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Temple Game 1941

The Temple Daily Telegram, Tuesday edition, September 2, 1941:

"Hope Wind Doesn't Blow 'Em Away" Says Cranfill As Light Wildcats Report

Large Les Cranfill whose Class AA record says he is the No. 1 high school football coach in Texas, but who is constitutionally unable to see the bright side of a lighted candle, as far as his ball clubs are concerned, was a sad man last night. Mighty sad. 

"Every year they look terrible at the start of the season, but never--no, not ever--have things looked like this. Did you see the weight chart. DID YOU? I am hoping the wind doesn't blow hard on us at practice some day. We would lose most of our boys."

The Temple Daily Telegram, Thursday edition, October 23, 1941:

Ennis Game To Tell If Cats On Upgrade Or Downgrade

Battle Friday Turning Point

Lions Given An Even Chance To Knock Temple Off; Are Much Improved

The question of whether the Temple Wildcats are going up or down will be answered on Woodson field tomorrow night, when they tangle with the Ennis Lions in a District 10-AA game.

The Wildcats were rated high after punching Mexia 62-0 in the opener, and no lower after they nosed out Austin 19-13, but their running attack wobbled as they passed their way to a 28-7 victory over Bryan and was rolled back twice inside the 10-yard line as they nosed out Cleburne 13-0 last week.

The Ennis game apparently will be the turning point of the Wildcats' season. Either their running attack will begin to roll and they will stay in the district race, or it will fail and they will drop by the wayside.

Ready To Go?

The best indication is that it will begin to go tomorrow night. The shifting of Ed Heap from tackle to blocking back seems to have snapped up the plays, although that will be demonstrated one way or the other in actual competition. The boys as a whole have gone about their work rather grimily this week, determined to be rolling hot against Ennis.

The Lions after taking Arlington 18-7 in their opener, tied Corsicana 6-6, and lost to Hillsboro 6-0, but socked Mexia 33-0 and last week kicked Bryan 19-7. Their comeback has caused them to be given just about an even chance to knock the Wildcats off.

The probably Ennis starters and their weight are: Emerson (175) and Gardiner or Goodwin (both 155) at ends, Schoeps (165) and Winterrowd (168) at tackles, Pierce (155) and Houdek (175) at guards, Lavender (157) at center, and Crow (158), Mock (178), Cikanek (169) and Rosprim (205) in the backfield.

Heavier Backs

The Ennis line will weigh in about the same as the Wildcat forwards, but the Lions will have a backfield advantage of around 12 pounds a man.

Ennis is not running a special train, because railroad cars were not available, but is bringing its band and drill team and several hundred fans in busses and cars.

Reserved seat tickets at 85 cents are on sale at Charlton's and 55 cent general admission tickets are on sale at the usual downtown drug stores. All tickets will be taken up at 4:00 p.m. Friday, and will go on sale at the gate at 6:45 p.m, one hour before game time.

The Temple Daily Telegram, Saturday edition, October 25, 1941:

Temple Wildcats Take Ennis Lions By 13 To 6 Score

Stout Defense Marks Victory

Two Brilliant Runs In First Period Give Thrills To Fans

By Harry Blanding
Telegram Sports Editor

TEMPLE Oct. 24—The snarling Temple Wildcats were almost a real ball club as they battered the game Ennis Lions down, 13 to 6, in a District 10-AA game on Woodson Field here last night.

With big Ed Heap operating as well as could be expected in his first game at blocking back, the Wildcat offense rolled better than it ever had before. Although it still was not as strong as it can be, but it was another of Coach Les Cranfill’s masterful defenses, beautifully put on by the alert Cats that stole the show.

It rocked and socked the Lion ball carriers time after time, bouncing them back for losses consistently. It allowed Ennis a net gain of just two yards on running plays, and only one first down, on a flat zone pass. Ennis got past its own 40-yard line just once, and that was on a pass interception on the Lion 42-yard line as the first half ended.


The ball game opened with two of the most sensational plays seen on Woodson Field since Stephenville’s Barney Welch ran a mile and a half with the opening kickoff in the 1940 bi-district game.

On Temple’s first play from scrimmage, Wild Wayland Hill faked into strong tackle, swung out, then cut to the middle as the speeding blockers chopped down every Lion in the way, and ran 56-yards untouched for a touchdown. He barely missed with his kick for the extra point.

Then, moments later, Bubba Morris booted a long bouncing punt that little Joe Crow fielded on the Ennis 45. He was not more than five-yards from the sideline and apparently was boxed up by three Wildcats, but he cut inside them, threaded back to the sideline and outran the pack to score standing up. Dooney Pierce’s try for point was wide by inches.


The Wildcats sacked it up late in the second quarter with the strongest power stuff they had showed all season. After being turned back inside the Ennis 20 when big Alphonse Mock intercepted Hill’s pass, and again a few minutes later when Bubba Morris was trapped for a big loss on a pass attempt on the Ennis 24, they got another chance when center F. G. Martin intercepted Mock’s pass on the Ennis 30.

Jumping Jack Allen, who drove harder throughout the game than he ever had before, busted the middle of the struggling Ennis line for 6. Hill slashed off weak guard for three. Allen plowed through to the Ennis 18. hill tore the weak side apart faked in at strong tackle, and cut wide fast as the Ennis secondary sucked over. He outran them to the corner for a touchdown, then stepped back and split the middle for the extra point.


The Cats threatened once in the third quarter, and spent the last canto knocking at the door, but were stopped four times either by penalties or the worn-out but still battling Ennis line.

Temple’s running plays went much better than they had the week before against Cleburne, although they were operating against the equivalent of an eight-man line all the way. The Cats did not loosen it up much with passes, since the grass was wet with dew and the ball was slippery, but they ripped it for a net gain of 211 yards running, with Hill, Allen, H. E. LaGrone and John Roy Stevens whacking out the yards.

Ennis, with its power plays stacked up, had not enough passing to do any good, gaining but 28 yards on three completions, with three intercepted and seven incomplete. Temple completed only one, for 11 yards, had two interceptions and six incomplete.


Picking Wildcat line stars was impossible. The entire line was a stone wall on defense, aided by splendid line backing, and blocked well in spurts on offense. Lee Weaver at guard turned in his best job to date.

For Ennis, Emerson at end blocked good most of the time, as did Lavander at center and Pierce and Winterrowd at guard and tackle. The Ennis linebackers were just fair, although they were in so tight they were seldom blocked out.

Oddly, the score was tied at 6-all and the game was deep into the second quarter before either team made a first down, Hill’s long gallop not counting as one.


Mock ran the high kickoff up to his own 34. Mock lost two on a sweep. Mock failed to gain at weak tackle. Crow kicked high to Hill, who spun up to the Temple 44 with it.

On the first play Hill took the in and outer off strong tackle, and the blockers worked like 10-sickles going through the ripe grain. Hill cut in to the middle and not a hand was laid on him as he galloped 56-yards to pay dirt. Hill missed the try for point.


Mock got the short kickoff up to his own 36. Mock failed to gain at strong tackle, and Crow quick kicked to the Temple 25.

Allen hit straightway for four. Hill went three on a short side spinner. Allen got one on a quick opener. Morris came in to kick, booted a bounder that Crow took on the bounce, faked in past three Cats, then cut to the sideline and raced 55-yards to score going away. Pierce’s try for point was wide.


Allen ran the high kickoff up to his own 37. Allen hit strong tackle for three. Emerson dropped Hill for a loss of one. Allen cracked the middle for six. Hill kicked to Crow, who was dumped on his own 27.

Mock got one at strong tackle. Mock drove for two at weak tackle. Crow kicked high to Hill, who slipped on the Temple 41.

Allen bit the middle for two, but the cats were struck for off sides. Hill sliced through strong tackle for eight. Stevens took a shallow reverse for five as the quarter ended.


On the sucker pass, Hill was wide open, but Morris overthrew him by a scant yard. Morris kicked to Crow, who was downed on his own 26.

With the score 6-6, neither team had made a first down. On a handoff to Mock, the ball was fumbled, and a swarm of Cats fell on it on the Ennis 24.

LaGrone cut into weak tackle on a shallow reverse for 6. Hill failed to gain at strong tackle. Mock intercepted Hill’s pass on his own 10, ran it out to the 23, where Hill took him.

Mock lost three on a wide reverse. Pool got one at strong tackle. Crow’s kick was blocked and spun out to the side, the Wildcats falling on it on the Ennis 30.

Allen fought for 2 on a spinner. Billy Pool took Stevens for a loss of seven on a wide reverse. Morris hit Ham to the Ennis 24 on a spinner pass. On a fourth down pass, Morris was dumped back on the Ennis 33.

Hill just did get high enough to deflect a long pass to Gardiner. Martin intercepted Mock’s pass, fell on the Ennis 30 as he tried to cut in.

Hill failed to gain at strong tackle. Allen blasted the middle for six. Hill hit weak guard for three. Allen plowed to the Ennis 18 for the initial first down of the ball game. Hill busted the weak side for seven. Allen got one straightaway. Hill faked in at strong tackle, drew the Ennis secondary over a step, then turned on the heat as he swung wide and outran the Lions backs to the corner. Hill kicked the point.


Emerson ran the kickoff up to the Ennis 40 and fumbled. Heap grabbed it out of the air and falling on the Ennis 42.

Gardiner batted down Morris’ pass. Mock intercepted Morris’ pass on the Ennis 42. Half.


Allen fumbled the high kickoff, got up to his own 28 with it. Hill failed to gain at weak guard. Allen cracked the middle for seven. Allen lacked inches of making it a first down on a spinner. Morris kicked out of bounds on the Ennis 26.

Mock got one at strong end. Cikanek got one at the weak side. Crow kicked to the Temple 22.

Hill lost two on a sweep. Allen got it back plus one at the middle. Morris came in, quick kicked to the Ennis 32.

Pool slipped, lost two. A reverse pass was way too long. Hill took Crow’s quick kick ran it up to the Temple 44.

Allen hit the middle for two. Hill fought through weak tackle for six. Allen hit the middle for a first down, by inches. Allen slashed through a hole at strong tackle for nine. The Ennis line swarmed Hill for a loss of one. Allen dived to the Ennis 34 for another first down. Hill got one at strong tackle. LaGrone fumbled on a shallow reverse and Ennis recovered on their own 29.

A long hope pass was wide. Mock got one at strong tackle. Hill fielded Crow’s quick kick, ran it to the Temple 39.

Allen busted strong tackle for six. Stevens ghosted to the Ennis 44 on a wide reverse. Quarter.


LaGrone slid through strong tackle for 12. Stevens took a wide weak side reverse for seven. Allen broke the Ennis line in two for eight, but both teams were off sides. LaGrone slipped, got only one at strong tackle. Hill came back in. Hill hit the middle for one. Hill plowed over for the first down, but the Cats were off sides. A spinner pass was no good and the Lions took over on their own 25.

Mock hit Crow in the right flat for seven. Rosprim failed to gain on a handoff. Crow’s bounding punt was fielded by Hill on his own 20 and he shook loose up to his 46 with it.

Allen cut out on the in and outer to the Ennis 41. The Lions were stuck five for too many times out. LaGrone lost four on a short reverse. Hill bored through weak guard for 7. Allen hit the pile for one. Heap went out hurt. Allen was short by inches on fourth down, and the Lions took over on their own 31.

Hill intercepted Mock’s long pass on the Temple 48.

Hill whacked strong tackle for three. LaGrone drove for four on a short reverse. Hill spun into weak tackle, lateraled to Allen, who raced to the Ennis 35. Hill got one at strong tackle. Allen hit the middle for one. Hill hit Ham, who had it on the Ennis 15, but it slipped out of his grasp, incomplete. Morris sliced a crisp spiral out of bounds on the Ennis five-yard line.

Crow passed to Mock in the left flat for a first down on the 20. It was Ennis’ initial first down. Mock hit Crow in the right flat for eight. There were two minutes left to play. Hill almost intercepted Mock’s alley pass. Baker made a great diving interception of Rooker’s flat zone pass on the Ennis 27.

Hill busted weak guard for one. Allen drove for four at strong guard. Hill’s lateral to Allen was wide and Allen fell on it for a loss of four as the game ended.

Game At A Glance

Starting Lineup

Temple Ennis
No. Name Wt Pos. No. Name Wt
60 Ham, Barney 154 L.E. 21 Emerson 175
79  Teague, Bobby 162 L.T. 44 Winterrowd 168
58 Koctar, Robert 143 L.G. 45  Pierce 155
52 Martin, F. G. 175 C 30 Lavander 157
65 Weaver, Lee 175 R.G. 26 Houdek 175
64 Marshall, Feifer 166 R.T. 38 Schoeps 165
36 Baker, Kenneth 158 R.E. 40 Gardiner 155
68 Hill, Wayland 167 B 22 Mock 178
34 Allen, Jack 157 B 24 Crow 158
62 Heap, Edwin 183 B 33 Cikanek 169
54 Stephens, J. R. 140 B 34 Rosprim 205


Temple: Evans, Morris, Watson, LaGrone and Dillon

Ennis: Rooker, Prachyl, Goodwin, G. Richter, P. Richter, B. Pool


Temple Statistics Ennis
7 First Downs 1
211 net Yards Rushing 2 net
11 Yards Passing 28
1 Passes Completed 3
6 for 37 average Punts and Average 8 for 36 average
2 for 10 yds Penalties 1 for 5 yds

Individual Gaining

Temple: Hill, 101 yds. net
Ennis: Mock, 2 yds. net


The above articles appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram in 1941

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