1956 Team

1956 Army 5-3-1
1956/12/01 Army 7 – Navy 7 T

Coach: Earl Henry “Red” Blaik (February 15, 1897 – May 6, 1989)

Dartmouth 1934-1940 – 45-15-4
Army: 1941-1958 – 121-33-10
Overall: 166-48-14
All-American, 1919
AFCA Coach of the Year (1946)
College Football Hall of Fame Inducted in 1964






























articles provided by Russ “Skip” Grimm – Class of ’76

May 21, 2003

Army vs Navy, 1956 – A look back at the 1956 Army-Navy game.

One of the most exciting Army-Navy games in history took place in 1956 and resulted in a 7-7 tie.

Army and Navy fought to a 7-7 deadlock today in their fifty-seventh football meeting. An overflow crowd of 102,000 at Municipal Stadium and a nationwide television audience saw the midshipmen score in the fourth period to match a third quarter tally by the cadets.

The stalemate left both sides feeling somewhat letdown. Favored Navy announced the receipt and refusal of a Cotton Bowl bid after the game. The invitation was rejected because Naval Academy officials did not feel that the team’s record of six victories, one defeat and two ties justified a post-season appearance.

Army’s disappointment came from its failure to reap a greater yield from a derisive statistical superiority. Eight fumbles, five of which were lost, proved ruinous to the cadets’ hopes of matching their 1956 triumph. The touchdowns each came an the follow-up of breaks forced by the hard
hitting defensive play that marked the bitterly fought contest. Bob Kyasky, the game’s most effective ball-carrier, slashed over Navy’s right tackle from four yards out for Army’s touchdown at 3:57 of the third quarter. Dave Bourland’s 5-yard pass interception run put the
ball in position for this thrust.

Follows Fumble Recovery

Dick Dagampat, who distinguished himself in many ways for Navy, rammed thru the middle of Army’s line from point blank range at 7:35 of the fourth period for the midshipman’s score. He went over on the seventh play following John Kanuch’s recovery of an Army fumble on the Army 27-yard line. Dick Murtland’s successful conversion place-kick for Army was matched by Ned Oldham of Navy.

Army, on the march through much of the game, out gained Navy from scrimmage, 237 yards to 132, and made twelve first downs to Navy’s five. The play figures, which show seventy-five plays for the cadets to fifty-one for the midshipmen, further reflect the offensive superiority of the Black Knights.
But all this good work was undone by Army’s repeated fumbling, a habit that has plagued the cadets on previous occasions this season. They bobbled away the ball on Navy’s 30 and their own 20 in the second period, and on their 39 and 27 and Navy’s 27 in the fourth quarter.

In addition, recovered fumbles interrupted the continuity of several promising Army marches. The cadets also were held for downs on Navy’s 20 in the first period and were brought up short by a pass interception after reaching Navy’s 27 in the third period.

Navy, known as a ball-control team, was so stymied by Army’s defense that it crossed midfield only once under its own momentum, that penetration occurring on a long punt return late in the second quarter. However, in moving to their tying touchdown, the midshipmen made one of the most impressive marches of the contest. They actually covered 32 yards, rather than 27, having been set back five yards on a backfield in motion penalty on a play that produced an apparent touchdown from the 2-yard line.

The huge crowd, which gathered early in order to witness the colorful pre-game parades of the corps of cadets and the brigade of midshipmen, had anticipated a more open game.

However, it was soon established that this was to be a grim, bitter offensive duel in which breaks probably would prove decisive-as they did. Army hammered away effectively at the tackles from its T-formation inside drive series, and with quick straight ahead thrusts by Kyasky, from fullback and Murtland and Mike Morales, from the halfbacks.

Spikes Army’s Guns

But the cadets were unable to produce many of their hoped-for long gainers against Navy’s rugged line and the alert midshipmen secondaries spiked Army’s guns when it attempted to go overhead. Many tried to spread Army’s defense by using varying flanker alignments but could make no consistent progress on the ground or in the air. Only once besides on its scoring march were the midshipmen able to put together two first downs. They made only one first down in the first
half. The temperature was 36 degrees and leaden skies, later to lighten, and a capricious wind compounded the seeping chill as the game started. Army won the toss and elected to receive. Morales bobbled Bob Reifsnyder’s deep kick-off into the end zone but recovered and brought the ball
out to the 10.

With Kyasky, Murtland and Morales alternating on drive series plays, the Cadets clicked off two first downs. But as they approached midfield, a pass missed connections and they had to kick.

Kyasky Breaks Loose

Navy could make no progress and Army soon had the ball again on its 40. Kyasky and Murtland drove to a first down on Navy’s 48 but the midshipmen dug in on their 41 and forced Army to kick again. Once more, Army pinned Navy deep in its territory and regained possession on its 43. It appeared that Navy had the cadets stopped at midfield but with three yards to go on fourth down, Kyasky broke loose for 22 yards to Navy’s 28 on a fake kick sweep around his left end.

Three thrusts at the line by Murtland, Kyasky and Bourland picked up eight yards but Navy’s line smothered Kyasky on fourth down and the midshipmen took the ball on their 26. Chet Burchett broke away around left end for fifteen yards to give Navy its first substantial gain but the midshipmen were obliged to punt after reaching their 43.

Army again moved the ball. From their own 32, the cadets clicked off three first downs. A pass by Bourland to Art Johnson with whom he a also had connected earlier on the march, put Army on
Navy’s 35. But after Kyasky had gained two yards, Murtland fumbled under the jarring impact of a tackle and Tony Anthony pounced on the ball for Navy on the 30.

Forced to Kick Again

There was an exchange of punts, then Navy had to kick again, from its 38. Earle Smith, Navy’s captain and right end, who played much of the contest with a broken bone in his right hand, got off a long boot. Kyasky elected to let it roll, but Johnson dropped back from end to block, took a swipe at the ball and touched it. The omnipresent Dagampat recovered for Navy to set the midshipmen up on Army’s 20.

ARMY (7)

Left Ends -Johnson, Warner. Left Tackles- Reid, Wilmoth. Left Guards
-Fadel, Bishop. Centers -Kernan, Svetecz. Right Guards -Slater, Rowe.
Right Tackles -Goodwin, Melnlk. Right Ends -Stephenson, Saunders.
Quarterbacks -Bourland, Darby. Left Halbacks -Murtland, Roesler, Kennedy. Right
Halfbacks -Morales, Cygler. Fullbacks -Kyasky, Barta.

NAVY (7)

Left Ends -Jokanovich, Kamuch. Left Tackles -Anthony, Meisel. Left
Guards -Stremic, Caldwell. Centers -Whitmire, McElwee. Right Guards -Hower,
Fritzinger. Right Tackes -Relfsnyder, Martinez. Right Ends -Smith,
Ruth. Quarterbacks -Forrestal, Flood. Left Halfbacks -Oldham, Hurst. Right
Halfbcks -Burchett, Swanson.Fullbacks -Dagampat, Monto.

ARMY 0 0 7 0-7
Navy 0 0 0 7-7

Army scoring – Touchdown: Kyasky (4, run)
Conversion: Murtland.

Navy scoring – Touchdown: Dagampat (1-foot plunge)

Referee- Albert J Booth Jr. Yale.
Umpire- Leonard Dobbins Fordham
Linesman J. Walter Coffee Rutgers
Field Judge- Howard C. Fyth Carnegie Tech
Electric Clock Operator -Robert E. Owings Johns Hopkins


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