"Keith couldn't play at his usual level," said Henderson later, "but it was inspiring just to have him out there with us." Acqui and Henderson now began sprinting down the sidelines after those high, looping passes from halfbacks, finally tying the score on a goal that was almost a duplicate of the one that had beaten Harvard. Henderson bounded upward under a pass to the left of the St. Louis net and headed it back into the center where freshman Forward Mori Diane kicked it in.
Howard scored its go-ahead goal in the opening moments of the second half, and the rest of the game became a fierce stand-off struggle between St. Louis' persistent, forcing offense and the packed Howard defense.
The jubilant winners ran a victory lap around the field and didn't tumble back into their locker room until a good 30 minutes after the game had ended. "Where is the man from the Miami Herald who called us 'upstart Howard'?" one player screamed joyously through the happy chaos as he held the NCAA championship plaque aloft. A team manager snatched a telephone off a shelf and handed it to Coach Phillips.
"It's President Nixon for you," he called out as reporters pushed forward.
"What have I got to say, Mr. President?" Phillips said into the phone. "Only that I'm disappointed you didn't call sooner." Then he slammed the receiver back on its cradle and whooped with laughter at the joke and the bewildered expressions on those around him who weren't in on it. Few crusades have gotten off to a more uninhibited—or successful—start.