Camellia Bowl

1948

 

Hardin-Simmons 49
Wichita State 12

 

In 1948, Hardin-Simmons University of Abilene, TX, the alma mater of NFL great, Clyde “Bulldog” Turner, was a major power in college football. In the ’47 season, the Cowboys had finished 6th in the nation in total offense and 5th in rushing. Wilton Davis had won the national rushing title with 1173 yards, finished 6th in total offense and 14th in scoring. The Cowboys played in the Border Conference with Texas Tech, Arizona St., Arizona, New Mexico, New Mexico St., UTEP, West Texas St., and Arizona State (Flagstaff). They finished 7-3 and trounced San Diego St. in the Harbor Bowl, 55-0. In 1948, HSU had experienced a down year with a 4-4-2 regular season record and a fifth place finish in the Conference. Wilton Davis finished 5th in the nation in rushing with 889 yards (disappointing for a team that had produced the nation’s individual rushing leader in 1942, 1946, and 1947). Quarterback Johnny Ford had finished 8th in the nation in passing. Besides Davis and Ford, Coach Warren Woodson had Bob McChesney, all-Conference end, in his arsenal. McChesney finished 3rd in the nation among receivers that season. For the second year in a row, Wichita State would face a team that had already competed in a bowl. Wichita had palyed Pacific the previous year in the Grape Bowl. The Cowboys had tied Pacific in the Grape Bowl and beaten Quachita College in the Shrine Bowl, both in December, when they faced the Shockers in the Camellia Bowl in Lafayette, LA.

Wichita came into the game with a 5-3-1 record under first year coach, Jim Trimble. With a team of stars including Ed Kriwiel, Mike Knopick, Ray Morrison and Art Hodges, Wichita had finished conference runner-up behind Oklahoma A&M (State). The first Camellia Bowl was played at Southwestern Louisiana Institute’s McNasty Stadium before a disappointing 5000 fans. For the second year in a row, Wichita faced a favored opponent. On the first play from scrimmage, Kriwiel hit Hap Houlik down the middle for a 49-yard completion to the Cowboy 28. On the ensuing drive, Wichita faked a field goal as Hodges connected with Knopick for 13 yards to keep the drive alive. The Shocks scored on Hodges’ plunge into the endzone and led 6-0. Hardin-Simmons responded with a 12 play, 69-yard drive to take the lead at 7-6. With :10 left in the half, Ford hit McChesney with a 71-yard touchdown strike. The halftime score was 14-6.

In the 3rd quarter, Ford and McChesney hooked up on two more scoring tosses and the lead grew to 28-6. Hardin-Simmons would score three more times in the fourth quarter on a 1 yard Pat Bailey plunge, a Ford pass to J.W. Steadman, and another scoring pass to McChesney. Harold Reynolds sneaked the ball across the goal line midway through the 4th quarter for Wichita’s other touchdown. The final was 49-12. The Cowboys were just too much up front for the Shocks. WU wore out in the second half as they were outweighed by 25 pounds per man on the line. They were outrushed 547 to 361 yards. Ford threw for 223 yards on 9 of 14 completions. He had 5 touchdown passes, four of them to McChesney. Pat Bailey led the HSU rushing attack that accounted for 320 yards. He was a replacement for the injured, Wilton Davis.

 

Hardin-Simmons' McChesney brings down Wichita ball carrier.

 

HSU stars Ford and McChesney.

 

Attendance- 5000

 

Individual Statistics

 

Rushing

HSU- Bailey 29-163

 

Passing

HSU- Ford 9-14-223

 

Receiving

HSU- Bob McChesney 8-200
 

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