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Sports Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Looking back at TAHS football in 1961

A re-aligned Tyrone borough council was on hand for the regular October 1961 meeting. With Robert O. Dixon and Reynolds J. McDonald appointed as the new Sixth Ward councilmen and William McMinn and Marion H. G. Shirk appointed to vacancies in the First Ward. McMinn had been on the council, but was given a term that was to run longer, while the others were newcomers on the council.
Rain-fed floodwaters rose from Kansas to the Great Lakes and while southern Illinois cleared up debris from several tornadoes, the Rocky Mountains got more snow during the opening week of October. In the East, it was hot.
President Kennedy warned that the fate of man had never been so imperiled, challenging the Soviet Union to agree to a new six-point disarmament program, beginning with the restoration of the ban on nuclear test.
The President rejected Russia’s demands to pace a three-man “troika” at the head of the United Nations and warned anew that the Western powers were ready to defend West Berlin “by whatever means were forced upon them.”
“Unless man can match his strides in weapons and technology with equal strides in social and political development, our great strength like that of the dinosaur, will become incapable of proper control-and man like the dinosaur, will decline and disappear.”
At the Lion Inn, on the road to Nealmont, the specialties were oyster sandwiches, ousters in the basket or club sandwiches. R. W. Stever D.D.D., at 1119 PA Avenue, announced the association with his son, Dr. Richard W. Stever, for the practice of dentistry. For auto liability and property damage, Jack Clark, 1129 PA Avenue had insurance rates for compact cars of $10.20 for five months, and all other cars $11.30, with a 10 percent discount on all coverages for two or more cars. At David’s (Dave Goldberg) at 1008 PA Avenue, you could get a summer tune-up for your watch, along with low-cost service, factory parts, guaranteed workmanship, prompt service-Dress up your hand with a handsome band. For prescription chemists, you could take your medical prescriptions to Steel’s Drug Store at 16 West 10th Street.
“The Pusher,” plus Mamie Van Doren and Richard Coogan starring in “Vice Raid” were playing early in the week at the Wilson Theatre. On Friday at midnight, Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie and Don Taylor starred in “Johnny Dark.” Then from Wednesday through Saturday, it was Gary Cooper and Deborah Kerr in “The Naked Edge.” At the El Patio, from Wednesday to Saturday “Serengeti” was featured, along with “Vice Raid” which moved next door from the Wilson.
The New York Yankees were 10-5 favorites to win the 1961 World Series over the Cincinnati Reds, even with Mickey Mantle looking pale after just coming out of the hospital. Mantle had undergone surgery for a hip abscess. If Mickey couldn’t play, Yankee manager Ralph Houck planned to move regular right fielder and new major league baseball home run king Roger Maris over to center to take Mantle’s spot and use Yogi Berra in left and John Blanchard in right. Maris, was a good glove man who because of his 61 homers in 1961, never got his due as a defensive outfielder. Both Berra and Blanchard were much better known as catchers throughout their big league careers, but neither was a stranger to playing outfield.
Houck planned on pitching lefty Whitey Ford (25-4) and right-handers Ralph Terry (16-3) and Bill Stafford (14-9), while Reds manger Fred Hutchinson planned to go with right-handers Joey Jay (21-10) and Bob Purkey (16-12), after opening with lefty Jim O’Toole (19-9) in game one. New York had hit a major-league record 240 home runs in 1961 led by Maris with 61 and Mantle who finished with 54. The Yankees seemed to have the edge in defense, power and catching, while the Reds boasted better pitching, usually considered the most vital factor.
It was either a complete lack of defense, or an all-out offensive battle on Friday evening Oct. 6, 1961, but whatever the description, it ended up a 33-27 victory for Tyrone over Bellefonte at the losers’ field.
It was the second straight win for the Eagles to improve their record to 4-1, while Bellefonte fell to 2-3. Each team scored at least once in every quarter, with the Eagle defense giving up 27 points, after yielding just a grand total of 30 in their first four games.
Coach Ron Corrigan was very unhappy about the defensive lapses, saying after the game that “the only good thing about it (the game) was that we won it.”
Chet Wolford was the big gun offensively for the Orange and Black, scoring three touchdowns and rushing for a game-best 147 yards on 27 carries.
Tyrone spotted Bellefonte a Td lead on the first offensive series of the game, then came back to close to within 7-6. Quarterback Tom Miller passed down the middle to Gary Greene, who caught the ball at about the B-30 and raced to the end zone to complete a 57-yard scoring play.
The Eagles then held Bellefonte, taking over at the T-2 and marching 98 yards for a go-ahead tally. The big play was a 41-yard pass from Miller to Greene that took the ball to the Raider-9. Wolford covered the last nine yards for the TD and a Miller-to-Carl White pass produced the extra point. Tyrone was forced to punt during the long march, but Greene recovered a muff on the kick, to keep the drive alive.
Bellefonte tied the game on the final play of the first half, but missed the try for the PAT to go into the half tied 13-13.
Tyrone was unable to pick up a first down on the opening series of the third quarter, but Sheldon Harper picked off a Bellefonte pass and returned the interception down the sideline, 59 yards for the score and a 19-13 advantage.
Bellefonte countered with a score and PAT of their own to jump into a 20-19 lead with nearly eight minutes left in the quarter.
The charges of Coach Corrigan came right back to take the lead again before the end of the third quarter. Tyrone drove 61 yards, with Wolford dashing the final 25 for the TD. Miller was stopped short on the PAT run, but the Eagles led 25-20.
With just 2:20 gone in the fourth quarter, Wolford scored his third TD of the night to cap an 82-yard march. Miller rushed for the PAT and a 32-20 advantage.
Bellefonte refused to roll over and play dead, marching in for another score and extra point to narrow the Eagles margin to 32-27.
After all that offense, either defense finally took over, or maybe shear exhaustion from marching up and down the field so often. There was no further scoring over the final 7:04. Tyrone finally got possession for the final time, with 1:20 left and was able to run out the clock