Georgia Tech: 12
Fresh off a 19-19 tie against North Carolina, Georgia Tech traveled to Philadelphia, PA to face the Pennsylvania Quakers in front of a crowd of 45,000. Penn had lost 49-0 at Notre Dame the previous week, and Georgia Tech had not won since opening the season with a 25-13 victory over South Carolina.
After returning the opening kickoff to their own 30, Penn struck big on the first play when quarterback Jerry Ford hit Paul Riblett on a 40 yard pass to the Yellow Jacket 30 yard line. Two runs by Edward Masavage and a couple of passes by Ford put the ball at the 20. It then looked as if Tech caught a break when Eddie Laws recovered Ford’s fumble at the Yellow Jacket 20 yard line. But after losing three yards on as many plays, Tech was forced to punt, and Don Kellet returned the kick 55 yards for the game’s first score. The Quakers took an early 7-0 lead after the made extra point.
The Jackets didn’t make things any better on their next drive. After picking up just 5 yards on three plays, Roy McArthur’s punt was blocked, and Riblett returned the ball to the Tech 3 yard line. Three short runs later, Penn scored again, but Tech blocked the extra point to make it 13-0 in favor of the Quakers.
Later in the first quarter, after stopping Penn in their own territory, Tech took over when Don Kellet’s punt was downed at the Yellow Jacket 40 yard line. After a few short runs, McArthur passed to J.W. Goldsmith for 21 yards and a first down at the Penn 38. Goldsmith then reeled off a 13 yard run for another first down at the 25 and four more short runs gave Tech another at the 14. The Jackets slowly crept closer to the end zone over the next few plays before McArthur hit Jap Hart for 7 yards and the touchdown. The score brought the Jackets within 7 at 13-6 after the extra point was blocked.
As the teams played into the second quarter, neither got much of anything going. The squads exchanged punts and turnovers for most of the period before Tech mounted a nice drive just before halftime. After the Jackets took over at their own 33 yard line on a Quaker punt, M.J. Flowers connected on two passes of 27 and 28 yards to put Tech at the Quaker 12 yard line. Just as it looks as if the Jackets may tie or take the lead before half, Flowers’s pass was intercepted by Carl Perina and returned to the 50 yard line as time expired.
While neither team would score in the third quarter, both came very close. Tech caught a break at the start of the period when Ben Cherry recovered Ford’s fumble on the opening kickoff. Taking over at the Penn 45, the Jackets slowly advanced towards the Penn end zone, but were held just short, turning the ball over on downs at the 5. A few drives later, Penn would return the favor. After advancing to the Tech 6 yard line for a first and goal, the Quakers gained almost nothing on the first three downs. On fourth down Ford was sacked for a 6 yard loss, giving the Jackets the ball at their own 12 yard line.
The fourth quarter began as Pat Barron returned Perina’s punt 92 yards for Tech’s second touchdown. But just as it looked as if Tech would tie the game, McArthur’s drop kick for the extra point was blocked, and Tech still trailed 13-12. The two missed extra points would prove costly for Tech, as neither team would threaten to score again, and the Quakers would wrap up the one point victory.
Jones, Jimmy. “Jones’ Running Story of Tech-Penn Game.” The Atlanta Constitution. 15 Nov. 1931
Ticket courtesy of Tom Brakefield, Birmingham, Alabama