Ending an undefeated and untied season in a blaze of glory, the Denison High School Yellow Jackets blasted their arch rivals, the Sherman Bearcats, 45-6, here Thursday afternoon in the annual grudge battle between the two elevens.
With the victory went the District 5-AA championship, the first for the Jackets since 1922 when a Denison eleven went to the quarterfinals before being eliminated, 19-0, by Cleburne.
Thursday’s victory was the first over Sherman since 1936 and the fourth since 1912. The 1938 and 1941 games were ties. During the last two years, the Jackets have won 17 games, lost one and tied.
The Jackets were primed this year for the invasion of the Bearcats and they turned loose their brutal power at the opening whistle with off-tackle slashes and end sweeps.
With the game about three minutes old, Bill Ball dashed 28 yards for the first touchdown. Denison started the Drive on the Sherman 32 when Raymond Hicks recovered a Sherman fumble. Ball and Harold Rowland each picked up two yards before Ball scored on an end sweep. After being offside twice, Sherman was penalized to the one. Billy Robnett blocked Ed Hicks’ placement and James Batsell was downed when he attempted to run with the ball.
The next touchdown came six minutes later and was one of the outstanding plays of the game. The Jackets took the ball on their own 12 after receiving a Bearcat punt. Ball picked up six yards over guard and then Ed Marshall made it first down on the 22. Rowland hit center for four yards and then Ball handed the ball off to Rowland who drove to the 33.
The Jackets were set back to the 18 on a 15-yard penalty for holding. Marshall then passed to Ed Hicks for ten yards. Hicks lateraled to Batsell who in turn lateraled to Ball. Ball raced 72 yards for a touchdown, the entire play being good for 82 yards. Ball was in the clear when Batsell lateraled to him and he outran the Bearcats who tried to overhaul him. Ball kicked the extra point.
Denison took a Sherman punt on the 48. Marshall passed to Keith Harshbarger for 12 yards. Back to pass again, Marshall elected to run and picked up 15 yards before he was stopped on the 25. Marshall then passed to Hicks who was in the open for a touchdown. Rowland plunged for an extra point.
Hardly had the fans settled down when the jackets rung up another touchdown. On the fourth down Sherman punted and the Jackets took the ball on the Sherman 44 after Batsell had returned the kick six yards. Marshall almost connected with Harshbarger in the end zone and then caught Hicks on the next try for a touchdown.
The Jackets took a Sherman punt four plays later on the Bearcat 42. Jack Hughes picked up three yards and then Rowland was hit for a four yard lass. Hughes handed off to Jack Seabaugh who lateraled to Rowland and he was stopped on the four yard line. Seabaugh picked up a yard and Rowland lost a yard on an attempted end sweep. Hughes went over tackle for the touchdown. Batsell’s kick was good, giving Denison a 33-0 lead at the half.
Sherman scored its lone touchdown in the third period when Charles McLaren fell on a Denison fumble on the Jackets’ 18-yard line. Joe Newbill heaved an aerial to Joe Joiner who raced wide for a touchdown. Billy Robnett’s attempted placement was low.
Midway of the third quarter the Yellow Jackets scored again. Sherman kicked off to Marshall who took the ball on his own five and returned to the 33. Sherman drew a five-yard penalty for off-sides and Marshall was held for no gain twice before he picked up seven yards. Denison drew a five-yard penalty after Marshall’s pass intended for Harshbarger was incomplete. Marshall gained six yards and then Ball lateraled to Marshall for seven yards. Rowland made it first down on the Sherman 39 after picking up nine yards. Marshall lost a yard and on an end-around Hicks made seven yards. Rowland made two yards and then six yards to carry the oval to the Sherman 26. Marshall passed to Harshbarger for the touchdown.
With members of the second team liberally sprinkled in the line-up, the scoring was held down until near the end of the game when an almost reserve team executed a pass good for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Hughes had taken Russell Pelley’s punt on his own 11 and returned to the 32 for a 21-yard return. After a penalty Hughes picked up six yards to put the ball on the 33. Hughes made a spectacular catch of Seabaugh’s pass and effective blocking got him in the open. The entire play was good for 67 yards and a touchdown. Batsell’s kick was slightly wide. Five plays later after James Beasley kicked off, the game ended.
It was the most impressive victory ever hung up by Denison and marked the Jackets as much more powerful than they have been rated. Yesterday’s show demonstrated that the Jackets have power on the ground, an effective aerial attack and a staunch defense.