But the referee pulls off the men, and our captain, with a chosen player, accurate in kicking ability, walks out in direct line with where the ball was carried across the goal line. The touchdown has scored us five points. If a goal can be secured by a place-kick, one more point will be added. About 25 yards from the line, almost in front of the goal, the little captain stretches himself prostrate, holding the ball at arm's length a scant inch above the ground. The opponents line up on their goal line. The kicker measures his distance. With an almost imperceptible motion the ball is lowered to the ground, the foot meets it and the opposing ranks rush forward to block the kick. Squarely over the bar and between the posts sails the ball. The score is 6 to o.

But there is no rest for the players and, having changed goals, they speedily line up for another kick-off. This time it is the opponents who have the chance to start the play, and our men scatter themselves over their half of the field to handle the kick-off. The kick is made and caught and the runner is downed.

The pride of the home university again carry the ball toward the opponents' goal.

But this time the entire length of the field stretches out before them. These visitors have gotten over their panic and are playing the game. A punt is necessary at our 35-yard line and the enemy's little quarter catches truly and circles wide. Watch him, for he is fleet of foot and a famous dodger. One of our ends makes a dive for him with outstretched arms, but grasps nothing but empty air. Clear back to the line of scrimmage he twists, dodges and runs through that open field. From far down near his own goal our full back rushes to intercept him. It is the last chance for a tackle. Right down the edge of the field tears the runner with the ball. There is no room to dodge this time without carrying the ball out of bounds. A clutch follows the dive and the man with the ball rolls over the sideline, stopped, but only after a 40-yard run that is destined to be chronicled as the feature play of the game.

If you are an old habitue of the football bleachers, my friend, you have found a moment in which to take your glance away from that flying runner to the section across the field where his friends are herded, comparatively quiet through all the play that has come before. The glance is well worth the reward. The moments while that runner was tearing down the field were sweet ones over there. Still as the Pacific on a calm day, the dark-hued banners had rested, streamers down, through the gloom that had preceded. The change is something wonderful. A volcano suddenly sprung into activity could not seeth or roar like that. It is their first chance and how they are making the most of it. But we return their cheer for their runner, with one for the man who made the tackle and saved an almost certain touchdown, then settling our eyes on the visitors' eleven to see what they will do now within striking distance of our goal.

Thirty yards from our goal line the visitors walk back into the field, the referee pacing off 15 yards toward the middle where the teams line up again. Can we hold them?

A half back rushes straight for our goal from his position on the side nearer the center of the field, but is thrown for a gain so slight as to be practically nothing. A wide circling run places the ball squarely in mid-field but no closer to the goal line. It is the third down and the cheers for the plucky defense are deafening. They cannot rush our line; so much is certain, yet there is something else which they may accomplish.

The enemy forms for a drop kick. Back from the center comes the ball, squarely into the hands of the full back, well behind his line. Clear to the ground in front of him the kicker drops the ball, as he swings his foot, while our warriors charge through in a vain endeavor to block the kick. The ball strikes the ground, the foot meets it with a steady swing and the oval rises high, spinning like a top. On it floats, perfectly in line with its desired course. It clears the bar with a foot or two to spare and again the visitors split their throats, while the thousands about us are silent. It has scored four points for the enemy, but we are still ahead, and our captain brings the ball out to the center of the field, there to be kicked off again.

Had the kick missed, a touchback would have resulted, which would have entitled the home team to the ball. It would then have been brought out 25 yards and there kicked again, but back toward the enemy's goal, in order to place it in play again.

West Point Field, Parade Grounds   West Point vs. Yale. Photo by Burr Mcintosh.

West Point Field, Parade Grounds - West Point vs. Yale. Photo by Burr Mcintosh.

"It is a great game, and the remainder of the 35 minutes in the first half - for the teams are playing the full length of time allowed by the rules - sees neither team gaining a perceptible advantage, although the school for whose victory the majority of the big crowd is praying is undoubtedly the better on the line of scrimmage. The presence of so fine a kicker on the enemy's eleven makes the contest still doubtful, although he will have to sacrifice some of his accuracy and distance in the half that is coming on account of the change in goals, which will make it necessary for him to kick against the wind.

It is plainly evident in the opening minutes of the second half, after the ten-minute rest is over, that our captain believes he has discovered the enemy's real weakness. Right tackle seems the destination of more than half the plays which our men start, and they gain steadily. From the kick-off the ball is taken straight up the field, the backs handling the oval cleanly and the interference being well nigh perfect. The tackle who is bearing the brunt of the terrific attack lies prostrate on the ground after every play and is plainly weakening under the human bombardment. On his own 30-yard line the visitors' captain calls a halt. With tears in his eyes and sobbing like a little child, the unfortunate tackle wraps a blanket about him and is guided off the field, while a substitute, wild with joy at his chance, rurhes in to take his place.