Cardinals Win From Spartans By 20 - 19 ScorePortsmouth is Nosed Out in Thrilling Contest at Wrigley Field, Ernie Nevers and Co., Taking Decision in Final Period
CHICAGO, ILL., Wrigley Field, Nov. 22- The hopes of the Portsmouth Spartans for a National Pro League championship were given a rude jolt here this afternoon, when the Cardinals, led by Ernie Nevers, former Stanford star, took a thrilling 20 to 19 contest on a muddy field.
Nevers and "Dutch" Clark, Spartan quarterback, were the outstanding performers today, each making two touchdowns, and figuring prominently in the balance of the scoring.
Portsmouth was the first to score, tallying seven points in the first quarter. Ebding, Spartan end, blocked one of Nevers' punts and recovered it on the Cardinals' 31-yard line. Clark passed to Presnell for seven yards, and then Cavosie crashed thru for a first down on the 20-yard line. The Spartans' drive was checked momentarily, when Nevers intercepted a pass thrown by Clark, on the 11-yard line. Nevers punted out to Clark, who was downed on the Cardinals' 39-yard line, and then the Spartans launched an attack which ended with Clark skirting left end for a touchdown. Presnell kicked from placement for the extra point.
The Cardinals came back in the second quarter to score two touchdowns. The first quarter closed with the Cardinals in possession of the ball on their own 35-yrad line. Nevers got off a beautiful punt, which rolled out of bounds on the Portsmouth 6-yard line. Clark punted, but the kick was faint, and went out of bounds on the 25-yard line. Nevers plunged his way to the 7-yard line in several cracks at the line, and then Belden traveled 7 yards for a touchdown. Nevers kicked for the point, tying the count.
A few moments later, Nevers and company started another offensive. Belden skirted right end for 20 yards and a first down on the Spartan 42-yard line. Nevers ran 17 yards for another first down, and then broke thru for 14 yards on the next play, giving the Cardinals a first down on the Spartan 7-yard line. Nevers cracked the center of the line for 2 yards, and then went over for a touchdown. His kick for the point was incomplete. The first half ended with the Cardinals in possession of the ball on the 50-yard line.
It was the Spartans' next turn to score, and they tied the count in the third quarter. Clark, starting from punt formation, reversed his field three times and raced 59 yards for a touchdown. Presnell attempted to kick from placement for the point, but the effort was vain.
The Spartans threatened again before the third period was concluded. Clark ran 46 yards to the Cardinals' 25-yard line, and Holm made it a first down on the 11. Portsmouth was penalized 15 yards for holding, and then Shaw intercepted Clark's pass and was downed on his own 41-yard line. Nevers made a first down as the period ended.
As the fourth quarter opened, Nevers made another first down on Portsmouth's 35-yard line. Portsmouth drew 5 yards penalty for offside, and five additional yards for talking back to the referee. In a series of line plays, Nevers plunging for substantial gains on nearly every attempt, the Cardinals scored another touchdown, Nevers going over from the one-yard line. Nevers place-kicked for the extra and the winning point.
Near the end of the final period, the Spartans rallied to score their third touchdown. Presnell returned one of Nevers' punts for thirty yards, giving the Spartans a first down on the Cardinal 20-yard line. Alford and Clark cracked the line for a first down on the 10-yard line. The Cardinals held for three downs, and then on the fourth down with 11 yards to go for a touchdown, Clark passed to McKalip who was over the goal line when the ball fell into his arms. The try for point by Alford was incomplete.
SCORE BY PERIODS
Portsmouth -------------------------- 7 0 6 6 -- 19
Cardinals----------------------------- 0 13 0 7 -- 20
Source: Ironton News November 23, 1931