Archive: Defeats Navy, 26-2

Staff reports
ND Insider

South Bend Tribune

Sunday Oct. 12, 1930

Defeats Navy, 26-2;

Savoldi gets 18 points

Jumpin’ Joe is Big Gun in Engagement with Annapolis Crew


May Use Them on Carnegie Tech Next Saturday; Safety Gives Middies Score.

By John W. Stahr

Tribune Sports Editor

Sunk, scuttled and awash with touchdowns, 26-2!

It was fine to have the United States Naval Academy team, with all its great fighting traditions, to share the football-playing honors in the dedication of Notre Dame’s new stadium, but the Irish turned out to be mighty stingy about sharing those particular honors.

Some 50,000 persons, more than double the largest throng that ever before attended a football game — or any other kind of game — hereabouts, yesterday saw Knute Rockne’s 1930 squad defy the jinx that usually stalks teams in dedication games and romp off to an unexpectedly easy victory over a wonderfully game but ineffectual Middy corps.

Jumpin’ Joe Savoldi, getting his chance to operate in company with the first string Irish team through Larry Mullins’ disability, put the first shot across Navy’s bow early in the second quarter when he scooted around right end on a reverse play from the 23-yard-line, barely diving over the goal line before going out of bounds in the extreme northeast corner.


Joe was destined to be the big gun in this engagement, later coming along with a direct hit that started a number of plates in the side of the Navy cruiser, and driving home a third touchdown early in the third period that completed the rout.

The second land excursion of the Itinerant Italian from Three Oaks, Mich., followed close after his opening salute, and was the high point of a comparatively drab contest. On the same sort of play as that which shook him loose the first time, Joe took the ball from Marty Brill on a reserve play starting from the Navy 48-yard mark, twisting away from three tacklers, and outsprinting the rest of the Middy defenders to cross the goal line this time standing up, literally with all sails set.

This particular kind of play, where the backfield interferers start in one direction while the ball carrier beats a comparatively lonely trail to the other side, proved Notre Dame’s best ground-gainer of the day, for other backs as for Joe. Rockne did not let his boys use a great deal of variety, feeling the need to save the trickier stuff for the tough battle that is scheduled next Saturday when Carnegie Tech comes to town.


Signor Savoldi’s third counter was not so thrilling as the others, but only because it was only five yards that were required this time to reach the goal. The play was just a neatly executed as before, and Joe could probably have gone on and on but for the solid stadium inner wall that might, perhaps, have stopped him; nothing else on the field could!

By this time — only four or five minutes into the third period — Navy’s craft was listing badly, and she was easy prey for the long parade of second and fourth string players that Rockne sifted into the game from then until the end. A team composed largely of third string boys put over the fourth touchdown. Fred Staab, a hard-running sophomore fullback from Madison, Wis., punched over the one-yard line at the outset of the fourth quarter.

Navy’s meager two points — a rather niggardly consolation after all that trip from Annapolis — occurred through a safety midway of the final period. A beautifully-placed punt by Capt. Blimp Bowstrom of the Midshipmen bounded high and came to rest in Quarterback Murphy’s arms on the Notre Dame three-yard line, he being nailed in his tracks there. Bernie Leahy went back into the end zone to punt out, but Agnew, fourth string center, sent the ball back high over Leahy’s head, over the end line for an automatic safety, and two points for Bill Ingram’s embryo admirals.


Navy had just about what it was expected to have — a hard-playing, capable first string, but weak replacements, and, on the whole, not enough all-around class to cope with the sort of football team that Notre Dame has in the field. Don’t get the idea that because Rockne used 40 men it was entirely a matter of overpowering the middies by sheer force of numbers. The use of the many players was more in the nature of giving the lads a break than in trying to wear down the enemy. And what better break could a Notre Dame man get than to have participated in such a game?

Ingram’s team used the wingback system of offense, a complex style that requires much intense drill. They executed a few quick kicks from this formation that rolled along down the field pretty well, but for the most part the running attack was stacked up consistently by the Notre Dame forwards. Several times the Navy quarterbacks were caught with the ball and nary a wingback to whom to hand it.

Notre Dame started with the second string combination in the field, and Rockne left it there until only or minute or so of the first quarter remained. These first 14 minutes were the dullest of the whole afternoon, being a constant exchanging of punts as neither side could come close to making its distance for first downs.


The Middies did, however, make one sally in this period, when Gannon pegged a beautiful 36-yard pass to Byng and the latter was nailed by Koken just as he leaped and caught it on the Irish 25-yard line. Host intercepted another aerial attempt of punts just a moment later, to put a halt to this advance and the trading of punts began again. The Notre Dame first string got in just in time to let Frank Carideo drop a punt outside on Navy’s 16-yard line before the period ended.

Marchy Schwartz, scoring hero against Southern Methodist who did not do much ball-toting yesterday, touched off the first sweeping Notre Dame advance on the third play of the second period. After Hagberg had punted to the Irish 25-yard mark, Schwartz sped 12 yards around left end, then pegged a long pass to Conley that was declared complete because of interference by Byng on Navy’s 23-yard line, a 39-yard gain.

Savoldi stepped out of bounds, wasting a down, and on the next play he ambled almost alone around right end, barely reaching the goal line before being spilled outside by Tschirgi. Carideo booted the extra point from placement, Schwartz holding the ball.

A kickoff, two Navy, plays, and a punt were all that intervened between this warning of attack and the next big detonation. The kick landed on Navy’s 48-yard line, and away went Joey on that old reverse play again. It takes speed for a footballer to make such progress, even when he gets in the clear, and stocky Joe had plenty of it as he outran the Navy secondary.


Rockne began sending in the third stringers by pairs as the second period wore on, and the half-time gun sounded without further scoring, Leahy’s interception halting one slight threat of the Tars.

The first stringers went back in as the second half opened, and wasted no time putting over the clincher that would let them go and get their baths. Tom Kassis gathered in the squibbed Navy kickoff on his 38-yard line. Brill ran to midfield on the first scrimmage, and a beautiful pass, Schwartz to Conley, put the ball on Navy’s 24-yard stripe. A penalty and intercepted pass slowed the Irish, but Carideo returned Hagberg’s punt 21 yards to midfield and the march was on again.

Nifty reverse plays produced successive gains of 18 and 23 yards by Savoldi and Brill, bringing the ball to the nine-yard mark. Schwartz hit right end for four more, and Savoldi trotted through for the remaining five without delay, and the first stringers were through for the day after Carideo had added the extra point.

The second string took up the job, but a good punt by Hagberg and three straight loss from scrimmage plays by the seconds put them deep in a hole. Navy made two determined but fruitless bids for a score, then, just after the third quarter ended, lost the ball on a pass over the goal line, and the danger was past.

Clarence Kaplan burned up the turf in two successive sprints after the ball was put in play on the Notre Dame 20, traveling 34 yards the first time around left end, and 33 more a moment later, also around the left wing. That put the ball on Navy’s 12-yard line, and a whole third string backfield went in. Staab made 12 yards, then crashed center for the other one. Leahy missed the try for point.

Navy came back, desperate and fighting as hard as ever, but her salute had been fired long before and there was nothing to do but stand by and lower the lifeboats with all due expedience. The two points she ultimately gained aren’t many, but they are a tribute to that never-ending fight, as such are precious.


Statistics bear out the Notre Dame superiority. The Irish had 13 first downs to Navy’s eight; gained 352 yards on running plays to their foes’ 72; passed seven times, completing two for 66 yards while Navy completed six out of 13 for 80 yards gain.

The penalties were against Notre Dame to the extent of 75 yards while Navy drew but two five-yard setbacks. Notre Dame averaged six yards on running plays, Navy two. Savoldi was the big individual ground gainer for the winners with 119, but Kaplan was a fair second with 94; Sheeketski had 38 and Stabb 36. Kirn trod 25 yards for the Navy.