By TY COBB
Nevada Journal Sport Editor
Balboa Stadium, San Diego, Calif., Jan. 1- Doubtless the Liberty Bell won't be rung back in Independence Hall tonight, but the noise reverberating from Villanova's victory-mad dressing room can probably be heard all the way back to Philadelphia right now. And that racket will suffice as a Tocsin to herald Villanova's decisive 27-7 Harbor Bowl triumph here today over University of Nevada, football history's most productive ground-gaining aggregation.
Exultant whoops and songs from the Pennsylvania quarters pierce the walls of the neighboring rooms, where a gloom-shrouded Nevada team is doffing the moleskins for the final time in this lengthy, history-making grid season. It's sweet music to the scattering of Villanova rooters sloshing around in the rain and mud outside the locker rooms.
They can well celebrate, this crew of rock 'em, sock 'em bruisers who traveled across the continent to manhandle the hitherto high-scoring Nevada club. As half-feared by those who observed the Main Liners' practices here, it was their unbelievable ruggedness and ferocity which slugged the far western gridders into submission in a brutally-battled ball game here today.
Nevada, the nation's all-time greatest passing team, could do no better than match Villanova's aerial yardage. The first two times the Pennsylvanians got hold of the ball they marched for touchdowns. And they picked up another pair of scores in the third period while Nevada's all-American quarterback, Stan Heath, watched glumly from the bench where he had been sidetracked with two broken ribs. And while
Nevada's speedburning fullback Sherman Howard was being stitched up after a slashing blow had left his forehead ripped open.
Villanova made a half-dozen threats and the game ended with the Main Liners on the Wolf Pack one-yard line, although only about a fourth of the original 20,000 Harbor Bowl customers were around to see the conclusion. A downpour of rain in the final period chased away the other citizens and left the remainder virtually soaked to the skin.
The Wolf Pack put on four threats during the afternoon. The rest of the time the Nevadans were trying desperately to hold back waves of smashing Villanova blockers who mowed down opposition for the plunging Pasquariello, Polidor, D'Alonzo, Rogers and other powerhouse backs.
There's little use to try and explain Nevada's setback to the fans at home, who had previously followed the Wolf Pack through nine victories in ten games. Villanova was just too rough and tough today. What might have happened in the last half with Heath at the helm and Howard running his best is food for conjecture, but that's immaterial. The score of 27-7 is down in the record books.
If this account gets repetitious by labeling Villanova a rough and tough aggregation, it can't be helped. The easterners played it rugged and they got away with it. They were out to win and if their methods wreaked havoc with the Nevada personnel it can't be helped now. The fans- this crowd of 20,000 was entirely pro-Nevada- didn't like it and they told the officials so in emphatic chores of boos. The Nevada players didn't like it and inevitable fistic fireworks broke out. But the method was successful, and when the Villanovans got away with their first tactics of elbowing, piling-on and general roughness, they kept increasing the pressure.
True, they were called several times on clipping. But the San Diego fans roared angrily when numerous other offensives went unpunished, and in the dressing room a fuming Nevada coach Joe Sheetketski told reporters:
"This is the first time I've criticized officials publicly after a game. They let this team get away with the worst kind of rough stuff. "
Resentment came to a head on the field in the last period when Nevadan Fred Leon and an unidentified Villanovan squared off and Leon's buddy Frank Sanches traded swings with Ed Berrang, the Mainliners' all-east end. Leon said in the dressing room:
"They were piling on our backs all day. This time they deliberately jumped on our ball carrier long after the whistle had blown. I pulled one man off the pile and then they jumped me. After the game there was a momentary stir as the hefty Leon, who had been escorted off the field, strode across to the Villanova side. There was some milling around and mutual verbal recriminations, but wound up with all concerned shaking hands and walking to the showers.
Complete information on Heath's injury can't be gleaned at this time. It will take X-rays to confirm details on his injury, though first examination indicated that at least two ribs on the lower part of his chest were cracked. He was hurt in the second quarter and spent the rest of the day on the end of the bench, wrapped in an overcoat and sadly watching his mates trying to carry on a losing fight.
Several stitches were taken In Howard's forehead, where an appalling gash had been opened over his right eye.
The blood-covered Howard was taken off the field in the second period just after he had smashed to a first down through center. Heath was hurt during a play when Villanova had punted to John Subda, who returned to midfield. Sideliners said both injuries were the result of kicks,
The damage to Heath will probably spoil his trip to Honolulu next week. He had been invited to captain an all-star western squad, which included teammate Scott Beasley, against the East All-Stars for two games in Hawaii, including the 49th State bowl game. Tonight Heath, his college career concluded, was expected officially to ink a Green Bay Packer contract, but Red Strader, coach of the New York Yankees of the All-American Conference, was here at the game and in conference with Heath later. The Yankees, who reportedly offered the Nevada All-American a two-year $40,000 contract, apparently bought his draft rights from the Chicago Rockets and haven't given up on Heath despite Stan's announcement that he'd join Green Bay.
Strader also conferred with Nevada's veteran guard Ken Sinofsky, and will likely announce next week that the Yankees have signed the 210-pound senior. The coach of the Yankees, who already have played ex-Nevadan Ed Sharkey two seasons, also was talking to Tommy Kalmanir and Sherman Howard, and don't be surprised if the Yankees also sign up this pair. Scott Beasley will likely go with the Cleveland Browns of the All-American Conference, it was understood tonight. Fred Leon, drafted by Philadelphia Eagles, has another season at Nevada and it's not known which choice he'll make.
Now back to the game. If you are not too familiar already with the details aired by Bill Stern, famed sportscaster, Nevada's only touchdown came in the third period on a sparkling 6l-yard gallop by Tommy Kalmanir, and the Pack just missed another by a second-period fumble on Villanova's goal line.
The Wolf Pack got nowhere after taking the opening kickoff, and had to punt. Whereupon Villanova drove from midfield some 47 yards to a score. Ralph Pasquariello, the plowing 228 pound fullback, hammered off tackle, and Bill Doherty tossed long to Ed Berrang. It was climaxed with D'Alonzo plunging through from the three. Frank Sanches blocked the conversion.
Gordon intercepted Heath's pass and Villanova drove again. This one 43 yards. Pasquariello, going wide on pitch-outs, powered the Main Liners downfield and Polidor went around right end for the touchdown behind massed interference. Clavin kicked conversion and it was 13-0 with 10 minutes gone.
Another Villanova march was stopped on Nevada's 21 and the Wolves staged their first real threat late in the second period. Dan Orlich plowed into the Villanova backfield to steal a quarterback handoff and Nevada had the ball on the easterners' 20. John Subda hammered through for nine and Villanova was penalized for unnecessary roughness. With just a yard to go, Subda hit right tackle but the ball was jerked from his arms and recovered by Villanova.
With the half almost ended, Nevada drove back once more, Alva Tabor filling in nicely for the injured Heath. He sent Kalmanir into the line for 4, passed to Harold Hayes for 5. Kalmanir hit for a first down on the 30. Tabor passed to Kalmanir who made a nice leaping catch for 7 more. But Villanova's massive line twice broke through to smear Tabor on pass attempts and the half ended before any more could be tried.
The Wolf Pack continued the rally early in the third period. Even after Doherty's neat coffin corner punt put the Renoites on their own 3. Tabor fired a waisthigh pass to Beasley for a first down on the 17. Subda raced around center for another first down and Bill Osborne smashed for 9. Subda completing the first down on Nevada's 39.
From here Kalmanir went wide around right end, cut inside Bill Osborne's block, swerved to his left and scampered all the way for a 61-yard scoring jaunt which gave the pro-Nevada crowd virtually its only chance to whoop it up. Bob Corley. the year's leading conversion-kicker, added the bonus point, making it 7-13.
Shortly afterwards the Pack was on the march, with Tabor passing to Kalmanir and Beasley and once lugging the ball himself on a neat bootleg play, but the march bogged down at midfield.
Then Villanova demonstrated the explosiveness which netted them five touchdowns in one quarter against USF. First play after Nevada punted a horde of blockers got out in front of a scampering John Geppi, 180-pounder from Baltimore, who was escorted down the sidelines, all the 80 yards to a touchdown. Clavin converted, 20-7.
A moment later a succession of breaks accounted for the fourth and final score. On a long Tabor pass, receiver Dan Orlich fell over the umpire and it went incomplete. Tabor then tossed to Harold Hayes, who was badly roughed after the play- but Nevada was penalized back to its own 18. Then another Tabor pass fell in the hands of Steve Romanik who ran it back all the way to Nevada's 8-yarder. Pete D'Alonzo, 210-pounder from Orange, N. J., smashed through for the score and Clavin kicked conversion, 27-7.
The rest of the game, played in the heavy downpour of rain, was an exchange of fumbles and interceptions. Although beaten 20 points, some of the Nevadans were singled out for plaudits for their defensive play. Scott Beasley played his best end game of the year and in the fourth period made most of the tackles. Buster Tilton and Frank Sanches came in for a great number of the stops throughout the day, while Leon was a tower throughout. Harold Hayes at end made some good catches and frequently stopped the powerful Pasquariello's plunges.