(This is the full account of the 1949 Armistice Day football game between Story City and Nevada as it appeared on page eight of the November 17, 1949 issue of the Story City Herald. Coach Cecil Spatcher and his boys defeated the Cubs 12-6 utilizing the ‘sleeper’ play, which Cecil invented, to score one of the Vikings’ two touchdowns.)
The battle got under way with Nevada kicking off to the Vikings. After an exchange of punts, Story took over on its own 7 yard line. Prior to that Nevada had penetrated to the Nevada 37.
On the punt which followed, Nevada scored. Ron Fincham taking the ball on the Nevada 45 yard line and going the distance without a hand being laid upon him. The kick for extra point was no good, being blocked by three unknowns.
The Vikings took the kickoff which followed, starting on the 18 and stopping on the Story 48.
On the third play after the local punt, a backward pass by Nevada was fumbled and John Thorsness roared in to make the recovery on the Nevada 18 yard line. Darwin Johnson was sent out on the old reliable pass, taking it over for a touchdown and tying the score. The kick was wide for the extra point. Incidentally, the "sleeper" pass used in the touchdown play has been successful all season - in one game five times.
After that score, neither team gained ground consistently, and after another kick exchange, Nevada took over on the Nevada 36. Gains by McConnell, Atkinson and Fincham went to midfield, but at that point the Vikings once more showed their alertness.
Forced into the air by the rugged Viking defense, the Nevada club tried a pass, only to have Don Nelson intercept the aerial and go 55 yards to count Story’s second touchdown. The pass for the extra point failed.
With four minutes remaining in the first half, Nevada started on its own 5 yard line and moved up to the Story City 40 before being halted. The longest gain in this drive was a 32 yard spurt by Atkinson. Fincham lost 2 yards on a tackle by DeWayne Kammin and the locals took the ball as the half ended.
That first half produced all the scoring, but it didn’t produce all the thrills and chills for Viking partisans who saw Nevada stage several drives that threatened the six-point local lead.
Story City’s kickoff opening the second half was returned to the Story 35, but once more some all-around alertness by the home team resulted in a fumble recovery. The Vikings made little on their own offensive and kicked, with the return coming back to the Story 45.
Fincham, Sylvester and Schickell combined to put the ball down on the Story 11 yard line with a first and 10 at that point. However, Dick Ness stopped them around his end and Claude Johnson intercepted another Cub aerial in the end zone and ran it out to the 2 yard line.
Gary Brattebo and Don Nelson picked up eight yards, and Jack Riney, a transfer from Nevada, but now a Viking, kicked to the 40. Nevada again was stopped, but moved to the Story 10 yard line before the Vikings could do it.
After an exchange of punts in the early part of the fourth quarter, Story recovered another Nevada fumble on the 42. Richard Holm picked up three yards and then Don Nelson took a pass to the Nevada 43. Claude Johnson made four yards and Nevada was penalized 15 yards to its own 24. A Story punt was over the goal and placed on the Nevada 20.
It was from the 20, with three minutes remaining, that Nevada made its final gallant bid for a score, and their longest drive o the afternoon. Four first downs and three passes later found Nevada on Story’s 8. They were also aided by a pass interference call on the locals. Here it was that time ran out.
It would be hard to single out individual stars for the locals. Offensively, Don Nelson made the most yardage and he had lots of help. Defensively, Darrell Kokemiller made more than his share of the tackles, but he was ably assisted by a group of boys that fought with heart and soul what they lacked in sheer weight.
The locals were better in only three departments of the statistics - intercepting passes, recovering fumbles and most importantly, points. Truly, it was another of those "sweet victories".