Middies to Face Rice on Jan. 1 In Dallas
PHILADELPHIA --- Ned Oldham, hobbled by a knee injury since midseason led Navy into the Cotton Bowl on a 14-0 victory over Army Saturday. The Middies will meet Rice in the New Year's Day classic at Dallas. The decision to accept the bowl bid was made on a ballot by the Middies in their dressing room.
Rice Saturday trimmed Baylor, 20-0 to win the Southwest Conference championship and an automatic invitation as host team.
Oldham drove through a host of defenders on a six-yard touchdown: run in the first period and ran 44 yards on a punt return for the second score early in the fourth period.
Just to keep things in the family, the 21-year-old captain of the Navy team from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, also converted twice. Navy's two-deep line and sturdy defense contained Bob Anderson and Pete Dawkins, the halfbacks who had scored in every previous Army game. It was the first time the highs coring Cadets had been shut out all season.
While a crowd of 101,000 watched on a gloomy, rain-soaked afternoon at Municipal Stadium, Navy took charge of this 58th renewal and never let up. The going got a little rugged after the second Navy touchdown when Navy's Bob Reifsnyder and Army's Bill Melnik were ejected for tossing a few left hooks. Navy had intercepted an Army pass on the play but it was nullified by the balancing penalties.
Oldham, who was hurt in the Penn game and saw only limited action in recent weeks, made up for that enforced "vacation" by his brilliant offensive and defensive play.
But the real story Of this ball game was the rock and sock play of the Navy line and the tightly knit defense that made the Middies second in the nation on total defense.
Army made one serious march early in the second period as they drove all the way to the Navy 9 before a mix up in the backfield resulted in a fumble that Navy's Bob Caldwell finally recovered on the Navy 10. On the play the Army backs appeared to miss a count and the team was off sides before Dave Bourland took the ball.
Although the Cadets intercepted two of Tom Forrestal's passes in that frantic second period, the Navy held twice for downs in its own territory.
Army had another chance to score in the third period when a long, booming punt by Vin Barta was fumbled by Harry Hurst and recovered by Melnik on the Navy 19.
On a fourth down and six to go situation, Bourland's pass was intercepted by Forrestal in the end zone for an automatic touchback.
Don Usry, the Army left end, had maneuvered into position behind Forrestal but the Navy quarterback leaped into the air to pick it off. That was the ball game. Heavy rains in the morning which slackened by the kickoff but picked up at times during the contest were a definite factor. The field remained covered until game time but the traditional parade of the cadets and midshipmen was cancelled.
NAVY 7 0 0 7-14 ARMY 0 0 0 0- 0
Navy scoring--Touchdowns: Oldham 2 (6-yard run; 44-yard punt return.) Conversions: Oldham 2.