DAVIS CANT FORGET 1946 ARMY-NAVY GAME
By Glenn (Junior) Davis
3-Time All-America At West Point (1944-45-46) Heisman and Maxwell Trophy Winner ( 1946) College Football Hall of Fame)
This was the final football game of my college career and the one I shall always remember. It was the Navy game, 1946.
The Army record for three years was 33 won, one tie and no defeats. If we could get by Navy it would be the most successful three years in modern college football. On the other hand, if we lost we might go down in the recod book as "just another team".
Our team, was confident. Weren't we playing a Navy team that had lost its last seven games? Hadn't the newspaper so made us a solid 21-point favorite? Navy kicked oft, Army went right down the field and scored in fact, the first three times we got our hands on the ball we scored.
At half-time,the score was Army 21, Navy 0. In our dressing room you could hear such remarks as, "let's make it 50-0," and "they couldn't break a paper bag the way they're blocking today." During the balf-time break, Col. Earl Blaik and the assistant coaches were trying to correct first half mistakes and make some new plays for the final two quarters. But no one was really paying much attention.
Running through our minds was a single thought, "how I will the papers play up a 50-0 game?" Army kicked off to Navy for the second half. The Middies marched right down the field and scored, but missed the extra point to make tht score 21-6.
Not much later a pass ihterception gave the Middies the ball deep in our territory and Navy went on to score, but missed the extra point again. It was now 21-12. Early in the fourth quarter on fourth down and one yard to go on our own 40 we elected to go to It. Doc Blanchard carried off-tackle.
There was no hole. Navy held. Eight plays later Navy scored its third touchdown. The score moved up to 21-18. Things were getting serious. Our three-year record was in jeopardy. Now Navy had the momentum and our chins were dragging on the ground. Navy was moving the ball easily and we couldn't stop them.
With only five minutes to play Army fumbled and Navy recovered. Again the Middies started a drive. There wasnt much time remaining when Navy was on our 10- yard line. An off-tackle smash moved the ball to the 4 and only seconds remained. It was 2rd down and we stopped them for a gain of one. On the next play, Navy was stopped for no gain.
Time ran out before they could get off another play for the 4th down. The game was over. We had won 21-18. I shall never forget the game or the great lesson it is for all football players. Over-confidence can really ruin a great football team or individual star quicker than anything else.
Hadn't we just seen what happens when you wake up to the fact that you are really in a dog fight out on the field only to find that you are playing a gang of supercharged Tigers? Sure, we won 21-18. But wernt we the 21-point favorites? Ill never forget it.