Printed January 4, 1946
A great University of New Mexico eleven, led by the superb passing of Rocket Don Rumley and the powerful running of Rudy Krall, came from behind twice to defeat Denver University 34-24, in a thrill-packed New Year’s day game in the Sun Bowl. Fifteen thousand fans were kept on their feet throughout the game by the dazzling running and passing of both teams, as a new-high scoring record was set for El Paso’s annual gridiron classic.
The Lobos broke an eleven-year jinx as they became the first home team in the history of the event to win the game. It was also the first victory in three Sun Bowl starts for the Wolfpack.
The ball game wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter, when three times Rumley unleashed his deadly throwing arm and three times he connected with alert New Mexico pass receivers for touchdowns. Until then the tilt had been a see-saw affair with the lead changing hands three times.
Denver U opened the scoring the first time they got the ball, by driving 59 yards for a touchdown. John Karamigios and Bob Hazelhurst alternated at taking the ball, with the Galloping Greek going the last 21 yards around his own right end. George Miller converted and the score stood Denver 7, New Mexico 0. Several minutes later the Pioneers again found themselves in scoring position, when End Wayne Flanigan fell on Dave Collins’s fumble on the Lobo 25. Denver drove to the eleven and on fourth down Miller kicked a field goal. Score at the end of the first quarter, Denver 10, New Mexico 0.
Denver began to roll again early in the second period after Chat Latcham, Pioneer guard, intercepted a Rumley pass and returned it to the New Mexico 40. The complexion of the game changed completely two plays later, however, when Rudy Krall grabbed a Pioneer pass on his own 37 and sped 63 yards down the sidelines for a score. A minute later the Lobos opened a scoring march good for 80 yards and another touchdown. Rumley and Krall took the ball to the 36 in two plays, Krall lost eight, but Rumley passed to End Jim Malone on the 38 and Krall plowed to the 46. A hold penalty set New Mexico back to its 35, but Rumley again connected on a long pass to Malone down to Denver’s 28. Two running plays took the ball to the nine from where Rumley dove over for a touchdown. Captain Fred Doar converted, and the score at the half was New Mexico 13, Denver 10.
Denver surged back into the lead in the third period with a 70-yard drive engineered by Bob Hazehurst and John Adams. Adams plunged over from the two-yard line for six points. Miller again added the extra point. Score: Denver 17, New Mexico 13.
The never-say-die Lobos started another scoring drive from their own 25 late in the third period, driving to Denver’s 37 as the quarter ended. On the first play of the final period Rumley pitched a perfect touchdown pass to Quarterback Bill Moser to put the Lobos back in the lead again — this time to stay. Doar converted to make the score 20 to 17.
Not content with a three-point lead the Lobos drove 93 yards in four plays to score midway in the final period. Runs by Krall and Rumley put the ball on the Lobo 48, and then the uncanny Rumley unleashed another perfect pass to Moser on the Pioneer 20, and the sticky fingered pass catcher sped the remaining distance to paydirt. Doar converted. Score: New Mexico 27, Denver 17.
An exchange of kicks gave the Lobos the ball on the 31 and the New Mexicans were off to the races again. With Lou Cullen and Rumley spearheading the attack the Wolfpack drove to the Denver 28, and again Rumley crossed the Pioneer defense up by throwing to End Julio McDonald for six. Doar kicked his fourth placement in five attempts and the Lobos led 34 to 17.
With less than two minutes to play John Karamigios gave Denver rooters a ray of hope, when he swiveled his way 35 yards down the sidelines for a T.D. Their cause was a lost one, however, because the Lobos controlled the ball until time ran out.
The game was hard-fought from start to finish, but the injuries were surprisingly few. It was discovered after the game that Captain Doar had played 58 minutes with a broken jaw. End Claude Young broke his nose, and Jim Malone was also on the injured list.
Denver standouts were Karamigios, Adams, and Hazelhurst in the backfield and Chet Latcham, and Wayne Flanigan on the line. Rumley and Krall played probably their best game of the season for the Lobos and Lou Cullen and Bill Moser also shone in the Lobo backfield. In the line was Doar was as usual best, and the whole forward wall just about tore the Denver line to shreds in the second half.