TEMPLE - If it's raining next May, someone should put a saddle on Temple High's big Ed Dusek and enter him in the Kentucky Derby, for he's just about the best mudder to splash to glory since the bangtails stopped running in Texas.
Caked with gooey, sticky, black mud until he resembled a huge, anti mated athletic statute molded in clay, this brawny 190-pound fullback personally accounted for three touchdowns as Temple's Wildcats smashed Longview's Lobos, 24 to 13, in the quarterfinals of the annual state high school gridiron playoff here Friday afternoon before a crowd of 3,500 fans. The victory boosts Temple into the semifinals against the winner of Saturday's JeffDavis-Corpus Christi melee next week.
Temple took an 18-to-0 lead in the first half with Hub Speer's first quarter touchdown and two more scores by Dusek in the second quarter. Longview fought back gamely with a bewildering aerial show in the third and fourth quarters to make the count, 18 to 13, and for a while it looked as if it might put across that other score to win the game. But Brother Dusek hadn't finished his roaming into six-point land and just a few seconds before the game ended he carried the ball on practically every play on a thirty-seven-yard drive to put the final Temple score and ice the game away.
Moving over the slippery quagmire that was the Temple gridiron as sure-footedly as if he were an earthworm tractor, Dusek sparked all four of Temple's touchdown drives of eighty, twenty, fifty-two, and twenty-seven yards. Statistics show he lugged the leather thirty-seven times for a total of 163 yards. This is more than half the distance Temple made rushing as its total yards gained on the ground was 283. Only three times was Dusek stopped for no gain.
Dusek wasn't the only mudder on the field Friday. Never have we seen a team which seemed so much in its element as the entire Wildcat pack. From end to end the Temple linemen seemed to glory in wallowing themselves and their opponents in the mire. In fact, there was an unofficial report after the game that Coach Less Cranfill and his Wildcats adjourned back of he grandstand to make mud pies and talk over their victory.
That sturdy Temple line, which opened wide holes for Dusek, Hub Speer and the other backs, played an important part in the Wildcat victory, for it consistently outplayed the Longview wall, opening wide gaps for the pile-driving backs to sift through.
Temple scored its first touchdown late in the opening quarter. Gaining possession of the ball on its own 20, Temple worked for a city-slicker play on the East Texans wen Dusek, on a delayed buck, ripped the middle of the line for a twenty-five-yard gain, then tossed a lateral just as he was tackled to Wayland Hill, who continued on down the field to Longview's 23-yard stripe. The play was good of fifty-seven yards. It took Dusek just about three plays to put the leather on the 5, then Speer, a blocking back, drove through for the touchdown. Dusek's attempted placement kick for the extra point was no good.
Early in the second quarter Longivew stopped another Temple drive on its 3-yard stripe, but this only delayed Dusek's one-man show of power. The Lobos punted out to their own 20. In two plays Dusek and Dotty McLerren picked up nine and one-half yards, then on the third down Dusek plowed himself through for the score, tearing himself loose from Longview tacklers with terrific power. Holton blocked the extra point try.
Longview failed to do anything after the following kickoff, punted to Temple and again the Wildcat pack waded through the sea of mud fifty-two yards for a score. With the ball about midfield Dusek slipped behind the Lobo secondary to take a pass on the Longview 19-yard line from McLerren. Hill made four, then Dusek rammed through to the 3-yard striper. It took him two more tries before he finally bulldozed through for the score. Again the two for a point was no good.
Longview lived up to its reputation of being a great second-half when it surged back to score in the third quarter.
T.A. Scott did a fine job of chunking the ball to ends Bivins and Howard McDonald and the Lobos' great fullback, Don Fambrough. In four plays the Lobos went form their own 40 to the Temple 11, but the begrimed Temple line held for downs on the Temple 4 and the ball went over on downs. However, Longview was not to be denied. The return punt off the toe of Thelbert Hardt traveled only to the Wildcat 27. Two passes, Scott to Bivins, put the ball on the Temple 14. Fambrough got a yard off tackle, then Scott laid the ball in to the arms of McDonald, who was in the end zone for a touchdown. Fambrought's extra point kick was perfect.
The Lobos second score was in the opening minutes of the final period. A poor punt slithered off the toe of Hardt to travel only four yards, from the Temple 21 to the 25. Scott passed to Bivins for a first down on the 13. Another aerial to Richardson put the ball on the 9-yard stripe and almost before Temple had time to set its defense the Lobos had lined up, snapped the ball and Scott passed again. This time to McDonald for a touchdown. Speer blocked Fambrought's extra point attempt.
With Longview's aerial game clicking as if the field were as dry as the dust bowl, it began to look as if the East Texans might win the old ball game after all. But Dusek decided it was time for him to take charge again. First he sparked a march from midfield that was halted by a valiant stand by the Lobo line on the Longview 7.
The Lobos gained possession, tried three unsuccessful passes, all tossed from behind the goal line, then punted to Temple on the Longview 37. And from that spot, Dusek carrying the ball on every play, rocked and smashed his way to the final Temple touchdown. He went over from the 1-yard stripe. He missed the extra point and the game ended a few seconds later.
The entire game was played in a cold mist that was not quite heavy enough to be termed a drizzle, yet was enough to keep the mud on the field well lubricated and make the ball handling a risky business.