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Waco Game 1941

The Waco Times-Herald, Monday edition, November 10, 1941:

Ennis Lions Are Next For Waco Club

Tiger Eleven In Good Shape

Semifinal District Battle Likely To Be Tough One For Bengals Here Friday Night

By Jinx Tucker
Times-Herald Sports Editor

One game away from the district finals, the Waco High Tigers, in good shape, go back to work today, preparing for the invasion of the Ennis Lions. Ennis comes to Waco, after inflicting on Denton's strongest club of all time, a 28 to 0 defeat. The Ennis Team seems to be on the up grade. It was barely nosed out by Temple, 13 to 6, and it played a 6 to 6 tie with Corsicana early in the season. It is a big, rugged team, outweighing Waco, and it has two fine backfield stars in Crow and Mock. The Tigers, playing in top form, ought to take it, but it will easily be the hardest game the Tigers have had at home this season, and perhaps it will be the hardest game the Waco boys have all season.

The Waco Times-Herald, Tuesday edition, November 11, 1941:

Waco And Ennis To Play Night Game

Lions Refuse Daytime Tilt

District Rivals Of Bengals This Week Insist Upon Nocturnal Battle For Financial Reasons

By Jinx Tucker
Times-Herald Sports Editor

 The game between Ennis and the Waco high Tigers will be a night game, starting at 8 o'clock as usual. The game of one week from Friday between Waco and Temple will be an afternoon duel. Waco wanted to play Ennis in the afternoon, but the Ennis authorities refused to make the change. They feel that they can make more money by playing the game at night, and being a very small school, really belonging in class A anyway, the boys there are accustomed to being forced to play at night, no matter how cold the weather may be. Ennis, however, is correct in the assumption that the game will draw a larger crowd at night than in the day time, because there are many hundreds of fans who cannot get away from their jobs in the afternoon, but can go at night.

However, we still contend that it is unfair to force a group of boys to play football at night at this season of the year, and the idea of the larger schools are so far away from the ideas of the much smaller schools that it would be much fairer for all concerned if there were another class in the Interscholastic League for such schools as Ennis which are barely in the double A class in enrollment.

A Strong Team

However there is nothing the matter with the Ennis football team. It is strong, and is larger than the Waco team. It has a sturdy line, a great back in Alphonse Mock and a fleet back in a lad named Crow. Ennis has not lost a game this season by more than one touchdown. It played the Temple team a closer game than any district rival, and it also played the game in Temple, losing by one touchdown. A long punt return gave the Ennis team its score. Crow ran 74-yards for the counter.

Tigers Are Ready

The Tigers are going to be ready for the game. They went to work yesterday on Ennis plays. The defense was being brushed up a bit. Waco continues to work on pass defense as well as an aerial attack. Since the game against Waxahachie when many flat zone passes were completed, and also many short ones across the line were completed, Waco has had a great defense against short aerials. Many of them have been intercepted. Curtis Holze has been doing one fine job there. He has been an all-around star on the defense, and he continues to improve. Both Holze and Johnson will be ready to go this week. Chamrod and Easter will also be ready to play. Then there are Deaton, McNeil and Armstrong, giving Waco seven very good backs.

Ennis, however, may prove to be the best defensive team that Waco has met this season. It did not allow Corsicana but one touchdown, and it tied that team. It blanked the Waxahachie team. It also blanked the Cleburne team. The most points made on Ennis in one game were the 13 made by Temple which may be the best team in the entire state.

Corsicana and Temple will also play Friday. It may or may not be a day game. These teams as a rule, meet in the afternoon.   

The Waco News-Tribune, Friday edition, November 14, 1941:

On Friday the great Jinx Tucker, Sports Editor for the Waco News-Tribune wrote, “The Waco High Tigers, victors in six consecutive district contests, play the Ennis High Lions here tonight in the first meeting of the two teams in league history. A Waco team, full of pep and enthusiasm, is ready for the test against a team that has been goaded to desperation, despite the fact that it is out of the race for district laurels. Ennis has lost to Temple, 13 to 6, and thinks it should have won. It was tied by Waxahachie, and tied by Corsicana. It was upset by Hillsboro, but has a far better team than Hillsboro. It won from a strong Bryan team, 19 to 7, and also won from Mexia and Cleburne. It won from Denton last week, 28 to 0. Hillsboro won from that team, 12 to 6. Ennis comes to Waco in top shape, physically, and many fans of Ellis County will follow the team here. Many from Temple will be here to help swell the crowd, and it will no doubt be the largest crowd of the season, if the weather is fair.” 

“What a difference a day makes.” 

The Waco News-Tribune, Saturday edition, November 15, 1941:

Ennis Upsets Waco 6 To 0

Underrated Team Outplays Bengals Throughout Game 

Wacoans Unable To Maneuver Their Backs Through Fast-Charging Line Of Red Shirts 

By Oscar Larnce

News-Tribune Staff

WACO Nov. 14--Several thousand stunned Waco high football fans will agree unanimously with this writer that Weldon Nowlin, Ennis sports scribe, knows his miracles.

He was the laughing stock of this city this week when he wrote it would be a miracle if the Waco Tigers defeated Ennis here Friday night. This morning he has the last laugh and then some.

Could Have Been Worse

The biggest miracle we witnessed was how the bungling Tigers kept the score from being larger as the Ennis Lions pushed them all over the field to come out with a 6-0 victory before the season’s top throng of over 10,000 persons.

Ennis, hard-luck team of the district 10-AA race and a badly underrated aggregation of big, speedy boys with tremendous football ability, had been regarded by Bengal supporters as just another obstacle for their heroes in gold and white to brush aside as they marched into the championship throne room.

Instead, it was the Tigers who draw the pity as they stumbled around the field on offense and groped helplessly at Ennis ball carriers in feeble tackling efforts. One would only have to take a look to understand why they were lucky in not suffering defeat by a larger score.

Gun Stops Score

The gun saved them from another Ennis touchdown in the first half with one play left and the Lions driving deeper on every thrust at the humbling Waco forward wall.

The Lions never scored a sweeter triumph in their gridiron annals. For several years they had waited for this chance and were determined not to lose out when it came. Although they will not get any championship, this one victory has made it a very successful season for them.

We could hardly believe our eyes as the same Tigers who had won eight straight games returned to their form of last year when they failed to do a thing of merit. Could this be the team, which had speed, precision, almost flawless line play and apparently everything else needed to get another championship?

Friday night this so-called wonder team was without offensive power except for an occasional lucky pass. Its line could not break through the deadly Ennis blocking or tackle when Lions came surging through for good gains. In fact it had nothing of that same stuff, which for the past few weeks had ranked it among the state’s great high school eleven.

Lions Have Everything  

Ennis had all the things Waco was lacking. Its backs ran hard and fast with lots of wallop. Its line was ever alert and not once fooled by any weak attempt at deception by the Tigers. Most beautiful part about the Lions was their perfectly executed blocking. There was always a red wall leading the way when an Ennis boy started down the field with the pigskin.

If Waco had any star it was Paul Davis, steady tackle. He was about the only resistance the Tigers offered on defense. Eddie Starr did a fair job, but was way under par. So were Arthur Clark and Garland Rhea and the rest. They were out charged from start to finish and this told the story in the end.

Easter Injured 

Charlie Easter did well in the backfield until he went out with injuries. Pete McNeil was off form although he punted in grand style. Windsor Deaton was smothered on every running try. Austin Johnson also played a few minutes, but did nothing.

Coach Les Cranfill and his Temple Wildcats have nothing to fear next Friday afternoon when the Tigers will try to stop them from hanging up another loop title. There is very little Waco will be able to do about it. Battering George Cikanek, swift Billy Pool and another versatile boy named Crow wrote most of this tragic end for the Tiger bubble. Cikanek was far too powerful for the Waco line as he smashed at tackle and guard when the Tigers had apparently stiffened to stop an Ennis threat. Pool ran the Tiger ends ragged. Crow did a jam-up job of all the chores, running, passing and punting. He got the Ennis touchdown after setting it up with a perfect lateral, which left the Waco boys standing flat-footed as Crow raced within a few feet of the goal.

Giant Edwin Rosprim, a sweet tackle in every department; Chain Emerson, first-rate end, and one or two others were in the front line when Ennis surged in to take care of Waco ball-carrying gestures. Rosprim was all over the field and has not been moved back yet by the Bengals.

Just to show you how bad the Tigers were outplayed, Ennis made 11 first downs to Waco’s three. It was that way in most of the rest except punting, where McNeil had an edge.

Waco could not get through the red-jersied Lions any deeper than the 28-yard line, and never made any real scoring threat.

Start on 31  

The Ennis scoring drive began on its own 31-yard line after McNeil’s punt had sailed out of bounds at that point. A lateral, Cikanek to Crow picked up 17-yards. Crow and Cikanek lacked only inches of first down on line smashes, as the third quarter ended.

Cikanek went in Waco’s 39 on the opening play of the fourth period. He next ripped off weak side tackle for nine and Crow pounded the center for a first on the 27. Mock heaved a mighty one down the field, which was broken up nicely by two Tigers.

Here Mock, directing the team at quarterback, called for the favorite Ennis lateral. Crow ran wide to the left. Mock heaved the ball to him near the sidelines. The Tigers were sound asleep and Crow had only to run with the ball. He was finally hauled down on the two-yard stripe. Two line thrusts failed to gain, then Crow raced wide around right end for the touchdown. Extra point attempt failed but that was the ball game.

First Quarter

It was an ideal November football game. The year’s largest throng was filing into the stands a few minutes before the kickoff. Only a slight breeze was blowing across the field.

Ennis won the toss. The Lions received from the north goal.

Mock took the ball and got up to the Lion 29. Crow picked up only 2 in as many tries and Ennis punted. Deaton returned 13 to the Tiger 42. Easter and McNeil made 6 and McNeil booted out on the Lion 18. The Lions had 3 to make on fourth down. Crow kicked from the 30 to Deaton who fielded the bounce and raced back to the Ennis 49.

McNeil picked up 2 and passed to Armstrong for 5 yards. McNeil lacked 1-yard for first down. The ball was on Ennis’ 40. Waco used poor judgment and ran with ball. They didn’t gain and Ennis took over.

Ennis Gets First Down

Crow and Cikanek, who ran twice, managed for a first down on Waco 46. Cikanek picked up 1 and Billy Pool fumbled to lose 8-yards. Loyd Pool replaced Cikanek for Ennis. Mock’s long pass to Emerson was far too high and Ennis punted from their 45. The boot was short, going out on the Tiger 36.

Waco had third and 12 after McNeil failed to gain and Easter recovered his fumble for a 2-yard loss. The Tigers punted, and Crow fielded on the Lion 28 to come back to the 41 as the quarter ended.

Second Quarter

Crow made 2, then was tackled for a 6-yard loss by Paul Davis. Ennis punted from the 36. Deaton almost made first down off his own left guard. Rosprim smeared the next Tiger try for no gain. The next one also failed to gain and McNeil sailed a mighty punt to the Ennis 10. Crow wriggled up to the 18.

Ennis kicked on fourth down, with 5 to make. Deaton returned to the Tiger 48. He got it about the 40.

McNeil passed to Starr for 9 yards then scrambled through the line to Ennis’ 27.

Deaton made 3, then Billy Pool intercepted a pass and stumbled on the Ennis 25, with only one step needed to send him in the clear.

Three plays were good for only 7 yards. Ennis punted from the 31. Deaton grabbed it on the Tiger 30 and returned 7.

Lions Recover Fumble  

Easter fumbled and Emerson recovered for Ennis on the Waco 38.

Cikanek banged the Tiger line for 7. Crow tried a long pass, which was nowhere near the receiver. Cikanek was inches short of first down on his left end run. Waco called time out. Cikanek got it at right tackle on the next play. The ball was on Waco’s 27. Ennis tried a wide lateral, but it sailed out of bounds for a 6-yard loss.

Mock hoisted one high in the air to Billy Pool on the Waco 9-yard line. It was a dandy 24-yard heave with Pool being wide open.

Ennis tried one play as the half ended much to the joy of the surprised Tiger fans.

Third Quarter  

Waco gained 35-yards net from Scrimmage to 34 for Ennis in the first half, but the Tigers were shoved all over the field. Ennis made three first downs to one for Waco. Two Tiger passes were good for 14 yards. The only Ennis completion gained 24.

Ennis’ band and pep squad were as good as their football team in the intermission performance.

Austin Johnson started the second half for Waco in place of Charlie Easter.

The Tigers received at the south goal. Billy Pool kicked out of bounds, and Waco started from the 35.

McNeil was toppled for a four-yard loss on the first play. Deaton lost another yard. McNeil punted 40-yards, but Crow was alert, and returned 13 to Ennis’ 42.

Billy Pool carried twice for seven yards to midfield. Howard replaced Johnson for Waco. Cikanek struggled to the Waco 42 for first down, but Ennis was penalized five yards for offside. Crow got back nine-yards around his own left end. The kick was partially blocked, and went only nine yards. Waco had it on their 43.

Tiger’s Pass Intercepted

Crow intercepted McNeil’s pass down the middle. Ennis was operating from the Tiger’s 18, when play resumed after Ennis took time out. Crow being slightly hurt on the tackle.

The Tiger line braced and gave up only one-yard on two end run tries. Crow’s quick kick went to Deaton on the Waco 10. He got back 12.

McNeil used a fake spinner for about five yards, but Waco was offside. McNeil then got back, as if to punt, but clatter far to his right for 25 to the Tiger 42. He fumbled, but the wide-awake Walker recovered to save the ball for Waco. Ennis refused a penalty on the next play, and Waco had 14 to go. McNeil’s pass to Starr was incomplete. Another one failed, and Waco punted from the 38.

The punt went to Ennis’ 25. Crow was smeared by Walker, after coming back three yards. Ennis needed eight on fourth down and punted. McNeil raced back 12 to the Lion 48.

Waco was offside on the first play. McNeil to Holze was good for 10-yards. Ennis Forwards smothered McNeil on his next attempt, and he was smeared for no gain. His next one found Armstrong, but failed to gain. McNeil’s punt was short, and went out on the Ennis 34.

Crow failed to gain before a lateral Cikanek to Crow gathered 17 to the Tiger 49. Crow failed to gain then picked up nine wide around his own left end. The quarter ended here.

Fourth Quarter

Cikanek lacked only inches on the last play of the previous period then went for first down on the Waco 39. On third down following a one-yard loss at the line, and an incomplete pass, Waco refused a penalty against Ennis for offside. Cikanek ripped off the weak side tackle for nine. Mock pummeled the middle for first down on Waco’s 27. Mock heaved a mighty one high down on the Tiger goal, but two Tigers broke it up on a close play.

Mock to Crow on a lateral across the field got to the Tiger two-yard stripe. It completely fooled the Tigers, and Crow needed only one more step to get over. Crow was piled up a few inches short of the Waco goal. The next one was stopped on the spot. Crow then swept wide around the Tiger left end for the touchdown behind a wall of red-shirted mates. The goal was missed, and Ennis led, 6 to 0.

Starr scrambled with the Ennis kick-off to Waco’s 33. Waco was helpless before the swarming Lions, and needed 11 yards on second down. McNeil did something about it by pitching to Starr for 13-yards, and first down on the Tiger 46. His next try was incomplete. The next one was likewise. Johnson fumbled for a yard loss. McNeil sent the punt out on Ennis 34.

Ennis Moves Again

Crow made seven, and Cikanek failed to gain. Less than five minutes were left to play and the Tigers were fighting to keep Ennis from making the score bigger. Cikanek found himself behind some of that deadly blocking, and swept around the Tiger left end to the Waco 36.

Two line tries made three, and Mock juggled a pass from Crow for first down on the Tiger 25. About two minutes and 45 seconds remained in the game. Ennis could not operate, but were evidently killing time. They had nine yards to go on fourth down.

Crow kicked nicely out of bounds on the Waco eight. That was the ball game. Waco then pulled another boner to draw a penalty for too many times out. A pass was incomplete. The next bounded out of Armstrong’s hands. Another was broken up by Ennis. It was fourth and 15 to go. McNeil kicked to the 46. Crow managed back to the 30.

Ennis was penalized 15-yards for clipping. The Lions were using line plunges to kill time as the clock ticked off one minute to play. Three smashes netted three yards. Cikanek stalled with a wide end try for no gain. The ball game ended here.

Starting Lineups

No. Waco Team Pos. Ennis Team No.
75 Starr L.E. Emerson 21
54 Davis L.T. Prachyl 41
60 Tucker L.G. Pierce 45
19 Clark C Lavander 30
64 Walker R.G. Houdek 26
63 Rhea R.T. Rosprim 34
55 Holze R.E.  Goodwin 43
23 Armstrong Q.B.  Mock 22
22 McNeil L.H. Crow 24
29 Deaton R.H. B. Pool 48
74 Easter F.B. Cikanek 33

Waco Squad: 50-Davahy, 56-Britton, 61-Chamrod, 65-Stringer, 67-Simon, 68-Norris, 69-Young, 70-Howard, 71-Derrick, 73-McFerrin, 77-Johnson, 78-Adams, 80-Paulk and 81-Woodliff

Ennis Squad: 23-Emmert, 25-Johnson, 28-Priddy, 29-Wright, 31-Gerron, 32-Brooks, 36-Rooker, 37-Smith, 38-Schoeps, 39-G. Richter, 40-Gardiner, 44-Winterrowd, 46-P. Richter, 49-Tolar and 50-L.Pool


Waco: Simon, Davahy, Howard, Johnson, Chamrod, Paulk and Norris
Ennis: L. Pool and Gardner


Joe King (Texas) referee; Hopkins (Oklahoma Aggies) umpire; Potsy Allen (Texas) head linesman; Hawn (Texas) field judge


Waco Description Ennis
3 First Downs 11
2 for 8 for 37-yds. Passes 2 for 3 for 31-yds.
2 Passes Intercepted 0
8 for 35-yd. avg. Punts 9 for 21-yd avg.


The above articles appeared in the Waco Times-Herald and News-Tribune in 1941

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