Y Giants 8: Undefeated, Untied, Unscored-upon After 4 Games in 1949

By Jim Dunne

The 1949 season continued with a battle of unbeaten and unscored-upon teams. Norwich had won its first two games by 34-0 and 27-0, and Little Falls had beaten the Syracuse Indians 25-0 and Amsterdam 14-0. The year before, the teams had split, with Little Falls winning at Norwich 13-7, and Norwich winning at Little Falls 20-19. They would play home-and-home again in 1949, and the battles promised to be as close as before. Norwich would have 3 players back for the first contest: Don Crittenden, Bernie Thompson, and Bill Crawley. All had played for the Purple Tornado, Crittenden as quarterback in ’45-’47, Thompson as guard in ’39-’40, and Crawley as end in ’41-’43 as well as with the Y Giants in the first two seasons. In addition, Loren VanSteinburg joined the squad for the first time. It was announced that Little Falls, a 6-point favorite, would be bringing 4 busloads of fans to balance the Alumni Field crowd. Once again we defer to the account of the Grantland Rice of Norwich, Perry Browne:

Inspired by the superb performances of Bud Seaman, Mike Rotundo and Coach Bob Crittenden, the Norwich Y Giants white-washed Little Falls, 21–0, at Alumni field Sunday before a roaring throng of 1600 persons. One of the largest crowds in several years saw a spine-tingling game and watched the Crittenden forces roll to victory number 3 and remain unbeaten, untied and unscored upon. Little Falls’ dream of a similar record was smashed to smithereens by a fighting, hard-charging, never-say-die outfit of Norwich men.

The Giants scored with electrifying suddenness when Little Falls failed to down VanDeusen’s game-opening kickoff and alert John Kelly fell on the ball in the end zone for a Norwich touchdown, the easiest the Giants will make this season. Palmer’s conversion made it 7–0 before many of the large throng had a chance to get seated. The score remained that until the final period of play when the classy Norwich aerial attack reaped dividends with Coach Crittenden pitching a pair of touchdown passes to Bud Seaman. Bob Palmer’s expert toe added 2 more perfect placements for a final of 21–0.

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