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Football's Glorious Slaughter
Gerald Astor
November 27, 1961
Cumberland set a record that still stands when it lost to Georgia Tech 222-0
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November 27, 1961

Football's Glorious Slaughter

Cumberland set a record that still stands when it lost to Georgia Tech 222-0

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Tech won the toss and performed its only act of charity for the afternoon by electing to kick off. Cumberland's Carney received on his 25-yard line and was dropped immediately. Attempting to block for Carney on this play, Quarterback Edwards was knocked senseless and Morris Gouger (later a banker in Robstown, Texas) took over the direction of the team. Gouger went over tackle and gained three yards. It was Cumberland's biggest rushing gain of the day.

When McDonald made no yardage on his try at the line, Cumberland punted. Everett Strupper, a future All-Conference back for Georgia Tech, returned the ball all the way to the Cumberland 20. On Tech's first play Strupper swept left end for a touchdown. Jim Preas kicked the extra point, and Tech led 7-0.

Cumberland returned the ensuing kick-off to its own 10, but on the first play from scrimmage there was a fumble. Tech Halfback Guill scooped up the ball and ran into the end zone for a second touchdown. Preas kicked the extra point.

The pattern continued for two more touchdowns. Georgia Tech would kick off, Cumberland would try futilely to gain, Tech would take over and score with insulting ease. Behind 28-0, Cumberland shifted strategy. Instead of receiving, they would kick off, forcing Georgia Tech deep into its own territory. On the first such attempt the kickoff was returned 70 yards to the Cumberland 10. It took two plays to put the ball across the goal line. The next Cumberland kick-off was returned to Tech's 40. On the first play from scrimmage Everett Strupper went 60 yards for another touchdown, Jim Preas kicked his sixth extra point and Georgia Tech led 42-0. Cumberland kicked off again. Its defenses stiffened, and Georgia Tech needed three plays to move 65 yards to another touchdown.

Cumberland went back to receiving. They failed to gain, punted and watched Strupper return the ball 45 yards for six more points. Cumberland went back to kicking off. Spence returned the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, and the quarter ended with Georgia Tech leading 63-0.

In the second quarter Cumberland numbly gave up kicking off and took comfort in holding the ball as long as possible between touchdowns. In no case did that interval last very long for Cumberland never made a first down, and Tech never needed more than two plays to reach the Cumberland end zone. Sometimes it took fewer. With Georgia Tech leading 105-0, Preas kicked off to Gouger, who fumbled. Preas picked up the ball, ran for the touchdown and then made the extra point. The half ended with the score 126-0.

Early in the second half Georgia Tech, for the first time during the game, exhibited signs of something other than cold efficiency. J. C. Alexander, a massive Yellow Jacket tackle, had never experienced the thrill of scoring a touchdown. He was handed the ball on the Cumberland 10-yard line and aimed toward the goal but, as a big joke, nobody on Tech blocked. Alexander could get the ball only to the three-yard line. As if shocked by their lack of professionalism, Tech stopped its nonsense and Strupper took the ball over on the next play.

Midway through the third quarter, Strupper rounded right end for yet another touchdown, and the extra point pushed the score to 154-0, which set a world's record. John Heisman still had a point or two, however, to make in his argument with the newspapermen. Georgia Tech continued to bowl along, scoring every time it got the ball.

In the final quarter McDonald of Cumberland completed a pass to Murphy for 10 yards—the biggest Cumberland gain for the afternoon. Since two previous running plays had lost 18 yards, it was not enough for a first down.

By this time the tiny Cumberland squad was nearing exhaustion (Tech was pretty tired, too, but only from running). George Griffin, quarterback for the Engineers (and now dean at the school), recalls a moment when Heisman suddenly discovered a couple of Cumberland players seated on his bench. "He yelled at them to get back to their side of the field. They said, 'Give us a break. Don't make us go back. We'll have to go into the game.' "

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