October 23, 1971 - Hold on Ara, the Freshman are Coming

By Olson

1971 vs Mexico City Redskins @ Mexico City WON 80-0

This game had been arranged by ND President Father Hesburgh and the ND Club of Mexico (with a rumor that the ND coaches were against the matchup). The game was played in a bullfighting arena in Mexico City that held 100,000 fans (35,000 or so showed up for this football game).

The Irish frosh were matched up against a 'club team' from Mexico (although the ND Media Guide referred to the team as the 'U of Mexico'). The game was the subject of a Sports Illustrated article titled 'Hold on Ara, the freshmen are coming'.

SI wasn't sure if the final score was 82-0 or 80-0 (the ND Media Guide says '80' so go with that). The reason that the Si writer wasn't sure of the score was because the Irish went for two after the last td and the officials were split on whether or not ND had made it.

Going for 2 when you are ahead 68-0 seems excessive, but the Irish had been instructed by the refs not to kick anymore XPs. The Mexican fans in the stands had refused to give the footballs back-and the refs were running out of balls.

Here is a brief excerpt from the SI article:

In a two minute and 18 second spurt, Notre Dame's Eric Penick went 84 yards for a score only to have it nullified by a penalty. On the next play (Wayne) Bullock went 89 yards to score and after a Redskin punt, (Chuck) Kelly went 73 yard to score. Then a shade over a minute later, (Tom) Bake shedding Mexicans like an oak tree undressing for winter, went six yard to score.

HB Ron Goodman scored 4 tds for the Irish, QB Tom Clements only threw 4 passes the whole game-2 went for tds.

Freshmen football games stopped at ND after 1971. In 1972 freshmen were declared eligible to play on the varsity. It's been that way ever since.

Keywords: freshman football, mexico city redskins, mexico city, father hesburgh, club of mexico, eric penick, wayne bullock, chuck kelly, tom bake, ron goodman, tom clements

Posted On: 2013-02-28 00:15:04 by Olson


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