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November 22, 2017

Case vs. WRU 1947 Thanksgiving Day Game and Activities

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Cartoon from the 11/21/1947 Case Tech

Seventy years ago Thanksgiving Day once again witnessed the Case vs. Reserve annual football game. In anticipation of the contest, the Reserve Tribune reported, “Turkey Day this year will witness the 55th clash between the ancient fence rivals, Case and Reserve. Few rivalries can boast as illustrious a history as this one. Having compiled a record of 34 wins and five ties in the 52 games played thus far, the Red Cats will strive this year to make it 16 straight over the Rough Riders.”

Cartoon and schedule of events from the 11/21/1947 Reserve Tribune
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Both schools held rallies at 11 a.m. the Wednesday before the game. Reserve students gathered in Amasa Stone Chapel while Case students gathered at Van Horn Field. The rallies, as you would imagine, did not end calmly. After singing the Alma Mater to close the official rally, some Reserve students had a dummy and suggested stringing it from the top of Case’s tallest tree. According to the account in the Reserve Tribune the several students “went over to Case to do their duty. But, they made one mistake. They didn’t wait for the whole crowd. While they were still outnumbered the Case boys took the dummy and proceeded to tear it apart. By the time reinforcements had arrived all that was left of the dummy was the football pants that it was wearing. These were promptly rescued....The pants were strung up in the tree and secured there. Several of the plumbers attempted to climb the tree but were promptly hauled back down. They were only de-shoed, however, in consideration for the Mather girls who were milling around inciting the boys to riot. Then some of the Case boys went out and proceeded to tie up traffic on Euclid, de-trolleying several streetcars...”

The football game was held at 10:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (11/27) in front of 8,500 fans at League Park. It was an exciting game as the Red Cats beat the Rough Riders 13-12. As reported in both the Tribune and the Case Tech, the field was frozen and neither team could move the ball in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Reserve scored a touchdown after a 67 yard drive. Nate Corbin took the hand-off from the quarterback at the Case 45, swept wide around the left end and ran for score. The pass for the extra point was incomplete and the Red Cats led 6-0. Near the beginning of the second half Case came back and scored when the quarterback took it in from the 2 yard line. Case also missed the extra point and the score was tied 6-6.

Later in the 3rd quarter Reserve end Mike Nesteruk recovered a Case fumble on their 34 yard line. After a few plays quarterback Lahr passed to Johnny Franko in the end zone for the score. George Roman kicked the extra point and Reserve took the lead 13-6. “Case, undaunted by their opponents’ lead, came roaring back in the last period. After a punt had rolled out on the Reserve 2, Lahr was forced to kick out of danger. The kick was blocked by Case’s Bob Gorman, and the Rough Riders recovered on the 3 yard line. On the second play, Halfback Wayne Zahn carried the pigskin over on a deceptive handoff. A poor pass from center ruined the Riders’ chances of knotting the ball game.”

In the evening the Reserve ODK (Omicron Delta Kappa - national honorary campus leadership society) and Case Blue Key dance was held at Hotel Cleveland. Both the ODK and Blue Key queens presided at the dance. They were presented to the crowd and crowned by bandleader Tommy Dorsey at the halftime ceremonies during the game. The dance was held from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. The cost was $2.25. per couple. Advance ticket holders at Case were entered into a raffle for ducks and turkeys held during the pre-game rally.

See accounts of other Thanksgiving Day games and events in blog entries from 2017, 2013 , 2012, 2011 , 2010 and 2nd 2010 entry.

Posted by hxy2 at November 22, 2017 02:57 PM

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