Morning Register Des Moines, Iowa
Sittin' in with the athletes
Ohio State Next
The Iowa Seakhawks opened season Saturday in convincing style, when they overwhelmed a ^ weak, but spirited Illinois team, ;:; that was greatly outmanned as to quality, especially when the veterans of Lieut. Don Faurot's squad were in the game.
In spite of the fact that the scouts, who had
seen Illinois lose,--^^^
23 to 0, a week don faurot. earlier, were agreed that the Ilini were a very much improved team, the Seahawks piled up 366 yards from scrimmage and an additional 74 from three completed forward passes.
But Ohio State is in the offing. The Pre-Flight coaches consider this week's Buckeye game as one of the most important on their schedule. In addition they regard Paul Brown's outfit as one of the most dangerous, even though virtually all of last year's championship eleven are gone.
Ohio State, however, is right in the center of the greatest-high school football belt in the nation and Brown is sure to have the cream of the graduating crop.
There is also deep respect in the Seahawk camp for Brown as a coaching genius. Then, too, there is the matter of last year's Seahawk humiliation at Columbus and two defeats Faurot suffered from the Buckeyes while he was coaching Missouri to be accounted for.
Without the benefit of scouting the Buckeyes the Seahawk staff went to work immediately after the Illinois game on practice plans for the coming week. Sunday the coaches looked at and studied moving pictures of the 1942 Sea-hawk-Buckeye game in preparation for the week's work.
FAUROT was impressed by the Illini's defense, strange as that may seem in view of the yardage piled up against them.
"They mussed up a lot of our plays", the Seahawk coach declared. "I have a lot of respect for Eliot's (Ray Eliot, Illinois coach) ability to set up a defense."
Even though many plays were spoiled by the Illini some of the Seahawks' backs had field days. Bus Mertes, former Hawkeye star, and a holdover from the 1942 Pre-Flight team, averaged 13.5 yards in six ball toting attempts and Ens. Dick Todd, formerly of the Washington Redskins and the Texas Aggies, averaged 12.7 in the same number of tries.
Then came Cadet Frank Maz-nicki, formerly of the Chicago Bears, with 10.5 in five attempts, Cadet James Smith with 8.6 in five, and Ens. Ellis Johnson, whom I'll consider later, with 5.5 in two.
EDDIE BRAY, a fleet 150-pound freshman, was the most impressive of the Illini backs, although his average of 3.6 yards in 14 attempts was exceeded by Eddie Nemeth and Don Johnson, also yearlings, each of whom made 12 yards in three attempts for an average of four.
Although Bill Krall, a sophomore, was held without gain from scrimmage, it was he who ran back a kickoff 83 yards for the second Illini touchdown after the Seahawks had attained a 32 to 6 advantage. It must be admitted, however, that the Flyers, basking in the security of a big lead, were temporarily palsied, else the run could not have been made.
THE SEAHAWKS came through | the game in good physical condition with one exception. Cadet John Williams, starting quarterback, had his arm dislocated on the first scrimmage play of the contest. He will leave the Iowa base after four more games and therefore in all probability will not be seen in the Seahawk lineup again.
That fellow Ellis Johnson, another quarterback, mentioned earlier in this column, hadn't played any football for 10 years. He's been coaching. For the last five years he's been at the Moor-head Teachers in Kentucky. Although 33 he wants to play since he thinks it will make a much better coach of him.
"I've always kept in condition," he explained, "so I can take it. My squads have been so small that I've had to get out and scrimmage against my first teams at various times."
o IF A STRANGER happened to pass through the car in which the Seahawks made the trip to Chicago Friday he wouldn't have recognized it as a football squad. Four instructors accompanied the players, many of whom were forced to study.
There were cadets with telegraph instruments in their laps practicing code, there were others with photos of ships or planes, studying identification, and others working on navigation or other subjects.
Saturday morning the players] on their first trip of the year bumped into some of the difficulties and hardships of wartime travel. Lunch had been ordered on the dining car, but when the
train pulled out for Champaign the Seahawks were on one section of the train, tin diner on another.
Arriving at their destination at 12:30 p. m., and with the game starting an hour and a half later, the athletes were forced to eat a hurried, but light luncheon.
FAUROT took a squad of 37 players to Illinois and everyone of them played, although four or five were in the game only a few minutes near the finish ... In addition to Fritz Mackey of Ohio State, the Seahawks were scouted by Chick Sutherland of Iowa State and Maury Kent of Iowa .. . . Kent might have saved himself a trip by getting in an upper window of the Iowa fieldhouse with a pair of glasses . . . Tom Jones, Wisconsin track coach, is back working at football ... He scouted the Illini for Harry Stuhldreher . . . Mike Tobin, veteran publicity director at Illinois, is improving rapidly following the amputation of a leg two weeks ago . . . The operation apparently saved his life . . . His trouble is coronary thrombosis.
Lieut. Harry (Moon) Mullins of Notre Dame fame, one of the Seahawk coaches, pronounced the Thursday night pep meeting at the Pre-Flight school, to be one of the two best he ever attended . . . "It was just like a college pep meeting, only better than most of them, and this Seahawk squad has the old college spirit, too," he declared . . . The Pre-Flight band and numerous officers also were at the station to see the team off Friday afternoon . . . Unable to get direct transportation back on the Rock Island to Iowa City, the squad returned via Cedar Rapids Sunday.
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