Richie Cacioppe

Richie & Margaret Cacioppe

Rich’s Write up of the Game

The 1930 game was played at Soldier Field in Chicago before 110,000 shivering fans. Every seat in the huge lake front stadium had been sold in anticipation of a capacity attendance of 126,000, putting the crowd on track to be the largest ever to witness a college football game. However, the rain, sleet and cold on game day dampened the ardor of some fans, reducing the number of those attending. 

The Irish came into the game with eight straight season victories following their nine game winning streak from the preceding year. Army, under dynamic new coach Major Ralph Sasse, would not be a pushover. He had rebuilt the team after the loss of many starters from the 1929 team. The heart breaking loss of the previous year was also a major motivator for the cadets. 

Rockne was ill for this game as well. However, unlike in ’29, he attended the game, coaching from a wheelchair on the sidelines. The game was another hard fought Army-Notre Dame defensive battle with neither team able to score in the first three quarters. With five minutes to go, Notre Dame quarterback, Frank Carideo, and halfback, Marchmont (Marchy) Schwartz, combined to move the ball from the Irish 46 into the cadets’ end zone and take a 6-0 lead. Carideo added the extra point increasing the lead to 7-0  with now less than four minutes remaining in the game. 

After receiving the kick-off and failing to move the ball, the cadets punted, pinning the Irish deep in their own territory. After being stopped for no gain the Irish elected to punt the ball away on third down. Frank Carideo standing on his own ten yard line carefully wiped the slippery ball on the referee’s towel before handing it to the center. Signaling for the snap, the waiting Irish quarterback received the ball cleanly. However, Army’s substitute left end, Dick King, crashed through the Notre Dame line and blocked the kick. The ball bounded to the Irish goal line where cadet guard Harley Trice fell on it in the end zone. The Army fans were ecstatic while the Notre Dame fans sat in stunned silence by the sudden turn of events. The frozen fans who had endured a scoreless game  for 55 minutes had now witnessed two touchdowns in less than two minutes.

With the clock ticking down, all eyes now turned to a frail, blond, Yearling (Sophomore) who trotted onto the field. At  5’ 7” and 140 lbs, Russ Broshous was too small to compete in the rough and tumble contact aspect of Army collegiate football. He was, however, Coach Sasse’s choice to attempt the tying extra point.  His preferred method of kicking was the drop kick, a  common but not reliable technique at the time. * The football in 1930 had a more round shape than today’s ball, making the bounce for the kicker more predictable. ** Sasse had some confidence in the young kicker since Broshous had kicked the tying point on a wet field against Yale a month earlier in a 7-7 game. 

The Irish loaded the line with nine of their biggest players. Broshous wiped his hands on his jersey and then signaled for the ball to be snapped. The ball never got off the ground as the Notre Dame linemen broke through the Army front and smothered Cadet Broshous and the ball. The game was another heartbreaking loss for the Army, 7-6. 

Knute Rockne sought out the despondent young kicker in the Army dressing room after the game. He put his arm around the cadet’s shoulder, trying to console him, telling him not to allow one failure in a football game to get him down. (The Big Game-p. 133) 

The win over Army helped to propel the Irish to a second consecutive National Championship, shared with undefeated Alabama. Tragically, Rockne’s involvement in the Army-Notre Dame series would end after the 1930 game.

*When I asked Russ Broshous Jr., the son of the Army kicker and my classmate from West Point, how his Dad felt about his skills as a drop kicker, he told me that his Dad said results from this type of kicking were pretty much ‘hit or miss.’ He also said that he felt that his results were a little bit better than ‘random.’ Russ Broshous became a Brigadier General and the Head of Earth, Space and Graphic Sciences Department at West Point.

**On January 1, 2006, Doug Flutie of the New England Patriots, kicked what may have been the last drop kick in the NFL against the Miami Dolphins, the first such successful kick since 1941.

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