“FOOTBALL AT FENWAY”


 

 

JIM GILLETTE

FOOTBALL AT FENWAY  
The Lowly Yanks go touchdown crazy
over the Champion Rams

November 24, 1946 ... A couple of frightened youngsters, in peril of losing their jobs, went touchdown crazy and enabled the lowest ranked team in pro football to dethrone the champions of the world.  Sonny Karnofsky and Jim Gillette, Boston Yanks' halfbacks, climaxed an autumn of mediocrity with a series of dazzling runs that upset the Los Angeles Rams 40-21, and eliminated them in defense of their title.  Before yesterday's game their futures were uncertain.  Two hours later their careers were safe and the Yanks won their first game of the year.  Karnofsky caught the game's opening kickoff, slipped slightly at his own three yard line, recaptured his footing, and headed left, galloping 97 yards for a touchdown.  It was the day's longest run but the Yanks were to keep their fans on their feet with five more long gains for touchdowns.  Johnny Grigas and Jim Gillette each scored twice, while Don Currivan got the other one.  Two were on passes by Paul Governall, the Yanks QB who out hurled the Rams' Bob Waterfield.

After Karlofsky's opening runback, Los Angeles started from its own 21 and came surging back.  Jack Wilson ran 36 yards and then Bob Waterfield pitched to Jim Benton for ten.  Waterfield then attempted to threw deep to Steve Pritko at the Boston two.  Defensive back Johnny Grigas was flagged for pass interference giving the Ram the ball right there.  Two plunges later, Mike Holovak found the end zone.  On the next kickoff Karnofsky made the game's most exciting run, going 40 yards, running all over the field, shaking tacklers and picking up blockers.  It ultimately failed to give the Yanks a touchdown, and the game remained deadlocked until the second period.

 

JOHNNY GRIGAS

With a little over a minute left in the half, the Yanks were in a hole.  It was third down and 22 on the Rams' 46.  Gillette lined up at right halfback and took the ball of a "Statue of Liberty" play.  He raced wide around left end and headed down the sideline.  He bounced of a Los Angeles tackler, cut back to his right and, aided by a block by Rocco Canale, went the rest of the way for the score.  Fifty seconds later the Yanks scored again.  Banta's 33-yard runback of the ensuing Boston kickoff, followed by a 16-yard gain by Holovak, carried the Rams into Boston territory.  But Waterfield's next pass was tipped by Boston tackle Ralph Calcagni and landed in the hands of Yanks' Joe Zeno at the Rams 44.  There were 20 seconds left to play when Paul Governall pitched to Grigas on the 50.  Grigas swung to his right and sprinted all the way for a touchdown.  It was 21-7 in favor of the Yanks at the half.

In the second half, Bob Davis passed to Grigas to get the ball to the Boston 40.  Governall and Gillette devoured the next 60 yards.  Governall faded back and hurled a deep pass down the middle that Gillette grabbed on the Ram 30 and raced the rest of the way for the score, making it 27-14.  Gillette's second touchdown was sweet revenge. He had scored the touchdown in the championship game that won it for the Rams last December, only to be sold to the lowly Yanks in September. 

In the fourth quarter Grigas took the ball on a simple play off tackle and ran it 60 yards for yet another score, out maneuvering Rose Bowl hero Jim Hardy. Scollard's kick made it 34-14.  Hardy went in for Waterfield who was getting banged up and threw a number of passes to Howard Hickey.  The last for 39 yards, completing a 68-yard drive.  The Yanks kept the ball on the ground going from their own 19 to the Rams 44.  Red Maley suddenly launched a long pass to Don Currivan at the Rams' 12-yard line who took it in for another score.

The upset by the Yanks was a triumph for it was one of the best games they have played.  Fans came to see ex-Boston College players Mike Holovak, Gil Bouley and Fred Naumetz perform for the Rams.  But it was Grigas, who performed the best as he did for Holy Cross against Boston College in 1942.

 

 

 
 

F  E  N  W  A  Y   P  A  R  K

 
 

 

1

2

3

4

 

R

H

E

 
 

LOS ANGELES RAMS

7

0

7

7

 

 

21

 

 
 

BOSTON YANKS

7

14

6

13

 

 

40

 

 

 

 1st Qtr

97 yd Kickoff Return – Abe Karnofsky (Bost)
Nick Scollard (PAT)

Los Angeles (0)
Boston (7)

 1st Qtr

1 yd Rush – Mike Holovak (LA)
Bob Waterfield (PAT)

Los Angeles (7)
Boston (7)

 2nd Qtr

46 yd Rush – Jim Gillette (Bost)
Nick Scollard (PAT)

Los Angeles (7)
Boston (14)

 2nd Qtr

44 yd Pass – Paul Governall to Johnny Grigas (Bost)
Nick Scollard (PAT)

Los Angeles (7)
Boston (21)

 3rd Qtr

60 yd Pass – Paul Governall to Jim Gillette (Bost)
PAT failed

Los Angeles (7)
Boston (27)

 3rd Qtr

6 yd Pass – Bob Waterfield to Jack Banta (LA)
Bob Waterfield (PAT)

Los Angeles (14)
Boston (27)

 4th Qtr

59 yd Rush – John Grigas (Bost)
PAT failed

Los Angeles (14)
Boston (33)

 4th Qtr

37 yd Pass – Jim Hardy to Red Hickey (LA)
Bob Waterfield (PAT)

Los Angeles (21)
Boston (33)

 4th Qtr

43 yd Pass – Howard Maley to Don Currivan (Bost)
Nick Scollard (PAT)

Los Angeles (21)
Boston (40)

 

 Attendance – 23,700