards to 108 yards. But then disaster struck
as Lowell lost two in a row to end their title dreams. In what was billed as one of the great games
of the season, Ras Johnson’s Galileo Lions upset Voyne’s boys by a 9-0 margin. Lowell had won
ten in a row, but the Lions dominated completely from the opening kickoff. Billy Russo
connected on a scoring pass to Alex Spieller for 29 yards and the Galileo touchdown, which was
complemented by a block of a Gregory punt for a safety, both coming in the first half Reporters
had described the game as one between Lowell’s “Gem of a Generation” against Galileo’s
“Eleven Men of Iron”. The defeat was compounded by a loss to George Washington the next
week by 3-0, one of the most stunning upsets ever seen in the history of the AAA. The Eagles
quarterback Le Baron kicked a 25-yard field goal with 10 seconds to go to clinch the upset.
Lowell now had five wins and two losses in the AAA.

Poly had an up and down year as Coach Joe Verducci began his first season with the Parrots.
The regular season started with wins over Balboa by 8-0, and Mission by 20-7. Both wins were
sparked by Vic Ramus, who scored on a 77-yard punt return against the Bucs, and threw an
eight-yarder for six points to Beals, who also blocked a punt and caught a 35-yard pass. Charlie
Oldfield scored twice against the Bears. Bobby Dodds, Poly’s young guard, stood out in the front

The Parrots were then up-ended by Galileo by 6-0 and by 14-6 by the upstart George
Washington Eagles. The Lions completely dominated for twenty-two minutes in which Poly
couldn’t get outside of its own 27-yard line; they finally had to bring in an injured Vic Ramus,
who gained yards but couldn’t score. A Russo to Spina touchdown pass won it for the Van Ness
Avenue boys. Lee Nelder, a 205-pound fullback, scored for the Parrots against Washington but it
was not enough as Poly fumbled several chances away, and Eagle star Spargo passed and ran for
the touchdowns.

Poly came back with a big win over Sacred Heart by 25-0, with three blocked punts leading to
three scores. Beals scored twice, once on a blocked punt, Oldfield tallied, and finally Gus Mohn
made a touchdown on a 12-yard run with another blocked punt. Commerce then upset the Parrots
by a 7-6 margin, even though the Red and Black dominated, having a 179-58 advantage in total
yardage. Nelder scored their only touchdown on a short run, but Ramus was again injured.

Poly and Lowell went into the Big Game without title hopes. The Indians had eleven wins and
only two losses on the year, while Poly’s record was mediocre with four wins, three losses, and
two ties, including its practice games. Several stars were injured: Oldfield for Poly was out of
the game, while Ramus was limping; both Vucinich and Sloan were slightly hobbled for Lowell.

                                              - 45 -
Before 25,000 sun-drenched fans, Poly came out on top by 9-0 on a field goal by a Frank
Merriwell-type, young Tom Ellis, and a world-class scoring catch by Beals. Poly wrapped it up
in the third period after a scoreless first half. A 43-yard interception return to the Lowell five-
yard line by end Tom Kilday got the scoring drive started. When the Indians held, Coach
Verducci called on Ellis, a skinny sophomore who had practiced only four times because of his
work obligations; he came in and calmly drop-kicked the oval through the goal posts from 15
yards for the lead. The Parrots iced the game on their next drive with a Beals spectacular 27-yard
touchdown reception, described as follows:

               “Ramus, cleverly protected, passed deep in the corner at the goal
               line. Beals, cutting sharply from right end passed defensive player
               Sloan and made a desperate leap for the baIl. He caught it one
               foot off the ground, juggled it while falling and dropped flat in the
               end zone for the clinching points. Pandemonium broke loose.”

Lowell threatened in the fourth quarter, getting to the 17-yard line when they recovered a
blocked punt, but Poly rose to the occasion to conserve the victory. Lowell actually out gained
the Parrots, but was penalized 60 yards, which stopped several drives. Vucinich ran
spectacularly, gaining 60 yards on 22 carries, while Mattson of Poly gained 58 yards.

Galileo’s Lions ended up winning the City Title with seven wins and a tie, outscoring their
opponents by a margin of 107 points to 28 points. Newcomer George Washington finished
second with five wins, including its two great upsets, even though it was outscored by 53 points
to 51 points. Lowell tied for second place. The All-City team included Alyn Beals, Ernest
Gentner at guard, Edward Forrest at center, and Milt Vucinich at fullback. Kilday and Ramus of
Poly made the second and third teams, while Lowell players named were Harry Chase, Chase
Gregory, Bill Moore, and Ed Epting.

                            POLY-LOWELL CLASSIC ALL STARS

                ALYN BEALS                                         MILT VUCINICH
   Poly end 1937-38 … #22 … All-City in                Rugged Lowell FB 1937-38 … #29 …
   both years … big year in ’38, highlighted           All-City both years, scoring TDs vs. Poly
   by world-class catch to beat Lowell 9-0 …           and SI in ’37 … TDs in 1938 w/runs,
   two TDs vs. SH, one on blocked punt …               passes vs. Comm, Bal., Mission, … starred
   TD vs. Mission … played for Santa Clara,            for great Stanford teams in 1940-42,
   and then for 49ers; on original AFC team            including ’41 Rose Bowl … Chicago Bear
   in ’46, setting several AFC receiving               NFL linebacker 1946.

                                              - 46 -
                        1939: LOWELL WINS TITLE
                            AND BIG GAME 12-0
Both Lowell and Poly had good 1939 seasons, with the Indians able to go all the way to the City
Championship. Poly was a favorite in the early season prognostication with great sophomore
fullback Lee Nelder leading the way. The Cardinals had lost all but one of its starters from the
“gem of a generation team” but still had plenty of experience. Mission was starting the year for
the first time in many seasons without a Klotovich in the lineup.

The Golden Gate International Exposition opened on Treasure Island. Alice Marble, a Poly
graduate, won the Wimbledon singles tennis title and was named AP female athlete of the year.

The Parrots began the regular season with an easy 24-0 victory over Sacred Heart, with Tony
Ellis scoring twice and Nelder once for Verducci’s crew. They then played a hard fought tie with
defending champion Galileo and easily beat last season’s surprise team, George Washington, by
24-0, making fourteen first downs to the Eagles’ one. A tough loss followed to Balboa 9-7 on a
Martin Francis game-winning field goal in the final moments. An Ellis to Ekdall 45-yard
touchdown pass was the Parrots only score.

                      POLY- LOWELL CLASSIC ALL STARS

                                     ALYN BEALS
                      Poly end 1937-38 p22 … All-City in both
                                         - . -

                      years … big year in ‘38, highlighted by
                      world-class catch to beat Lowell 9-0 … two
                      TDs vs. SH, one on blocked punt... TD vs.
                      Mission played for Santa Clara, and then for
                      49ers; on original AFC team in ‘46, setting
                      several AFC receiving marks.

                                   MILT VIJCINICH
                      Rugged Lowell FB 1937-38.. .#29... All-City
                      both years, scoring TDs vs. Poly and SI in ’37
                      … TDs in 1938 w/ runs, passes vs. Comm,
                      Bal., Mission … starred for great Stanford
                      teams in 1940-42, including ‘41 Rose Bowl
                      … Chicago Bear NFL linebacker 1946.

                                                 - 47 -
The offense stumbled again the next week and Poly could only eke out a slim 6-0 win over St.
Ignatius, thanks to a Mattson short run and a big defensive play by Johnny Dodds. The offense
got back on track with an impressive 25-0 rout of the Mission Bears with Nelder, Mattson,
Arthur Ekdall, and Charles Adams all scoring for the Parrots.

Lowell was having an outstanding season, its newcomers quickly gaining experience. They
began the season with easy wins over Commerce by 12-2, Sacred Heart by a 28-0 margin, the
Eagles by 3 3-6, and then a big win over the Galileo Lions by 25-0. The first game was won with
a 65-yard run by Jimmy Honnert, while Al Garcia, Eddie Cerf and Russell scored against the
Irish, as the Indians ran up 319 yards in total offense while holding Sacred Heart to a minus
twelve yards. Honnert almost single-handedly beat the Eagles as he scored twice on runs of one
and two yards, to go along with a 62-yard scamper, while Milton, Cerf and Garcia also tallied.

Lowell then really showed its strength by beating the Lions, getting lots of breaks, including a
61-yard interception return for six points by the 149-pound Cert who was also an All-City
basketball star, and three more scores by Honnert.

A unique 3-2 win over Balboa (no it was not a baseball game) came on a 32-yard field goal by
Joslyn, who also played a great game at center for the Cardinals. St. Ignatius was an easy victim
by a 12-7 final tally. As the high-scoring Indians got ready for Poly, Honnert already had 48
points, while Ekdall had 24 points.

While Lowell had the better record going into the Annual Big Game, the statistics showed the
two teams were pretty close. Lowell had gained more than 1,100 yards from scrimmage for 113
points, but Poly had come up with 97 points, and had a stout defense. Coach Axt was worried
about his offense, and installed several laterals and trick plays in order to penetrate the Indian
defense. An interesting aspect to the game promised to be the match-up between the two All-
City centers, Rivero and Josyln. All indications pointed to the closest and most important Annual
Classic Game since 1934.

When the game ended, the scoreboard showed the Cardinals ahead by a 12-0 score, in a contest
in which the Indians clearly and quickly dominated, and which gave Lowell the City
Championship. Coach Voyne’s team also used a series of trick plays, including the Statue of
Liberty, and a robust and unforgiving defense to turn the tide. Their first score came from
Honnert at the start of period two on a short run, and he then clinched the game with another
short run in the final quarter. He gained 41 yards in total on the ground, while Garcia had 48
yards rushing, and Cerf held his own and good field position for the Cardinals by winning a
sensational punting contest with Ellis. In fact, both punters averaged over 40 yards per punt on
the day. Poly did threaten a couple of times and actually gained passing yards but could never
reach paydirt, making several key turnovers, which stopped promising drives.

The huge Lowell rooting section cheered all day “Score! Score! Score! and the Cardinals
had won their seventh straight victory.

                                              - 48 -
Award-winning writer Bob Stevens described the Indian win as follows:

             “You’d never have recognized the skinny, emaciated Redskin of
             years gone by as he wobbled away from table, his tummy bulging
             with a prep football championship, his face sticky with the feathers
             of a once proud Parrot. It was the first square meal the old boy
             waded into in a decade and he made the most of it.”

Poly finished its season the next week with a 19-0 trouncing of the Commerce Bulldogs, the
result of several key interceptions by the Parrots’ defense.

Lowell swept on to an undefeated, untied season at eight wins and no losses, with a 14-0 win
over Mission to put the icing on the cake of its City Crown. Honnert scored on a short run and
passed 44 yards to end Neher for the second tally. The touchdown gave Honnert a total of sixty-
seven points, setting the all-time AAA record by beating the sixty-one point output set in 1936,
by Poly’s Johnstone, who was by now playing for USF.

The All-City team picked by Bob Stevens featured Elrino Neher, Garcia, Joslyn, and Honnert of
Lowell, with Ekdall and tackle George Coreris of Poly on the first team. Balboa fullback Henry
Jensen made the first team as did Buccaneer tackle Tony Bosnich. The backup teams included
Lowell linemen Howard Council, Jim Stephenson, Fred Biever and Caxton Rhodes; Poly players
Mark Rivero, Mattson, and Adams made the backup teams.

So the Lowell Cardinals ended the thirties with a Big Game win and the San Francisco City
Championship. And, they held on to their still diminishing lead over the Parrots in the big rivalry
with fourteen wins against eleven victories for the Parrots, and a scoring lead of 242 points to
168 points.

                        THE 1940’s

                       1940: POLY WINS IT ALL;
                     CHAMPIONSHIP AND GAME, 7-0
As the decade of the 1940’s started, Poly ascended the heights, winning the City Championship,
and beating Lowell in the Littlest Big Game. On the other hand, Lowell reached bottom, being
unable to win a regular season game and losing seven. Mission had lots of experience and was
one of the favorites, along with Poly, which returned huge fullback Lee Nelder.

                                              - 49 -
The year 1940 was a big year in the City. The World’s Fair opened at Treasure Island with
211,000 attending during the year, and the cream of the big bands all played in San Francisco:
Jan Garber and his Orchestra; Ray Noble at the Palace Hotel; Artie Shaw; Ernie Hecksher at the
Mark; Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians at the St. Francis; Benny Goodman at the Mark;
and Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiians at the St. Francis. The Fleishacker Zoo was opened,
and the Ice Follies appeared at Winterland.

Sacred Heart got the football season off to a good start by beating St. Ignatius by 10-0, winning
its first game since 1935. The Poly Parrots got off and running with a 13-6 victory over
Washington; Hofner hit paydirt for the Eagles, while Nelder scored twice on short plunges.
Guard Johnny Dodds blocked the Eagle extra point attempt and Poly had fifteen first downs to
the Eagles’ three. Next followed a tough win over the Lions by 6-0 before 6,000 fans at Kezar
on an Ignatius Foley short scoring run in the fourth quarter. The offense came alive in wins over
Commerce by 27-7 on two Nelder runs and a Ferem interception return of 55 yards for six
points, and a 24-13 win over SI on scores by Nelder, strong passing by Farnham, and a Mark
Rivero 47-yard interception return.

In one of the biggest games of the year, Balboa tied the Parrots at 7-7 before 3,000 shivering fans
at Kezar, a game in which Balboa scored first and Poly tied the contest in the fourth quarter. Poly
outgained Balboa by 257 yards to 85 yards, and needed Fernando Astrubale’s scoring run to get
the tie. Mission went down to the Red and Black by 20-9 in a game dominated by Poly’s 239
yards to the Bears’ 63 yards; the Parrots also had the big edge in first downs. Nelder scored
twice and the “tiny giant” Astrubale one time to lead Poly’s “four horsemen” backfield,
comprised of Nelder Astrubale, Ferem, and Farnham. Gonzalez Morales scored for Mission on
an 82-yard interception return.

Lowell was having a tough time, although none of its losses were blowouts. Galileo outscored
them by 14-0 during the first week, and then the Indians lost close ones to Commerce by 14-7, to
SI by a 7-0 margin, and even to Sacred Heart by 20-12. Lowell threw the ball often, for instance
throwing 30 passes and running only three times in the loss to Galileo. Russell scored on a
scoring pass reception against Commerce, and the Indians lost a toughie to SI on a fourth quarter
drive. “Tailspin” Tommy Ryan was all over the field for the Irish, scoring three times on 47-
yard, 58-yard, and 8-yard runs and averaging 9.5 yards per carry, but Lowell’s offense did
challenge with two Russell touchdowns on short runs. A 24-6 rout by Balboa, now coached by
Carl Mitchell who had replaced Walt Lister, followed; Jack Irvine hit paydirt for the Cardinals
score. That set up the Big Game against the Parrots.

Poly of course was an overwhelming favorite for the first Classic Game of the 1940s. They
needed one win for the title, having five wins, and only the tie with Balboa, and were led by
Nelder who had already scored 43 points, second in the AAA. Most reporters called the Red and
Black three to four touchdown favorites.

But the Classics were almost always close and this one was no different. The Parrots couldn’t
put the game into the win column until the fourth quarter when they scored, and made the 7-0
margin stand up for the win. Lowell outplayed Poly for two periods, only to be undermined by a

                                              - 50 -
fumble and a pass interception. The Red and Black only had to hold their lead for a few seconds,
as the winning scores came on a one-yard scoring run by Ignatius Foley and the extra point by
Farnham with only twenty-six seconds remaining on the clock. The final drive, which thwarted
the Indian effort for a great upset tie, began with Fernando Astrubale’s interception return to
Lowell’s 30-yard line. From there Ferem, Farnham, and Foley bucked the Parrots into the end
zone on six plays, including a five-yard penalty. The tiny Foley, called the “Saint” by some, was
only in the game because of an early injury to Nelder.

About 20,000 fans watched the game, which went down as one of the most exciting finishes in
the long history of the annual game. Ed Russell stood out for Lowell with two interceptions,
while Captain Bert Home and fellow linemen Bob Burmeister, George Simmons, Joe Viera, Jack
O’Brien and Angie Misthos excelled in the great defensive effort. Poly outgained the Cardinals
135 yards to 24 yards from scrimmage, and led in first downs nine to five.

Lowell gained some glory by closing out the year with a 0-0 tie with Washington, but ending at
no wins, seven losses, and a tie. Poly completed its almost perfect season with a 14-6 victory
over Sacred Heart. Foley scored on a short touchdown run, Dodds had a blocked punt, and
Astrubale ran into the end zone on a 25-yard double reverse. The Forties were beginning on a
high note for the Poly Parrots.

The Examiner All-City team was led by Parrots Bill Johns at end, Fidel Nielson at tackle, and
center Mark Rivero, as well as the 185-pound Dodds, who would later attend Cal. Home and
Russell of Lowell and Poly’s Ferem and Dadaos were on the second team while Nelder, even
though injured at the end of the season, was on the third team.

                         1941: LOWELL WIN TITLE;
                               BEATS POLY 7-0

The 1941 season was a good one for both the Indians and the Parrots. But, it was a little better
for Lowell as they won the City title and beat Poly by 7-0. Mission and defending champions
Poly were co-favorites, along with Galileo; it was not clear at the beginning of the season how
the Cardinals would do after the disastrous 1940 year.

Pierre Salinger, who would become President Kennedy’s press secretary, graduated from Lowell
in 1941. The Cow Palace opened, and on December 8th San Francisco experienced its first
wartime blackout.

Poly began the defense of its title by squeaking out an 8-6 win over the Commerce Bulldogs on a
safety by big lineman Harvey Vicchio, and a Robert Rohrer 51-yard pass reception from John
Anderson. Three shutouts followed: a 21-0 victory over Sacred Heart in which Jennings scored
twice and Foley once on long drives, and Asdrubale was outstanding for the Verducci-led
Parrots; an easy 26-0 blanking of the Mission Bears on two scores by Bill Jennings, one by
Foley, and a 48-yard interception return by Russ Ramus; and then a big 14-0 win over Galileo in

                                             - 51 -
the mud. Rohrer scored first on a touchdown reception, and the Parrots cinched the win over the
Lions with 36 seconds remaining on a Foley run

The unblemished four and zero record was finally tarnished in a bruising 0-0 tie with the Balboa
Buccaneers, who had a combination of speedy backs led by Jackie Bergin, and an powerful
fullback, Don Menicucci. The game went back and forth in front of 7,000 fans and Poly averted
defeat only by stopping the powerful Bucaneers on the one-foot line. The Red and Black beat SI
by 8-6, in a game they could have won by twenty or thirty points as they outgained their
opponents by 267 yards to minus two yards. A first period safety was followed by a Foley
touchdown run in the final period. The Parrots made it twenty straight wins without a defeat
when they overpowered Washington by 24-0 to set up the clash against Lowell. Poly’s mighty
mite, Winton Scafire, scored a touchdown, as did Foley, Anderson and a huge, young back, Bill

Meanwhile Lowell was sweeping through the league with their new T-formation offense. They
showcased it early with an easy 35-7 win over the Washington Eagles with Jack Irvine and
“Locomotive” Miller each scoring twice, and Charles Cooke getting five extra points. The “T”
stalled in a 7-6 loss to Commerce, but quarterback Billy Sheridan began his remarkable passing
with a 27-yarder for six points to Paul Orsi. Sheridan, all of 135 pounds, led the Cardinals over
Sacred Heart in a squeaker by 8-7, as he completed five passes in a row, including a big score to
Orsi. The Indians held on to the 8-7 lead but almost lost it when the Irish intercepted a pass late
in the fourth period. The “Model T” offense was led by Orsi and Sheridan the next week to a
convincing 13-0 win over Mission, Sheridan throwing for 35 yards to Robert Thompson for a
score, and Orsi accounting for 88 rushing yards on a 97-yard drive to wrap up the game.

Two close victories over Galileo and Balboa, both strong teams, and an easy win over SI brought
the Indians up to Thanksgiving Day and Poly. They barely beat the Lions by 7-6 as the T-
formation sputtered but worked long enough for four minutes to see Irvine end a long march by
scampering 15 yards into the end zone; the all important extra point was added by Sheridan.
Meanwhile Galileo scored on a spectacular 74-yard interception return by Fred “Monk”
Cirimele. The headlines after the Balboa game read:

                     “LOWELL TRIUMPHS IN LAST 49 SECONDS, 7-0!
                         “FREAK” PLAY DEFEATS BALBOA”

The word “miracle” was frequently used to describe the touchdown play. A Sheridan pass
intended for end Frank Wigmore from the 28-yard line was batted away by Balboa defensive
back Pallas, but right into the hands of a trailing Orsi who scooped it up on the fly and was away
for six points and the huge win. (Sounds like the immaculate reception of Franco Harris against
the Raiders.) The easy 20-0 win over SI, led by scores by Orsi, Blame Gardner, and Cooke,
readied the Red and White for the big one on Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving Day Big Game promised to be a doozie. The Championship was on the line;
both schools had great records, with only one loss between them. Jennings was injured for Poly,

                                              - 52 -
and it was unclear how Lowell’s famous “T” would work. Three running backs had more than
250 net yards on the ground, headed by Orsi’s 369 yards and Anderson’s 312 yards. And Lowell
had Sheridan, the City’s best passer. Over the full season, Poly had outscored its opponents by
154 points to 33 points, but Lowell had done the same by a margin of 140-33. So, neither team
was favored.

                                 POLY-LO WELL ALL STAR

                                      IGNATIUS FOLEY
                       Poly back 1940-41 … aka: “The Saint”, “tiny” …
                       beat Lowell 7-0 with TD in 1940; also TDs vs.
                       Gal., SH; … 2nd team All city in 1942, one of
                       AAA’s leading scorers … Scored against Mission,
                       SI, SH, clinched win over Galileo.

Chronicle reporter Bob Stevens’ headline was: “37,000 See Lowell Whip Poly, 7-0; Win Crown “.
The day was highlighted by the defending champions holding Lowell on its one-yard line an
incredible ten times, keeping the Cardinals out of the end zone. In fact, most of the first twelve
minutes of the game were played within the Poly one-yard line as Lowell tried to punch it in. Ed
Gunderson, Harvey Vicchio, Dick Hultgren, and Foley all made stops to avert a six pointer. Poly
itself threatened three times, once after marching the length of the field after a 74-yard punt by

The vaunted Lowell “T” finally got going in the fourth quarter as Sheridan cranked up the
passing attack. The 47-yard drive took little more than two minutes and consisted of three great
passes: Orsi hit Sheridan for 23 yards to the 24; Sheridan hit Orsi for 14 to the ten; and then
Sheridan rifled a shot over the middle to Wigmore for the winner. Sheridan added point number
seven for the win and the title.

The 1941 All-City team looked like the Poly and Lowell rosters, with the Parrots placing Rohrer,
Vicchio, Edward Gunderson, and Asdrubale on the first team; Lowell had guard Ira Thompson
and Orsi on the first team, and end Robert Thompson, tackle Frank Cardelli, guard Pat Simmons,
and Billy Sheridan on the second team. Poly’s end Ernie Filiberti, later a long time SF basketball
referee, was an honorable mention, while Foley and the injured Jennings made the second and
third teams. Ernest Provost, Commerce’s halfback and the City’s leading scorer, and Fred
Cirimele, were also outstanding selections. George Quist of Mission, later to go to Stanford, was
on the second team.

So, 1941 was a big year for the Lowell Cardinals, reaching the heights after its dismal basement
showing in 1940. Coach Mike Voyne had done it again!!!

                                              - 53 -
                 1942: LOWELL DOES IT AGAIN:
              CITY TITLE AND WIN OVER POLY 13-12
The Lowell Cardinals repeated in 1942, winning the SF City Title, and defeating rival Poly by
13-12 in the process. The Red and White came back with their awesome T-formation while Poly
began the challenge with a new coach, the legendary Milt Axt. Axt had played for Poly many
years before and was returning to his Alma Mater with the Notre Dame Box offense, but few
returning veterans. With the war raging, many prep players were in the Central Valley picking
fruit, and the schedule was changed to compensate for their absence. Finally, the Lincoln High
School Mustangs joined the AAA to give it ten teams.

Legendary San Francisco columnist Art Hoppe graduated from Lowell in 1942; the USS San
Francisco fought at the Battle of Guadalcanal, and the Japanese were evacuated from the City.

The Parrots opened their regular season with a 14-0 win over St. Ignatius, courtesy of two
touchdowns by big Bill Whitehorn and two Hultgren extra points. Axt’s charges almost
duplicated the effort the following week in a 13-12 victory over Mission, led by Whitehorn’s two
touchdowns and a Hultgren extra point. Gray, Crouch, and Bill Whitehorn, who already was
leading the AAA in scoring, then led the Parrots to a 20-0 triumph over the Washington Eagles.
A big crowd of 7,500 fans watched Poly defeat Balboa the next week by 13-7 for their fourth
straight win of the year; the victory was the result of Whitehorn and Griffin scores, and 219
yards from scrimmage.

The newest AAA member, Lincoln, fell the next week by 20-0; a nasty fight didn’t stop
Whitehorn, Ramus, and Crouch from scoring to lead the shutout. The Parrots had to score twenty
points in the fourth quarter to finish off Galileo by 33-0 as Whitehorn scored twice, giving him
an AAA-leading 54 points. But, the Parrots came down to earth the next week, being upset by
SH by 13-12, a tremendous upset in a steady drizzle. Johnny Ryan led the Irish to their first win
over Poly since 1924. Whitehorn upped his scoring total to 60 points, and Gray scored, but the
Red and Black could not overcome the Ryan heroics.

Lowell was having an even better season than in 1941, going undefeated in its first six games
with only a tie against SI. The “T formation” this year was in high gear; it opened the season
with high scoring wins over Lincoln, making its AAA debut, by 25-0 and by 26-0 over the
Eagles. LHB Orsi starred against the Mustangs and Bacigalupi scored once; while Calender
scored twice against Washington. The Red and White offense didn’t let up, scoring 33 points to
defeat Galileo by 33-12, and 19 markers in a win over Sacred Heart by 1~~-14. Orsi and Irvine
each had two scores against the Lions and the passing attack overwhelmed the Irish. Lowell’s
high powered scoring machine stalled against St. Ignatius and was held to a 0-0 tie, but
rebounded the next week by beating Mission by 12-0, on a Bennett touchdown. Commerce fell
by 21-0 on an Orsi touchdown.

                                             - 54 -
                                 LOWELL-POLY ALL STAR

                                         PAUL ORSI
                          1941-42 Lowell All City LHB … triple
                          threat scored TDs in ‘41 vs. Comm., SH, and
                          SI, and made “miracle” catch to beat Balboa
                          7-0. In ‘42, ran for 88 yards vs. Bears;
                          scored two TDs vs. Gal., one vs. Commerce.

Thanksgiving Day 1942 witnessed another great game in the ancient rivalry. The game was a
toss-up with both teams having outscored their opposition by large margins---Poly by 125 points
to 38 points, and Lowell by a 136 to 26 points margin; the Parrots had only the loss the Sacred
Heart and Lowell only the tie with SI. Whitehorn and Bennett were among the league’s leading
scorers, and the game matched the City’s greatest coach Voyne against a future great coach, Milt

The Lowell Indians pulled out the victory by 13-12 and thus defended its SF City Championship.
The game was a cliffhanger with Poly missing a tie by inches in the last minute when Whitehorn
couldn’t score an extra point that would have tied the game. Most of the scoring took place in the
first half with the Cardinals leading by 13-7 on scores by Irvine on a ten-yard run, and Bob
Sim’s scoring reception from second-string quarterback Mornard. Ramus scored for Poly on a
34-yard run.

The first five minutes of the second half had lots of excitement packed into them, but no scoring.
A 67-yard touchdown pass from Herb Fulda to Mornard, which would have wrapped up the
game for Lowell, was nullified when Lowell was called for clipping. Fulda was ejected from the
game for his protesting, and the officials marked off 60 yards in penalties for everything from
roughing the kicker to unnecessary roughness. Poly guard Tony Tkaczyk almost got Poly back
into the game when he intercepted a pass but was caught on his way to the end zone. Finally, late
in the game, Whitehorn, the scoring machine, plunged over from the three-yard line to make it
13-12 but he couldn’t make the final inches on the extra point. One final chance presented itself
when Poly lineman Johnny Tkaczyk stole the ball from Irvine at the 42-yard line but the clock
ran out. Lowell retained its crown.

Both Lowell and Poly won their final games easily, the Parrots defeating Commerce by 26-0
while the Cardinals utilized their devastating passing attack to shut out Balboa by a 19-0 score.
The All City team, as picked by the Examiner, included one of the City’s outstanding players---
tackle Milt Reiterman of Mission. Only 162 pounds and voted the Most Valuable Player in the
AAA, he played four positions, center, guard, tackle, and quarterback, and starred both on
offense and defense. Tony Tkaczyk and Whitehorn of Poly, and Bull and Irvine of Lowell made
the first team, while end Gordon Gray of the Parrots was on the second team. Lowell stars Orsi,
tackle Sokolov, and guard Strei were second teamers.

                                              - 55 -
Mike Voyne had just won his tenth City Title in twenty-four years and the Red and White were
atop the San Francisco football world. The Cardinals were lengthening their lead in the series,
now 31 games in total, including rugby, with sixteen wins against twelve losses, and 262 points
against 187 points by the Parrots.

                            1943: LOWELL 6 POLY 0
With the war raging, the 1943 AAA schedule was shortened by dividing the ten schools into two
divisions. One division was comprised of Lincoln, Balboa, Sacred Heart, Poly and Commerce;
the other was made up of Lowell, SI, Mission, Washington, and Galileo; two teams in each
division were to qualify for the playoffs leading to Thanksgiving Day. There were also coaching
shakeups; Neil Sheridan, still only twenty-two years old, took over at Lincoln, and Pop Illia
became the Irish coach; Voyne was still heading up the Lowell Cardinals. Both Poly and Lowell
had high hopes. Two Loskutoffs, Bill at fullback, and Fred at guard, led Commerce, and another
family dynasty was on the way.

This was a difficult year in San Francisco. The “free” farmers market was opened at Duboce and
Market Streets, and several facilities opened for servicemen. An expedition from the City
attacked and took the Attu and Kiska Islands in Alaska.

In a real turnaround, the Poly-Lowell classic rivalry game was played during the opening week
of the season, on October 9. While difficult to predict, Poly seemed to be a slight favorite. And,
as almost always it didn’t turn out that way. Before a “tiny” crowd of 7,500 fans, the Indians
surprised Poly with a trick play in the final minutes to win by 6-0. In fact, the game was still
scoreless until there were two minutes left to play and Lowell’s Copsey ran an intercepted pass
back to Poly’s 48-yard line. Rather than play it safe and run out the clock for a tie, Voyne’s boys
gambled, beginning with an eight-yard pass from Calender to Bill Bancerrac, and then a five-
yard gain to the 32-yard line. A Poly interception threatened to stop the march, but the Parrot
player fumbled the ball back to Lowell. Calender and Richardson ran to the 21-yard line, two
Calender runs put the ball on the two-yard line, and then Vayassie flipped a backward pass to
Richardson who carried the ball in for six. The extra point was blocked but time ran out seconds

Lowell controlled most of the game, making twelve first downs to Poly’s eight, and out gaining
the Parrots by 196 yards to 171 yards. Poly tackled poorly most of the game and couldn’t
capitalize on its opportunities. Lowell didn’t panic and played a smart game. Calender was easily
the outstanding player on the field, while Parrot star Bill Whitehorn seemed to be the forgotten
man, handling the ball only five times in the second half.

The two teams then played the other four games of the regular season, Poly winning all of theirs
by big scores. Unfortunately, after they roundly defeated Mission by 31-0, they had to forfeit the
victory because of the use of ineligible players. The Parrots passed for 292 total yards, including

                                              - 56 -
receptions of 80 yards by Feycock and 47 yards by Johnson. They then beat Galileo by 32-7 on
an 82-yard run by Feycock, which would be the longest of the season; Feycock scored two other
touchdowns, and Whitehorn scored as Poly ran up an almost unheard of 418 total yards. Writer
Bob Brachman described the Parrots as “merciful” and noted they could have doubled the score
as they walloped St. Ignatius by 32-12. Two touchdowns each by Feycock and Whitehorn, and
one by Merrill Peacock led the way. They ended the season with a 25-0 shutout over the Eagles,
with Whitehorn scoring twice, and Fromm and Peacock once each. With an official record of
three wins and two losses, Poly remained out of the running in their division.

                                POLY-LOWELL ALL STAR

                                     BILL WHlTEHORN
                        Big, bruising Poly fullback 1941-43 … one TD
                        as a soph in ’41 … had huge scoring year in
                        1942 with 60 points on 10 TDs in reg. season
                        … scored twice vs. SI, Mission, and Galileo …
                        last minute TD vs. Lowell in Title game, All-
                        City in ’42 … Scored vie TDs in ’43 … made
                        HM All-City …. #53.

Lowell came off its big win over Poly with a disappointing 20-0 loss to Balboa. But, they
quickly turned around with a 25-18 victory over Commerce and a 13-7 triumph over St. Ignatius.
Against Commerce, Richardson and Vayssie teamed up for a 38-yard reception for six points,
and Calender scored once and threw a scoring pass to Bandarrac. Conn scored the game winner
on a three-yard run, and also intercepted a pass. Calender was also the hero in the St. Ignatius
game, scoring once, along with Bridges. The Red and White ended the regular schedule with a
12-6 upset win over Lincoln, thus making the playoffs with a record of four wins and one loss.
Lincoln completely controlled the game but Conn did the Lowell scoring for the all-important

Two weeks later, the Cardinals had to play the Mustangs again, in one of the semi-final games.
This time Lincoln banged out a slim 6-0 victory to go on to the finals, and in the process end
Lowell’s season. The game winner came with only three minutes left, on a spectacular 81-yard
strike from fullback Woodworth to 155-pound end Stewart. Balboa beat Mission by 7-0 in the
other semi-final, and Thanksgiving Day saw the Mustangs win the title with a relatively easy 13-
0 victory. Stewart also scored in this game.

Neither Poly nor Lowell placed anyone on the All-City first team, although Dick Axell, and Jack
Feycock made second team, and tackle Parness was third string. Surprisingly, Whitehorn, even
with his high scoring total, rated only an honorable mention. Lowell placed center Calvin
Copsey on the second team, and Dick Calender and tackle Ed Barthold on the third team. Clearly
the outstanding player in the City was Lincoln’s all-everything back Bob DiPietro, who would
go on to play pro baseball in the Majors and in the Coast League. “Deep” began the season on
the bench but quickly became a regular and set several offensive records.

                                             - 57 -
                          1944: POLY 26 LOWELL 0;
                             POLY CITY CHAMPS
Lincoln and Balboa were favored for the 1944 season. Several great AAA stars returned: such
as Bob DiPietro to Lincoln and Peacock to Poly. Both Loskutoffs returned to the Bulldogs, and
the Mission Bears had Archie Chaganjain, a track star, in the backfield. SI’s and Lowell’s
chances looked slim, even with Voyne retaining his T formation. Poly was the darkhorse with
Milt Axt back as its leader.

The Parrots began the regular season with a rousing 27-6 victory over the Galileo Lions and a
slimmer 7-6 win, which they eked out over St. Ignatius. In the first game, Feycock scored twice
and Peacock and Wyatt once each. Peacock’s third quarter 21-yard scoring run and Ramos’
successful extra point broke open and clinched the SI contest. Lowell began its year with a 6-0
upset win over Lincoln, on a Meyers to Gardner 22-yard touchdown pass. After a loss to
Commerce on a trick play, in which Big Bill Loskutoff scored on a one-yard run, the Poly-
Lowell game loomed, again early in the season.

The Red and Black were heavily favored and showed little mercy, routing Lowell by an easy
26-0 score. Before 15,000 fans at Kezar, Poly was outplayed in the first quarter but then came
back with a “fury” to totally dominate the rest of the game. The Indians actually reached Poly’s
one-yard line but couldn’t punch it in. Poly rolled up 300 yards, mostly on the ground, while
Lowell went to the passing game, but could only complete ten passes out of thirty attempts, and
could gain little on the ground.

A 46-yard run by Peacock early in the second quarter to the Lowell nineteen-yard line began the
Poly rout. Short runs by Fromm led to a one-yard score on fourth down by signal caller Duke
Marlowe. The Parrots scored their second tally three minutes later when Fromm bucked over
from the one-yard line after a bad Lowell punt had provided good field position. Just before the
end of the third quarter, Feycock scored on a three-yard end run, which had been setup by a 51-
yard pass and catch between Marlowe and Feycock. Marlowe tallied the last score in the fourth
period; Ramos converted on the first two scores and Poly finished with its twenty-six points.

Lowell finished the rest of its season in desultory fashion. A 12-7 win over Galileo came as a
result of a Doug Scovil touchdown, while Roy Barni went in to the end zone for the Lions. The
Cardinals then defeated Sacred Heart by 12-0 on two long touchdown passes, the first from
“Meatball” Myer to Griffin, and the second a 61-yarder to Scovil from Jim Beaver. The season
ended with an 18-0 loss to SI, a game that had been rained out at least twice. The Indians thus
finished at three wins and four losses on the season.

Poly, the other hand, swept on to the City Championship. After the Lowell game, they defeated
Washington by 27-14, and then whitewashed the Commerce Bulldogs by 20-0. The Eagles put
up a fight but went down before Feycock’s two touchdowns and a Fink score. Fromm scored

                                             - 58 -
twice and another outstanding back, Bobby Hagler, scored once in the easy win over Commerce.
The Lincoln Mustangs went down by 12-0 in a torrential downpour; the great DiPietro was
injured; Peacock ran for 93 yards from scrimmage and he and Fromm scored the touchdowns.
Feycock, Peacock, and Fromm had all scored 24 points as Poly ran its record to a perfect six
victories and no losses.

The record became seven straight as the Parrots blanked Mission by 2 1-0, courtesy of
touchdown runs by Peacock (69 yards), Feycock (16 yards), and Marlowe (10 yards), along with
three extra points by Ramos. This clinched the regular season title, and Poly marched into the
playoffs against either Balboa, or for another game against Mission. A rained-out Commerce-
Mission game left them in a tie for second place and there was confusion. Poly did not want to
play Balboa, the fourth place team, as its opponent; it maintained that a game against one of the
other two schools would bring out more fans and receipts, which Poly claimed as its right since
the League had moved the always lucrative Poly-Lowell game from its annual, very profitable
Thanksgiving Day date.

The officials finally decreed that the Parrots would play Mission, which they did, beating them
by 21-13 to reach the final game against Balboa. Some 20,000 Thanksgiving Day fans roared
their approval as the Red and Black came back in the second half. They trailed at halftime by 13-
7, scoring only on a Feycock 19-yard run, but won it on end Kang’s 71-yard scoring reception
and a 50-yard tally on an interception return. Balboa’s Bucs surprised Commerce in the other
half of the Turkey Day doubleheader, winning by 20-0.

The title game was won 13-6 by the Parrots, in somewhat of an anti-climax to the season. Two
long Poly drives before 10,000 fans at Kezar cemented the Championship. In the second quarter
the Red and Black marched 55 yards with Feycock going over for the six-pointer, and a last
quarter 62-yard drive was culminated by Duke Marlowe. Ramos played quarterback and kicked
the extra point, giving him more than 15 for the season.

The All-City team was announced and dominated by Parrot backs Fromm and Peacock. Marlowe
and Feycock were on the second team, as was end Kang. Dave Gardner and Doug Scovil of
Lowell made the second and third teams. Little Roy Barni of Galileo was a first-string halfback,
while Fred Loskutoff, the Commerce center, was on the second team.

The real star of the 1944 season was the Poly backfield, which Coach Axt later said was the best
he had ever coached. The backfield was comprised as follows:

             No.   Pos    Player                      Age   Weight    Class   Points
             71    QB     Duke Marlowe                      205       Jr.     19
             77    HB     Merrill Peacock             16    172       Jr.     30
             57    HB     Jack Feycock                      177       Sr.     42
             66    FB     Harry Fromm                 16    186       Jr.     24

In addition, the Parrots had Ramos, who called signals behind Marlowe and who also did the
placekicking, and Bobby Hagler coming off the bench to play halfback.

                                             - 59 -
                            1945: POLY 37 LOWELL 0
Poly was a heavy favorite for the 1945 title. Little Joe Verducci had returned from the war to
resume coaching the Parrots, and he had a whole stable of great backs returning. Meanwhile, Axt
went on to coach the Washington Eagles, but had only four lettermen returning. Voyne remained
at Lowell, which was a dark horse challenger, and Galileo returned Roy Barni, who some called
the best back in the AAA. Commerce had little hope, but did have massive 260 pound tackle,
Verdeese Carter.

San Francisco exploded in celebration of President Truman’s announcement that Japan had
surrendered. The United Nations Conference took place in San Francisco, designed to end war.
Many of the world’s leaders attended the Conference, and toured San Francisco. The City
began to return to pre-war normalcy.

Poly began its season with a close 8-6 win over Balboa. The Buccaneers dominated much of the
game but tired in the final period and Poly pulled it out four minutes from the finish when
Marlowe powered into the end zone. Fromm earlier had blocked a punt for the safety. Wins over
Lincoln by 33-12 and Mission by 13-6 followed and fans began to count Poly’s winning streak,
which now stood at sixteen in a row. Three scoring runs by Peacock, a Marlowe to Hagler
scoring strike, and a Marlowe to Kang pass for a six-pointer led the way against the Mustangs.
The Mission game was one of the best of the year, with Hagler and Peacock reaching paydirt.
With three quick wins, and Peacock leading in scoring with 24 points, many were predicting
another Poly title. Win number seventeen came in a rout against Galileo by 3 4-0, and the stage
was set for the Classic.

The Red and White got off to a good start, beating Commerce by 6-0 on a Doug Scovil to
Gardner pass, and then scoring a rousing 31-19 victory over Sacred Heart. But then they
floundered with a surprising 6-6 tie with Galileo; four straight loses then followed. Griffin tallied
for the Indians against the Lions, and in fact was leading the offense with four touchdowns in
only three games. Then came the Poly game.

                                    POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                        MERRILL PEACOCK
                              All around Poly halfback star 1943-45...
                              scored two TDs as soph.. All-City 1944,

                              voted AAA MVP … scored 30 pts., one a
                              69-yard run vs. Mission …ran for 93 yds vs.
                              Lincoln All-City again in 1945, leading City
                              with 54 points … had 3 TDs vs. Lincoln …
                              scored two 2 TDs vs. Lowell, TD vs.
                              Commerce in playoff went on to star at end
                              for USF Dons.

                                               - 60 -
Harry Fromm was elected Captain for the Classic and Bob Hagler had taken over Feycock’s
halfback position; another up and coming back, Bill Bare, was on the bench. Most observers
gave Lowell little chance to break Poly’s seventeen game victory streak. The next day’s
headline told the story:

                                  “POOR CARDS, 37-0:
                 Poly Laterals and Peacock Submerge Lowell in Classic”

Before 20,000 spectators, the Red and Black racked up the highest score in nine years, led as
usual by their backfield, especially Merrill Peacock, who later went on to star for the USF Dons.
He scored the first tally on a 21-yard reception from Marlowe, scored another from 19 yards, and
rambled 52 yards and 32 yards to set up team mates for other scores. Fromm, Marlowe, Hagler,
and another newcomer, Dave Marcelli, scored the other touchdowns. Marlowe to Kang passes
and Marlowe’s laterals to Peacock for long runs assured the early lead, and the 25-0 halftime
margin would stand up. Hagler had an interception and Marcelli’s score came on an interception

Lowell stiffened slightly in the third quarter, but the game was long since over. Voyne called the
Parrots “the best team I ever saw.” According to reports, Lowell’s card stunts would have
made the famous Cal rooting section proud, and Poly’s students’ automobiles stopped traffic for
hours after the game with their noisy celebrations.

Lowell finished the season at two wins, three losses and a tie by losing to Lincoln by 13-7,
scoring on a run by Griffin, to Washington, and then to SI, the latter by 36-6. Poly, meanwhile,
swept on to what most thought was a sure title, as observers continued counting the winning
streak. Now, with five straight wins, Peacock led the AAA in scoring with 42 points, while
Fromm, Hagler and Marlowe were all in the top ten in points. Victory number nineteen came in
an easy win over SI by 27-0, and AAA number twenty came in a rout of the Eagles by 33-13.
The Parrots then took time out to beat Northern California powerhouse Stockton High School.

The regular season ended with Peacock winning the scoring title with 54 points, followed by
Griffin of Lowell in second place with 44 points on seven touchdowns and two extra points; they
were followed by Hagler at 36 points, and Fromm with 31 points; fifth place scorer Roy Barni
had 30 tallies.

Poly got its overall 25th straight victory (counting practice games), and 21st consecutive AAA
win with an easy victory over Commerce by 24-6 in the first playoff semi-final game. The
Bulldogs put up a good fight, leading by 6-0 at the half. After gaining only 25 yards in the first
half, the Parrots offense opened up after halftime scoring on two Marlowe runs, a Peacock score,
and finally a 21-yard tally with a stolen pass by Bare.

SI seemed to be an easy road to the City Championship, the Parrots having beaten them by 27-0
in the regular season. But, it was not to be, as SI sprung a 13-7 shocking upset of the Parrots,
before 20,000 surprised fans. While not wanting to take anything away from SI, both Peacock

                                              - 61 -
and Fromm were slightly injured, and in fact Poly gained less than one hundred yards on the
ground. Warren Storkman scored the lone Poly touchdown on a long lateral/forward pass in the
second period.

                                POLY-LO WELL ALL STAR

                                     DUKE MARLOWE
                          Poly QB, passing star 1944-45 … 2nd team
                          All-City ‘44, scoring two TDs vs. Lowell,
                          one score in title game vs. Bal …All-City
                          again in ‘45, part of great Poly backfield..
                          had winning TD vs. Bal, TD run and pass in
                          both Lincoln and Lowell games.. #43

The All-City team was overwhelmingly Parrot, with six of the starters being Red and Black:
Peacock (named Captain), Billy Kang, end Jim Palaby, center Earl Rodgers, Marlowe, and
Fromm. Not to be outdone, Hagler was on the second team, joined by Lowell’s Griffin. Barni
made the first string backfield, to break up the Poly monopoly, while huge Commerce lineman
Carter was a first string tackle.

So, the long AAA winning streak ended with the SI title victory. But the rivalry with Lowell was
closing fast. Poly had narrowed the victory margin to seventeen Lowell wins against fourteen for
the Parrots, and the scoring margin was reduced to 268-250. Only eighteen points separated the
teams after 34 games since the rugby era in 1912.

                          1946: POLY 12 LOWELL 0
                          POLY AAA CHAMPIONS
The 1946 season began with many changes. Voyne returned for his 26th year at Lowell, but this
year with Milt Axt as his co-coach. Most of Poly’s backfield was gone and Joe Verducci was
calling his team “mediocre”. Balboa was a threat; SI was optimistic with the return of battering
fullback, MacLachlen. And a new backfield star was to play his first year, Ollie Matson with the
Washington Eagles.

GAP founder Donald Fisher graduated from Lowell in 1946. The Civic Center hospitality house
and the army barracks were demolished as San Francisco returned to normal. Alcatraz prisoners
evidently didn’t like normalcy and rioted, with three convicts and two guards left dead; there
were no escapes.

The Red and White began the season with two straight wins---over Mission by 13-6 and against
the Irish by 12-0. Phil Liberty and Earl Moscrop scored on short runs to beat the Bears and
Moscrop scored ~.gain against SH. The Indians lost a heartbreaking 7-0 game to Lincoln, but

                                             - 62 -
came back two weeks later to beat Washington by 7-0 on a 70-yard touchdown return of a
fumble recovery by 175-pound substitute guard Dick Dalmas. The Indians out gained the Eagles
by 285 yards to 80 yards, but could not score on offense. After a non-AAA win over San Rafael
by 14-6, the Cardinals were even on the regular season with three wins and three losses and
ready to meet Poly.

The Poly Parrots started out like gangbusters, winning five straight games before meeting
Lowell. They blanked Lincoln, Sacred Heart and Balboa, and easily defeated Galileo by 30-7
and Mission by 13-6. Dave Marcelli, a speedy halfback, led the Red and Black attack. After
scoring in a practice 12-7 loss to Stockton, Marcelli ran for one touchdown against the Lions,
and returned a fumbled lateral for another. His 36-yard run beat Lincoln by 6-0; a touchdown
pass reception from Atkinson and the extra point led Poly over Balboa; and two Marcelli scoring
runs of 39 yards and 3 yards took care of Mission.

Going into the Lowell game Dave Marcelli had 39 points, far out in front in the AAA scoring
race. The rest of the offense was also in high gear with Rubio hitting paydirt twice against
Galileo, and Bill Bare and Ford Long crossing the goal line in other games.

The Parrots were heavy favorites for the annual rivalry game, being undefeated and having their
usual high-powered offense. However, both Marcelli and Bare were slightly hurt so Lowell was
encouraged. With 25,000 fans in the Kezar stands, the Parrots completely outclassed the Red and
White by a 12-0 score. Lowell threatened only once, that in the first quarter, and made several
mistakes before drives could get started. Poly also wasted several chances and could have scored
two or three more times.

The Parrots scored on a 29-yard scamper around end by Atkinson in the first period, threatened
several times in the second stanza, and wrapped up the game in period three with a 11-yard
touchdown pass from Marcelli to Bates. Although slightly banged up, Marcelli played well and
in fact sprung the key block on Atkinson’s run. Long rushed for 87 yards on only 15 carries to
carry the brunt of the offensive attack. Indian fullback Torres ran for 56 net yards on only four
carries. The Parrots out gained Lowell 254 yards to 170 yards.

Lowell finished the season with four wins and three losses after beating Galileo by 39-0 in an
offensive explosion, and thus reached the playoffs. Anderson had two touchdowns and Radovich
one score and three extra points to dominate the Lions. Moscrop and Ryan also crossed the goal
line. But, Lowell’s season ended in the semi-final playoff game with a tough, close loss to
Lincoln by 13-7, the Cardinals score coming on an exciting 77-yard touchdown ran by
sophomore sensation Warren Karby.

Meanwhile, Poly ended its season with an easy 19-6 victory over St. Ignatius, courtesy of two
touchdown runs by Atkinson, and one by Bates. The SI tally came on a run from MacLachlan,
the huge fullback who had ruined Poly the year before. Ford Long took the Parrots on his back
and brought them back from a 13-0 deficit in the second period, as he scored four touchdowns in
a 25-13 shellacking of Commerce in the other playoff semifinal. This win gained the Parrots the
right to meet Lincoln for the City Title. Long scored on runs of 26 yards, 8 yards, and 1 yard,

                                             - 63 -
and on a 12-yard scoring pass reception. Bare had a big 34-yard run.
The season ended strangely, as the final game with Lincoln ended in a 7-7 tie. With no provision
for another game or a tie-breaking procedure, the Mustangs conceded the title to Poly, both
because the Parrots had a perfect seven win regular season record, and for having beaten Lincoln
by 6-0 in the regular season. Long scored the Red and Black tally in the third period and the
Mustangs tied it in the fourth period on a Hamilton short plunge and a run by Frates for the extra
point. Long had a big game on the ground, gaining 92 yards, but Lincoln almost doubled Poly’s
yardage during the game. Verducci’s boys were outplayed but the tie was good enough, and they
had won another championship for the Parrots.

Seven Poly and Lincoln stars dominated the final All-City team, Poly being represented by end
Don Bates, guard Larry Melherney, and backs Marcelli and Long. Tackle Bill Sans, center Dick
Abraham, and quarterback Jerry Hamilton were the Lincoln All Stars. Three Lowell Indians
made the second team: end Bob Simmons, tackle Bob Oberg, and guard Stanley Mentzer.
Atkinson and end Tommy McCormick were Poly players on the third squad. The regular season
scoring champion was Dave Marcelli with 40 points on six touchdowns and four extra points;
Hamilton of the Mustangs with 31 points followed him. Bates scored 19 points while Atkinson
and Moscrop tallied 18 markers, as did budding star Ollie Matson.

                     1947: WOW: POLY CHAMPIONS
                           POLY 29 LOWELL 13
                           POLY 54 LOWELL 0
One of the greatest Poly football teams ever swept all in front of them in 1947, and by huge
margins. Voyne returned to Lowell; Joe Verducci was back at Poly and his returning veterans
promised another great season. The surprise team was expected to be the Washington Eagles
with their star halfback Ollie Matson

San Francisco entered the modern era. The first campaign to get rid of the pigeons at Civic
Center was begun, and the first parking meters were installed. The Monkey (Montgomery) Block
was sold for $200,000, and Macy’s bought O’Connor Moffatt Shoes.

Poly and Lowell clashed early, actually in the first week of the season. The Parrots showed what
San Francisco could expect when they defeated the Indians by 29-13, showing an explosive
offense. They ran away with the game after a close first half before about 20,000 spectators.
Lowell trailed only by 7-6 early in the third period, but then gave up a safety, and according to
reporters, the Parrots could have scored fifty points the rest of the way, as the Lowell defense
caved in. Bare scored two touchdowns on five and six-yard runs, and Atkinson and quarterback
Ellis each tallied once. Marcelli was injured in the third period but not until he had averaged
more than ten yards per carry. Lowell signal caller Lynd and halfback Liberty scored for Lowell;
Karby, Lowell’s punter, was outstanding.

                                              - 64 -
Lowell turned its season around quickly, whooping Galileo the next week by a 31-0 score,
behind two touchdowns by Phil Liberty and two more by halfback Dalpino. A 0-0 tie with
Lincoln and a 13-6 win over Balboa followed. Against the Mustangs the Indians could never get
closer than the 14-yard line, and two touchdowns by Liberty and Dalpino in the third quarter
were enough to beat the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, the Red and White ran into Washington the
next week and lost by 33-13 to bring their record to two wins, two losses, and a tie, but still in
the hunt for the playoffs. Matson scored three times on runs of one yard, 10 yards, and 47 yards.
The passing of Doug Scovill kept Lowell in the game as he threw completions to ends Fenster
and Baker.

The Cardinals season continued to see-saw back and forth, as the Red and White beat SI by 12-7,
but lost to Commerce by 18-0. However, even the loss to winless Commerce couldn’t keep the
Indians out of the playoffs, and perhaps a revenge game against Poly.

Poly didn’t stop after beating Lowell. They walloped Balboa by 35-0 on five touchdowns from
Colburn, Bare, and Marcelli, their backfield stalwarts. They then beat Commerce by 15-6 and
massacred Mission by 52-0. The story after the Mission game read, in part:

               “By the greatest point differential registered since the AAA was
               formed twenty years ago, “Dauntless” Dave Marcelli and his
               Polytechnic “End Zone Express” rolled over Mission before 3,000
               rooters at Kezar Stadium yesterday. The score was 52-0. Turning
               in his greatest offensive performance of the season, Marcelli
               galloped 133 yards for three touchdowns and an average of 12.9
               yards per carry to lead the Parrots to their 38th victory in their
               last 41 starts.”

The scoring facts were brutal: Bare a 6-yard run; Atkinson to Marcelli for 30 yards; Dave
Marcelli for five yards; Marcelli a one-yard score; Goldstein a 1-yard run; Goldstein for 12
yards; and finally Rafello 53 yards to pay dirt. Mission was able to get only two first downs and
penetrate Parrot territory only once, while the Parrots rolled up 516 yards.

St. Ignatius next fell to the Red and Black by 32-13 and Sacred Heart and Lincoln went down to
defeats by 26-0, and by a 40-6 margin. Against the Cats, Colburn scored from the three, the two,
and the five-yard lines, Marcelli averaged 10.1 yards per carry and scored once, and Harold
Goldstein punched over from one yard out. Marcelli did most of the damage against the Irish
with three touchdowns, giving Poly six wins in a row. Now ranked second in Northern
California, they showed no mercy to the Mustangs as Marcelli ran wild again, scoring four times,
including runs of 86 yards and 51 yards. Atkinson completed six for nine forward passes for
another 222 yards on the day, including touchdown scores of 60 yards to Bare, and 67 yards to
Marcelli. The Parrots entered the playoffs having scored 232 points in seven games, breaking
their own record of 222 points scored in NINE games in 1945.

When Mission lost its last game to Commerce, Lowell snuck into the playoffs and gained the
final by defeating Washington by 20-19, in an almost unbelievable comeback before 9,000 fans.

                                              - 65 -
The injury-riddled Indians played like a team possessed to overcome a 19-6 halftime margin;
they scored third and fourth period touchdowns and turned Kezar into a madhouse. Lowell
trailed early by 19-0 on two long touchdown jaunts for 66 and 39 yards by Matson, but began
their comeback in the second period when Lynd scored on a quarterback sneak. Lynd passed 65
yards to Liberty to reduce the margin, and Liberty bucked one foot to tie the game at 19-19. With
everyone on his or her feet, Lynd lateraled to Liberty who bowled over the last Eagle defender
for the winning extra point. This was one of Lowell’s greatest wins in his football history. The
Poly juggernaut meanwhile reached the final with a 20-14 win over SH, in a game in which Poly
started off with a 20-0 lead. Guess what! Bare, Colburn and Marcelli scored the tallies.

Thus, for the first time since the playoff system was instituted in 1943, Poly and Lowell would
meet on Thanksgiving Day, this time for the AAA Championship. It marked the first time in
many years the rivals would meet twice in one season.

It was really no contest as the Poly “End Zone Express” captured the title with an overwhelming
54-0 win before 33,000 spectators. Poly won its second consecutive title, beat Lowell for the
fifth consecutive time, and ran up the biggest score in an AAA game. Marcelli led the Red and
Black with runs of 66 yards and 63 yards to set up scores, and scored once himself. The other
Parrot scores came from Bare, Atkinson, Crews, Guiliani, Fortson, and two from Atkinson. Poly
had eleven first downs to Lowell’s four and out gained the Cardinals by almost 400 yards to less
than 100 yards. Marcelli ran for a net of 89 yards and Bare got another 63 yards from
scrimmage. Tackle Bill Morgan was a Lowell standout, but the team could not have been
expected to come back all the way from its heart-stopping upset of Washington only five days

While the Poly machine ground out yardage all season, one player, “Mercury” Matson, almost
matched the whole Poly team. He began his season by scoring three times against SI, three more
against Mission, when he gained 180 yards rushing, two against Balboa in week three, one
against Lincoln, and then the three against the Cardinals. He finished up with two scores against
Commerce and a 70-yard scoring run against the Galileo Lions, to end up the season with 90
points on 15 trips to the end zone, breaking the AAA record of 85 points set in 1934 by Van
Horn of Lowell. Marcelli, as good as he was, finished second in scoring with 80 points.

                                 POLY-LOWELL ALL STAR

                                       DAVE MARCELLI
                        All-time great Poly back 1945-47 … went on to
                        star at St. Mary’s …‘45 scored TD vs. Lowell …
                        Breakout year in ‘46, All-City … two TDs each
                        vs. Mission, Gal … TD pass catch vs. Lowell, 40
                        pts on 6 TDs/4 Pats … All-City again ‘47,
                        scoring 80 points … 3 touchdowns each vs.
                        Mission, SH, and four scores vs. Linc … TD vs.
                        Lowell; three games had 10 plus average yards
                        per carry.

                                             - 66 -
The All-City team was highlighted by Poly with five first stringers: guard Sam Panovich, and
center Joe Lagler, with Marcelli, Atkinson, and Bare in the backfield. Pete Loskutoff of
Commerce was an end, and Ollie Matson filled out the backfield. Lowell guard Bill Morgan
made second team and Indian Phil Liberty was a third stringer. Parrots Schnieder, Wonderling,
Colburn, Wood, and Landstedt were also named as backups.

In addition to the regular All-City team, an all-time AAA team was picked, dating from 1927. It
did not include some earlier stars such as Van Horn of Lowell, Slavick, Benny Lom of Mission,
and Chisholm but it was a pretty formidable club.

               Ends:          Alyn Beals (Poly) and Gordon Gray (Poly)
               Tackles:       Herm Miester (Poly) and Frank Walker (Poly)
               Guards:        Johnny Dodds (Poly) and Woody Adams (Balboa)
               Center:        Phil Dougherty (Mission)
               Backs:         Roy Yuretich (Balboa); Henry Decia (Poly); Sheldon Potter
                              (Lowell); Yotz Klotovich (Mission)

With the two wins in 1947 over the Lowell Cardinals, Poly had caught up in the annual series.
Each school had now won seventeen games, with three having ended in ties. But Lowell’s
previous six-point lead in overall scoring had disintegrated, with the Parrots now up ahead by a
previously unheard of sixty-four points, 345-28 1. At least Lowell wouldn’t have to face
Marcelli next year; he was off to St. Mary’s.

                           1948: POLY 27 LOWELL 6;
                              POLY CHAMPIONS
The 1948 season was another good one for the Poly Parrots, while the Lowell Cardinals sank
deep into the second division of the AAA. Milt Axt had gone back to Poly, when Joe Verducci
went into college coaching. Voyne was back to lead the Indians; Ollie Matson was gone; several
teams had title hopes, but Axt’s boys were the clear favorites.

San Francisco received its first telecast, and flagpole sitting began as Milton Van Noland
climbed a fifty-foot pole and sat there to advertise an auto dealer. San Francisco Junior College
became San Francisco City College; Muni continued to change from trollies to trackless buses.

The Lowell-Commerce game opened the AAA season with a tie at 6-6. The game was marred by
five intercepted passes, four fumbles, and several bad center snaps before a crowd of 2,500 fans.
Larry Graubart scored on a ten-yard run in the third period to give the Indians the tie. Things got
worse for the Tribe with two shutout losses to Mission and Sacred Heart by 25-0 and 32-0
scores. Graubart was the only threat against the Bears while Joe Scudero, a future USF star,

                                              - 67 -
scored for Mission. Rich Maffei of the Irish had a big day against the weak Lowell defense.

A big 32-6 victory over Galileo followed and Lowell rooters had something to cheer about.
Karby, Suarez, Graubart, Malone, and Casarez all tallied for the Indians as they scored in every
quarter and outgained the Lions by 200 yards. But then, losses to Lincoln by 20-12 and to
Washington by 19-7 gave Lowell a record of one win, four losses, and a tie heading into the Poly
game. Malone and Graubart reached paydirt against Lincoln while Bill Gelardj scored on a sneak
against the Eagles after long runs by Graubart.

Meanwhile, Poly was slaughtering all opposition, and the fans began counting consecutive wins
again. The names were familiar although they were now playing for Milt Axt. A 33-0 skunking
of SH was followed by an easy 34-7 drubbing of Lincoln, led by linemen Bob St. Clair at tackle,
end Merrill Jacobs, and guard Roy Belleson. The backs, Colburn, Rafello, Crews, Goldstein, and
Ellis, gained 288 yards on the ground, with all except Goldstein reaching pay dirt. A scare
ensued when Colburn was taken to the emergency hospital but he was only slightly hurt. The
Parrots topped thirty points again in a 37-0 spanking of Washington, led by the 18-year old Elvis
Colburn, who scored on 91-yard and 38-yard touchdown runs, almost duplicating his scoring
runs of 98 yards and 81 yards against Stockton in a pre-season game. A newcomer, fullback Bill
Vardeckberg, tallied on a 54-yard sprint in the Eagle game.

Colburn’s three touchdowns led Poly to a rousing 5 1-12 win over Commerce, which promised
to be a warm up for the next game against the Mission Bears. Poly led by 24-0 at the end of the
first quarter, courtesy of three touchdowns and two safeties. Guard Belleson starred, intercepting
passes, and making crunching tackles; Poly tackle St. Clair, later a San Francisco 49er, blocked a
punt for one of the two pointers.

Mission did give the Parrots a good game, finally falling by a miniscule 12-6 final score.
Colburn and Ellis scored for the Parrots, the winner coming in the third quarter; Poly knew it had
been in a ballgame, despite Mission being hampered by an injury to the triple-threat Scudero.
Poly won its seventeenth in a row by rolling over SI by 20-0, although the contest was close until
the final stanza. Tiny Marvin Crews starred, running 38 yards to set up the second score and
catching a 47-yard pass which led to his own short run for the final points.

All was ready for the Poly-Lowell big game, with Poly the odds-on favorite. The Parrots were
undefeated, having outscored its opponents by 187 points to 25 points, and leading the City in all
statistical categories. Only Mission’s Joe Scudero, who led Colburn in individual scoring by a
narrow 54-48 point margin seemed able to break the Parrots statistical monopoly. And Lowell
would come in with its lonely one win over Galileo.

The game was about as lopsided as expected, as the Red and Black won by 27-6 before 15,000
fans at Kezar. The game was played on a beautiful, sunny Armistice Day holiday and Axt’s team
far outmanned the Cardinals although Lowell did play one of its best games of the year. The Red
and Black first string touched the ball five times, and scored on three of the opportunities, and
then turned it over to the subs. In fact, the regulars played only in the first and part of the third
quarters, but that was enough to run up twenty points, Colburn scoring twice on short runs to run

                                               - 68 -
his total points to sixty, thus passing Scudero. The Parrots only passed five times all day, but one
was a 38-yarder to the Lowell 13-yard line from Ellis to Jacobs. The Parrots gained almost 300
net yards on the ground, and Lowell played best in the second quarter when Parrot reserves were
on the field. But, they didn’t score until Wan-en “Bud” Karby, who did everything, especially
his patented great punting, scored on a short run. He was Lowell’s outstanding player, while
several Parrots stood out, including Belleson and Crews.

Poly won the first semi-final playoff game by 13-0 over Mission, one of the strongest teams in
the AAA., but still not tough enough for the Red and Black. The “End Zone Express” had
trouble with the Bears but Crews made the big plays, racing 55 yards for the winning score in the
final period, after having run one yard for the first score after a 67-yard scamper to set it up.
Weighing only 155 pounds, he was able to run for 179 net yards in 16 carries, while Colburn was
resting from a minor injury. In the other playoff game, Balboa defeated SI by 19-6 to set up the
Thanksgiving showdown. Balboa controlled the SI game with a hearty passing attack and a
tough running offense.

The Parrots won their third straight title, the first three-peat Champ ever in the AAA, with a
relatively easy 22-0 whitewash win over the Buccaneers before 25,000 fans on a chilly
Thanksgiving morning. For the statisticians it was Poly’s twentieth win in a row; for the
tacticians, the Parrots sprung a surprise attack, being led by lanky Dick Ellis, who passed them to
victory, completing five out of eleven passes for 128 yards and two scores. An early safety and
two touchdowns gave the Red and Black a 15-0 lead at half time and the game was over, for all
intents and purposes. A 44-yarder to Jacobs for six points was followed by a tackle eligible play
for Bob St. Clair who caught the ball on the Balboa four and dragged four tacklers into the
Promised Land for a 17-yard scoring play. Rich Jones, filling in for the injured Colburn, scored
the last tally on a twenty-yard run at the end. Ellis, who also had an interception, was the star of
the game.

The All-City Team featured Poly linemen--Jacobs, tackle Hasselberg, and Belleson--with
Colburn joining Scudero, Ralph De La Tone of Balboa, and Dick Huxley in the first string
backfield. Two other Poly backs, Crews and Ellis, joined St. Clair on the second and third teams,
while Lowell’s Malone was also a third team member.

With its third consecutive championship, Poly’s margin in its great rivalry with Lowell was
beginning to grow. For the first time the Parrots had won more games than their rivals, eighteen
to seventeen, with the three ties. And the scoring margin had risen to an awesome 372 points to
287 points.

                               POLY LOWELL ALL STAR

                                  BOB ST. CLAIR
          Giant Poly High School lineman 1947-1948 … #97 … Second team
          All-City in 1948 … blocked punt for safety vs. Commerce in 51-12
          victory. Scored on tackle-eligible play (14 yds) in title game vs.
          Balboa 22-0 … Went on to play for SF Dons famous team with

                                               - 69 -
          Matson, Brown, Scudero, Toler which went undefeated, untied and
          uninvited. Then became great Hall of Fame star with SF 49ers as #79.
                        1949: POLY 47 LOWELL 19
                       FOUR CONSECUTIVE TITLES
There was lots of optimism around San Francisco as the 1949 season began. Milt Axt and his
boys lost many veterans but the Parrots were going for their fourth straight championship.
Lowell’s Mike Voyne was quoted as saying the Cardinal’s prospects were “the best in years”.
An Examiner reporter predicted the closest race since the early war years over the 38 game
schedule. Balboa and SI were expected to challenge.

Trolleys replaced more of San Francisco’s old streetcars. Sally Stanford’s Pine St. residence is
closed, and the famous, manual Chinatown telephone exchange, where the operators had to
memorize each and every number, ceased its operations.

Lowell opened its season in disappointing fashion, losing a close game to Commerce by 13-12,
and then tying St. Ignatius at 6-6. A key five-yard penalty nullified Ray Kistler’s run for the
extra point, which would have tied the opener. Halfback Jim Pruitt and quarterback Richard
Jenkins tallied for the Indians but they could not convert the extra point. Little Harry Bremond
starred for the Bulldogs. Kistler gained most of Lowell yardage. The Indians were completely
outplayed by SI but salvaged a tie with a Pruitt score and SI blew several scoring chances.
Unbelievably the season turned worse: Lincoln bombed the Indians by 53-7 in a game in which
nothing went right. Perhaps the Red and White were looking forward to the next week’s game
against Poly.

The Parrots had gotten off to their usual fast, high scoring start. While the defense was a bit
weak, the offense scored 76 points in the first three games, with wins over SI, Commerce, and
Mission. The remodeled “End Zone Express”, as it was now called, ran up 315 yards against the
Wildcats, and were led by two scores by Jim Blankenship, and the passing of quarterback Tony
Calvello, who also scored once. Besides an 80-yard scoring run by SI fullback Tevis Martin, the
Cats gained a net of exactly minus four yards. Calvello scored once and Bernstein twice as Poly
held off Commerce by 20-12, and then Mission fell by 2 1-12, which was Poly’s 23rd straight
win, another long winning streak. Then came Lowell.

The Axt team was a heavy favorite and they proved the prognosticators correct with a rousing
47-19 victory before a crowd of 9,000 fans. The Red and Black were led by another backfield
star, Jim Sampson, who ran for 57-yard and 80-yard scores, the second on a pass interception at
the beginning of the second half. Lowell was “in the game” at the end of the half, holding Poly to
a hard fought 13-6 lead. Halfback Fred Wright accounted for Poly’s two first half tallies on 60-
yard and 40-yard runs, but Lowell came back on the passing and catching of Kistler and passer
George Abbley. Kistler made a 33-yard reception and Abbley completed an 11-yard strike to
John Cumberpatch for the six- pointer and a close first half.

But, Sampson’s runs changed the whole complexion of the contest. Poly scored three more

                                              - 70 -
times, on a one-yard Nicola run, a Calvello 19-yard pass to Fletcher, and a Sackett to O’Neill
pass play which covered 51 yards. For the game, Calvello completed four of nine passes for 122
yards, and looked like the best Parrot quarterback since Duke Marlowe. Poly’s wins in the
Classic were getting larger and larger.

The rest of Lowell’s season was disastrous, losing to Balboa by 27-6 and to Washington by 14-0,
and having the final game against Galileo cancelled because of student vandalism. The Indians
ended the season with a no wins, five losses, and a tie.

Poly swept on, with the fans counting their consecutive wins. After Lowell, they defeated
Lincoln by 27-7, led by a backbreaking 73-yard interception return for six points by Sampson.
Bob Nicola, a third stringer, scored twice on 37-yard and 3-yard runs. Lincoln showed signs of
offense with the passing of quarterback Iverson to back Del Young Jr., the son of a Seals coach.
Triumph number twenty-six was an easy 28-12 victory over Sacred Heart, as Poly intercepted
six passes, three of which resulted in touchdown drives. Calvello scored once and passed to
Fletcher for a tally, and backup quarterback Sackett and halfback reserve Stan Ozaki also scored.
O’Neill was an extra point machine, kicking four straight. But, when an undefeated season again
appeared on the horizon, the Parrots ran into a monster Balboa team that upset the Parrots by 24-
0. The lead of the next day’s story told it all:

               “Balboa wrote the decade’s greatest chapter of San Francisco
               prep football history by soundly thrashing Polytechnic 24-0,
               before 1 7~ 000 stunned spectators at Kezar Stadium yesterday.”

Carl Mitchell’s Bucs scored their seventh straight win on the season, led by 1948 All-City signal
caller Ralph de la Tone, and backs Don Taylor, Gaeton Briseno, and Dan Penaflor. Dick
Tamberg was an outstanding end; he later went on the play basketball at Cal. Briseno gained a
net of 90 yards and scored two touchdowns; Tamberg scored once. Balboa tackle Charlie
Martucci may have been the best player on the field.

Of course, the Parrots would have a chance at revenge in the playoffs, and in fact, easily beat the
Washington Eagles in the semi-finals, while Balboa defeated Commerce to set up the revenge
match. The Parrots, stung the week before, went out and humiliated the Eagles by 68-7, scoring
twice in the first and second periods, and another six times in the second half. Sampson and
Fletcher each had two touchdowns, while Osaki, Wright, Brand, Nicola, and Bernstein also
tallied. The Parrots ran up three hundred yards on the ground.

The Red and Black then got their revenge on Turkey Day, defeating Balboa by 26-0 before
40,000 fans at Kezar. This game gave Poly its fourth straight title, and atoned for the defeat of
two weeks before. The Parrots scored the first time they touched the ball and the Cayuga
Corsairs never were in the game. Poly’s defense was awesome; in fact it intercepted four of de la
Tone’s passes, resulting in two touchdowns. Within five minutes, Poly had the lead on a
Carvello pass to Brand, and then Bernstein scored twice and Fletcher tallied the other six-
pointer. The Parrots out gained Balboa 334 yards to 132 yards. Blankenship gained 97 yards on
the ground and Bernstein banged for 57 more. Milt Axt described the win after the game as the

                                              - 71 -
biggest in his career.

The 1949 All-City team had four Balboa stars, led by Martucci and Taylor, while Poly placed
backs Calvello and Blankenship, as well as tackle Pat Wood on the first team. Little Walter
Barnes of Commerce, who made several long scoring runs during the season, was also in the
backfield. The second team had Sampson and Bernstein, while Jim Pruitt of Lowell was in the
third team backfield.

As the decade of the 1940s ended, Poly maintained, and was stretching its series lead against its
ancient rival. The Parrots had now won nineteen games, two more than the Indians, and led in
the scoring total by 419 points to Lowell’s 306 points over the rivalry’s thirty-nine games.

What would the 1950s bring?

                THE 1950’S; THE PARROTS MARCH ON
                      1950: POLY 40 LOWELL 12
The overwhelming favorite in 1950 was Poly, going for its fifth straight title, with Axt and many
of his returning veterans. Lincoln had high hopes. Lowell’s season again looked bleak except for
the return of Kistler running the offense. Sadly, 1950 would be Mike Voyne’s last year leading
the Indians, his 32nd year as Lowell coach. A former Cardinals player, Chad Reade, coached
Washington. Commerce had all 150 pounds of Henry Bremond, and a tall, angular end named
K.C. Jones, who would later go on to USF and Boston Celtic fame as a player and coach.

Lowell got off to a good start, notching a 7-0 win over the Sacred Heart Irish in the opener. A
Goodman to Hardeman touchdown pass was the winning play while Lowell ran up 21 first
downs and 308 yards, 139 yards on passes from Goodwin’s arm. But then the Indians lost to
Commerce by 31-0 behind two scores from Bremond. Poly would be next.

The Parrots defeated Commerce by 7-0 in a tight game to begin their regular schedule.
Blankenship scored on a 62-yard pass interception return and the vaunted offense never even
threatened. The Red and Black revved up the machine the next week with a 21-6 victory over the
Mission Bears, all three touchdowns scored by Blankenship along with O’Neill’s three extra
points. Stan Osaki ran for 75 yards. Poly then shut out Washington by 19-0 and the Parrots
seemed to be rolling, just in time for the Big Game. Sackett starred against the Eagles, passing
for 147 yards.

                                    LOWELL-POLY ALL STAR

                                       COACH MIKE VOYNE
                            One of Indians first great rugby stars 1914-16 …
                            Capt./Winger in 1915 … Center ¾ for ’16
                            champs … became coach in 1919, stayed 32

                                             - 72 -
                           years ‘til 1950 … won more than 120 AAA
                           games for Lowell … beat Poly 13 times with 3
                           ties … Won 10 AAA Titles for Cardinals.

With three wins and a perfect record, the Red and Black was the favorite against the Indians,
being coached for the last time by Voyne. And the Parrots did not disappoint, winning easily by
a 40-12 count before 7,000 fans on Columbus Day, October 12. It was the eighth win in a row
over Lowell and it was sparked by Sackett’s passing for 147 yards and his running for one
touchdown, four extra points by old reliable O’Neill, and scores by Osaki, Art DiCello,
Blankenship, Johnson, and Escobar. Lowell actually had thirteen first downs to the Parrots’
twelve, and ran 61 plays, fourteen more than Poly. But the Red and Black took a big early lead
and made the big plays, including a 52-yard non-scoring pass from Sackett to Willie Sampson.
Nicola was Poly’s best runner, gaining 76 yards on the ground, while Bob Moore was the best
lineman. Goodwin was Lowell’s chief offensive threat, passing for a 25-yard tally to
Cumberpatch, and 113 passing yards in total.

The Cardinal ended the season with two wins and four losses, scoring a win over SI by 25-13,
and losing close games to Washington and Galileo. They missed the playoffs once again, a sad
ending for the great career of Mike Voyne.

On the other hand, the Parrots continued their winning ways, beating a good Lincoln team by
20-6 and then Balboa by 51-13. Along the way, a tough Berkeley High School squad
embarrassed them. Sackett was injured in the Lincoln game, but substitute passer Frank Hall
came into the Balboa contest and completed six passes for 76 yards, while Osaki scored three
touchdowns and rushed for 52 net yards.

Poly won the semi-final game in the playoffs by triumphing over Mission by 7-0 in a mud
puddle that was called Lake Kezar on that day. The Parrot score came on a recovery in the end
zone of a blocked punt by Jack Schori; but then disaster struck! Poly had to forfeit its playoff
win because of an ineligible player and Mission returned to life to face Commerce for the title.
Poly’s attempt to win five straight titles was thwarted. Commerce won the AAA Title over the
Bears by 19-7, the Bulldogs led by K.C. Jones who had several great pass receptions, and played
a great all-round game at defensive end. The title game was played at Washington Field and the
Commerce scores were by Bremmond, Del Phino, and Ellis.

The Chronicle All-City team included place-kicker/end end Jim O’Neill, guard Bob Moore, and
Nicola from Poly. The Parrots were represented on the second team by backs Blankenship and
Osaki, and Ed Asencio of Galileo made it. Cumberpatch of Lowell, as well as Cardinals guard
Ken Freidman, was selected to the third team. Ron Quilici of Mission, who led the AAA in
scoring with 48 points, could only make the third team.

                          1951: POLY 38 LOWELL 14

                                             - 73 -
                                     AAA CHAMPS
An era changed at Lowell for the 1951 season. Mike Voyne had retired and the new coach was
Bill Feiling. His team was young and inexperienced but he had the two Stone brothers, Jim in the
backfield, and guard Andy blocking for him, plus a huge tackle named Ekhard Mahl. Mission
was led by young quarterback Don Kafka, who coach Alex Schwarz described in glowing terms.
Milt Axt had his Poly gridders ready to go.

San Francisco celebrated several events: The Japanese signed the peace treaty in the City, and
General MacArthur visited. Weather played a big role: the Golden Gate Bridge was closed
because of high winds and a house at 7 Castaneda St. slid down the hill after heavy rains; on the
other hand, Lands End Drive was finally re-opened after being closed nine years because of
The season began with the first High School Pageant Day, in which all the schools played short
12-minute games, a SF tradition that would be successful in the beginning but unfortunately
would ultimately end in controversy and trouble. More than 10,000 fans were expected for the
ceremony and the five games on a Saturday afternoon. The price was right: 60 cents for adults
and 40 cents for students. In fact, more than 15,000 fans showed up and Balboa was most
impressive on the field, defeating Lowell by 13-0. Poly was unimpressive in beating Galileo by
7-0, while Commerce and Sacred Heart were winners and the two presidential schools,
Washington and Lincoln, played to a scoreless tie. All in all, it seemed to be an artistic and
financial success.

Poly began the regular season with a trouncing of St. Ignatius by 34-6. The Red and Black
started slowly with only a safety in the first period, but then began to score at will, led by two
“Willies” in the backfield---Sampson who scored on a 28-yard run, and Jones who went over
from the 11-yard line. New starting fullback Chuck McKahn hit paydirt from the 13-yard line,
Sampson scored again, and quarterback Frank Hall hit end John Forbes in the end zone. Balboa
was blanked by 32-0 with a 91-yard run by McKahn and touchdowns by Lantry, Sampson and
Art Forbes. Hall completed 7 passes for 157 yards and three tallies. Poly struggled to beat the
Commerce Bulldogs by 13-6 with a McKahn touchdown late in the fourth quarter and the Parrots
found themselves tied with Mission at three wins and no losses.

Mission was leading the AAA in total offense and had a Jones of their own in their backfield,
Ashford Jones, who ranked third in rushing, just ahead of Willie Jones. On the field the Red and
Black prevailed by 6-0 in a hard fought game victory in which Forbes scored the winner on an
end-around play. It was an evenly matched defensive battle and Poly was in first place awaiting
its big rival.

Lowell started quickly, defeating Galileo by 31-6. One press account called Feiling’s first
victory a “massacre”, as his defense, led by Mahl, held the Lions to 39 yards on the ground. The
offense was led by Norm Somoza, who scored on 42-yard and 5-yard runs, and returning
quarterback Kistler who ran for one tally and passed to Don Schaller and Bob Hutchins for
touchdowns. The Cardinals then ran into the strong Mission Bears and were beaten soundly by

                                              - 74 -
25-7 on two tallies by Rich Oliver. Schaller scored for Lowell, which held its own statistically,
but could not score enough to turn the tide. Lincoln then defeated the Cardinals by 20-7 on
“Tossin” Tony Serra’s passing for all three scores. Somoza ran 34 yards for the Indian six-
pointer. A 6-0 win over Washington then set up the Poly-Lowell clash.

The Red and Black were favored once again, having a perfect record and leading the AAA
standings. Bill “Willie” Jones led the Parrots to an easy win by 38-14, scoring three touchdowns
as Poly dominated on the scoreboard and on the field, running up more than 450 yards from
scrimmage. They led at halftime before a small crowd of 5,000 fans by 12-0 on scores by Jones
of 76 yards and 20 yards. He scored again on a 12-yard run, the Parrots “shortest” score on the
day, and averaged 25 yards per carry for the game. Sampson, Bob Sanders, and Craig Brown
also tallied. The rushing attack was so strong that the second string backfield averaged more than
ten yards per carry. Hall completed only five passes, but they went for a total of 165 yards.

Lowell got its attack going in the second half and scored twice behind Kistler’s arm when he
hooked up with Friedman for two tallies. But, unfortunately, Kistler later went out of the game
with a hip pointer. The Parrots were in such command that Coach Axt left after halftime for a
refereeing commitment, leaving assistant Larry McInerney in charge.

Lowell finished its season with an 18-12 loss to SI, and then an exciting 30-27 win over the Irish
in a game which most observers called the best of the season. Played at Washington Field,
Lowell led most of the way but had to hold off the Irish in the last minutes from coming back
from a 30-20 deficit. In fact, SH’s last drive was stopped by the Cardinals on its five-yard line
with twenty seconds remaining. The Lowell offense was led by End Mike Leaskou, who hauled
in four passes for 58 yards and two scores, as well as running the ball and throwing a 31-yard
completion. Somoza ran for almost 100 yards on the ground, scoring once. Tailback Larry
Hannah stood out for the Irish when he scored once, passed for 84 yards, ran for 40 yards, and
ran back a kickoff 61 yards. But the Indian season was over, with three wins and four losses.

Poly came off its win over Lowell with a rout of Galileo by 34-14 and a severe trouncing of
Lincoln by 54-6 to finish the regular season with seven straight wins. Sampson scored twice and
Jones once against the Lions, and Center Warren Fannin got into the act by running back an
interception for 32 yards. Axt gave the starters the second half off. Most of the names were
familiar in the slaughter of the Mustangs: Jones scored on a short run and on a pass from Hall;
Sampson made a 47-yard score; another Fannin pass interception netted six points; and finally
there were scores by third stringer Gordie Young, Lighty, McMurray, and McKahn. Poly ran up
an unheard of 555 yards.

The first semi-final match up was an easy 41-6 victory over Commerce, which led to the final
showdown for the title with the Mission Bears. A Thanksgiving Day crowd of 15,000 spectators
showed up to watch the favored Parrots. The title game was more of an effort compared to the
semi-final, as the Parrots worked hard to nip Mission by 18-12, finishing the season unbeaten
and winning its sixth title in eight years. Sampson starred, running a punt back for 71 yards for a
tally and then making a game saving tackle when he stopped Ashford Jones, who appeared to be
on his way to tie the game with a 70-yard run. He had a net 70 yards, and Lighty and Willie

                                              - 75 -
Jones also scored for the Red and Black. Fannin and McKahn stood out for Poly, while Kafka
and Jones threatened all day for the Bears.

The All-City Team featured John Lighty, Fannin, Bob Moore, and Willie Jones of Poly, along
with Ashford Jones and Kafka of Mission. Mahl was Lowell’s representative on the first team
and was probably the best lineman in the city, although Fannin would have argued the point.
Mahl was joined by Andy Stone, Friedman, and Norm Somoza on the second and third teams.
Forbes, Hall, Sampson, McKahn, and guard Nat Cross were Poly players on backup teams.

                        SOME AMAZING POLY STATISTICS – 1951
                                      (regular season)
            Scoring            Rushing                  Passing
            Player      Points Player     Yds      Ave Player     Yds           TDs
            Jones         48   Jones       373      8.6 Hall       892           8
            Sampson       42   Sampson     323      7.5
            McKahn        30   McKahn      229      6.5
            Total              Total                    Total
            Poly Pts.    211   Yards       1493         Poly Yds. 901

                        1952: POLY 33 LOWELL 21;
                              POLY CHAMPS;
                        MAYBE BEST TEAM EVER
The 1952 season started with the Poly, the defending champs, as the overwhelming favorites to
repeat as Champions. Lincoln and Mission were given an outside chance to challenge the
Parrots. Lowell had some returning veterans, especially Leaskou, for second year coach, Bill

Woolworth’s on the corner of Market and Powell opened, as did the Broadway Tunnel. The City
was a haven for tourists, among them General Eisenhower and Queen Juliana. Bill Bixby, movie
and TV star, graduated from Lowell in 1952.

The Cardinals got off to a good start, beating Balboa by 26-0 behind a scoring reception by
Leaskou and a long 66-yard touchdown run and 84 yards from scrimmage by Wes Muto. The
Hayes Street boys blocked two Balboa punts and recovered four fumbles. They were then edged
by the Galileo Lions the next week but came back strong to defeat Sacred Heart by 26-6 with a
sharp aerial game with passing from Grant Cook and tough running by Vlad Chuhlanatseff.
Muto scored again and ran for 62 yards and fullback Charley Travers scored on two runs to give
the Indians two wins and a loss.

A roughly played 14-14 tie with Mission was followed by a disappointing loss to SI by
31-6.Muto, a 145-pOUnd sprinter, led the way on the ground against the Bears and Leaskou and

                                            - 76 -
John Pope scored; Pope also kicked the extra points. Paul Camera led the SI shocker with his
passing; Cook scored on a one-yard buck after a Muto 52-yard run, and the Cardinals went up
against Poly with two wins, two losses, and a tie.

Poly got its season off quickly with big wins over SI by 39-13 and by 47-20 over Lincoln. Two
scoring runs of 13 yards and 40 yards by Gordie Young, later to go to Stanford, and scores by
returning vets Osaki and Fukuda, along with Hall’s passing, warned SI and the league that Axt
had a powerful offense. A monstrous game by Young led the Red and Black over the Mustangs;
he scored two more touchdowns on 10-yard and 68-yard runs and ran for 201 total yards. Five
more tallies by Fakuda, Brown, Forbes, and two by McMu1TaY were enough to finish off
Lincoln. The tremendous offense was aided, according to Lincoln, by the grease on Poly’s
uniforms, which led to a Lincoln protest … after the score was already 31-10. The protest came
to naught.

Poly then defeated Washington behind Young’s four touchdowns, two on passes from Hall, and
two on 2-yard and 40-yard runs. The twenty-four points put him on a pace to break Ollie
Matson’s scoring mark of 102 points. The other Parrots score was a 47-yard run by McMurray.

It was the Galileo Lions turn next and they fell to the Parrots by 34-18, although they scored on
three spectacular plays by the littlest Lion, 135 pound Jim Watt. On the Red and Black side of
the ball, Young scored three times, including an 85-yard interception return; Hall did the
passing; Fukuda romped 58 yards to pay dirt; and Jim Poppin ran a blocked punt twenty yards in
the end zone for another six-pointer.

Balboa was given a chance to upset the newer version of the “End Zone Express”, but went
down to defeat by 44-13. Young only scored once, but the Browns took up the slack, Craig
Brown going in after recovering a blocked punt, and D. Brown tallying twice. Art Forbes hit pay
dirt, and the blocking U~ front of Nick Poppin and Phil Lara was noteworthy.

Poly went into the game with Lowell as a big favorite. One writer noted that 1952 was not the
year to use the old clichés, such as: “upsets are the rule”; or “anything can happen and
probably will”; or “there is no favorite when these old foes get together”. The Parrots took a
big lead by halftime at 27-7 and then won by 33-21. Frank Hall threw four touchdown passes,
two of them to Gordie Young, who also scored on a run to reach ninety points for the season.
Lowell did give the 5,000 fans several thrills, racking up three touchdowns and playing hard but
still had to settle for its tenth consecutive defeat to its long-time rivals. While Lowell outscored
the Parrots by 14-6 in the second half, Poly subs played most of it, and one reporter called Axt

The great Lowell hero in the loss was end Mike Leaskou, according to the press accounts:

                       “Brilliant catches: one handed; two handed; off his
                       shoe tops, high over his head, standing, running,
                       and jumping. Wherever or however the ball arrived,
                       the 6’ 2 “, 180-pound end performed whatever

                                               - 77 -
maneuver was necessary to haul the hide in. And
haul it in he did, nine times for 141 yards. He
scored one touch-down and was the key figure in
another Lowell drive that paid dividends.”

                     - 78 -
Hall showed he might be the best T-formation quarterback ever to play in the AAA. He
completed six of eight passes for 134 yards and 24 points to give Poly its commanding 33-7 lead.
His first scoring strike went to Don Brown for 24 yards, and then he hit McMurray for 29 yards
and six points; he followed that with a 29-yarder to Young in the end zone. Young also scored
on a short run. Pope and Chuhlanatseff scored for the Red and White, in addition to Leaskou.

The Cardinal resumed its season with a surprising 28-27 upset loss to the Eagles, even though
tackle Kuhn, Pope, Leaskou and Chuhlanatseff all reached the end zone. The Eagles were led by
little Johnny Socher, who ran for 197 yards on eight carries and two scores. They then ended the
year with a 14-6 loss to Lincoln, which would go on to the title game.

Poly continued to run wild, defeating SH by 46-7, in a game highlighted by Young’s scoring
twenty-five points to reach a total of 115 on the year, shattering the previous mark. He scored
four times, three coming on passes from Hall. Hall himself was brilliant, throwing the ball only
seven times, all in the first period, with five completions for 144 yards and four tallies. Poly had
now scored 277 points in seven games breaking its previous mark of 252 for eight contests. And,
Hall now had 734 yards passing and thirteen touchdown passes. The subs took over in the
second period, and Hall’s backup, Ed Burns, completed four of eight passes for 55 yards. The
Parrots entered the playoffs after an easy 33-6 win over Mission running their perfect record to
eight straight wins, and getting one more regular season score for Young and two more for Art

The Red and Black had a tough playoff game against Balboa, winning only by 14-0 in front of
20,000 fans at Kezar. Balboa controlled the game throughout the first half, holding Poly
scoreless for the first thirty minutes for the first time since 1952. Finally, Hall plunged over for a
one-yard score in the third period to take the lead, but the Parrots could not clinch it until Forbes
tallied on a 36-yard run just before the final gun.

It was hoped the close call for Poly against the Buccaneers would give Lincoln, which had
beaten Galileo in the other playoff, some encouragement for the December 12 title game. In fact,
the game was a total rout, the Red and Black coming out ahead on the final scoreboard by 54-7.
The headline summed it up:

                       “The Same Old Story – Poly Keeps Title 54-7”

Even though they lost three fumbles, the Parrots won going away, racking up 282 yards on the
ground and 233 additional yards in the air, 175 of those yards from Hall’s arm. They had the
first down advantage by twenty-six to eight, and Jerrald James, the Red and Black’s ~‘ ii”, 226-
pound tackle, controlled the line of scrimmage. For the record, Young and McMurray scored
twice, and Forbes, Osaki, D. Brown, and third stringer Tommy McCormick also reached the end

The All-City Team was dominated by Parrots: Poppin, center Tom Kemp, Hall, and Young on
the first team, along with James, Craig Brown, Don Brown, Phil Lara, tackle Frank Montabana,
Forbes, and McMurray as backups. Leaskou and Harry Greenberg represented Lowell. The

                                                - 79 -
Parrots broke a whole host of records and led the league in almost everything. They scored 310
points; they gained 2731 yards, almost 900 yards more than anyone else; Gordie Young ended
up with 121 markers and an 11.2 rushing average Hall threw for 851 yards and sixteen regular
season scores; even Forbes had a 9.1 rushing average. it may have been Poly’ s greatest football
team ever, and certainly one of best the AAA had ever seen.

                          TWO POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                 GORDIE YOUNG                               FRANK HALL
         Poly HB 1951-52 … in ’51, TD vs.        Poly QB 1951-52 … in ’51, 157
         Lincoln … Break-out All-City in         yeds/3 TDs vs. Bal; 5 PCs/165 yds.
         1952; 2 TDs vs. SI; 201 yds. Vs.        Vs. Lowell; 2nd Team All-City with
         Lincoln; 4 TDs vs. Wash; 3 TDs vs.      892 total yeds/8 TDs … All-City in
         Gal., incl. TD int. ret. (85); 25       ’52, maybe best AAA QB ever; 4
         points vs. SH; 115 points in season     TD passes vs. Lowell in 33-21 win
         for new AAA record; 2 TDs in title      with 134 yds; 7 passes/144 yds/4
         game; later went on to star for         TDs vs. SH; total reg. season had
         Stanford Indians 54-56, running         734 yds/13 TDs; TD run in semi-
         back kicks, punts.                      final; 175 passing yds. In title game.

                          1953: POLY 25 LOWELL 6:
                            POLY CHAMPS AGAIN
The 1953 season was predicted to be much like 1952. Poly was the odds-on favorite with Balboa
and Washington challenging. One reporter summed up the bottom third of the league--Lowell,
Sacred Heart, and Galileo-- as hoping to spring an upset here and there. The season witnessed a
strange schedule change; in October two games were to be played each Thursday and Friday,
with the calendar reverting to one game per day in November.

Poly opened the AAA season with a 29-18 dumping of tough Balboa. Art Forbes promised to be
the Gordie Young of 1953, beginning the year with three touchdowns on runs of 83 yards, 48
yards, and 3 yards. He totaled 219 yards on the ground, and Shirlee McCormick and Ron
Henderson added 167 more total yards. Carl Mitchell’s Buccaneers were led by a 35-yard
touchdown reception from O’Rourke to end Fitz after a double reverse-lateral, forward pass play
involving O’Rourke, Zeller, Calhoun, O’Rourke and Fitz for a gain of 27 yards. Galileo fell next
by 20-7 and the Parrots were ready for the Lowell Red and White.

Lowell had started slowly, losing its opener to Galileo by 8-0 on a Lion pass reception and a
safety; the Cardinals barely gained 100 yards on the day. So, with only one game under its belt,
the Poly game promised to be a tough one for the inexperienced Indians.

The traditional rivalry game was a Saturday contest at Kezar, and it went as predicted. The

                                               - 80 -
Parrots scored their eleventh consecutive victory by 25-6 before 3,000 fans and students. The
game did provide some exciting moments: on the first play Forbes took off inside tackle and
didn’t stop for 73 yards and six points. He only carried twice more and scored once, and fellow
halfback Henderson also scored two tallies. The Red and Black led by 25-0 before Lowell
scored; it out gained the Indians 360 yards to 53 yards, and allowed Lowell into Poly territory
only five times, three of those in the final period. Lowell scored in the final minutes on a 37-yard
pass/run from sub QB Marsh Krueter to Captain Jerry Green, who was outstanding. Axt, when
being asked later, noted Poly did not play that well, but that the Forbes opening run “took the
edge” off of the Cardinals.

Lowell came off the defeat by tying St. Ignatius at 14-14 in an exiting game. It was considered a
big Indians upset as they converted two SI Wildcat fumbles into scores, one by quarterback
Larry Husband who ran 40 yards with the fumble recovery, and the other when Don Wilkes
recovered a Wildcat miscue in the end zone. Larry Giannone led the SI effort, in which the
Wildcats out gained Lowell by a big margin but Lowell gutted it out. A smashing by Balboa by
41-6 followed, and then the Mission Bears laid it to the Red and White by 30-7. Husband scored
in the first game, and Walt Keough scored on a pass reception from Bobby Lom, who had just
been called up from the Junior Varsity to face Mission. The Indians ran up 270 yards against
Sacred Heart, but struggled to a 7-7 tie, only to have the winless season end with a 20-0 loss to

Meanwhile, Poly was marching towards a third straight title, winning four games in succession
by an overall margin of 142 points to 32 points, including a regular season ending 54-13 victory
over the Washington Eagles. They led SH by 14-0 within the first five minutes and marched
home against the Irish with two scores by Forbes, one by Ron Henderson, and the passing of Les
Barros for more than 200 yards. The Parrots scored seven points in each of the four periods to
down Mission by 28-0 behind tallies by Shirlee McCormick, Henderson, Chuck Klebora, and Al
Chatman. SI went down to its first defeat by 26-13 to Poly in the Parrots toughest game of the
season. Drives of 65 yards, 56 yards, 34 yards, and 48 yards in the second and third quarters
were finished off by two touchdowns apiece for Forbes and McCormick. Poly out gained the
Wildcats 205 yards to only 21 yards in the first half. Finally, Poly prepared for the playoffs by
smashing Washington by 54-13, playing its substitutes most of the time. It was 41-0 in the
second period courtesy of three scores by Forbes, one on an interception, and then scores by
Henderson, Ed Burns and Chatman. Then the second and third string took over.

In the first semi-final game, the Parrots were held to a slim 6-0 lead at the half by SI but they
broke loose in the second thirty minutes to ring up a 33-7 win. Barros starred by completing 8 of
11 passes for 177 yards, and Forbes, Henderson, McCormick, and Burns tallied. This set up an
interesting and hopefully competitive final game against the Buccaneers, who reached the final
by defeating Galileo. Balboa had a tremendous offense, scoring on two 90-yard runs in one
game, and actually out gaining Poly by an average of 346 yards to 344 yards per game. Mack
Calhoun and Russ Zeller had gained more than 1,500 yards between them in the regular season
to rank number one and two in the AAA, and Calhoun tied Forbes for the scoring title with 84

                                               - 81 -
The game was not close; the Parrots scored in every quarter before 20,000 spectators at Kezar
for a 26-0 victory, keynoted by the great play of 138-pound halfback/safetyman Ron Henderson.
The Red and Black now had twenty-eight wins in a row, their third straight AAA title, and a
consensus opinion that they were the best team in Northern California. Henderson intercepted
three passes, each one leading to a six-pointer, and scored one himself on a spectacular 52-yard
pass catch from Burns. Forbes tallied twice and gained 95 yards on 18 carries on the day. Poly
scored the first time it touched the ball, scored once in the second period, and finished off the
Buccaneers in the second half. The real Poly heroes were the defense, led by Henderson. Balboa
had never scored less than three times during the regular season, but was held to only 114 yards,
including a minus eight yards in the first thirty minutes of play. Poly defensive stars included
Barros, Phil Debrovsky, Bill Canihan, Dick Piazza, Jim Poppin, Phil Sanchez, and others. One
reporter ended his story by writing: “Death, taxes, and Poly victories, they’re for sure.”

Poly and Balboa dominated the All-City team with end Piazza, Debrovsky, Barros and Forbes
coming from the Judah Street School. Lowell end Rich Peracca and guard Peter Flood made
honorable mention. Poly now led the series with twenty three wins to seventeen wins for the
Indians, had now won eleven in a row, and had outscored Lowell by 555 points to 359 points,
after 43 games in 42years.

                           1954: POLY 27 LOWELL 0
The 1954 season began with prognosticators saying Poly would be the favorite again, this time to
win its fourth title in a row. This seemed to be borne out after the AAA pageant in which each
team played one quarter, and Poly looked unbeatable while defeating Sacred Heart by 13-0.
Other pageant winners were Mission and Balboa. Lowell was a big winner over Galileo by 20-0,
with Bobby Lom and Marshall Kreuter leading the attack. In fact, optimism was high among the
Cardinals after several down years. The pageant was proving popular as 20,936 fans turned out
in 1953, generating revenues of $9,700. The 1954 extravaganza had some serious college
football competition on the same day but still 14,000 fans turned out at Kezar.

Romance, San Francisco eccentricity, and visitors highlighted 1954. City native Joltin’ Joe
married Marilyn Monroe in the City Hall. A large demonstration took place in downtown on
Market Street to celebrate the ending of a construction job and the silencing of a pile-driver.
Finally, political leaders from Turkey, Korea, Iran, and Ethiopia were prominent visitors, some
arriving at the new San Francisco International Airport.

Poly opened its regular season with a 40-0 mauling of Galileo, at first blush a Pyrrhic victory as
both teams were ordered to forfeit the game for using ineligible players. The ruling was later
overturned so the efforts of Ed Bums, who passed for two touchdowns to Bob Bleggi, as well as
the running of junior fullback Ted Cano and halfback Bill Welch, went into the record books and
gave the Parrots a good start. Meanwhile the Red and White played a 12-12 tie with SI. The
Indians controlled the game, gaining 266 yards and getting fourteen first downs, and appeared to

                                              - 82 -
have its best club in several years; but they couldn’t hold off the Wildcats who tied it on a 93-
yard pass interception return by Jerry Cassidy. The Indians scored when Lom, the son of Cal’s
Benny Lom, scored on a one-yard run and another short run by Roger Ryman: Ryman almost
snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when he was hauled down on the SI 15-yard line as
time ran out. The two early games set the stage for another early season Big Game between the

Lowell’s expectations were higher than usual, but the Red and Black defeated the Cardinals
again, by 27-0 for their twelfth win in a row in the ancient series. The game was not close as the
Parrots out gained the Cardinals 236 yards to 106 yards and had a 27-0 lead at the end of the
third quarter. Poly scored in the first minute, a reminder of last year, when guard Jim Poppin
recovered a fumbled Lowell kick-off return and rumbled 18 yards into the Indians end zone.
Poly guard Howard Willman did more of the offense’s work when he caught a deflected pass
from Lowell’s Bobby Lom at the end of the half and walked eight yards into paydirt. The
clinching score was also scored by a lineman, Bob Bleggi, when he blocked a Lowell punt on the
twelve-yard line and carried it in. Finally, Poly halfback DiMarzo, also scored, on a two-yard run
in the third period. In all, nine Poly backs carried the ball on this day.

Both coaches, Milt Axt and Bill Feiling, complemented the other’s team, but in reality it was a
sloppy game, with each club losing two fumbles to go along with five interceptions. Among Poly
standouts was end Darrell Guensler. Lowell depended on its passing attack but gained little from
its three completions in nineteen attempts. Its best performers included guard/linebacker George
Vlahos, and tackles Fred Addison and Gordon Calloway.

The Indians did not collapse after the Classic. A close loss to favored Lincoln by 13-7, courtesy
of a tough defense led by Fred Addison, Gordon Calloway, Jim Nolan, and Paul Goorjian, was
followed by a big win over Galileo by 32-7, the Indians’ first AAA victory since 1952. This was
followed by a loss to Mission, but then successive wins over SH by 31-6, and a surprising win
over Balboa by 19-13, to put the Indians at three wins, three losses, and a tie, and in playoff
contention Kreuter threw two touchdown passes against the Lions, one a 43-yarder to Duane
Hines, and the second an epic jumping battle in which Walter Keough out-jumped the Galileo
defender for a 25-yard score. Lowell rolled up 324 yards in the game.

Against the Mission Bears, Kreuter scored on a four-yard run after a 65-yard pass reception from
Loin; Phil’s Sevier 36-yard pass interception return and Eric Mackintosh’s two-yard plunge
completed the Red and White scoring. Kreuter came back even stronger in the rout over Sacred
Heart, completing five out of seven passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, while scoring two
six-pointers himself. Keough caught three of Kreuter’s passes, one for 88 yards.

Lowell rolled on against the Buccaneers, led by Sevier, Ryman and Kreuter, the latter passing for
11 out of 16 attempts for 232 yards. Washington unhappily sidetracked Lowell’s run to the
playoffs for the first time in several years by beating the Indians 7-0 in the last week of the
regular season.

Meanwhile, Poly was cruising, beating everyone in sight, although the margins of victory were

                                              - 83 -
somewhat smaller than in past years. The Wildcats of SI went down by 33-12 behind 420 total
yards and pass receptions for scores by Dick McKahn, Bob Bleggi, and James Lane, all on
pitches from Burns; Burns also scored on a run. Tiny halfback Ernie DiMarzo rushed for 128
yards on nine carries, including jaunts of 56 yards and 25 yards.

                                          - 84 -
The Parrots were hard pressed the next week by the Irish, barely squeaking out a 14-6 win,
thanks to touchdowns by Burns and Keller. On their way to their thirty-second consecutive AAA
victory, the Parrots actually trailed by 6-0 at one point. It took a Parrot score one minute and
fifteen seconds from the final whistle to pull out a 19-13 win over Mission the next week. In
possibly the best game of the year, a Burns to DiMarzo pass clinched the victory at the end of the
game. Coach Axt called Mission the most physical team in the AAA.

Consecutive win number thirty-three was a bit easier as the Parrots defeated Lincoln by 3 0-20 in
a high scoring game. The contest featured a last period drive led by Mitch Keller who ran for 24
yards, 14 yards, and finally 21 yards for the clinching score with four minutes remaining in the
game. On the day, Keller ran for 103 yards from scrimmage including sixty yards on the last
67-yard drive. On the other hand, Lincoln’s bruising fullback Don Oldham ran for 102 yards on
12 carries and a touchdown as the Parrots and Mustangs battled to the final gun.

A close win over Washington by 6-0 on a cold, gray afternoon in the slimy mud saved the
winning streak in the last quarter when Burns snuck over the goal line from one foot to score,
after he had passed 51 yards to Lane and 16 more to Bleggi. Little Jimmy S ocher led the
Mustangs back down the field in the last minute but Poppin intercepted a pass to save the game.
All appeared normal when Poly ran roughshod over Balboa by 33-6 to move into the playoffs.
Keller’s touchdown and 110 yards on the ground led the Red and Black, who also scored on a
51-yard touchdown pitch from Burns to Bleggi. While winning big at the end, Poly was held to a
6-6 tie at halftime in the tough game.

Disaster stuck the next week as Mission pulled off one of the biggest upsets in AAA history,
taking the Parrots down easily by 27-7. Poly’s thirty-six game winning streak, in effect since a
loss to Balboa in 1949, went down the tubes as nothing went right, and Mission played an
inspired game of football. The Dutch Elston coached Bears were reported to have played like
men possessed and won not only by points but also by sheer desire. Nevertheless, the scoreboard
showed Mission tallies by end Le Roy Thomas and back Garland Bluford. Cano scored for the
Red and Black.

Mission then went on to win the AAA title by defeating Lincoln by 21-6 before 12,000 Kezar
fans. Poly and Mission dominated the All-City Team, but Lowell’s Addison made the first team
and other Indians selected were Keough and Kreuter on the second squad. Poly stars on the team
were Bleggi, Poppin, Burns, and Keller as first stringers and Dick McKahn on the second team.
Buford and Thomas of Mission were standouts as were Socher of Washington and Oldham of

                                              - 85 -
                             LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                                 MARSHALL KRUETER
                     Lowell QB 1953-54 … 37 yard TD pass vs. Poly
                     in ’53 … 2nd team All-City 1954; starred in
                     Pageant vs. Gal; 2 TD passes vs. Galileo in reg.
                     season; TD run vs. Mission; pass for 88 yds/148
                     total yards and 2 TD runs vs. SH; 11/16 passing
                     and 232 yards vs. Balboa

                           1955: POLY CHAMPIONS
                             POLY 33 LOWELL 13
                             POLY 39 LOWELL 13
There were a lot of optimistic football teams as they prepared to celebrate the fourth annual
pageant at the beginning of the 1955 season. Everyone feared veteran-laden Seb Passanisi’s
Lincoln Mustangs. Defending champ Mission had veteran All-City tackle Frank Watt. SI,
Balboa, and Poly were expecting big years, and even Lowell figured to make a run to the title.
Only Galileo, Washington, and Sacred Heart seemed to be without a chance. The Irish had a new
coach, Doug Scovil.

Future Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer was a Lowell graduate in 1955. A nine-year old
boy swam the Golden Gate. Benny Bufano’s 18-foot controversial statue of St. Francis was
placed at St. Francis d’Assisi Church. The Big Dipper at Playland-at-the-Beach was torn down,
and a Portuguese bullfight was held at the Cow Palace.

Poly and Mission most impressed the 14,000 fans at the pageant, the Bears showing a stingy
defense against SI, and Poly introducing a new star, Roosevelt Taylor, who scored against
Washington. Bob Oddone scored for Lowell as they were victors, along with Balboa and
Lincoln. Washington’s rooting section won their fourth straight award.

The Parrots began the regular season with a win over Sacred Heart by 3 9-7. Trailing by 7-6 at
halftime, the Red and Black came back with a vengeance behind Taylor scores of 55 yards and
36 yards, a Bob Stone scoring strike to Bleggi for 67 yards, and a 21 yard-run by Emmett Cobb,
the City lightweight track sprint champion. Ron Rebuck and Ted Cano also crossed the goal line.
Early in October, a scheduling mix-up gave some of the Parrots two wins in one day. First Bob
Stone and Emmett Cobb led the Parrots to a slim win over the SI Wildcats by 6-0 at Kezar, and
that night the Red and Black “Junior Varsity”, led by Stone and Clarence Carr, went out and
defeated Centerville High School. The “double dipping” was investigated and would not happen

                                            - 86 -
The Red and Black next stunned Mission by 34-6, scoring on a series on long gainers: Carr over
tackle for 44 yards; Taylor a 43-yard run and a pass reception for 34 yards from Ray Maldonado
a 22-yard pass from Stone to Cobb; and Henry Venturoni’s 22-yard score with a recovered
fumble. Balboa then came to Kezar and “de-feathered” Poly by 14-7 which led to a “coach-
Carrying, goalpost destruction” demonstration by the Buccaneers, who were the last team to
beat the Parrots in the regular season, thus breaking Poly’s most recent regular-season winning
streak. Balboa scored twice early and then held off the Parrots’ comeback late in the game with a
successful stand on the nine-yard line. The game was almost exactly even as Balboa out gained
Poly 222 yards to 217 yards; the Balboa scores were by Nick Poppin and back Bill Rathbun,
while Bleggi scored on an eight-yard pass. The Parrots got back on track the next week by going
to the air to easily defeat Galileo by 25-6, running up 413 yards and scores by Bleggi, Taylor,
and Rex Childs. Lowell would be next.

Meanwhile, Lowell was having a better season, going into the Poly tilt with a three wins and a
loss. They began by defeating defending champ Mission easily by 26-7. Al Katsuyama ran 17
yards for a score, Eric Mackintosh and Phil Sevier scored on short runs, and Jim Nolan scored
the fourth touchdown by recovering a Bear fumble in the end zone. The Tribe lost to powerful
Lincoln the next week by 34-7, but came back to defeat Sacred Heart and SI in successive
games. Tom Yasukochi’s left foot supplied four extra points, which were the margin over the
Irish by 28-24, as the Indians came from behind in the last four minutes. Oddone tallied twice on
a seven-yard run and a 46-yard pass play from Sevier, and Sevier and Lom scored on short runs.
Walt Arnold scored on three plunges for SH. The Indians then easily defeated SI by 20-0 to give
their playoff hopes a big boost. Mackintosh had a tally and Oddone scored on a 24-yard pass
from Sevier, the second week in a row that Sevier had thrown only one pass and it went for a

The Poly-Lowell annual clash promised to be a good one. One newspaper noted:

               “Once Again Lowell, Poly Play Key Game in AAA” In
               recent years, Poly has so far outclassed the Indians that
               there was little resemblance to the struggles of the thirties
               when the two schools drew large crowds.”

In fact, another article said Lowell had its best chance since 1942, and Axt himself installed the
Cardinals as a seven-point favorite. Alas, it was not to be. Poly scored an easy 3 3-13 win before
5,500 fans, scoring in every period. A 34-yard scoring strike from Stone to Taylor on Poly’s first
play set the tempo of the game. Sophomore Dennis Shay threw two 37-yard six-pointers, and
Ted Cano ran over the goal on 68-yard and 8-yard runs. But Lowell did not completely roll over
and play dead. Bobby Lom threw two long passes of 28 yards and 44 yards to set up a
Mackintosh six-yard scoring burst and then he connected with Keough on a 27-yard score. Bill
Feiling summed up the game:

               “We couldn’t defend them. If we tried to stop them wide,
               they ran right through the middle. And all three of their
               passers were good.”

                                              - 87 -
Lowell continued its drive for a playoff spot by coming back to defeat Washington by 20-18 in a
game where the lead changed hands four times. A 13-yard pass from Lom to Sevier late in the
4th period won it for the Cardinals. Nolan, a guard, scored his second six-pointer of the season,
this time on a 28-yard pass interception return, and Oddone hit paydirt on a 10-yard run. The
drive to the playoffs stalled in a surprising 31-14 loss to Galileo, with the aggressive Lions
scoring on a 72-yard pass play on the third play of the game. Lom accounted for both Lowell
scores, throwing a ten-yarder to Oddone and a 32-yarder to Tom Kettleson. On the day of the
game, the Lowell students were greeted at the Hayes Street building with a huge “Beat Lowell”
sign painted on the steps in Galileo Orange and Black. In a sign of sportsmanship, the Lowell
principal was quoted as saying that he doubted “very much that Galileo students were
responsible”. A potentially critical loss to Balboa by 28-7 did not keep Lowell from their first
playoffs since 1947.

So, the City would see a second Lowell-P0IY classic as the two schools were slated to meet in
one of the semi-final games unfortunately, the result was the same as the first game between the
two schools, with Poly coming out on top by 39-13. This one was tougher for the Parrots as they
had to come from a 13-12 deficit at halftime to pull it out. The Indians had taken the early lead
on Oddone’s eight-yard run after a Poly fumble and a five-yard sneak into the end zone by Lom.
The ever reliable Yasukochi gave Lowell the lead after thirty minutes. Poly took a slim lead on
the third period on a Cano run and the dam burst in the final stanza, as the Parrots scored twenty
unanswered points. Maldonado, Shay, and Cano all scored on short runs, the first two coming
after Lowell mistakes gave Poly the ball deep in scoring territory.

Lowell did run up over 200 yards with Mackintosh doing the heavy lifting on the ground, but
two blocked punts in the second half did them in. The Cardinals regular season ended with an
even four wins and four losses, and a playoff bid, a huge improvement over the pass several

Poly regained its City Title the next week with a 22-12 victory over the Balboa Buccaneers,
which were favored going into the title match. Bal had beaten the Parrots earlier in the year, and
was led by the passing of Dan Kirby and Bill Rathbun, the running of Rathbun, Dave Tyree, and
Ray Portue, and a strong offensive line. Poly’s fourteenth City Title and its ninth in the last
twelve years came in one of the best finals in recent years, and could be attributed to one player,
Poly end Al Perini, a relatively unsung hero throughout the year. The 170~Pound senior blocked
the kick that set up Poly’s go-ahead touchdown in the third period, and then intercepted a fourth
quarter Balboa pass as the Buccaneers were going for a go-ahead and clinching score. In fact,
three minutes in that final stanza turned the game around as Perini stole a pass on a drive which
would have given Balboa an 18-16 lead late in the game; Poly then quickly drove for the
clinching touchdown on a 45-yard quick opener by Carr.

The parrots had scored earlier on a 44-yard burst by Cano and a safety in the first period, but the
Buccaneers came back on two long drives culminated by TD strikes to end Elliot Bartholomew
to take the lead. The Parrots took the lead back with an eight-yard run by Emmett Cobb, and that
led up to the last quarter heroics.

                                               - 88 -
The All-City First Team had Bleggi, Al Shelton, and Cano of Poly, along with huge Talisua
Niko and Rathbun of Balboa, little I40-pOUfld Jim Socher of the Eagles, and all around star,
Stan Glass of Lincoln. Bartholomew of Balboa and Walt Arnold of Sacred Heart, along with
Kirby of Balboa and Jim Nolan of Lowell were on the second team. Perini, Lom, Sevier, and
Keough all made honorable mention.

With the two wins in 1955, Poly’s margin over Lowell in the annual Big Game increased
markedly. The Parrots now had twenty-six wins against the Indians’ seventeen victories, and
their scoring margin had increased to 654 points against 385 points.

                            1956: POLY 14 LOWELL 0
The 1956 season began with the Sixth Annual Pageant, with 20,000 spectators, and a serious
riot. Member of teen-age gangs started several fights, both inside and outside of the stadium, to
which the police had to respond. On the gridiron, Poly, defending its 1955 crown, defeated SI on
a long scoring drive while Lowell lost to Balboa in its 15-minute mini-game. Awards for the
teams displaying the best spirit went to Galileo and Washington, while Washington and Lincoln
won rooting section awards. Lincoln High School’s ROTC drill team was voted the best in San

Poly was dedicating the 1956 season to long-time “Mr. Polytechnic”, Assistant Principal Paul
Hungerford, who was also Dean of Boys, and who had been football coach for many years
before Milt Axt. He was going on the Horace Mann Middle School. And Lowell dedicated the
site for its new high school campus at Eucalyptus and Middlebrook Drives near Stonestown,
planning to move away from the almost century-old brick campus and play yard on Masonic

The regular season opener featured Sacred Heart which defeated Galileo by 18-0 behind two
touchdowns and 158 yards rushing by future Cal star Walt Arnold. Not to be outdone, the Red
and Black streaked to three straight shutouts, beating SI, Lincoln, and Mission by a combined
69-0 score. Ted Cano led the Parrots over the Wildcats with a short scoring run and a 55-yard
interception return for six points, and Stone tallied from the one. After being surprised by Lodi in
a practice game by 13-6, Carr and Cobb led the Parrots over Lincoln by 20-0, and then Mission
fell by 25-0 on touchdown runs by Sammy McGilbery, Stone, and Shay, and a 4-yard pass
reception by Daniels. Then a shocker, a 13-13 tie with Sacred Heart and its star, Arnold, who ran
for 159 yards and scored both Irish touchdowns. Cobb scored for the Parrots and Shay passed for
113 yards; the Parrots now had three wins and a tie as they looked forward to the Big Game.

The Big Game was even bigger this year for Lowell; the Indians were celebrating the Centennial
Anniversary of its founding in 1856. The football team was off to a rocky start however. The

                                               - 89 -
season began positively with a 14-13 win over Washington, with Bryan Gould’s extra point
providing the winning margin. Red and White end Bob Streltzkoff came up with two touchdown
receptions of 30 yards and 12 yards. Mac Burton, later of San Jose State, scored for the Eagles.
But, Mission then defeated the Cardinals by 25-14, with Dorse running in for one score and
Streltzkoff catching a 16-yard pass for the Indians. Next came a 12-0 loss to the Irish as the
irrepressible Arnold scored twice. The other private school, the SI Wildcats, then defeated
Lowell by 19-7; Bill Stamos ran for 74 yards. Lowell came back with a slim 7-0 victory over
Galileo to set the stage for the clash with Poly. Gould beat the Lions with a five-yard touchdown

The Parrots were of course the big favorites, by two touchdowns at least, but Lowell diehards
were hoping the Centennial year would bring an upset. The game was tougher than expected
with Poly pulling it out by exactly two touchdowns, 14-0. The first half was an even-steven
affair, ending in a 0-0 deadlock, with only a Poly drive to the 19-yard line threatening to operate
the scoreboard Carr, at 5’ 9” and 160 pounds, scored Poly’s first touchdown in the third quarter
on a short run, but still the Indians fought back and held off Poly’s attack. Early in the last
period, Lowell held the Red and Black on its own one-foot line and the Lowell side rang with
cheers. The optimism soon turned sour as Lowell fumbled on its own eleven and Dennis Shay
recovered. This time the Parrots would not be denied and after a Shay to Cobb ten-yard pass,
Carr scored again to make it 14-0 with the extra point. Still, Lowell came back, driving 63 yards
to the Poly five-yard line as time expired. Lowell was out gained by a substantial margin on the
day, but its defense was stalwart. Quarterback Strange passed for 76 yards, many of them to end
Streltzkoff, one of Lowell stars. For Poly, guard Stan McCarthy, tackle L.C. Shields and end Art
Rankin were the defensive keys to the shutout win. Lowell’s season thus ended with two wins
and four losses.

Poly then defeated Balboa by a 21-12 score to win the round robin championship with a record
of five wins and the one tie. Stone scored on a 66-yard run, and then passed for 65 yards and six
points to Shay, and Cobb played peat defense against the Buccaneers. Carr ran for a total of 132
yards on nine carries and scored on a 34-yard romp. For Balboa, their outstanding backs, Jack
Kohler and Errol Harris, starred, with the first scoring from the one-yard tine and Harris running
for 84 yards. Kohler would end up leading the AAA in scoring with 49 points, followed by
Harris with 36 markers. Carr and Cobb each had 25 points, while Willie Holman of Balboa led
the league in rushing with 536 yards with Carr in fourth place. The leading passer was Al
Bosquet of the Eagles; his leading receiver was Mac Burton.

                       SOME POLY BACKFIELD STARS 1955-57

         TED CANO: FB; 1955 All-City, Captain; scored in 1955 title game;
         EMMETT COBB: HB; scored in 1955 title game; All-City track
         sprinter, jumper, relay runner;
         CLARENCE CARR: 5’9”, 160 pounds; 1956 2nd team All-City; 25
         points; led AAA in rushing in 1956;
         DENNIS SHAY: QB; great runner, passer, field general, vicious tackler
         on defense; All-City 1957;

                                              - 90 -
         BOB STONE: QB; 2nd team All-City 1956; and
         SAM McGILBERY: FB; All-City 1957; led AAA in scoring in 1957.

Poly marched into the playoffs with high hopes but their season ended suddenly with a huge
upset at the hands of the SI Wildcats, one of the biggest surprises in the 32-year history of the
AAA, according to one observer. The Parrots were completely outplayed by SI, led by Gil
Dowd, who scored two touchdowns and ran for 75 yards on the ground. The surprising Wildcats
then went on to defeat Balboa by 7-6 in an exciting title game before 22,000 fans at Kezar.
Balboa lost it with four minutes remaining when Jessie Racines’ potentially tying extra point run
was disallowed because Balboa had twelve men on the field. Balboa’s bad luck in final games

The Examiner’s All-City Team featured Arnold, Willie Holman, Gil Dowd of SI, and Bosquet of
Washington in a six-man backfield. Poly linemen McCarthy and Shields made the first team as
did Balboa’s Niko and Mack Burton. Bob Streltzkoff of Lowell made the second team, as did
Bob Stone and Clarence Carr of Poly, Errol Harris of Balboa, and Ed Rothman of SI. Lowell
fullback Bill Stamos made the third team.

                            1957: POLY 27 LOWELL 0
The seventh annual Prep Pageant, played at Kezar before 15,000 fans, proved that predictions for
the 1957 AAA season were correct: Balboa, Poly and St. Ignatius would all have powerful teams
and would fight for the title. Washington and Lowell dominated the awards competition.
Lowell’s students won the rooting section award and its football team, along with Galileo, was
the winner of the team spirit trophy. As was the case in 1956, the two private schools sold the
most student tickets.

The year saw several movies made in San Francisco, including “Pal Joey”, “Escape from San
Quentin”, and “Kiss Them for Me”.

The Poly-Lowell annual clash again opened the AAA season. Lowell had played two mini-
games in the Pageant, beating Mission by 6-0 and losing to Lincoln on yardage gained. Poly had
defeated Washington by 6-0. In the regular season annual game, the Parrots scored quickly and
then coasted to a 27-0 victory, their sixteenth in a row in the series. They scored all 27 points in
the first half as they out gained the Indians by 310 yards to a minus 7 yards on the ground;
Lowell did pick up 107 yards in the air. A second stringer, Dawson, led Poly on the ground,
racking up 101 yards. It took the Parrots only 3 1/2 minutes to open the scoring when halfback
Frank Lipkins tallied on an eight-yard run. Oliver Rogers’ safety, and an 18-yard scoring strike
from returning veteran Dennis Shay to Gene Moore, Lou Sneed’s scoring pass to Dawson, and a
30-yard burst over tackle by little Sammy McGilbery rounded out the Red and Black scoring to
wrap up the game. Coach Axt was particularly proud of the play of tackle Rogers. The passing of

                                               - 91 -
Vance Strange, who passed for 80 yards and the running of returning fullback Bill Stamos
highlighted Lowell’s play.

Lowell finally defeated the Parrots, but it was by the slim margin of 6-0 in the pageant.
Ironically, it was a petition of the Lowell teachers and principal Perino that asked that the
pageant be cancelled for 1959 because it was taking too much time away from academics for the
Lowell players. The two SF teachers’ organizations joined the Lowell teachers in the petition,
which was opposed by several groups including China Lang, who was the co-coordinator of SF
athletics. A committee was formed to study the issue.

The annual Poly-Lowell clash again was scheduled as the opening game for the two schools. The
Parrots were still 5matting from the pageant loss to the Cardinals the week before and easily
defeated their rival by 20-0 as the regular season began. The game was played at Kezar and the
Red and Black resolved the issue quickly by scoring the first time they had the ball. Newcomer
Reggie McCarthy scored the first six-pointer on a one-yard buck from the fullback position after
he had led a long drive as the Poly quarterback. McCarthy then intercepted a Lowell pass and the
Parrots moved again. On the second play John Tolliver, a little scatback, exploded up the middle
and tallied on a long gain; Bob Siefert kicked the two extra points and the score was 14-0. On the
day, Tolliver gained more than 90 yards and was named prep of the week. Still in the second
period, McCarthy scored on a five-yard run and by halftime the score was 20-0.

There was no scoring in the second half. The Parrots out gained the Indians by 243 yards to 40
yards and had twelve first downs to five for the Indians as the Red and White could not move the
ball. Brothers Steve and Stan Rubin, who each gained 35 yards for the Cardinals, were
impressive. Both Axt and Bill Feiling declared after the game that the line play had made the

Lowell continued with its season by losing to Sacred Heart by 20-13 and then to Washington by
25-20. The Red and White offense improved slightly against the Irish, gaining 152 yards, and
scored on a Keith Calden fumble recovery and run of six yards, and a scoring pass from signal
caller Warner to Halldorsan. Lowell made a tremendous comeback from a 25-6 deficit to scare
the Eagles, courtesy of a 45-yard scoring strike from sub quarterback Ray Tyson to end Pat
Murphy, and a 17-yard score by Stan Rubin. Tony Gonzales had given the Indians a 6-0 lead
early on a short run, but the Cardinals didn’t have quite enough. A 13-0 loss to Balboa followed,
and then came a welcome l4-6 victory over the Mission Bears. Trailing most of the game, the
Cardinals, behind the Rubin brothers, rallied in the fourth quarter for their first win of the year.
Stan Rubin scored on a pass from Steve, and Warner scored the clinching touchdown on a short
run. Mission led everywhere but on the scoreboard but the game went into the books as a Red
and White victory.

A fist fight in which both benches emptied to join the melee on the field was the highlight of
Lowell’s easy 21-6 win over Galileo; the Indians were led by a 5even-yard run by Gonzales, a
long pass to Murphy, and a Halldorson pass from Warner. Unfortunately, the season ended with
a loss to SI by 33-7 and a 20-6 defeat at the hands of the Lincoln Mustangs. Gonzales was a big
gainer against the Wildcats and he also scored the only Lowell touchdown against Lincoln; the

                                               - 92 -
season thus ended with two wins and six losses.

Meanwhile, the Parrots were wining, but by smaller margins than in previous years. They barely
snuck by the Eagles 26-24, courtesy of the heroics of 6’ 4”, 210-pound fullback Gary Lewis,
who was playing his first varsity game. Lewis, who played basketball and ran the sprints for the
track team, and who would end up with the 49ers, ran for 150 yards against the Eagles, scored
two touchdowns, including a 44-yarder, and bulled over the goal line for the game winning two
extra points.

The Parrots then had to rally to barely nip Sacred Heart by 13-6 on touchdowns by Lewis and
McCarthy. Lewis ran for 100 yards and Tolliver had 103 yards on the ground to lead the attack.
Mission tied Poly the next week at 6-6, out gaining the Red and Black 168 yards to 127 yards;
the Bears should have won the game easily. Poly tied it in the fourth quarter, recovering a
fumble on the Bears thirteen-yard line. Lewis, who gained 81 yards, moved the ball to the one-
yard line and McCarty bucked it over

A 15-6 win over Galileo was the result of a stingy defense, which held the Lions to only 37 yards
and scored on a safety, and six-point runs by Tolliver and Lewis. Long gainers by Tolliver and
Lewis and two Siefert conversions beat Lincoln; one drive went 81 yards in three plays ---
28-yards by Hiroshi Fukuda, and then 23-yard and 30-yard runs by Lewis. Another close game
ensued, a 9-6 squeaker win over SI.

The Red and Black guaranteed itself a tie for the round robin title with a victory over Balboa by
33-19 in a game witnessed by 4,000 fans at Kezar. Lewis ran wild, scoring three touchdowns and
rushing for 145 yards on the day, and even blocked an extra point. Dennis Bates passed for a
Balboa touchdown and Jerry Mannini ran for one. After the other games finished, the Parrots
were the round robin winners, and they went into the playoffs on an optimistic note, set to play
the defeated Buccaneers again, one week later. Late scores by Tolliver and Lewis wrapped up
the semi-final over Balboa by 27-13.

But the Parrots were shocked in the final, as underdog St. Ignatius rallied and then rolled to a
22-7 win in front of 20,234 fans at Kezar. Gary Lewis broke away for a 78-yard tally early in the
game but the Wildcats defense clamped down and that was all she wrote for the Parrots.
Backfield stars Ron Tocchini, Ron Calcagno, and Mike Doherty led SI. The Wildcats out gained
Poly by more than 100 yards and held the Parrots to only two yards passing. Poly and SI shared
the title, the Parrots having won the regular season title.

Gary Lewis was unanimously elected to the All-City team, joined by Bob Simms, Poly tackle,
and Tolliver. Lowell end Pat Murphy made the second team and the Rubin brothers, who would
be returning next year, were given honorable mention. Lewis led the AAA in rushing by more
than 100 yards, ending up with 7.2-yard average per carry.

                                             - 93 -
                           1959: FINALLY A WIN;
                          THEN DISAPPOINTMENT
                            LOWELL 18 POLY 7
                            POLY 26 LOWELL 19
The 1959 AAA season would be an exciting one, especially for Lowell and Poly. The Cardinals
turned the recent rivalry on its head and within three weeks the Red and Black would turn it
back. Baseball fans shed a tear as Seals Stadium was demolished, as the Giants would move to
Candlestick Park in 1960. There were more visitors than ever with dignitaries from Yugoslavia,
Jordan, the UK, Belgium, the USSR, and Iran.

Poly and Lowell seemed to be the powers again as the AAA season opened. Lewis was returning
for the Parrots, along with QB Bob Burns, brother of Eddie who had quarterbacked the squad
four years before. Mission was seen as the “spoiler” and Lowell, with several veterans back,
including the Rubin twins, and fullback Ron Stratton, was expecting to surprise. Balboa had a
quick backfield of Petrovsky, Harold Kumagai and Dave Loskutoff, the AAA reigning diving
champion, as well as big Walt Firstbrook.

Lowell started off with a 2-0 win in the Pageant and then opened the season beating the
Washington Eagles by 26-14. As would be the case all year, the irrepressible Rubin twins led
Lowell, Steve gaining 102 yards and brother Stan 94 yards. Steve tallied on a 56-yarder and
threw for 36 yards to Keith Calden, while George Warner reached the end zone twice. Although
they lost to SI by 13-12 the next week on an SI last minute scoring pass while Stan Rubin gained
92 yards, the Cardinals bounced back to defeat Balboa by 20-0 and Mission by 13-7, and Lowell
fans and alumni knew 1959 would be different.

All came up “sevens” against the Buccaneers with Steve Rubin and Stratton each scoring on
seven-yard runs and Bill Carter catching a 14-yard pass in the end zone. Steve Rubin’s 24-yard
pass catch from Joe Alvarez was the winner against the Bears, and Alvarez scored the other six-
pointer, and Lowell was among the AAA’s leaders in the standings at three wins and one loss.

Lowell’s success continued with convincing wins over Lincoln by 15-0, then a 37-6 trouncing of
SH, and a romp over Galileo by 26-6. There were many heroes. A tremendous defense, led by
Stratton, who was named prep player of the week, held the Mustangs to only 44 yards, allowing
their All-City back Denny Lewis and Bill Litchfield only three yards and eight yards
respectively. The 150-pound Rubin twins both starred offensively and also played their best
defensive games. Steve scored on a seven-yard run and Bill Starks ran in from the 35-yard line.
The Irish were beaten with Steve Rubin gaining 126 yards and scoring twice on 40-yard and 53-
yard scampers; Stan gained 68 yards and tallied on 47-yard and nine-yard runs to leave no
question of Lowell’s offensive power. Bob Samuels kicked five extra points.

The Cardinals broke open a close game against the Lions in the fourth quarter on long scores by
Stan Rubin and reserve fullback Bill Starks. Stan gained 62 yards on the day and had scored

                                             - 94 -
earlier. Samuels and Calden had two of the Indians’ three key interceptions, and Lowell was in
second place with six wins and one loss, and awaiting the Red and Black.

The Parrots began their season with an impressive win in the Pageant over Washington and then
got down to business with a 14-6 win over Balboa, led by two scores by Curtis Jones. Lewis ran
for an extra point and rushed for 75 yards. With Gary Lewis on the bench, the rest of Poly’s
backfield scored at will against the Galileo Lions: Jones on a 62-yard run; Orville Thomas from
the 32-yard line; Rommie Ruelos for 11 yards; and two scoring strikes from Burns to Larry
Sanchez and Tom Piggee.

Hopes for a perfect season were shattered when Lincoln shut out the Parrots by 20-0, the
Mustangs’ first win ever over Poly, but they bounced back for big wins over Washington by
46-19, Sacred Heart by 33-6, and Mission by 26-6. Lewis tallied twice against the Eagles, while
Piggee went over three times, and the Irish bore the brunt of Lewis and Jones, who scored four
times between them while Piggee added a 93-yard punt return. Poly beat the Bears despite more
than 100 yards in penalties and a 6-0 deficit, as three swift Parrots all gained more than 90 yards:
Lewis rang up 99 yards, Piggee 97 yards, and Jones checked in with 92 yards. The Parrots were
beaten badly by SI by 39-13 as quarterback Ron Calgagno threw three touchdown strikes, but
they still had five wins and two losses, and were ready for a real showdown with Lowell.

There was great interest in the annual match, interest generated by the great Lowell resurgence.
They actually were ahead of Poly in the standings, having won one more game, and the
Cardinals alumni were stirring. Poly alumni of course had a special dislike for losing to Lowell,
although they had not seen a loss in fifteen years. The teams were contrasting: Poly with big,
speedy backs led by Lewis, and Lowell with the two tiny Rubin twins. About 7,500 fans showed
up at Kezar to see the Lowell defense “garrot” Poly’s offense and win by 18-7, their first win
since 1943. Lowell claimed second place in the AAA behind SI while the Parrots slipped to

Lowell scored first on the third play of the game on an Alvarez pass to Carter to the one-yard
line and a Steve Rubin dive into paydirt. The pass to Carter followed a 59-yarder to Steve Rubin.
The defense then held the Parrots four times within the one-yard line, and didn’t let Poly taste
the end zone until the last play of the game with the Indians comfortably ensconced in an 18-0
lead. Alvarez scored on a one-yard sneak, and Starks on an eight-yard run. For the Red and
Black, Lewis tallied on a 53-yard pass reception from Rommie Ruelos. The Cardinals out gained
the Parrots by 232 yards to 140 yards and held Lewis to only forty yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Alvarez was passing for 102 yards and the Indians were into the semi-finals against
Lincoln; on the other hand, Poly had lost three games for the first time in many years but was
still in the playoffs.

The Parrots roared back to beat SI in the semi-final game by 36-6 in a tremendous upset; Lewis
gained 113 yards on the ground and scored three times (and was named Prep of the week), and
Piggee ran back a punt for 60 yards. Poly completely outplayed the round robin winning
Wildcats and marched into the final against the Lowell-Lincoln game winner. The Indians did
not disappoint, beating the Mustangs by 13-0 to set up a Poly-Lowell Turkey Day Championship

                                               - 95 -
game, just like the old days. It was the Cardinals defense again, which held Lincoln to 133 yards,
and the Indians found enough offense to tally on passes from Alvarez to Carter for 25 yards and
11 yards to Jere Driscoll.

So, all was ready for Thanksgiving Day 1959. Lowell had won two more games than Poly, had
finished second in the regular season, and Axt’s boys had lost an amazing total of three games.
Lowell had won three weeks earlier by 18-7, and seemed to be the favorite. Of course all would
depend upon the Rubin twins, while Poly marched out its stable of backs led by Gary Lewis.
Lowell had the better of the two lines. When they finally kicked off before 19,000 at Kezar
Stadium on Turkey Day, expectations were high for a thriller, and Lowell fans tasted a title.
Alas, all was not well for the Indians, as Poly pulled off an amazing two game comeback and
defeated the Red and White by 26-19 in a thrilling title game to claim half the AAA title, sharing
it with SI.

Gary Lewis’ three touchdowns paced the Parrots, his first one on one-yard plunge in the first
period, getting the Parrots off on the right foot. Lowell came back in period two on a brilliant
jump pass from Alvarez to Driscoll from the four-yard line and then took the lead with two
minutes left in the first half on a miraculous pass-lateral-run play for 30 yards from Alvarez to
Driscoll to Steve Rubin. Lowell was up by 12-6 but before the halftime whistle, Tom Piggee
took the Lowell kickoff back 89 yards for a 13-12 lead. Dominance and control had gone back
and forth the whole half.

Lowell opened the second half by driving deep into Red and Black territory but couldn’t score;
they gave up the ball and Poly wasted no time in marching back downfield for a Lewis score.
Then came the break that changed the game. Driscoll fumbled and Ruelos recovered on his own
36-yard line; the Parrots then marched 64 yards, with the backs eating up huge chunks of
territory, and with Lewis again capping off the drive. Lowell scored on another amazing play in
the fourth quarter on an Alvarez pass to Carter on the Poly 30; Carter promptly lateraled the ball
to speedy Stan Rubin who took it all the way to make the score 26-19 score, but it was too little,
too late. Axt and his parrots had one of their greatest victories. Heroes were too numerous to
name but many gave most of the credit for the win to Poly’s previously inexperienced front line.

An expanded All-City team was led by Gary Lewis and the Rubin twins. Ron Calcagno of SI and
Lewis of Lincoln were also in the backfield, while Ron Stratton of Lowell was on the first string
as a utility player. Lowell tackle Leigh Callaway was selected to the first string, while guard
Dave Urrea was on the second team. Other Poly players selected were center Alex Dames, Bob
Burns, and Tom Piggee. Loskutoff, the AAA diving champ, adjusted well to football, scoring the
winning tally in Balboa’s 8-0 win over Galileo, and running up almost 50 yards on the ground
against Lowell and Galileo.

So, after all the 1959 excitement and with the expiration of the fabulous fifties, Poly led the
ancient series by thirty victories to eighteen for the Indians, with three ties. The scoring margin
was 748 points to 422 points in favor of the Red and Black.

                                              - 96 -
                           POLY-LOWELL GAME STATISTICS
                              1959 AAA CHAMPIONSHIP
                            THANKSGIVING DAY – NOV. 26
             POLY 26                                                    LOWELL 19
  Statistics     Poly          Low        Rushing                         Passing
                                            Poly                           Poly
  1st Downs          17          11        Lewis             24-113        Burns          5-3-100
 Net Rushing        231          96        Jones              7-75
 Net Passing        100         139        Piggee             6-42          Lowell
  Tot. Yards        331         235        Burns             5-(-11)       Alvarez        20-6-105
  Complete           3           8        Thomas              1-12           Clark          1-1-0
    Yards           100         139                                       Stan Rubin       1-1-34
   Fumbles           3           4         Lowell
 Yards Pen.          55          20      Steve Rubin           9-24
                                         Stan Rubin            8-57
                                           Alvarez             5-17
                                            Starks             3-1

                              POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                      GARY LEWIS
                      Great Poly back; also starred track, basketball;
                      All-City 1958-59; in ’58 had 3 TDs vs. Bal; 2
                      vs. Wash; led AAA in rushing/ 7.2 ave … had 3
                      games more than 100 yds. In ’59 scored 3 TDs
                      vs. SI in playoff, and 3 times vs. Lowell; three
                      scores vs. SH, Wash … later went on to
                      Arizona State and 49ers; 108 points in NFL

                              LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                                      THE RUBIN TWINS

STEVE:                                             STAN:
Lowell halfback ’58-’59. 1958 HM All-City.         Twin Lowell HB ’58-’59. 1958 HM All-City.
In ’59 ran, threw TDs vs. Wash, 102 yds;           Scored TDs vs. Wash, Mission … in ’59, over
TDs vs. Bal, Miss., SH … 2 TDs vs. SH, 126         90 yards vs. Wash, SI … 2 TD runs vs. SH
Yds. TD run vs. Poly … TD run vs. Poly in          (47,9) … 2 TDs vs. Galileo starred vs. Poly in
Final … All-City … also played baseball (ss)       Final … All-City … played baseball (2B) …
# 24                                               # 45

                                               - 97 -
                       THE 1960’s: LOWELL REIGNS;
                             THE END NEARS

                          1960: POLY 21 LOWELL 13
The 1960’s began with a letdown for both Poly and Lowell. After the exciting 1959 heroics, both
schools began the 1960 season with weaknesses. The prognosticators saw it this way: “Poly
Moans But With Reason”; “Balboa Has Mankiller, But Only One”; “Lowell Weaker But Still
Tough” and “SI Heavy Title Pick”.
There were riots at the City Hall over the Red Hearings protest. The next day there was a peace
march. The Zellerback Building was dedicated and the Brundage Collection of Oriental Art
opened in Golden Gate Park.

Lowell got off to a slow start, losing to Sacred Heart, the Irish capitalizing on several Indian
fumbles. The Red and White scored early on a 77-yard run by Jim Cofer, who took a pitchout
from the returning star Alvarez. Al Newman scored the other points on a 13-yard run. The
Cardinals came back to defeat the Balboa Buccaneers by 20-12 on Alvarez’ amazing play
throughout the game: he threw touchdown strikes to Newman and Cofer and scored on a two-
yard run as he totaled 148 yards passing. But, Washington downed the Cardinals by 7-6 the next
week and Poly came up next on the schedule.

The Parrots started off with three straight wins, beating SI by 13-9, defeating Galileo by a 20-13
margin, and finally routing Balboa by 34-12. Burns was responsible for the win over the
Wildcats, completing nine of eleven passes including the game winner to Rich Kell with only ten
minutes remaining. Poly outgained the Lions by more than 150 yards and was sparked by three
interceptions by Ruelos deep in his own territory; still it had to hold on at the end against the
stubborn Lions. Ruelos also gained 103 yards on the ground, while future major league baseball
player Walter Williams, later known as “no neck” led Galileo. He scored twice and racked up 75
yards. The Parrots smothered Balboa with Ruelos scoring three times, despite great
performances by Balboa’s Vince Tufo and Domingo Rosa, whom each gained more than 100
yards on the ground.

Poly was undefeated and favored to beat Lowell, which came into the game with one win and
two losses. Before only 3,500 fans (there were 19,000 a year ago for the title game), the Parrots
defeated the Indians by 21-13. Poly won the statistical battle by a large margin, out gaining the
Red and White by 43l yards to 208 yards, and making nineteen first downs to eight for the Tribe.
But, the Parrots had to hang tough against two Lowell scores in the fourth period before they
could leave the field as the victors.

The Red and Black scored quickly on a Ruelos 16-yard run behind a block by 252-pound Bill
Lawson; they added another score on a freak pass from Burns to King from the ten-yard line
which bounced out of King’s hands into the paws of Kell in the end zone. Henry Nawahine’s

                                              - 98 -
28-yard tally in the last period made it 21-0, and then the Indians got going. Sophomore Tim
McAteer ran back an interception, streaking down the sideline for 81 yards with four minutes to
go to bring the crowd back into the game. Moments later, McAteer, who would become a great
Lowell hero, did it again, catching an Alvarez pass for 70 yards to bring the ball to the Poly four
yard line, from where Alvarez scored to make it 21-13. Then the time ran out. The game was a
real downer compared to the 1959 final.

Lowell finished its season by losing three out of four games, beating only the Mustangs by 31-
14, to end 1960 with two wins and six losses. End Bill Carter and McAteer each scored twice
against the Mustangs, and Alvarez threw for 180 yards to lead the Cardinals to their victory.
Newman made the only points in the 27-6 “manhandling” by the suddenly reinvigorated Lions,
and Mission turned two long interceptions into their 27-19 win in spite of tremendous passing by
Alvarez, who hit on eight completions for three scores, two of them to Carter and one to
McAteer. SI “thumped” the Red and White in the season finale by 20-6 in which the Indians
were able to gain only eight yards on the ground. But, St. Ignatius was going on to the title game.

Poly’s season went downhill immediately after the big win over Lowell, losing an unheard of
four games in a row to finish at four wins and four losses, and out of the playoffs for the first
time in many years. They lost successive games to Mission, Washington, Sacred Heart and
Lincoln in which they scored only six touchdowns in four games, and the opponents racked up
109 points against the suddenly hapless Parrots. There were some highlights and some lowlights:
Ruelos ran for 83 yards against the Bears who beat Poly for only the second time since 1936; the
Eagles win was their first over Poly since 1938 after seventeen straight losses, although Thomas
gained 94 yards; the loss to the Irish knocked Poly out of the playoffs as only Burns seemed to
play well against Sacred Heart; and finally Nawahine scored on a 23-yard run as the Mustangs
went to the air for 312 yards to stun the reeling Parrots.

The final regular season statistics showed Ruelos finished fifth in the rushing standings with 471
yards, and Burns was the third ranked passer, while Walt Williams won the scoring title with 75

In a changed format, the AAA did not have semi-finals but went directly to a final, title game.
More than 22,500 fans watched Washington come alive in the second half to defeat a favored SI
Wildcat team by 27-13. The Eagles and the Wildcats thus shared the title in 1960. The format
change, incidentally, was opposed by many, but resulted from a desire to shorten the season.

Joe Alvarez of Lowell led the All-City team, and deservedly so. He had passed for 747 yards and
nine scores. Tackle Dave Urrea and Guard Roger Byers of Poly joined him on the first team,
with Poly center Art Mariani, Burns, and Ruelos on the second team. McAteer, Newman, and
Carter made honorable mention for the Cardinals. Walter Williams and Ristow of Galileo also
made the All-City teams.

Poly’s only consolation after the bad year was its now even more commanding 31-18 lead over
Lowell in victories, backed up by a 769-435 margin in scoring.

                                              - 99 -
                           1961: LOWELL 13 POLY 7
                          CARDINALS ARE CHAMPS

There was one huge change as the 1961 season started: Milt Axt would not be coaching the Poly
Parrots. He suffered a heart attack on Labor Day just before the season started and Pete McPhail
would be leading the Red and Black, the first new Poly coach since 1948. Axt had coached the
Parrots for sixteen years in total, winning 117 games losing only twenty, and winning eight titles.
Poly had some veterans returning, but from a poor season. SI looked strong again and Lowell
fans were optimistic, depending greatly on halfback Tim McAteer.

Both a peace rally and a family prayer rally were held in Golden Gate Park. And, both the Helen
Wills Moody Playground and the new Hall of Justice were dedicated. Margaret Dubrow, a great
international synchronized swimming champion, graduated from Lowell; she had been a
teammate of another Lowell grad, Karen Eagan Pastorino, who received her diploma in 1959.

Poly began its season as though nothing had changed in the football world, defeating
Washington by 27-13, rallying from a two-touchdown deficit in the second quarter. Henry
Nawahine led the win with twenty points on three touchdowns, including two scoring pass
receptions from Tom Martinez, and two extra points. Nawahine also led the Parrots to a close
12-6 victory over Balboa, scoring once and running for 61 yards. The Red and Black then ran its
record to three straight wins the next week with an easy 19-0 win over Mission, Martinez
running for one score and passing to Eddie Johnson and Henry King for two others. A strong SI
team then gave the Red and Black their first defeat by 20-6, as Poly tired at the end, and, in spite
of a Martinez touchdown, couldn’t hold off two Wildcat scores in the fourth period, one by
Tocchini. A 20-7 victory over Lincoln’s Mustangs set the stage for the Big Game.

Meanwhile, a somewhat under-rated Lowell team was off and running, leading the AAA The        .

Indians topped Balboa in their opener by 13-0 as big Ervin Cobbs and little 145-pounder Al
Newman supplied the running game, and Milt Franke provided the passing. Cobbs gained 116
yards on the ground and Newman tallied the two scores. The Red and White next allowed only
thirteen yards to Washington and beat the hapless Eagles by 23-0, with little Newman tallying on
runs of 40 yards and 33 yards, while racking up a total of 155 yards on the ground. McAteer
gained 97 yards and Cobbs 65 more.

The next week’s headline read, “Lowell Rolls On, 13-0”, as they defeated Galileo to reach three
straight wins; Newman and McAteer scored as the game was shown on KGO Channel 7 the next
day. A 7-0 shutout of Sacred Heart gave the Indians four shutouts in four weeks, while they had
scored 56 points of their own. The fifth straight whitewashing came the next week with a 28-0
win over the Mission Bears. Lowell was really rolling, still leading the AAA. Jeff Davis’s short
run was the margin of victory over the rugged Irish in a defensive battle in which SH out gained
the Red and White by 101 yards to 100 yards, a sign of the two tough defenses. Two scores by
Cobbs and a McAteer passing strike to Newman beat the Bears.

                                              - 100 -
While the reporters were complementing the great job McPhail had done on such short notice in
bringing Poly into the Big Game with four wins and only one loss, the Red and White were
clearly favored, being unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon in five contests. The Cardinals lived
up to their reputation by winning by 13-7; even though they surrendered their first points of the
season. Lowell stopped a long Poly drive in the last minutes to preserve the victory. The Tribe
scored the first time they had the ball, shades of what the Parrots often did in the Classic Game.
Newman scored on an eight-yard run, aided by a great block by tackle Ted Nordland. Poly came
right back with a brilliant play to take the lead: with fourth and fourteen yards to go on the
Lowell 38-yard line, Martinez faded back and connected with Nawahine on a short screen pass
and the Hawaiian speedster took it all he way. Martinez booted the extra point.

The turning point of the game, according to McPhail, took place when Clarence Diggles,
intercepted a Lowell pass on the Indian twenty-yard line, but fumbled the ball right back to the
Cardinals. Jeff Davis scored in the second period on a quarterback sneak for the winning score to
put the Big Game in the Lowell column, and there was no scoring in the second half, as both
defenses rose to the occasion. Lowell out gained Poly by 267 yards to 157 yards; Newman and
Cobbs led the ground attack, and Franke completed three of seven passes for 76 yards, including
one key throw to McAteer for 25 yards on the winning second period drive. Lowell continued to
march on.

The Poly season ended on a down note, as the Parrots lost to both Galileo by 26-20 and to Sacred
Heart by 25-12, leveling their record at four wins and four defeats and being eliminated once
again from the playoffs. On the other hand, Lowell went on to win the round robin title, their
first since 1952, with seven wins and one loss. They lost only to SI by 12-6, but then finished
with a big 28-0 win over Lincoln and its star back Pat Lewis, the third of the Mustangs’ Lewis

The SI loss was a heartbreaker as the Wildcats scored their twelve points in the final quarter,
taking advantage of two breaks. Lowell had taken an early lead on a Newman to Cobbs seven-
yard passing play, but couldn’t hold on, principally because of two fumbles deep in their own

But they recovered quickly to win the round robin title, trouncing the Lincoln Mustangs by 28-0,
behind a fired-up defense and a smooth offensive machine before 5,000 fans at Kezar. The
spectators included Governor Brown, a Lowell alumnus. The sixth shutout of the year was
accomplished as Lowell held Lincoln to 75 yards all day and remarkably to only one play in the
first quarter. Gary Rosenblatt scored from the one-yard line to begin the rout; Newman scored
the second six-pointer on a run from the three-yard line; a Franke to McAteer 35-yard pass
accounted for the third tally, and Franke finished the scoring with an eight-yard scamper. Gary
Shemano kicked all four conversions. The Cardinals were on to the championship game.

Turkey Day saw the Indians out for revenge, having lost their only game of the year to their
Thanksgiving Day opponents, St. Ignatius, by 12-6. The Cardinals seemed a slight favorite
although one reporter called it dead even. The Red and White however, went out and won it, and
Tim McAteer became an all-time Lowell hero in the 7-0 victory:

                                             - 101 -
              ‘Lowell Wins City Grid Title. McAteer’s Pass Theft Edges SI’
                  “Tim McAteer made a leaping interception and raced
                  it back 35 yards midway through the final period to
                  give Lowell a 7-0 victory over St. Ignatius and the
                  uncontested AAA football title, before 22,500 fans at
                  Kezar yesterday.”

The above newspaper report summed up the victory. It was the Cardinal’s first title since 1942;
Feiling called it his “biggest moment”, and admitted he was worried the whole game, but
especially in the last minute when Lowell’s other great hero appeared on the scene. Captain Ted
Nordland, unquestionably the City’s best lineman, saved the game and the title when the
Wildcats reached the Lowell 25-yard line with a 50-yard pass from Martin to Steve Lovette. The
190-pound Nordland then personally stopped SI on three straight plays for a cumulative one-
yard loss, but Tocchini got a first down on the 14-yard line to keep the potential winning drive
going. With less than a minute to play and the ball on the nine yard line, Martin tried a pass.
Nordland, rushing hard, batted the ball in the air, and then caught it falling down for the
interception, killing the Wildcats’ last hope to tie the game.

Lowell stalled out the rest of the game. SI won the statistical battle, out gaining the Champs by
167 yards to 38 yards, and held the Indians to a minus 29 yards on the ground, at least partially
because Cobbs was injured. But it was the scoreboard that counted and it read: LOWELL 7

Ted Nordland and Dennis Rice of Sacred Heart, the AAA’s leading ground gainer, led the All-
City team. Pat Lewis of Lincoln, and Lowell stars Newman and Cobbs, were on the first team,
joined by Tom Martinez of Poly, who had led the AAA in passing with 55 completions, 916
passing yards, and nine scoring passes; in fact, Martinez had a hand in 104 of Poly’s total 130
points. Newman had 557 yards and 54 points. McAteer, Williams of Galileo, and the speedy
Nawahine were on the second team, along with SH quarterback Al Gianquinto.

                               POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                    COACH MILT AXT
                          Legendary Poly football, baseball coach in
                          1942-44, 1948-60; won 8 AAA titles with
                          117-20-3 record for regular season and
                          playoffs. Beat Lowell 14 out of 17 games,
                          outscoring them 423 to 160 points; played
                          football (QB) for Poly 1923-24; also
                          played for Santa Clara. Later worked for

                                             - 102 -
                          1962: LOWELL 20 POLY 0

The defending Champion Lowell Cardinals returned lots of talent under first year coach Bill
Holland, and were among the favorites for the 1962 season. SI was a co-favorite under coach
Vince Tringali and junior QB Ray Calcagno, brother of former All-City star Ron. Mission
promised to be only “so-so”, Galileo had nothing, Balboa “not much”, and the Parrots not even

Stage producer/director Steve Silver, perhaps best known for the long-running production of
Beach Blanket Babylon, graduated from Lowell in 1962. Famous people came to the City,
including President John F. Kennedy, and championship boxers, but several others wanted to
leave. Four prisoners reportedly escaped from Alcatraz and both Marin and San Mateo counties
pulled out of the BART transportation project. Coincidentally, the famous film “Birdman of
Alcatraz” was filmed in the City.

The predictions for Poly’s demise were accurate; the Parrots’ season started badly with a 13-6
loss to SH and ended even worse with a loss by 21-0 to Balboa, for an overall record of one win
and seven losses for seventh place in the AAA. Poly controlled the SH game for forty minutes,
scoring on a three-yard run by Ron Williams, but could not hold on. They next lost to SI by 26-
0, when they could suit up only 28 men, and to Washington by 14-13, before getting their only
win of the season, a 19-7 thriller over Galileo. Williams and Dennis Sullivan scored against the
Eagles, while Sullivan tallied on a 46-yard interception return and Henry King and Thomas
scored on short runs to defeat the Lions, the high point of the Parrot’s season.

Meanwhile, Lowell was acting like defending champs, getting past Washington, Sacred Heart,
Mission, and Balboa in succession, after slipping in the opener when Mickey Crane, a 160-
pound Lincoln halfback, ran wild, scoring touchdowns of 66 yards, 65 yards, and 93 yards to
down the Cardinals. Lowell got untracked the next week with a 24-19 win over Washington,
sparked by Lowell hero Tim McAteer, who scored three tallies, while catching eight passes from
Bob Lee, the future NFL star quarterback. Lou Kirtman also scored, on a six-yard run, and Lee
hit 11 of 19 passes for 133 yards. The Irish fell next by 26-20 as Kirtman scored the game-
winner with 1:58 remaining on a seven-yard run. Lee passed for 169 yards, McAteer gained 84
yards on the ground, and Kirtman also tallied on a 26-yard run.

Lee’s 153 yards passing and touchdown strikes to Viguie and McAteer, as well as his own
one-yard tally, highlighted the win over Mission, despite a 74-yard run and 139 total rushing
yards by the Bears’ Mitchell. Balboa went down easily, to the arm of Lee, who passed for 176
yards and scores, to Kirtman, McAteer, and Breaux. The Poly Parrots were next on the Cardinals

For the first time in many years, everyone knew the Parrots were being led to the slaughter, and
Lowell, a heavy favorite, happily wielded the axe, defeating the Parrots by 20-0 in a game they
totally dominated. Lowell had lots of heroes on this day in Kezar, as they switched from their

                                            - 103 -
potent passing attack to a running offense backed up by the normal tough defense. Their stars
included Tom Pasanisi, George Benatotoea, and Geoffrey Homolya, who were outstanding
linemen, leading Lowell’s impregnable defense. The offense, which gained 220 yards on the
ground, was headed by McAteer, who scored twice on runs of 5 yards and 1 yard, gaining 73
yards on the day, in addition to playing sterling defense. Kirtman, who ran for 60 yards, and the
General, Bob Lee, who had an easy day, directing the attack and passing for 48 yards, aided Tim
McAteer. As he had for the past two years, Gary Shemano took care of the placekicking.

Poly only really penetrated Lowell territory twice, and after running up 102 yards in total offense
in the first half, was shut down completely during the second thirty minutes, ending up with a
minus 32 yards. Part of Poly’s dismal offense was caused by an injury to King. But, all in all, it
was an impressive performance by the Red and White.

The Red and Black’s season ended with more losses, although King, a defensive end was all-
everything in the 26-6 loss to Lincoln. He scored the only touchdown, was a one-man show on
defense making many tackles, and passed for 104 yards. The 6’5” King was also a basketball
player. But, Crane and company were too much for the Parrots. King threw two touchdown
passes and 116 yards in a 40-27 whipping administered by Mission. A 21-0 shutout by Balboa
ended Poly’s misery.

                             LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                                    TIM McATEER
                       An all-time Lowell hero; triple-threat at
                       halfback … as soph in 1960, scored 2 TDs
                       vs. Lincoln. Returned int. 81 yds. Vs.
                       Poly. HM All-City; 1961 2nd All-City as
                       he went down in Cardinals history,
                       snatching pass in 4th quarter of title game,
                       running it back for TD and AAA title vs.
                       SI. Also scored and passed for TDs vs.
                       Galileo, Miss., and Lincoln. All-City in
                       1962 with 48 points, 366 yards gains;
                       scored 3 TDs vs. Wash. 2 scoring runs vs.
                       Poly … TDs vs. Mission, Balboa … Went
                       on to UCLA.

Lowell followed the win over Poly by marching on to the title game. They improved their record
to six wins and one loss with a rousing 34-0 shutout of Galileo. The script hadn’t changed: Lee
threw for 197 yards, completing ten of eleven passes, four of them for six-pointers. Reeves
Moses was on the receiving end of two strikes, McAteer caught one, as did Breaux. Shemano
had four more extra points. The regular season ended with a close loss to SI, by 19-13 on
outstanding games by SI’s Kennedy, who intercepted two passes and scored on a 51-yard run,
and the quarterbacking of Calcagno. Lee threw to Kirtman for 76 yards, and McAteer hit Moses
for a 40-yard scoring strike for the Tribe.

                                              - 104 -
All this led to a rematch of 1961’s Thanksgiving Day thriller the SI Wildcats versus the Lowell
Cardinals. More than 16,000 filled Kezar for the Title Game, pitting the round robin winning
Wildcats with their eight straight wins against the second place Indians, who has six wins and
two losses. The Wildcats finished their first undefeated year in their history with a thrilling 7-6
Thanksgiving Day victory, the result of a stiff defense and Calcagno’s extra point.

SI kept constant pressure on Lee, thus stalling the famous Indians offensive machine, limiting
him to seven completions and only 67 yards. He did pass to Breaux for a three-yard score, but
Shemano missed the extra point when he had to run for the end zone after a high snap from
center prevented him from getting the kick off. McAteer was also stopped, gaining only 26 yards
on the ground. Kennedy was the big star for the Wildcats, gaining 117 yards on 26 carries and
scoring the game winner on a two-yard run. Overall, SI out gained Lowell by 217 yards to only
97 yards, on a day in which it was not meant to be for Lowell.

The All-City team was headed by everyone’s all star, Bob Lee, along with Kennedy, McAteer,
and Crane. Homolya of Lowell and tackle Jim Peters of Poly were on the second team, while
King and Sullivan made honorable mention.

Bob Lee was the City’s statistical champion, passing for 1,081 yards and 15 touchdowns, while
King of Poly had 409 yards. Kennedy led the AAA in rushing with 907 yards and finished
second with 72 points; Bradford of Mission led in scoring with 85 points and was second in
rushing with 782 yards; Crane had 72 points and 697 yards. McAteer had eight touchdowns and
forty-eight points along with 366 yards rushing, while Sullivan of Poly was among the rushing
leaders with 376 yards gained.

Lowell did not win it all, but had the satisfaction in closing the margin with Poly in wins and
scoring. The Cardinals now had twenty wins against Poly’s thirty-one wins, and had upped its
point total to 468 points, cutting 26 points off the margin over the last two years.

                              LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                              BOB “THE GENERAL” LEE
                    Lowell QB 1961-62.. .fantastic 1962 season, leading
                    AAA in passing with 1,081 yds/15 TDs.. .All-City

                    ...4 TD passes vs, Gal1197 yds; 3 TDs vs.Bal1176
                    yds; 2 TDs vs. Mission; 11 for 19 passes vs. Wash.
                    Went on to UOP.. .played 12 years in NFL with
                    Minnesota, and Atlanta, including. Super Bowl XI.

                          1963: POLY 26 LOWELL 13

                                              - 105 -
Lowell’s Bill Feiling was optimistic for the 1953 season, with Lou Kirtman returning. Galileo
was depending on a hotshot new running back, O.J. Simpson. Lincoln appeared to be loaded, led
by sophomore quarterback, Mike Holmgren. And, Coach Warren Johnston at Poly had a
recuperating Milt Axt back as an advisor.

Benny Bufano’s statue of St. Francis was moved a second time, this time back to SF to a site
near Fishermen’s Wharf. Close-by, the Hyde Street Pier reopened as a historical park; the last SF
Burlesque House shut down; and the old, venerable Fox Theater was torn down, to make way for
housing and office space on Market Street.

The year got off badly for both schools. Lowell lost its opener by 6-0 to Sacred Heart and then
lost to Washington by 26-0. They came back the next week to defeat Balboa by 25-14 with
Kirtman running for 123 yards and scores of 26 yards and 9 yards. The Indians scored in every
quarter and had the game clearly under control. A 14-0 shutout win followed over the Mission
Bears on a 54-yard run by Kirtman and a one-yard tally by Don Cooper. A big win, by 33-14
over the Lions, put Lowell at three wins and two losses and in the running for the playoffs. The
Cardinals were led by Kirtman again, with two long scoring runs; he got help from guard Taylor
who returned an interception for 58 yards, and four gifts from Galileo which resulted in four
scores. Now, Lowell with a winning record was awaiting the Parrots.

The Parrots also got off to a very slow start, losing their first two, the first on a shutout to
Lincoln, and then a trouncing by SI by 46-12. Returning Mustang halfback Crane killed the Red
and Black with two touchdowns, while Alston gained 118 yards. A 36-yard touchdown run by
Dennis Sullivan was just about the only highlight against the Wildcats, who were led by
Calcagno with two scoring passes on eight for ten passing for 241 yards. The Parrots began to
turn the season around with a 26-0 blanking of Balboa. Sullivan ran for two short scores, Willie
Hankston gained 105 yards on the ground, and Fred Loville gained another 73 yards. Another
shutout followed: a 27-0 victory over Mission, and many said Poly was beginning to look like
the Parrots of old. Sullivan had two more scores, and lineman/linebacker Mike Flemons starred
in halting the Bears. Now even at two wins and two looses, Poly lost a heartbreaker to Sacred
Heart by 14-7 but rallied again to defeat the Galileo Lions by 18-12. Dennis Sullivan scored
touchdowns in both games, and Corbett threw a touchdown strike to Moss for 42 yards to wrap
up the win against Galileo. The Parrot defense held Simpson to only 35 yards.

So Lowell and Poly entered their showdown game, wanting as always to beat their rivals, but
both also needed win to make the playoffs. The fired-up Parrots came back from an early 6-0
deficit to take the lead and then held on for the victory in a wide-open offensive game for a 26-
13 win at Kezar. Bill Jamison hit paydirt for the Indians after Lowell recovered a Poly fumble,
and then the Parrots got their offense in high gear, finally winning the yardage battle by 278
yards to 236 yards.

Before the first period ended, a Willie Hankston 24-yard run, and a spectacular one handed
interception and 56-yard scoring run by Steve Nawahine gave the Parrots the 13-6 lead. Don
Cooper tied the game for the Indians on a seven-yard run but then the game became all Red and
Black. They scored once more in the second period to take a 20-13 lead into the intermission on

                                             - 106 -
a 6-yard run by Hankston, and then wrapped up the game in the third period on Dennis
Sullivan’s 41-yard run. Coach Johnston then turned the game over to the defense, which stopped
the Cardinals cold in the second half. Sullivan gained 109 yards on the day while Corbett
contributed 84 passing yards.

With both Poly and Lowell now with four wins and three losses, the battle for the playoffs was a
confused mess, with Lincoln also in the mix. The Parrots couldn’t do it, losing to the Washington
Eagles by 7-0, despite a brilliant performance by Flemons, and a touchdown nullified by a
penalty. Sullivan and Hankston ran well but the Parrots were going home for the year. Lowell
then went home with them, losing a one-sided affair to SI by 27-6, as the Wildcats wrapped up
their third consecutive round robin title.

Washington and defending champ SI got to the Thanksgiving game by scoring easy wins in the
playoffs. Calcagno had a big day for the Wildcats, throwing two touchdown passes and besting
Holmgren, the Mustang’s budding star. The SI quarterback was now hot, and he led the Wildcats
to an easy 21-0 shutout in the title game before 8,000 fans at Kezar. He ran for one score, threw
for another, and scored all three extra points. Clearly he was the AAA back of the year.

Seven SI Wildcats topped the All-City team: five linemen, including end Don Wood, lineman of
the year Jim Deschler, guard Greg Kolar, and center Bob Unruh, along with Calcagno, and Bill
Johnston. Flemons of Poly also made the first team. Reeves Moses and Don Cooper of Lowell
and Poly’s Dennis Sullivan were on the second team. Bob Giddings and Lou Kirtman were
honorable mention All-City. Calcagno was far and away the statistical leader in passing, while
SI’s Johnston led in rushing by a small margin over Sullivan, Crane, and Alston. Alston led in
scoring while Sullivan finished with 48 points, Cooper had 37 points, and Kirtman had 30 points
on five touchdowns.

                           1964: POLY 12 LOWELL 7
The 1964 season welcomed a new member of the AAA: Wilson High School joined the varsity
competition after having lost only one game in 1963 against its junior varsity rivals. Lincoln and
Washington seemed to be consensus favorites as the season began with Lowell, SI, and SH
battling for the 3rd and 4th positions. Poly, Galileo, and Balboa were slated to be also-rans.

1964 was the year of the Haight Street “hippie” phenomenon, a location not far from Kezar
Stadium. The Cable Car Museum and a Firemen’s Museum were dedicated and President Johnson
visited the City twice. The Sioux Indians claimed Alcatraz Island and the Republican National
Convention met in the City and nominated Barry Goldwater.

Lowell’s season got off of the wrong foot with a close loss to the Washington Eagles by a 12-6
score but they turned the corner with consecutive wins over Wilson, Galileo, SH, SI, Mission,
and Balboa to begin the season with six wins and one loss. Nate Kirtman of the Washington

                                             - 107 -
Eagles scored a Washington touchdown in the opener a pass from Mullins, the first of two scores
in just twenty-one seconds in the fourth quarter. Better news was on the horizon; Lowell
defeated Wilson in their first meeting ever.

The Indians really got rolling against the hapless Galileo Lions by 33-13. Steve Howdler was the
star, scoring on a 70-yard punt return and a 22-yard run, and racking up 96 yards on the ground.
The 19-0 shutout win over the SH Irish was keyed by a Howdler scoring run, and a nice 26-yard
pass completion for a score, and the running of senior back Tom White. The Red and White’s
winning streak became four straight with a 3 0-13 rout of SI, with Rosenborough kicking a
35-yard field goal, four extra points, and scoring once; he also passed for 144 yards, while Bill
Ferrera scored on runs of 59 yards and 11 yards.

Red and White hopes skyrocketed with a trouncing of the Mission Bears by 41-14, and their
record went to five wins and one loss on the year. Ferrera ran for a total of 197 yards on only
eight carries, including three scores on runs of 99 yards, 9 yards, and 68 yards to break the Bears
back. Stewart of Mission ran back a kick-off 95 yards, but Carter and Niebauer added to
Lowell’s total points with interception returns. Ferrera, 5’11” and 165 pounds, did it for the third
week in a row when his 68-yard TD run was the only score in a close 7-0 win versus the Balboa

Lowell had scored 162 points against only 68 points for their opponents but then the roof caved
in with a disastrous loss to Lincoln by 40-0. Holmgren and McConico ran wild for the Mustangs,
but Lowell still had an outstanding record as they prepared for Poly.

The Parrots were also having a good year. They started with a win over Wilson by 13-6, in the
first clash between the two schools. Quarterback Johnson provided most of the offense, with an
l1-yard touchdown pass to the speedy Steve Nawahine, a 17-yard run, 82 yards gained on the
ground and 88 yards in passing. The Irish went down by 20-0 as Nawahine was brilliant with
127 yards on the ground and great defense. Johnson tallied twice and Ramsey once. The Red and
Black barely got past Washington by 7-6 on a Johnson 15-yard scoring strike, and the all
important extra point to clinch the game from the toe of end Fred Loville, a 5’9” senior. Mission
went down by 13-12 as Loville’s toe won another game after a touchdown pass to Rich Ford
from the ubiquitous Johnson.

The defense came up strong the next week as the Parrots ran over Mission when Johnson threw
two touchdown passes, including one for 46 yards to Ford. Mike Flemons, last year’s All-City
linebacker, came up with the big plays. All of a sudden, the predicted also-rans had five wins and
no losses, but they came back down to earth, losing to SI by 21-6; Clausen made Poly’s only
score. They were shocked the next week by Galileo by a 19-6 score as a result of three short runs
to paydirt by O.J. Simpson. Al Cowling, who would play pro ball with O.J. and the Buffalo Bills,
starred at tackle for the Lions.

Both teams had good records and a shot at the playoffs as the annual Poly-Lowell classic rolled
around. While not the great draw of past years, the game was close, a defensive struggle won by
the Parrots 12-7, the Red and Black’s second consecutive victory over their rivals. It was played

                                              - 108 -
at City College of San Francisco, not at Kezar, adding to the decreased importance of the
Classic. The game was all-important to the Parrots as a playoff position depended upon a

Lowell out gained the Red and Black, but not by much: 189 yards to 121 yards, but the Parrots
had the final edge on the scoreboard. Lowell scored first on a short run by fullback White to take
the 7-0 lead, and Poly’s playoff hopes looked dim, but the Parrots came back on the play of
Nawahine, Clausen, and, of course, Johnson. Johnson scored twice on 4-yard and 6-yard runs,
which proved to be the margin of victory, while Clausen picked up 55 yards on the ground and
Nawahine gained 35 yards. The Parrot’s first score came after a fumble recovery on the Lowell
14-yard line; a 39-yard pass from Johnson to Nawahine in the 4th quarter was the key play
leading to Johnson’s clinching touchdown run. Flemons was again the star of the game, seeming
to have a knack of playing best in the biggest games. Ferrera gained 73 yards for Lowell.
Rosenborough and White were injured during the game, meaning the chief Lowell threats were
out of action, making Poly’s big win a bit easier. Coach Feiling now had to get Rosenborough
ready for the playoffs.

Both Lowell and Poly made the playoffs with six wins and three setbacks, and unfortunately,
both were eliminated in the semi-finals. The Parrots fell to Washington by 19-0, courtesy of the
outstanding play of Mullins, and Kirtman, who each scored touchdowns. Johnson passed for 100
yards and Flemons again starred, but the Parrots threatened only once, in the second period when
they were stopped four times within the Eagle six-yard line. It was a good season but not up to
Poly’s par.

Lowell led in the first half of the other semi-final, before falling before a stirring second half
comeback by Lincoln, the final score being 26-21. The Mustangs were playing without their All-
City passing star Holmgren, but were still able to come back strong in the second twenty-four
minutes in the wide open game; they moved the ball behind 135 yards rushing of Alston and
another 198 yards by McConico. With Mike Holmgren out of the game and having little or no
passing attack, the Mustangs rolled up most of its 383 net yards through the ground game.
Lowell gained 265 yards itself, and scored on two Ferrera runs and a Carter seven-yard scamper,
scoring twice in the second half and once in the fourth quarter.

The Washington Eagles won the Championship game and the AAA title by 27-6 over the
Holmgren-less Mustangs. They were led by two Mullins’ touchdowns and two Kirtman runs.
More than 11,000 fans attended the game at Kezar Stadium.

Flemons was voted the AAA lineman of the year, and the Eagles’ Kirtman was back of the year.
Other first teamers included Loville of Poly, and the backfield was comprised of Mullins,
Kirtman, McConico and O.J. Simpson of Galileo. Among the second teamers were Giddings and
Cowling of Galileo, Holmgren, Howdier, little Bill Ferrera, Johnson, and Nawahine, the latter
again representing a football family.

O.J. Simpson had run for 614 total yards on the year and had scored 86 points during the regular

                                             - 109 -
season. McConico of Lincoln led the AAA in rushing with 774 yards, and in scoring with 114
points, while Mullins was far and away the best passer with 19 touchdown strikes. The Red and
Black’s Johnson had 811 yards passing, while Ferrera ended up with 489 yards on 45 carries.
Wilson High School racked up its first ever AAA victory by 13-6 over Balboa, and tied Mission
13-13, being led all season by future stars Red and Tatum.

Poly now was ahead in the long series by 33 wins to 20 wins and by 814 points to 488 points on
the all-time scoreboard.

                           1965: LOWELL 13 POLY 0
Lincoln seemed to be the clear favorite as the 1965 season began, returning outstanding passer
Holmgren and several other veterans. Bill Feiling was also returning several stars, including
Carter and a 170-pound halfback, Reggie Brown, and playing on its own new field. SH was
hoping to fight for a playoff berth. Wayne Johnston was still coaching at Poly, but prospects
were bleak. Wilson was entering its second year in the AAA.

The Examiner became an evening newspaper, publishing a Sunday edition together with the
Chronicle. Bill Graham opened the Fillmore Auditorium, featuring rock groups.

Poly’s season began on a down note and went downhill from there. They didn’t win a game until
the last one of the year when they defeated Mission by 12-2. The year began with a 6-0 loss to
Sacred Heart and the Galileo Lions beat the Parrots by 13-12. The Irish’s game winning
touchdown was disputed but that didn’t change the scoreboard; halfback Lau Noa scored on an
18-yard run against the Lions.

From that point, the Parrots were trounced by Washington by 3 8-0, by SI by 27-6, and then,
even the second year Wilson Warriors beat them, by 20-2. A loss by 26-19 to Balboa, and a rout
by the Lincoln Mustangs by 25-0 followed the 13-0 loss to Lowell. Poly finally salvaged some
little honor by beating the Mission Bears. Highlights on the year were far and few between:
quarterback Ansley threw an eight-yard scoring pass to tackle Garcia against SI; an Ansley
45-yard touchdown pass to Carter versus Balboa, and finally, an 18-yard fumble return by
Murmi, and a 71-yard punt return by C. Smith to defeat Mission. There were lots of lowlights:
one being the eight fumbles and only three first downs against Wilson.

Meanwhile, Lowell was playing very well, jumping out to three wins and a tie. The season
commenced with a 20-7 win over the Eagles, behind a 21-yard scoring strike from Carter to
170-pound halfback Reggie Brown, and the all-around spectacular play of Wayne Miller, who
blocked a punt, recovered a fumble, and played all 48 minutes. The win over the Eagles was a
historic victory, being the first game on the new Lowell turf. The Cardinals next defeated Wilson
by 19-6 on a Carter fumble recovery and 72-yard run for a score, and a three-yard scoring run by
Brown. Balboa was beaten on a 37-yard scoring reception by Cronk from Ginaras, who also

                                             - 110 -
kicked the extra point.

The winning streak was broken with an exciting tie with Lincoln at 21-21. Blass gained 112
yards for the Mustangs and Holmgren scored once and tossed two scoring passes. Lowell struck
back with a Coleman short plunge and Carter’s passing. The offense completely stalled against
the Irish in a 19-2 loss; Carl Nielson scored the only points for Lowell when he tackled Ryan in
his own end zone. But the offense came back strong beating Mission by 39-7 and then Galileo by
43-7. The offense was led by end Ernie Li who caught a 36-yard scoring pass against the Bears;
Brown with three scores and almost 200 yards in rushing; two pass receptions by Koch from
Carter against the Lions; and Carter’s passing and defense. Lowell gained a net of 435 yards
against the hapless Lions.

The Poly-Lowell annual clash promised to be a one-sided affair, with Poly without a win and the
Lowell Cardinals coming in with an impressive record of six wins, one loss, and one tie. The
game was played at Lowell on a sloppy, muddy field, which had just been formally inaugurated,
with the Cardinals the victors by 13-0. The game was closer than expected although the Parrot
offense never got untracked, gaining only 34 yards and one first down, perhaps the most inept
offensive showing in the whole, long series. Poly’s defense did shut down the high-riding
Cardinals although the muddy conditions were a factor. In fact, Lowell scored a quick thirteen
points in the first quarter and held on, with no further scoring.

Lowell won the game in the opening seconds when Brown ran back the opening kickoff 80 yards
without a hand being laid on him. A few minutes later they added an ultimately unneeded seven
points when Fred Coleman sliced over tackle for a two-yard score, after the Red and White had
recovered a Poly fumble on the 16-yard line. Lowell’s offense only gained 103 yards on the day,
led by Coleman’s 29 yards on the ground. The field was in such bad shape that the third and
fourth quarters were reduced to only ten minutes apiece. But, a win is a win, especially against
Poly, even in the Parrots’ down years.

Lowell went on to defeat SI by 21-13 behind scores by Brown and Li, and qualified for the
playoffs against Sacred Heart. The win gave the Indians a tie for the round robin title with
Lincoln and SH, all with identical records of seven wins, one loss, and one tie. The Cardinals
defeated SH by 10-7 to enter the Thanksgiving game against Lincoln, the game being won by a
John Ginaras 33-yard field goal, the first of his career, early in the fourth quarter and a three-
yard run by Reggie Brown. All the scoring was in the last period. Sacred Heart had kept the
Indians inside their own territory for almost thirty-five minutes until Indian co-Captain Rich
Easton broke through the Irish line and carried the ball 56 yards to the Irish 34-yard line. Eight
plays later, Ginaras kicked his field goal and most of the 3,500 fans figured there would be no
more scoring in the mud. But Brown went in with two minutes remaining, and SH came back for
a score in a thrilling ending.

The final game for the title against Lincoln was one-sided with the Mustangs winning easily by a
13-0 score, their first title in many years. About 13,000 fans attended the Turkey Bowl and
Lincoln dominated. It scored on a Holmgren to Cooper pass for 26 yards early in the final period,
and on a gift Holmgren 2-yard run in the final seconds. Blass also ran well for Lincoln, while

                                             - 111 -
their defense held Brown and Ginaras in check.

The All-City Team was headed by Lincoln’s Mike Holmgren and Sacred Heart end Mike
Deschler, who were elected co-captains. Lowell linemen Wayne Miller and Al Alcorn made the
first team, while halfback Reggie Brown, center Jack Schnell, and end Lief Vilebald were second
teamers. Poly had no player represented on the first two teams but guard Jim Morgan received
honorable mention, as did Lowell quarterback Carter.

It was a tough way to end a successful season for Lowell but there was the win over the Parrots.
At the end of the year, coach Bill Feiling announced his retirement after 15 years at the helm.
Feiling, of course, was a Poly graduate.

                           1966: LOWELL 45 POLY 0
The AAA coaches picked Lincoln’s Mustangs, coached by Bill Holland, as the favorite for the
1966 season. St. Ignatius was thought to be in the running, and the Lowell Cardinals, with a new
coach, Ed Burns, were not ruled out of title consideration.

Large Vietnam peace marches continued in the City. The Beatles performed a well-attended
concert, and President Marcos of the Philippines visited San Francisco in 1966.

The season began on an exciting note for the Parrots although they lost to the Balboa Buccaneers
by 33-25 on a clinching touchdown with 53 seconds left to play. Poly, down already by 21-12 at
halftime, rallied in the second half Clifton Smith ran for 110 yards for Poly, Ollie Harris scored
on a four-yard run, and Vince Ansley threw a scoring strike to Steve Jordan for 36 yards. SI
rallied to win a 13-12 thriller over the Red and Black in the second week, a touchdown pass from
Cercos to Schwabe with two minutes remaining being the game winner. Jordan ran for 99 yards,
and already the Lowell game loomed.

Lowell got off to a rousing start with convincing wins over Galileo by 61-26 and then over
Wilson. Little Jeff Karp, who weighed all of 130 pounds, threw four touchdown receptions,
including one to Ernie Li for 15 yards, against the Lions. Karp also ran for a score, as Lowell
rolled up 476 total yards. Wilson succumbed by 25-0 as Li ran for a tally, Karp ran 13 yards for
another one, and Carl Nielson blocked a punt for a touchdown. A short touchdown run and a
touchdown completion by Karp, and a one-yard score by Fred Coleman led to an easy 32-14
victory over the Eagles.

On came Poly for the Cardinals, and Lowell’s momentum propelled the Indians to a 45-0
slaughter over the Parrots; the tide in the series had certainly turned! Lowell came into the game
with one of the smallest backfields in the AAA in many years. Li weighed 155 pounds, LHB Ted
Zouzounis tipped the scales at 150 pounds, Karp was at 130 pounds, and the big guy was
Coleman, who weighed all of 175 pounds. But that certainly didn’t stop the Cardinals, which

                                             - 112 -
scored three times on three scrimmage plays early in the opening period and continued to cash in
on Parrot turnovers throughout the game. In fact, Lowell only gained 232 yards in the game,
played before a sparse Kezar Stadium crowd. The only Indian long drives were for 54 yards in
the fourth quarter when Coleman went over from the 10-yard line, and another 54-yard drive by
the subs later in the game; Clarey scored to wrap up that late drive.

In all, Lowell capitalized on three fumble recoveries and three kick returns, which scored or set
up scores. Li carried 28 yards in three plays to begin the scoring; that was followed in rapid
succession by a 21-yard fumble recovery and run by Rich Talaga, and a exciting 96-yard punt
run by Li. Poly gained only 109 yards on the day and never really threatened. The headline read:
“Lowell Crushes Poly 45-0”

Lowell lost the league lead to Balboa when the Buccaneers won the next game by 16-6. Only
Coleman could tally for the Red and White and that score came very late. Another tough loss
followed to the Irish by 20-12. The Indians dominated the second half, and scored on Frahn and
Li tallies, one of the scores set up by a 66-yard punt return by the ever-present Mr. Li. Lowell
next nipped the Wildcats by 13-12, capitalizing on breaks and holding off a furious SI rush at the
end. The Wildcats won the statistical battle, but the Red and White put points on the board with a
Richardson recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone, and a three-yard run by Karp, who ran
for 45 yards and passed for 70 more. Lowell clinched a playoff bid with a 23-14 win over
Lincoln, led by a tough defense which scored a safety and had a 57-yard fumble recovery and
run by Nielson. Fama on an 11-yard scamper and a three-yarder by Karp wrapped up the scoring.

Meanwhile Poly was having its ups and downs, but the second half of the season was a vast
improvement. Unfortunately, the improvement was too little and too late to make the playoffs.
The Red and Black got three quick wins in succession over Sacred Heart, Galileo, and Mission,
but then lost to Washington by 27-21. There was lots of offense, spearheaded by Jordan, who
gained 166 yards, scored once, and intercepted a pass in the great upset over the Irish by 24-12.
Vince Ashley’s 66-yard bomb to John Brown and Jordan’s 66-yard interception return
highlighted the win over Galileo. Big plays stood out in the 32-13 win over the Bears: an 85-yard
punt return by Brown; an Ansley 46-yard pass to Clifton Smith; and 57-yard dash by Ron Jones.
Jordan picked up 102 yards on the day. Noa gained 91 yards and Jordan added 58 yards in the
loss to the Eagles. The season ended on a winning note with a 32-7 victory over Wilson, Noa
again being the big star, but it was not enough to get into playoff contention.

Lowell began the playoffs with a 7-6 squeaker over Lincoln, and won the right to meet SI for the
AAA Championship on Thanksgiving Day. Little Mr. Li won the game with an extra point in the
final period after a Coleman one-yard run.

The Indians played on Thanksgiving for the second straight year, and lost to the Wildcats by 21-
14 in a close, exciting game before about 17,000 fans. The title winning score came with 31
seconds remaining when SI end Schwabe and Li jumped for the ball at the Lowell 22-yard line;
both batted it and Hughes of SI picked it out of the air and ran unmolested for the winning six-
pointer. The Indians could only run two more plays before the final gun went off; both SI coach
Tringali, and Burns, agreed the game winner was a “fluke” play.

                                             - 113 -
SI had taken the lead after a scoreless first quarter on a Glen Denis 75-yard pass interception.
The Indians quickly tied it on a Coleman plunge, while Bassi’s four-yard tally put the Wildcats
ahead again. Lowell tied it for the last time in the fourth quarter when Karp ended an 82-yard
march with a two-yard run to paydirt. Then came the Hughes miracle and the Cardinals
disappointment. The statistical battle was close, with SI winning it by 217 yards to 205 total
yards. Karp passed for 89 yards while SI passer Contreras gained 92 yards with his arm. SI had
won its 3rd AAA title in five years, and had already announced they would withdraw from the
AAA to join the WCAL.

While Lowell lost the heartbreaker for the title, they had certainly turned around the series with
its long-time rival. The Red and White now had won two in a row by a combined score of 58-0,
and now had 22 wins against 33 for the Red and Black. The scoreboard still favored Poly by a
wide margin, 814 points to 546 points.

The San Francisco Prep Writers Association selected two platoons for the 1966 All-City team.
Steve Jordan of Poly headed the offensive team, while Lowell placed G/LB Wayne Martinez on
the first offensive unit and linemen Larry Jacobsen, Carl Nielson, and Larry Richardson on the
defensive squad. Several Lowell and Poly stars received honorable mention including Indians
Coleman, Karp, Rich Kemp, Li, Bob Pugh and Tom Wilson, and Parrots John Brown, Andre
Scott, Lau Noa, and Clifton Smith.

                          1967: LOWELL 41 POLY 7
Lowell had high expectations for 1967, while the Poly Parrots were pessimistic, despite having
new coach George Sutherland. Most observers rated the Balboa Buccaneers as a favorite, while
Lincoln also promised to be strong. St. Iguatius would be out of the AAA for the first time in
many years, and the League again was comprised of nine teams.

Movies were still being made in the City, this year it was “The Graduate”. There were more
peace marches about Vietnam, and visitors streamed in from every corner of the world, including
leaders from Tonga, Niger, and Anguilla. There was even a “Human Be-In” demonstration in
Golden Gate Park.

The Red and Black got off to a rocky start, losing badly to Bill Holland’s Lincoln Mustangs by
38-13 at Kezar. Poly did remain in the game until the beginning of the second half, but only
gained 120 yards on the day. Robert Smith scored on a 15~yard pass from Ken Worthington and
Kerry Hampton ran for a score, both in the second period. A tremendous performance by
halfback Ollie Harris, who scored three touchdowns, led to a 25-7 win over Wilson, a victory
overshadowed by a fist-throwing melee with four minutes remaining, which caused the game to
be called. Coach John Shea’s Wilson players seemed to have started it but it was not a good start
to the season for anyone.

                                             - 114 -
The Parrots then were trounced by Balboa by 34-18, and had the tough task of facing Lowell
next. Poly quarterback Ken Worthington had an outstanding game versus Balboa, passing for
181 yards on thirteen completions and three scoring strikes to Smith.

Lowell’s Indians got off to a better start, beating Sacred Heart by 13-7, and then Mission by
28-19 to put their record at two wins. Lowell quarterback Frahm passed for 69 yards and scored
once and flashy Eddie Perkins tallied on a 17-yard run in the Bears’ game. The Red and White
then ran up against the powerful Buccaneers in a battle for first place. Lowell ran up lots of
yards, but could only score once, on a 66-yard pass from Frahm to Jeff Beaver, and were
overwhelmed by Calvin Jones who tallied on 58-yard and 59-yard runs, gaining 165 yards
overall. Two touchdown runs by Tom Clarey and tough running by Perkins couldn’t avoid a
close 19-13 loss to Wilson the next week and the Indians went into the annual game against Poly
with a record of two victories and two defeats.

The Cardinals were favored but most observers weren’t sure which teams would show up; both
had been inconsistent. Lowell rose to the occasion, thoroughly whipping the Parrots by 41-7. It
was a one-sided game as the Tribe’s speedy backs, led by little Eddie Perkins, gained 312
rushing yards, Perkins getting 97 of them and scoring once.

The Indians took a quick lead with Perkins running into the end zone from the two-yard line
after he had set up the score with a 43-yard run. He scored again minutes later after a Poly
fumble. Another Parrot fumble and a 10-yard run by Clarey made it 21-0 and an 81-yard streak
to paydirt by Marc Passen sealed Poly’s fate. Other Lowell scores came on a tackle-eligible pass
reception by Tony Wong and a Rich Garcia two-yard smash. The poor Parrots didn’t score until
the last play of the game, a 50-yard bomb from Robert Smith to Clyde Younger. Smith had taken
over the passing duties and threw for 107 yards but that was the only Parrot highlight.
Meanwhile, Lowell kept its winning streak against Poly alive, and had jumped back into playoff

Poly’s season went downhill after the Lowell debacle. The Parrots did beat Mission by 23-6
behind the running of Ollie Harris, Vernon Delany, and Chris Jordan, and 112 passing yards
from Worthington, who had returned to action after an injury. But successive losses to Galileo
34-13 and a close loss to Sacred Heart by 14-13 put their record at two wins and five losses, and
eliminated them. The Lions roared out to a 20-0 lead before the Poly attack could get started;
Robert Smith caught a 59-yard pass from Worthington, who passed for 108 yards, not nearly
enough to overcome David Fulcher’s 161 yards rushing and another 141 yards from Steve

The Parrots actually led Sacred Heart until five minutes remained in the fourth period, based on
the running of Jordan and Harris, but could not hold off the Irish who wrapped up a playoff slot.
Poly’ season ended with two wins, five losses and a tie, but on somewhat of a high note with a
26-26 tie with Washington. The Parrots scored all their points in the first half, courtesy of
touchdowns by Harris, Delany, Jordan, and Smith, but couldn’t hold on for the victory.

                                             - 115 -
Meanwhile, Lowell was sweeping towards the playoffs and a successful season. After the big
win over Poly, they beat Washington by 28-6, and then shut out Galileo and Lincoln in
succession. “Swivel-Hippie” Perkins ran for 113 yards and scored on runs of 23 yards, 2 yards,
and 4 yards against the Eagles. Standout linebacker Bob Pugh had a big interception, duplicating
his effort the week before against Poly. Then the defense came to the fore with the shutouts,
backed up by sterling offensive efforts. The Lions actually out gained Lowell, but several key
turnovers led to Lowell scores and a 20-0 victory. Harris scored twice, once on a 68-yard kickoff
return, and Pugh once again made a key take-away to spearhead the defense. A 28-0 victory over
the Mustangs ended the regular season; it was the result of holding the Mustangs to 76 total
yards and a minus eleven yards on the ground. Perkins gained 131 yards on 19 carries; both he
and Frahm tallied twice. This win gave the Indians six wins and two losses and a playoff berth.

The Red and White advanced to their third straight Turkey Day Game with a rousing 21-7 win
over the Irish, making up for the loss earlier in the season. After a scoreless first ha1f Eddie
Perkins took over, running back the second half kickoff for an 84-yard score. He scored again
and also intercepted two passes while gaining 79 yards on the ground against the well-beaten
Irish, who were held to 118 total yards. Lowell gained zero yards passing but the running game
more than made up for the lack of an air arm, as Randall scored on a one-yard plunge and
Stephen kicked all three extra points. Pugh had the key block on Perkins’ return while Lowell
lineman Bill Davis had a key interception.

Balboa was undefeated and the clear favorite on Turkey Day. They had the AAA’s top defense
and were emotionally charged up after a Molotov cocktail had caused severe damage to the
administrative offices on the Monday before Thanksgiving. The Indians put up a good fight but
couldn’t generate any offense and went down by 14-0 at Kezar before 12,000 fans, to give
Balboa a perfect season. Balboa coach Archie Chagonjian called the game his teams’ best of the
year, as Calvin Jones led the new Champs with both touchdowns and three interceptions. Jones’
three scores gave him 21 scores on the year, and little l30-pound Mike Salem gained 61 yards.
Bal’s linebacker Steve DeMaestri was the best player on the field, breaking through eight times
to drop Lowell runners for 50 yards in losses, making a dozen unassisted tackles, and grabbing
one interception. Hundreds of Balboa fans clogged up the intersection of Cayuga and Sycamore
Streets after the game, as the Buccaneers won their first title in a decade.

                               LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                           “SWIVEL-HIPPIE” EDDIE PERKINS
                     Flashy Lowell back 1966-67 … scored TD vs. Poly
                     1966; Had All-City year in 1967, making both
                     offensive, defensive teams … two TDs/97 years vs.
                     Poly … 131 yds/2 TDs vs. Linc … 84 yd KO return,
                     2 TDs vs. Linc … 84 yd. KO return, 2 TDs, 2 ints.
                     Vs. SH; ran for 660 yards (2nd ), led in interceptions;
                     5’10” 167 lbs.

                                             - 116 -
Balboa landed nine players on the two All-City teams, offense and defense, led by Jones, end
Jim Tyree, and DeMaestri. Perkins and Lowell tackle George Ives were both two-way selections
on both offense and defense. Rick Calcagno of Balboa was the quarterback and Galileo guard
Gerald Dyson was lineman of the year. Calvin Jones led in almost all statistical categories for the
regular season: he had sixteen touchdowns for 96 points, led in rushing with 692 yards, followed
by Perkins with 660 yards, and was the AAA leader in pass interceptions. Robert Smith of Poly
scored 42 points, and Worthington finished the year as the AAA’s fourth ranked passer.

While the Lowell Cardinals didn’t win the AAA Championship, they had a very successful
season, topped as always by the big win over the Poly Parrots. The big victory reduced the Red
and Black victory margin to 33 wins against 23 wins, and the big win narrowed the point margin
to 821 points to 587 points. The tide had turned and the Cardinals were looking forward to
another big season in 1968.

                           1968: LOWELL 39 POLY 0
Archie Chagonjian’s Balboa Buccaneers were the heavy favorites for the 1968 title; they
returned three All-City players, including Calvin Jones, 175-pound guard Al Levi, and tackle
John Lembi. Washington had the nucleus of the champion junior varsity team, and SH Coach
Bill Henneberry was encouraged by a turnout of over 40 players. Everyone was looking at the
Cardinals, who had finished second three consecutive years and many were wishing them well.
Coach Burns had seven lettermen back. Poly and Mission had little hope; the Parrots were
returning several track stars in the backfield, including Kerry Hampton, and the Bears were
trying to break a seventeen-game losing streak.

The thriller movie “Bullitt” was made in the City, which featured high-speed, exciting car chases
all over San Francisco’s hills. The City suffered through the long and violent San Francisco State
strike, which ended with the appointment of tough-minded S.I. Hayakawa as President. The
ultimate visit came when a Marin County couple delivered a baby on the Golden Gate Bridge on
the way in to the City.

Poly began the season by extending Mission’s losing skein by a 12-6 margin, courtesy of
California state high hurdles champion Kerry Hampton, who ran for 151 yards and the two
scores. Meanwhile, Lowell began the season by shutting out Wilson by 19-0, scoring on its
opening drive and running up 211 yards on the ground. Junior fullback Paul Cruz scored on two
short runs, and Jeff Beaver returned a pass interception for 42 yards.

The Poly-Lowell classic was scheduled for the second week of the season, and the Indians lost
no time in continuing their recent mastery over the parrots. The Indians won the game in a 39-0
rout at Kezar Stadium behind Jeff Beaver’s two key punt returns, one for 45 yards, and Mike
Adelson’s two tallies. The Cardinals also scored on a 30-yard Jeff Layne pass to Bob Sackett,
and a short run by Mike Harris. Lowell’s Mike Lowell scored on a 12-yard run in the first period

                                              - 117 -
and reserve quarterback Craig Kimball threw his first AAA scoring pass, with a strike to G.

Lowell used its subs early and often, taking a 27-0 halftime lead, and improved its record to two
wins and no losses, with a 58-0 point margin over its opponents. Eight Indians ran the ball, three
passers threw it, and four receivers caught passes. The Indians had the big statistical advantage,
running up almost 250 yards while holding Parrots to only about 100 yards. The Parrots also
gave up two key fumbles and Hampton was held to only 38 yards rushing. Moreover, the Tribe
had now outscored Poly by 138 points to only seven points over the last four years.

The Red and Black’s offense continued to sputter and they were shut out in three of the next five
games, being able only to beat Galileo by 21-12. Hampton chalked up 112 yards against the
Irish, more than 95 percent of the Red and Black offensive output. The Parrots could not score
against the Mustangs, losing by 27-0.

The Parrots came alive against Galileo, with Hampton running wild: three touchdowns from 4
yards, 9 yards, and 1 yard out, and rushing for a total of 147 yards on 26 carries to remain among
the AAA leaders in rushing. The parrots then fell to a surprisingly strong Wilson by 34-12.
Hampton topped 200 yards rushing and he and Coulter scored the only points. Finally, Balboa
beat the Red and Black by a 27-0 score, holding Hampton to less than 50 yards, while all-
everything Jones returned a kickoff 88 yards and gained 102 yards. Poly ended its dismal year
with only two wins, being walloped by the Washington Eagles by 4 1-6, as Steve Radd, a
180-pound halfback, ran for five touchdowns.

Lowell was having one of the best seasons in its history, winning another six in a row, giving up
only 27 points with two shutouts and another game in which they gave up only a safety. Galileo
was the first to fall, by 3 6-0, in a romp in which Adelson scored twice and Beaver once. In
addition, Layne threw a 45-yard pass to Steve Roberts, who also scored on an 86-yard
interception return against the inept Lions. Sacred Heart then lost a defensive battle to the Red
and White by a 13-2 margin, the points coming from Adelson and Mike Harris. The stout
defense, led by Steve Williams, Paul Ramirez, and Randy Gaynor, held the Irish to minus
fourteen yards rushing in the second half. And, the offense did its part by holding on to the ball
for all but seven plays in the final quarter.

The defense outdid itself in the next game, when it held the Mission Bears to a minus 58 yards
total offense. Mike Harris led the Cardinals offense with 171 yards and two touchdown runs of
ten yards each. Craig Kimball scored a touchdown and kicked five extra points, while Cruz
recovered a blocked punt in the Bears’ end zone.

Two Cruz runs and one by Harris for scores led Lowell over Lincoln by 20-12, and then the
Indians slipped by Washington by 8-6 in their closest test of the year. Junior tackle Monte Travis
accounted for the Cardinals safety and the margin of victory when he tackled Darren Mitchell in
the end zone. Lowell’s hopes soared when they easily disposed of Balboa, the defending
champion, in the last game of the season, running their record to eight straight wins and easily
wrapping up the round robin title. Williams, Gaynor, and Ramirez again came to the fore,

                                             - 118 -
holding the Bucs to only 69 yards. Ken Guisti opened the scoring with a scoring strike to Bill
Smith for 36 yards and then scored himself from the eight-yard line. G. Harris made the last tally
on a 13-yard fumble recovery and return.

But the bubble burst the next week in the first semi-final game, when the same Buccaneers upset
the Indians in a 29-7 shocker. Lowell could not stop Jones, who scored on a 46-yard punt return
and an eleven-yard run. Balboa also scored on a 69-yard punt return by Crosat, who was sprung
for the dash by a Calvin Jones block. The Bucaneers out gained the Indians by 262 yards to 72
yards. Lowell’s only score came on a Guisti pass to Clark Kellog for seven yards. Balboa then
won is second consecutive AAA title beating the surprising Wilson Warriors by 16-7 before
9,000 spectators at Kezar. Jones caught a 43-yard pass and Cardiel hit paydirt on a one-yard run.

As one might have guessed, Jones of Balboa was Player of the Year for the second straight year;
he then was off to the Washington Huskies. Randy Gaynor, Lowell’s 200-pound tackle/center,
was lineman of the year. The All-City backfield included Poly’s Hampton, with Haren and
Bowles of Wilson, as Jones’ running mates. Lowell’s Steve Roberts joined Gaynor, Ramirez,
end Steve Williams, Cruz, and defensive back Beaver as first teamers. Kimball made the second-
team as kicker and honorable mention quarterback. Mission senior end Cody Jones, 6’4” and 233
pounds, was first team.

Jones led the AAA in several statistical categories. He gained 567 yards on the ground, scored
fifteen touchdowns to lead the league in scoring, and caught 15 passes for another 365 yards and
five scores. Hampton was the leading rusher with 912 yards and Lowell’s Mike Harris finished
third in rushing, behind Bowles of Wilson. Adelson of Lowell was third in scoring. Hampton,
Cm; and Harris all had 36 points. Over the regular season, Lowell had scored 202 points against
only 27 points, but they couldn’t beat Balboa.

                              POLY-LOWELL ALL STARS

                                   KERRY HAMPTON
                    Poly star halfback 1967-68; also Cal state high
                    hurdles champ … TD run vs. Linc. in ‘67; great
                    All-City year in 1968, leading AAA in rushing with
                    912 yards, scored 36 points … 3 TDs vs. Galileo,
                    147 yards rushing … 2 TDs. vs. Mission … 200 plus
                    yards on ground vs. Wilson. 6’1” 197 lbs.

                          1969: LOWELL 43 POLY 20
The Lowell Cardinals seemed to be the clear favorite for the 1969 title after having reached the
title game three times in a row. Coach Ed Burns had Cruz, Greg Harris and quarterbacks Craig
Kimball and Ken Giusti returning. Of course, no one was ruling out the Balboa Buccaneers, who

                                             - 119 -
had become a perennial power, and Lincoln, Wilson and Washington were given consideration.
Even Galileo was expected to improve. Poly was slated to finish near the bottom, this year in an
eight-team league, as Sacred Heart had left the AAA to join St. Ignatius.

“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”, which had been written in 1954, became the City’s official
song. There were more peace marches, President Nixon visited the City, the San Francisco State
strike finally ended, and Native Americans took over Alcatraz, which they would ultimately burn
down as they professed to protect the environment.

Lowell got off to a great start and never looked back, winning the round robin title and winning
seven in a row during the regular season. A tough defense again led the Cardinals, with a much
higher-powered offense this year. They outscored their first four opponents by 122 points to 18
points as they rolled over Wilson, Galileo by 46-6, Mission by 41-0, and finally Balboa by 28-
12. In fact the only close game was against the Wilson Warriors as a Guisti to Sackett pass for a
score and the defense eked out a 7-0 victory. The defense shut down Wilson three times within
its own 15-yard line.

Lowell routed the Galileo Lions behind 171 yards rushing by Cruz and another 58 yards by
halfback Rich Lowell. Sackett scored once and Cruz three times, while Kimball ran for a 24-yard
touchdown and Giusti threw for 92 yards. Paul Cruz scored four times in the walloping of the
Bears, from the 12-yard and 3-yard lines and twice from the one-yard stripe. Rich Lowell carried
ten times for 167 yards, and Sackëtt grabbed a 40-yard scoring pass from Guisti. The Indians
scored on drives, which measured 81 yards, 58 yards, 53 yards, 65 yards, and 54 yards from an
impressively operating offensive machine. Lowell, a 190-pound senior halfback, led the
Cardinals against the Bucs, scoring twice in a 28-12 victory. The defense bent little in front of a
142 yard passing barrage by Balboa’s quarterback Smith.

The Indians continued their season with close wins over Washington by 14-6 and over Lincoln
by 12-0, behind a great defense and just enough offense from Cruz and Rich Lowell to defeat the
Eagles the Guisti to Sackett passing combination and a Chaney touchdown run was enough to
defeat the other Presidential school, the Mustangs. The Red and White defense actually
intercepted four passes against Washington and held Lincoln to only 106 yards. Frank Vara and
Steve Roberts starred in the secondary. Lowell was thirsting for the Parrots in order to wrap up a
perfect regular season.

On the other hand the Parrots continued their sufferings of the past few years. They won their
opener with a slim 8-0 victory over the Mission Bears, Mission’s 26th straight loss. Fullback
Eric Days scored on a three-yard run and Poly passed for the two point conversion. Halfback
Roosevelt Winchester gained 43 yards on the ground and recovered a key fumble. That would be
the last win of the season as they fell to Lincoln by 15-0 in the mud at Mustang Stadium, and to
Wilson by 20-14, and then ran into a streaking Balboa, who clobbered the Parrots by 41-8. Poly
rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit against the Wilson Warriors, Lowe and Charles Pruitt scoring
for the Red and Black. The Parrots stayed close to Balboa until the fourth quarter on an Anthony
Coleman touchdown interception return but the Buccaneers scored 27 points in the last stanza to
salt the game away. Although Days ran for more than 100 yards against the Eagles, he was the

                                              - 120 -
only real offense, and Washington breezed to the 20-0 shutout. So, Poly had only one win
against four losses as they prepared for the Lowell game.

The Poly-Lowell classic was interesting in that Lowell led Lowell as the Indians defeated the
Parrots by 43-20 in a game that was not as close as the score indicated. The Lowell was of
course Rich Lowell, who rushed for 228 yards on 43 carries and one touchdown. Paul Cruz, who
scored three times from the one-yard, eight-yard, and 11-yard lines. amply aided him. Sackett
was not to be outdone, hitting paydirt on a 30-yard pass from Giusti, as Lowell romped to a 40-0
lead. After the Parrots finally scored, the Indians added a Kimball 25-yard field goal. The Red
and White gained a total of 432 yards, won their second straight AAA Round Robin title and
their seventeenth straight AAA regular game, while piling up a 32-0 halftime margin over their
ancient rivals.

The only highlights for the Red and Black, which was held to barely one hundred yards, were
two scores by senior fullback Days, and a Bob Davis to Coleman 40-yard pass. This was
Lowell’s fifth consecutive victory over the Parrots. Lowell now had a perfect record of seven
wins and no losses and sat firmly at the top of the league standings, and its stars were highly
ranked statistically. Rich Lowell was second in rushing with 736 yards, behind Mitchell of
Washington who set the AAA rushing record by piling up 1106 yards. Cruz led the AAA in
scoring with 84 points, and gained 481 yards on the ground. Guisti ended up second in passing
with 536 yards, throwing mostly to Sackett, who caught thirteen passes for 268 yards and five
touchdown strikes.

But what promised to be one of Lowell’s best seasons ever collapsed in the AAA semifinal game
at Kezar when the Indians again came up short against Balboa, this time by 32-21 in an exciting
game. The Buccaneers were led by electrifying Elvin Smith, who passed for three touchdowns
and scored two more, one on a spectacular 98-yard return with a recovered fumble. Smith, a 155-
pound senior, completed nine of 18 passes for 195 yards, reaching the end zone on throws to
Salem for 37 yards and to James Odoms and Jessie Bean. The game was close and exciting as
Lowell scored first on a Cruz six-yard run. Balboa then scored twice but Harris brought the
Indians back to 14-13 with a 28-yard interception return. Balboa pulled away to eliminate the
Indians for the third consecutive time. Sackett caught a scoring strike from Harris for the third
Lowell score of the day. Balboa then went on to Turkey Day and was upset by Lincoln by 12-0.

                                             - 121 -
                              LOWELL-POLY ALL STARS

                                      RICH LOWELL
                        Lowell halfback 1968-69... .Scored TD vs.
                        Poly in ‘68 All-City in 1969, finishing
                        second in rushing with 736 yards. .beat Poly

                        with 228 yds on 43 carries and one TD.       . .

                        Two TDs vs. Balboa 167 ds. on 10 carries
                        vs. Mission.... 190 lbs.

Lowell and Balboa topped the Chronicle All-City team while Washington halfback Darrell
Mitchell was named AAA player of the year. The Cardinals Ron Sockolov, Leon Peros, and
Rich Lowell were on the first team, while Steve Roberts, Monte Travis, Ken Guisti, and Paul
Cruz all won second team recognition. Eric Days of Poly was selected to the second team while
Lincoln tackle Keith Rowen, sporting a perfect 4.0 grade point average, made the first squad.

The Indians had a fine season ruined once again by Balboa, but they had hammered the Parrots
again and that was some solace, although it was clear the Poly Parrots would never be the same
powerhouse again. The school was losing students, the facility was deteriorating, and discipline
problems hampered the program.

The 1960s ended with the Parrots still ahead in wins by 33 victories to 25 wins for the Cardinals.
The point spread favored Poly by 841 points to 669 points but it seemed only a matter of time
before Lowell caught up and regained the lead it held early in the series.

                                1970-1971: THE END
                         1970: LOWELL 48 POLY 12;
                              AAA CHAMPIONS
Lincoln’s Mustangs appeared to be the overwhelming favorite for the AAA title in 1970. Lowell
was a definite threat, coming off a successful 1970 year and returning quarterback Craig
Kimball. Balboa was strong, having played well in the practice season. Poor Poly was given no
chance, and in fact, most thought it would be lucky to win a game.

San Francisco entered the seventies with more of the same. There were strikes by the Teamsters
and the City employees. The Golden Gate Park Conservatory was declared a historical
monument; the Native Americans burned down the buildings on Alcatraz.

The pundits were right about the Parrots. They lost their first five games before playing Lowell,
able to score only four touchdowns, while giving up 133 points to Wilson, Galileo, Washington,

                                             - 122 -
Lincoln, and Balboa. The Parrots lost the opener to Wilson by 14-6, the Parrots only score being
a 37-yard pass from Ed Babbs to Alfred Victoria. A three-yard run by Stewart was the only Red
and Black tally against Galileo in a 29-6 loss, and Babbs hit paydirt on a -yard run in a 22-6 loss
to the Eagles. There were few highlights during the next two weeks as the once proud Parrots
went down to Lincoln by 27-0, and then fell to the mighty Buccaneers by 41-6. The Red and
Black averted a shutout against Balboa only when Babbs hit Stewart with a 34-yard touchdown

On the other hand, the Lowell Cardinals were outplaying almost everyone in the AAA. They
began the regular season with a rousing 45-13 victory over the Washington Eagles, led by a
fantastic all-around performance by Kimball. He completed twelve of eighteen forward passes
for 290 yards, including three six-pointers to Brad Pederson, who scored touchdowns of 67
yards, 20 yards, and 52 yards. In addition, Kimball ran for a 23-yard score and kicked an extra
point. He was not the only star: Craig Tagawa ran for 129 yards on the ground, and Lewis scored

Mission was the next victim by 37-22 with Kimball once again leading the attack throwing for
one touchdown and 105 yards in the air. Tagawa hit paydirt three times and Lewis once and the
defense chipped in with a Price interception return of 43 yards for a score. Mission’s
Zimmerman had a field day of his own, throwing for three scores. Balboa’s 25-13 win ended
Lowell’s victory march, although Kimball had another outstanding day, passing for 183 yards
and a touchdown to Peterson.

The Red and White got back on the winning track by notching up their offense again and routing
the Galileo Lions by 46-6. Heroes abounded for the Lowell Indians. Kimball threw three
touchdown passes, as he threatened to break every AAA passing record. Pederson, made five
catches for 114 yards, including a touchdown pass reception, and a 66-yard pass interception
return for six points. Dwuane Price hit the end zone a 47-yard scoring catch, and Taylor scored
twice with a 32-yard pass reception and an interception return for another score. Craig Kimball
came back to beat Wilson by 21-12 as he passed for 166 yards and two touchdown strikes to
Sockolov of 8 yards and 29 yards. Tagawa racked up 60 yards on the ground and scored once.

The annual Poly-Lowell clash threatened to become the annual Lowell rout, and the observers
were not far wrong as the Indians lambasted the Parrots by 48-12 for their sixth straight win in
the series that the Parrots had dominated for so long. It was Craig Kimball day against the
hapless Red and Black. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior, who also was an All-City catcher, broke
all of Mike Holmgren’s passing records for a single game by completing 20 out of 28 passes for
an astronomical 387 yards. He threw for six touchdown passes, two to Brad Pederson, who
caught nine passes in all for 96 yards, two more to Al Sockolov, and finally two more to Dwuane
Price, who caught six pointers for 21 yards and 12 yards, and who caught six total passes for 148

At the same time, Kimball broke the AAA season passing record as he reached 1474 yards on
the year, easily outdistancing Holmgren’s previous mark of 1371 yards through the air. Lowell
ran up 41 points in the first half and out gained Poly by a horrendous 453 yards to 177 yards.

                                              - 123 -
Poly’s only highlights came on a 57-yard scoring strike from Ford to Jordan in the second period
and Ford’s one-yard run long after the game was wrapped up. The game was played at Lowell
and the Cardinals now had five wins and one loss.

The poor Parrots finished its winless season by losing to Mission by 16-6, ending with seven
losses and no wins, and being outscored 197 points to 42 points. The loss to Mission allowed the
Bears to break their own 37-game losing streak. How far the Parrot football program had fallen!

But the Red and White rolled on, finishing its year with a 27-7 win over Lincoln, thus ending the
regular season at seven wins against only one setback, and going into the semi-finals against the
Mustangs. The Indians were aiming ultimately for the Balboa Buccaneers, who had ruined so
many previous Lowell hopes. This regular season win over the Mustangs was featured by two
Kimball touchdown passes to Sockolov, one to Price, and a Kimball short run for a score.

The next week was a big Lowell win as they played the Mustangs for the second week in a row,
this time beating them in the semi-final by 20-0. As usual Kimball led the way, although Lincoln
held him down somewhat; he threw for 89 passing yards with a nine-yard scoring strike to
Sockolov; he also ran for the first score. Tagawa scored from the two-yard line as the Cardinals
out gained their opponents by 259 yards to 106 yards, the Lowell defense shining brightly.
Tagawa, weighing in at a mere 135 pounds, was the game’s leading rusher with 120 yards on 25
attempts. Lincoln actually went to the shotgun formation when their regular formation sputtered;
the Cardinals stopped that as well.

Again, the AAA Championship Game came down to Lowell against Balboa, with the
Buccaneers the clear favorite over Ed Burns’ Cardinals. The Buccaneers featured several
veterans from the 1969 title game: center Mike Fauss at 205 pounds, tackle Alvin Cook, and
guards Mike Morello and Kevin Hicks. Added to them on the front line was huge Wilson
Faumina at 245 pounds. Balboa’s scoring machine was led by Nickey Jordan, the AAA rushing
leader, quarterback Ron Weaver, and Andrew Darby. Kimball was aided by his fleet stable on
backs and receivers, and linemen Leon Peros, Dave Berger, and Osland Paulding.

This was Lowell’s year! The headline read: “Kimball Passes Lowell to Title, 26-12”. He passed
for four touchdowns at Kezar Stadium on Thanksgiving Day before 17,500 spectators to give the
Cardinals their first title since 1961. Ed Burns put it more succinctly, when he said, “I’ll finally
be able to taste the turkey today”.

As always it was Kimball’s arm, as he completed 14 of 20 passes for 234 yards, putting his nine-
game totals at 124 completions, 2004 yards, and 24 touchdowns. The recipients of Kimball’s
scoring heaves this Thanksgiving Day were Price for 16 yards and 57 yards, and Pederson for 5
yards and 18 yards. Price caught a total of three passes for 111 yards, Sockolov had four catches
for 23 yards, and Pederson hauled in six throws for 99 yards.

The game was close and exciting with Lowell scoring first and Balboa tying the game twice, the
last time at 12-12 on a 16-yard pass from Jordan. Thirty-six seconds after the Buccaneers tied the
game, Kimball hit Pederson on the five-yarder to give the Indians a lead they would never

                                              - 124 -
relinquish, 19-12 at halftime. They added a third quarter touchdown on the pass to Pederson, and
then held on throughout a scoreless fourth quarter. Balboa actually outgained the Red and White
by 293 yards to 277 yards, based mostly on its running game but the scoreboard had the Cardinal
ahead by 26-12 for the AAA Championship. Eddie Burns summed the victory when he said:
“This team had quickness, desire and guts. It’s guts, that’s it. That’s why we won.”

The All-City team was predictable. Both Lowell and Balboa placed five players on the first team,
complemented by Lincoln running back Mayberry. Kimball of course led the Lowell contingent,
along with Price, Sockolov, Pederson, and Peros. Tagawa, who finished third in AAA rushing,
was selected to the second team. The Balboa representatives were Jordan, Hicks, Fauss, Al
Cook, and huge lineman Faumina.

The Cardinals had their AAA title, and perhaps as importantly, further reduced the series totals
between them and the Parrots. Lowell now had won 26 games against the Red and Black’s 33
victories, and the margin of scoring was drastically going down, now standing at 853 points to
717 points in Poly’s favor over the 62 games that had been played.

                                LOWELL- POLY ALL STARS

                                      CRAIG KIMBALL
                         Great Lowell QB and kicker in 1968-70; 2nd
                         All-City kicker 1968 … TD pass vs. Poly; 5
                         PATs vs Mission; TD run vs. Galileo, FG(25)
                         vs. Poly in 1969 One of greatest years ever by
                         QB in 1970, All-City, broke every AAA
                         passing record … 3 TD passes vs. Wash., and
                         Lions; record 6 TD passes/387 yds./20-28
                         passes vs Poly …. 2 TD passes/206 yds. vs.
                         Lincoln … four TDs/234 yards vs. Balboa to
                         win Title. Set all-time records of 124 PCs,
                         2004 yards, 24 TD passes … later played for
                         San Jose State

                                  1971: NO GAME:
                                 THE SERIES ENDS

The long series ended on a weird note in 1971: Lowell and Poly did not play each other even
though both fielded teams. While it was not clear at the beginning of the season that this would
be Poly’s last year to play football, a scheduling quirk did not call for a Poly-Lowell classic. It
was the first time the schools did not meet since 1924.

                                              - 125 -
The movie “Dirty Harry” with Clint Eastwood was made in the City. McDonald’s opened its
first restaurant, out on Ocean Avenue. The San Francisco School District ordered busing, there
were several more strikes and peace marches, disrupting activity, and Fort Point was dedicated
as the first National Park in the City.

Both teams had poor years, surprisingly so for Lowell, which was the defending champ; but, of
course, they had lost Kimball and several of its offensive stars.

Poly’s season was disastrous, again losing every game; this year it was five straight losses, three
of them by large margins. Highlights were far and few between. The practice season featured
defeats at the hands of Castlemont, Crestmoor by 61-21, and McClymonds. Poly then opened
with a loss to the Galileo Lions by 32-22 with Victoria scoring on two long passes from Babbs.
Galileo’s Garrett scored five times.

The Red and Black were then shut out by Wilson by 18-0 and walloped by the Eagles by a 47-6
margin. They even lost to the Mission Bears by 36-24. The latter game featured a Babbs
touchdown pass to Jourdan for 71 yards and an interception return by the quarterback for six
points. Brittan gained 61 yards on the ground, scoring twice. Finally, Victoria grabbed a 53-yard
touchdown strike from Babbs for Poly’s only score in a 28-8 loss to Balboa. Poly’s great football
tradition would end with thirteen straight losses over the last two regular seasons.

Lowell’s season was only mediocre. They began the year by definitively dropping the Indian
nickname, officially becoming the Cardinals. Perhaps that brought bad luck, but most observers
blamed the bad year on the lack of material. The Cardinals began the regular year with a 37-8
blistering of Washington, behind three running touchdowns of four yards, nineteen yards, and
two yards by Fred Bernard, and a Sockolov 30-yard scoring reception from Dittoe; Barfield also
scored, on a nine-yard jaunt. A 21-12 win over Wilson followed and things looked better.
Barfield scored all three touchdowns, one on a pass from Dittoe, and the others on short runs;
Sokolov added all three extra points, as Lowell out gained the Warriors 239 yards to 191 yards.

But successive losses followed to Lincoln, Mission, and Balboa, and the Cardinals ended the
season with two wins and three losses, and out of the playoffs. Only Barfield could score against
the Bucs, as Lowell was overwhelmed by 41-8, and eliminated from playoff competition. He
also scored, on a five-yard run, in the 13-7 loss to the Mustangs.

Balboa went on to win the AAA title, with a 32-0 rout of Mission, in which the Bears could only
gain a net of 35 yards on the day. The AAA All-City team was dominated by the Champion
Buccaneers. Wilson Faumina was voted AAA player and lineman of the year, and the back of the
year award went to Balboa flanker Robert Jourdan. Poly end Alfred Victoria and quarterback Ed
Babbs were on the first team on offense, while Al Sockolov and Steve Loftus of Lowell made the
first defensive team. Lowell Cardinals end Dave Bond and halfback Dennis Barfield, as well as
Donald Lee, Poly tackle, made the second All-City team.

                                              - 126 -
So, finally and unfortunately, the long series, meaning so much to so many young and old San
Franciscans came to an end. The final totals were as follows:

 SCHOOL           GAMES             WINS              LOSSES         TIES           POINTS
Poly                62               33                 26             3              853
Lowell              62               26                 33             3              717

Regardless of the numbers, both schools were winners for more than 60 years!!!

Lowell’s Cardinals went on to play football through 2003 and certainly beyond, with their own
field and a relatively new campus. The Red and White had success after 1971, winning AAA
Championships in 1972, 1977, and then 25 years later, in 2002. The victory in 2002 was
typically Lowell; they won in the last seconds by 16-12 over Washington, after a long, last
minute touchdown drive.

Poly, of course, no longer exists as an institution. But, interestingly enough, the old, yellow-
brick, arched Boy’s Gymnasium still sits there on Fredrick Street across from the new Kezar
Stadium. The ghosts of some of the great Poly players---Lewis, Hall, Peacock, Marlowe, St.
Clair---may still be lurking in the old locker room where they dressed for so many great games.

                                            - 127 -

                       POLY-LOWELL GAME HISTORY

                                        Cumulative Wins   Cumulative Points  League
Year   Score                          Poly Lowell Tie     Poly    Lowell    Champion

1912   Lowell   32   Poly      0       0         1    0     0       32
1913   Lowell   48   Poly      0       0         2    0     0       80
1914   Lowell    6   Poly      3       0         3    0     3       86      Lowell
1915   Lowell   11   Poly      0       0         4    0     3       97      Lowell
1916   Lowell   11   Poly      0       0         5    0     3      108
1917   Lowell   5    Poly      0       0         6    0     3      113
1918   Lowell   18   Poly      0       0         7    0     3      131
1919   Lowell    8   Poly     8(tie    0         7    1    11      139       Poly

1920   Lowell 3 Poly           3       0         7    2    14       142
        Poly    5 Lowell       3       1         7    2    19      1435      Poly
1921    Poly    7 Lowell       3       2         7    2    26       148
1922    Poly    0 Lowell       0       2         7    3    26       148
1923    Poly   20 Lowell       14      3         7    3    46       162      Poly
1924         No game                                                        Lowell
1925   Lowell 6      Poly      0       3         8    3    46      168
1926   Lowell 16     Poly      0       3          9   3    46      184
1927   Lowell 12     Poly      6       3         10   3    52      196      Lowell
1928   Lowell 8      Poly      6       3         11   3    58      204      Lowell
1929   Lowell 6      Poly      0       3         12   3    58      210

1930    Poly     6   Lowell    0      4          12   3   64       210
1931    Poly    12   Lowell    0       5         12   3    76      210       Poly
1932    Poly     6   Lowell    0      6          12   3   82       210
1933    Poly    12   Lowell    0       7         12   3    94      210
1934    Poly     6   Lowell    0      8          12   3   100      210
1935    Poly    13   Lowell    7       9         12   3   113      217       Poly
1936    Poly    39   Lowell    0      10         12   3   152      217
1937   Lowell   13    Poly     7      10         13   3   159      230       Poly
1938    Poly     9   Lowell    0      11         13   3   168      230
1939   Lowell   12    Poly     0      11         14   3   168      242      Lowell

1940    Poly     7   Lowell    0      12         14   3   175      242       Poly
1941   Lowell   7     Poly     0      12         15   3   175      249      Lowell
1942   Lowell   13    Poly     12     12         16   3   187      262      Lowell
1943   Lowell   6     Poly     0      12         17   3   187      268

                                           - 128 -
                                     Cumulative Wins   Cumulative Points  League
Year    Score                      Poly Lowell Tie     Poly    Lowell    Champion

1944    Poly    26   Lowell   0    13         17   3   213      268       Poly
1945    Poly    37   Lowell   0    14         17   3   250      268
1946    Poly    12   Lowell   0    15         17   3   262      268       Poly
1947    Poly    29   Lowell   13   16         17   3   291      281
        Poly    54   Lowell   0    17         17   3   345      281       Poly
1948    Poly    27   Lowell   6    18         17   3   372      287       Poly
1949    Poly    47   Lowell   19   19         17   3   419      306       Poly

1950    Poly    40   Lowell   12   20         17   3   459      318
1951    Poly    38   Lowell   14   21         17   3   497      332       Poly
1952    Poly    33   Lowell   21   22         17   3   530      353       Poly
1953    Poly    25   Lowell    6   23         17   3   555      359       Poly
1954    Poly    27   Lowell    0   24         17   3   582      359
1955    Poly    33   Lowell   13   25         17   3   615      372
        Poly    39   Lowell   13   26         17   3   654      385       Poly
1956    Poly    14   Lowell    0   27         17   3   668      385
1957    Poly    27   Lowell    0   28         17   3   695      385
1958    Poly    20   Lowell    0   29         17   3   715      385      Poly/SI
1959   Lowell   18    Poly     7   29         18   3   722      403
        Poly    26   Lowell   19   30         18   3   748      422      Poly/SI

1960    Poly    21   Lowell   13   31         18   3   769      435
1961   Lowell   13    Poly    7    31         19   3   776      448      Lowell
1962   Lowell   20    Poly    0    31         20   3   776      468
1963    Poly    26   Lowell   13   32         20   3   802      481
1964    Poly    12   Lowell   7    33         20   3   814      488
1965   Lowell   13    Poly    0    33         21   3   814      501
1966   Lowell   45    Poly    0    33         22   3   814      546
1967   Lowell   41    Poly    7    33         23   3   821      587
1968   Lowell   39    Poly    0    33         24   3   821      626      *Lowell
1969   Lowell   43    Poly    20   33         25   3   841      669      *Lowell

1970   Lowell 48      Poly    12   33         26   3   853      717      Lowell
1971    No Game

    TOTALS                         33        26    3   853      717

(* Round Robin Winner)

                                        - 129 -

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