Pete Lash

Joe Steffy said COL Blaik had 2 great moments in football. one was the 93 yard touchdown by Rip Rowan in the A-N game.

The other was a touchdown run to win the game against Navy in 1955. RB Pete Lash ran for 30-40 yards to paydirt during which every Navy player had a shot at him, but he run through them all. Joe said that Lash was a walk-on. Small and played high school FB; Joe said he really did not have the attributes of a great player. BUT, he was tenacious and worked harder than anyone on the team. He succeeded in making the starting team his senior year. Went on to become a three star general.

It was the Fall of 1953. Years later Earl Blaik was to write of that Season – – “For two years these boys had seen the roughest action. They had lived with the coaching lash, dirt, blood, and defeat.”

Pete started the season on the B squad. One day at practice they were running the next week’s opponents plays against the Second Team – A Squad Defense — and doing quite well. Col Blaik came over, watched for a few minutes, blew his whistle and had two B Squaders change jerseys with A Squad players. From that day on Pete was on the A Squad.

After the jersey exchange Pete was sent over to where the backs were working with Vince Lombardi, who asked Pete if he knew the plays — which of course he didn’t but faked it — and managed to get by with only a little of Coach Lombardi’s sarcasm.

It was Col Blaik’s message that day to every player and it got their attention and made practices more competitive.

A little over 5 years later Col Blaik retired. Joe Steffy, Class of ’49, Army’s only Outland Trophy Winner asked his Coach what were his best memories of the 18 Army Navy Games. He mentioned two, one of which was Pete running through, around or over every Navy Player on the Field in the Fall of 1955.

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