Thursday, September 23, 2010
Iron Skillet '47: Walker (almost) does it all The fourth in a series flashing back to memorable moments in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. This season's version kicks off Friday night at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium and will be televised on ESPN.
A day after highlighting the 1935 "Game of the Century" that featured TCU's Slingin' Sammy Baugh (and if you haven't seen the film clip of the game -- it is must-see -- click here), although in a rare, losing effort, how could we not come back with SMU legend Doak Walker doing his thing against the Horned Frogs in another classic cross-town grudge match?
The Mustangs came to Fort Worth sporting a 9-0 record. While the Horned Frogs were not as strong as some of coach Dutch Meyer's earlier teams, they jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Walker cut the lead to 12-7 as he pulled the down and scrambled 65 yards for a touchdown. Then, using a mixture of pass and run, guided the Mustangs in the end zone again. This time he missed the extra point, but the Ponies had the lead 13-12 with time running out on the Frogs.
But, as an SMU report tells it, the TCU wasn't about to give up on spoiling the Ponies' perfect season. TCU quarterback Lindy Berry threw a bomb from his own 10-yard line to Morris Bailey at midfield. Bailey took it all the way to the SMU 15, then tosseda lateral to wingback Charlie Jackson, who made it to the 5. He then tossed it back to fullback Pete Stout, who crossed the goal line to finish off the amazing play with only 1:30 left to play.
TCU 19, SMU 13. This one appeared to be history.
Again, according to the SMU report, legend has it that TCU tackle Harold Kilman, obviously believing the Frogs had the game locked up, looked over at Walker and said, "Now what are you gonna do, Doak? Walker responded confidently, "We're going to score again." On the ensuing kickoff, Walker caught the ball inside his 10 and took off down the sideline all the way to the TCU 35.
That's when Gil Johnson reentered the game and Walker moved to wingback. TCU double-covered Walker, knowing Johnson wanted to get the sophomore star the ball. Somehow Walker still managed to get open, and Johnson hit him at the 10-yard line.
According to the SMU report, Johnson, many years later, recalled what happened: "We didn't have time to huddle. I told everyone who was eligible to go down the field and everyone else to block. I looked for Doak, but they were all of over him as usual. Then I saw Sid Halliday out there and I threw it to him. I think he had a couple of men on him but he made a fine catch. I always did have a lot of confidence in Sid. He was a real fighter."
SMU had tied the score at 19-19 with 20 seconds left on the clock. All the Mustangs now needed to go to 10-0 was the extra point from the exhausted Walker, who had rushed for 119 yards, returned three kickoffs for 163 yards, completed 10-of-14 passes for 136 yards and scored the first two touchdowns.