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November 21, 2011

Case vs. Reserve 1948 Thanksgiving Day game

The 11/25/1948 Cleveland Plain Dealer Sports headline read, “Case Hopes to End Reserve’s 21-Year Streak.” Long-time reporter Chuck Heaton wrote, “Case and Western Reserve, those traditional rivals, will be cast in familiar roles at 10:30 this Thanksgiving Day morning at League Park.

“The Rough Riders are on the short end of the odds again despite the fact that they will take the field with a slightly better record than the Red and White clad warriors from across the fence.

“Reserve must be selected as favorite on the basis of its far more rugged schedule, better running attack and the fact that the Red Cats displayed sharper claws as the season progressed. Perhaps even more important than these fundamental facts is Reserve’s winning complex which has played such an important part in making most Thanksgivings a day of football celebration for Reserve.”

Ray Ride, Case football coach since 1930 and athletic director, had never beaten Reserve in football. The closest he came to victory was a 0-0 tie in 1933. 1948 was a different year. The Rough Riders were victorious over the Red Cats of Reserve.

The account from the Case student yearbook, Differential, read:
“Twenty-one years is a long, long time, but when it happened, it was convincing. Case beat Western Reserve, 15-7!

“League Park was agog. Telephones spoke. Radios hummed. In a matter of minutes all Cleveland was exclaiming, ‘Heard the latest? Case beat Reserve!’ The year of upsets was climaxed. The Indians, Truman, and now Case!

“Early in the opening quarter Neubecker rocketed through, nailing Castilla behind his goal. Two points rang upon the scoreboard.

“Second period. Ganyard, on a jump pass, hit Steigerwald. Dave saw the goal line, and Case rooters went wild.

“Fourth quarter Rigot smashed into the Red Cat line. It gave. At the twenty Oatis called the clincher. Rigot faded, looking for a receiver, saw him, and hit him. Yarsa scored the final points. The goal posts fell!

“Pick out the stars? Impossible! The team, man for man, played the game of their lives. Said the jubilant Ray Ride, ‘The line played perfect football.’ The backfield – Rigot, Zahn, Oatis, and Yarsa – became jinx-cracking Case immortals.”

Enjoy more stories of the traditional Thanksgiving Day Case-Reserve game.

Posted by hxy2 at November 21, 2011 02:28 PM

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