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Article from NDG Monitor, August 14, 1952
NDG Maple Leafs Preparing For Big Season
By George Cochrane
Signs of impending frost: The NDG Maple Leafs, perennial champions of the Junior section of the Quebec Rugby Football Union, have sounded the clarion call for pigskin totters, passers, hoofers and lovers.
The Leafs sweltered through a two-hour workout on Trenholme Park's lower field Saturday afternoon under a broiling sun that had even the sedentary railbirds dripping with perspiration. Head coach Solly Mastro, the portly capitalist, who has guided the destinies of the NDG gridiron gang since the club was re-organized back in 1946, had little mercy on the candidates for berths on the 1952 edition of the team. Nor, for that matter, did the trio of assistant coaches, Ed Mott, Bill Smith and Al Smith.
Actually the lads, some of them big, powerful gentlemen of the type every pigskin mentor dreams about, appeared to be in something pretty close to tip-top shape. Most of the boys play sports all year round and have not yet begun to develop the paunchy middles which older players must peal off in pre-season drills.
With the first week of workouts not yet over, the Maple Leafs have announced that they are wrestling with a few problems that will have to be solved pronto if the team is to be able to operate with any degree of efficiency.
In the first place, the Leafs are in the market for sponsors of players, individuals or firms willing to outfit a pigskinner for the season. Anyone interested is requested to get in touch with Charlie Johnson at WA 6396.
Problem number two: No clubhouse. Member's of the team's executive have been scouring the district like beagles but as yet they haven't even got anything resembling a first-class scent.
Problem number three: moola. The financial brains of the organization, after considerable finagling with slide rules and the very latest in adding machines, have concluded that the Leafs will need between $2,000 and $2,500 to operate throughout the 1952 season.
With inaugural day only a little more than 3 weeks away, the NDGer's are working out nightly at Trenholme as well as on Saturday afternoon. The evening workouts are called for 7:30, at last under Tenholme's new floodlights until about 10:00. Saturday afternoon sessions get underway at 1:30 and last until signs of exhaustion become sufficiently evident to catch the eye of coach Solly Mastro.
All players under 21 are invited to try out with the squad. "No one has made the team yet," says Solly, "and nobody will make the team until I have seen every candidate in action. I can promise any lad who turns out, a fair chance to make our club."
Back from last year's title winning aggregation and going all out to hold down a spot on the 1952 lineup are: Jack Stryde, Bob Baird, John Sante, Alex Morrison, Red Herscovitch, Tony Carmen, John Harvey, Jeff Bridges, Joe Cameron, Pete W., Bill Leslie, Ron Hutchison, Allan Merrick and Gordie Long. A nucleus for a powerful club is right there.
In addition to these veterans, a number of last year's Juvenile and high school league standouts have been working out with the team.
The Maple Leafs open the season at Trenholme Park on Saturday, September 6, when they play host to Verdun. By that time , Mastro and his aides must pare the squad to 30 players.
Article from NDG Monitor August 28, 1952
Reg Whitehouse signed by Regina
Reg Whitehouse, star lineman with last year's provincial championship NDG Maple Leaf Junior grid team, has been signed for the 1952 grid season by Regina Roughriders. Announcement of the signing was made last week by Glenn Dobbs, coach of the westerners. Regina lost out to Ottawa Rough Riders in last year's Grey Cup classic.
Announcement of Whitehouse's signing has spurred on the candidates for berths on this year's edition of the Maple Leafs. The team is working out nightly and Saturday afternoons at Trenholme Park under the guidance of head coach Solly Mastro and his three assistants.
The Leafs open their schedule at home on September 6 when they play host to Verdun.
Article from NDG Monitor September 4, 1952
NDG Juniors Open Grid Season
........ back-fielders Gordie Long and Pete Dowie.
Bolstering the line will be Joe Cameron and Bill Leslie, of last year's squad.
Freitag Big Hope
Of the newcomers, Coach Solly Mastro his hopes on big Harry (Steam-Roller) Freitag, a 190-pound 18-year-old fullback who wore a Montrel High School uniform last year.
Adding new sprit and strength to the line will be a 185-lb. tackler, Budd Noble, who got his football training with the senior team at the Barrie, Ont., high school which he left last year to launch himself as a working man in Montreal. Another lineman from which a lot is expected is Jerry Hogan, of West Hill High School fame, but he is counted on for only a few games since he is planning to enter McGill University this fall.
Another promising recruit is 175-pound halfback Bob Holland, formerly of West Hill. He is the son of popular Happy Holland, former publicist for Westmount's football teams, who is now voicing the virtues of Verdun's Senior team.
Coach Mastro hopes to have on his starting line-up, three veteran linemen, John Harvey, Jeff Bridges and Tony Carmen. They are, however, classed as "doubtfuls," since all three have night jobs which might spell the end of their football careers.
Two other sure starters for Saturday are tackle Dizzy Lustig, a 190-pounder lately of Strathcona High, and six-foot-one, 180-pound halfback Brian Stewart who played for Montreal High two years ago.
The players' weight averages between 175 to 180 pounds, with the line averaging 185 pounds and the backs between 170 and 175.
The Leafs' coaching department has been strengthened by the addition of former Alouettes lineman Johhny Hammond and lineman Al Smith of Westmount and Navy fame. They will act as assistants to Coach Mastro along with regulars Eddie Mott and Bill Smith.
Article from NDG Monitor September 11, 1952
NDG Maple Leafs Visit Point St Charles
NDG Junior Maple Leafs will be gunning for their first win of the young 1952 season this Sunday afternoon when they travel to Point St. Charles for a regular league game against the boys from the Point. Game time is 2:30.
The Leafs, who have copped the provincial crown five times in the last six seasons, dropped their 1952 season opener to Verdun Sham-Cats 8-6 in a heartbreaker reeled off at Trenholme Park last Saturday afternoon before close to 1500 avid gridiron enthusiasts. The NDGers took that defeat hard and they're determined to atone for it this Sunday. The squad has been drilling all week in preparation for their second clash of the season with special attention being given to plays. Their was a notable lack of cohesion in that department Saturday.
Two newcomers will be taking their first turn in NDG's green and white this weekend. They are speedy John K............
Article from NDG Monitor September 18, 1952
All is not Serene in Maple Leafs Camp
Team's General Lethargy Blasted By Observers
Locals Travel to South Shore Saturday; Down Point St. Charles 18-5 For First Win
By George Cochrane
Allis not serene in the camp of the NDG Maple Leafs. That's the word this week from the five-time provincial kingpins as the club preps for their third game of the young 1952 season. The vaunted green and white are slated to travel to the South Shore this Saturday afternoon for a regular schedule set-to with the South Shore Combines.
Observers close to the local gridiron scene have already started to voice gloomy predictions to the effect that this will be the most disastrous season in the championship studded history of the squad.
In the two tilts the NDGer's have played, a definite lack of cohesion has marred their efforts. The veterans on the team have been performing creditably but many of the newcomers who joined the team after boasting terrific reputations for themselves in high school ranks, appear to be resting on their laurels.
The lethargy which has typified some of the players has been evident at the club's Trenholme Park practices the last two weeks. .... whale of an improvement if the team is to bring another junior grid title back to Notre Dame de Grace.
The Leafs racked up their first win of the 1952 campaign Sunday when they humbled Point St Charles 18-5 on the Point Harrigans home field, a veritable dirt bowl located on ......
Bob Baird paced the locals to the triumph by going over for a pair of majors. The powerful built back was a going concern all afternoon.
The NDGers cracked the scoring line in the first quarter when signal caller Ron Hutchison pitched a strike to Baird that was good for five points. The convert was blocked.
The boys from the Point tied things up before the first quarter to make the quarter time score 5-5.
Maple Leafs jumped into a lead they never relinquished in the second period of the ball game when Jim Milvey engineered a scoring drive.....
The locals wrapped up the contest in the final session when Bob Baird and Gordie Long both configured to be continued.
Article from NDG Monitor September 25, 1952
Junior Leafs Play Host to East End Saturday
NDG Aggregation Gunning For Third Straight Win
Locals Blast South Shore 11-1 Last Week As Harry Freitag, Wayne Long Score Majors
By George Cochrane
NDG junior grid Maple Leafs will be out to make it three wins in a row this Saturday when they play host to the pepperary East End Alouettes. The game is scheduled for Trenholme Park with kickoff at 2:30. It will be the locals second home game of the 1952 campaign. They dropped their league opener on their home field three weeks ago when Verdun Sham-Cats came back in the dying moments of the inaugural tussle to shade Solly Mastro's warriors 8-6.
Verdun ran their unbeaten streak to three straight last weekend to continue to hold down the number one spot in the Junior division of the Quebec Rugby Union standings. Maple Leafs are tied for number two spot with a pair of wins and one loss.
The East End aggregation whom they meet for the first time this Saturday crashed into the victory column last weekend when they clipped reputedly powerful Lakeshore squad in one of the minor upsets of the young gridiron season.
The Leafs have been drilling faithfully all week in preparation for their next battle. Their is little complacency in the camp of the five-time provincial champions.
Said Leaf coach Solly Mastro "We know we have a tough road ahead of us if we are to deal with Verdun for league honours. No team can be looked upon as a soft touch and the East End gang, who were good enough to beat Lakeshore, are no exception. We'll do our best and if the boys carry out their assignments on defence and offence we should win. Beyond that I'm not making any predictions."
Down South Shore
The NDGers racked up their second straight win last Saturday when they traveled to South Shore and toppled the Combines 11-1 in a well-played display of junior football.
Stung by publicized criticism in this newspaper a week ago, the Mastromen tore into the South Shore squad from the very first whistle to turn in their most impressive display of the season. Only a heart-breaking series of bad breaks prevented the local heroes from running up an even higher margin of victory over the home team. If they can maintain the blazing pace they have set last Saturday, the Maple Leafs must be considered real championship contenders. The squad's play was really outstanding along the line and the backfielders were executing their plays with devastating speed and commitment that had been lacking in previous encounters.
First Quarter Scoreless
Enjoying a wide margin in territorial play the NDG gang couldn't penetrate the South Shore goal line in the first quarter of Saturday's fray. The opening stanza saw the Leafs............. The second quarter was almost a ply-by-play repetition of the first. This time the locals.....
The second half was a different story. In the third quarter the Mastro Men's powerful ground attack netted them six first downs. With the line opening huge holes in the South Shore front wall and with the Green and White backfielders taking every advantage of the superb blocking, it was obviously only a matter of time.
And it was Harry Freitag, the 190 pound half who cavorted in Montreal High's backfield last autumn, who brought the Leafs into pay dirt when he streaked over for TD mid-way through the third quarter. Bob Holland booted the convert to give Leafs a 6-0 bulge.
In the final quarter, which saw the NDGers plough for five first downs, to bring their game total in this department to 19, a Ron Hutchison to Gordie Long forward was good for the second major of the fray. It was a short heave which Long pulled down just over the line of scrimmage. The speedy backfielder swerved his way through the ranks of the Combines for another 30 yards. It was the picture play of the afternoon. The convert attempt was wild.
Late in the fourth quarter the home team kicked to the deadline for their bachelor tally.
It's difficult to single out individual players for special plaudits as the whole club played with a verve and a vigor that were outstanding. Ray Baillie, the huge weightlifter, turned in another powerful game along the line. Joe Cameron is another of the men on the front wall who was a going concern all afternoon. Halfbacks Gordie Long and Harry Freitag toted the leather for the defending champs all afternoon and ripped through for big gains frequently.
End Tim Burke is another who really went all out for the winners while both the club's quarterbacks, Al Merrick and Ron Hutchison, turned in sound games.
Article from NDG Monitor October 6, 1952
N.D.G. Maple Leafs Rack Up Third Straight Win
Meet Lakeshore Sunday On Latter's Home Field
Gordie Long Scores Only Major in 7-1 Victory At Trenholme Over East End Als
By George Cochrane
The NDG Junior Maple Leafs 1952 grid machine is now clicking smoothly on all cylinders and local pigskin enthusiasts hope that Lakeshore won't throw a monkey wrench into the works when the two clubs meet this week-end. Solly Mastro, the rotund capitalist, will lead the 5-time pigskin kingpins to the Lakeshore Sunday afternoon for a regular league hassle with the suburbanites.
On the basis of past performance, the NDGer's should win this one without raising too much of a sweat. East End Alouettes downed the Lakeshore larrigans two week-ends ago and last Saturday the Mastro Men humbled this same East End Club by a 7-1 count.
But this gridiron game is unpredictable and Monsieur Mastro and his coaching aides, among them Edgar Mott, Bill “Nookie” Smith, Johnny Hammond and Al Smith, have been warning the Leafs against overconfidence all week.
The green and white brigade have been working out nightly at Trenholme Park in preparation for their Lakeshore clash this Sunday. Mastro is hopeful that his charges, who have shown steady improvement since they opened their season on September 6, will be even better come the Sabbath.
The Leafs are now entrenched in the number two slot in the league standings with three wins and one loss.
Top East End
It was at first as though the Leafs were taking on a high school team at Trenholme Park Saturday afternoon. The visiting East End Alouettes were that small in comparison with the Leafs huskies. But what the maroon-sweatered gridiron gladiators lacked in girth they more than made up for in general hustle and fight. This was a well-coached team with a terrific fighting spirit. NDG had to go all out for their 7-1 win.
A big superiority in the weights really made the difference between the two clubs. Utilizing a powerful ground attack, which was spear-headed by the truck like plunges of Bob Baird, the Leafs rolled to eleven first downs to the Als' two.
Aerial Attacks Weak
Both teams displayed little in the way of a dangerous aerial attack. The Leafs tossed a total of a dozen forwards, quarterback Ron Hutchison doing the throwing, and completed only three. One of the locals' heaves was intercepted. East End attempted seven passes connected on only one. It looks as though Sam Etcheverry's job is safe for a while yet.
Statistically, The Maple Leafs outplayed Terry Gilead's squad by a wide margin. Only two things prevented them from running up a much more impressive score. One was an apparent inability to climax marches up the field with touchdowns. Another was a tendency to exhibit a “tough guy” complex, which resulted in costly penalties.
First Quarter Single
East End kicked off to get the ball game rolling. The Leafs ploughed up the field, pushing their way past the visitors' 25-yard stripe. A first down plunge was good for six yards. A Ron Hutchison pass was incomplete. Bob Holland's placement attempt was wild but rolled to the deadline to give the Leafs a slim 1-0 bulge.
The Alouettes came roaring back and almost knotted the count when Jack Farichey, the east-enders red-headed kicking ace, unleashed a towering spiral that set the Leafs back inside their 5-yard stripe.
NDG supporters were thunderstruck when, on first down, signals caller Ron Hutchison faded back behind the goal line to pass. He got the heave away just in time, a beauty far out to his right where large Robert Baird, the sleeper on the play, scooped the leather out of the stratosphere and galloped up the sidelines for a 25-yard gain that put the locals out of danger.
Second Quarter Even
The second quarter was a very even 15 min of junior football. NDG racked up two first downs, the Alouettes one while each club completed one pass in the stanza.
Fireworks threatened to break out in the dying moments of the half when Ray Baillie, the Leafs giant 285-pound lineman, went after Jack Farichey after the latter had attempted a third down forward and began to throw punches at the slim redhead. None of the blows landed and more peacefully inclined players soon put a stop to the proceedings. The referees overlooked the incident. The half-time count: 1-0
Touch Called Back
The Leafs were right back in the driver's seat in the third quarter of the ball game. The period saw the Leafs roll to four first downs compared to the Larks' one. Four incompleted forwards put the brakes on the NDGer's offensive.
The Mastro Men had a TD called back on them in the quarter. Baird, who was a standout for the green & white all afternoon, scooped up a pass that had been batted down behind the line of scrimmage and raced all the way - but in vain. The play was called back, ruled an incomplete forward pass.
Just as the quarter ended the locals recovered an Alouettes fumble on the East-Enders' twenty-yard line.
It didn't take the Leafs long to capitalize on the break. A Hutchison to Gordie Long pass clicked to advance the leather to the twelve. On the next play, Long swept around right end on a pitch-out and went all the way for the game's only 5-pointer.
Bob Holland, who boots them with his left foot, made no mistake on the convert to put the defending champs up 7-0.
The East End lads weren't to be counted out. A raven thatched Irishman named Kevin Murphy zig-zagged his way through a maze of would-be tacklers for a 45-yard runback on the kickoff that was the highlight of the afternoon.
2 consecutive penalties to the Alouettes pushed them back deep into their own territory. An Alouettes kick was blocked and recovered by NDG but the advantage was nullified by a penalty to the Leafs.
Then it was that Frank Ulley began to penalize the NDGer's heavily, adding further yardage when the Leafs protested too loudly.
Tempers were really flaring at this point and The Alouettes' Peter Copavchuk and the Leafs' John Harvey were ejected from the contest for punching.
The penalties put the Alouettes into scoring position and they crashed into the scoring column on a kick by Gordie Church. The single reduced the Leafs' lead to 7-1.
Disaster threatened the Leafs shortly afterwards. A third down snap soared over kicker Bob Holland's head and the Alouettes took over on the NDG five.
2 plays through got the east end absolutely nowhere and when speedster Frank Fraser went around right end on third down the Leafs broke trough and smeared him for a big loss.
Get TEAM Lineups next time off this page.
Article from NDG Monitor, Oct 6, 1952
Junior Maple Leafs Face Heavy Grid Week-End
Meet Point St. Charles, South Shore At Trenholme
Mastro Men Edge Lakeshore 14-11 Last Week-End as Sasso, Long Score Majors
NDG's battling Junior Maple Leafs face their toughest week-end of the 1952 grid campaign this Saturday and Monday with a pair of home games which they must win if they are keep hot on the trail of the pace-setting Verdun Sham-Cats.
Saturday the five-time provincial champions will play host to the scrappy Point St. Charles aggregation at Trenholme Park. After one day's rest Solly Mastro's green and white larrigans will meet South Shore in a Thanksgiving Day tussle at the west end grid layout.
The double week-end assignment will be no sinecure for the NDGer's. This Point St. Charles club pulled an upset last week-end when they downed East End Alouettes 7-6. Only 2 weeks ago the Leafs beat out the Als by one touchdown.
Monday's battle with South Shore should be something more to the nature of a breather for the defending champs. The lads from the other banks of the St. Lawrence have been having their troubles in the Junior section of the QRFU this rainy autumn. Last week-end they suffered a 24-5 drubbing at the hands of the undefeated and untied Verdun Sham Cats. Verdun eked out a 6-5 win over the Leafs in the season opener.
In Second Place
Mastro's Maple Leafs, solidly entrenched in sec place behind the pace-setting Verdunites, have been drilling faithfully this week in preparation for their pair of Thanksgiving week-end contests. Rain in the early part of the week made the Leafs' practice sessions veritable nightmares but the Leafs' quintet of coaches, aware that a muddy field might be served up for one or both of this week-end's tilts, didn't curtail the practice sessions one iota.
Mastro is confident that his club will sweep both their games against the Point and the South Shore.
“If the boys play ball they know, we shouldn't have too much trouble,” was the veteran mentor's comment last night as he whipped his squad through another 2-hour session at Trenholme Park.
The Leafs had to go all out under a threatening sky Sunday to rack up a narrow 14-11 verdict over Lakeshore Flyers. It was a hard-fought battle all the way with the Leafs again, running smack up against their old trouble of being unable to convert downfield marches into scores.
Two touchdowns, one convert, a safety touch and a single accounted for the Mastro Men's scoring.
One of the Leafian TD's came on a terrific individual play by Gordie Long, a lad who has been playing great ball for the west enders all season. Long pulled down a Lakeshore pass on his own quarterfield stripe and galloped 85 yards for a five-pointer that was the highlight of the afternoon's fray.
Ello Sasso notched the other TD for the Leafs.
Ray Baillie, the 285-pound lineman who's also noted for his feats in the weightlifting realm, was responsible for the winners' safety touch, good for two points, and ace signals-caller Ron Hutchison booted a single.
Lakeshore's two TD's were scored by Dave MacCauley and Kevin O'Neill; MacCauley also booted a single.
Article from NDG Monitor, Oct 16, 1952
Leafs Meet Verdun In Crucial Tilt Saturday
Win For NDG Would Put Them In First Place Tie
Locals Win Pair Over Week-End, Blanking Point St. Charles 6-0 And Downing South Shore
By George Cochrane
“This”, in the words of rotund Solly Mastro, head coach of the NDG Junior Maple Leafs, “is what we have been waiting for”.
Mr. Mastro, who has mentored the local gridiron gladiators to 5 provincial titles, is obviously determined to come up with a repeat performance this season.
He was referring, of course, to the epic battle scheduled to take place this Saturday afternoon between Mr. Mastro's NDG Junior Maple Leafs and Gus McFarlane's Verdun Sham-Cats. Site of this memorable (we trust it will be memorable tussle) is to be the suburb city of Verdun, more specifically the park that stretches beside the Verdun Auditorium. Game time has been announced as 2:30 p.m.
The two rival clubs are about as close together in the Junior QRFU standing as a pair of lovers on a park bench. The Verdunites have won seven, lost none, and tied none.
The Leafs have won six, tied none, and lost one. That one loss came in the first game of the 1952 season when the Sham-Cats came from behind in the dying moments of the game to eke out a 6-5 win.
The NDG'ers are confident that nothing like that will happen again this Saturday. Mr. McFarlane and his suburb city larrigans are equally confident that it will. Saturday will tell the tale.
Leafs Add Two
The Leafs added 2 wins to their victory total last week-end when they blanked Point St Charles 6-0 on Sat and came back on Mon to hand South Shore Combines a 24-6 trouncing. Both games were reeled off at Trenholme Park.
The Sat tussle was a rather lack-luster affair with neither team showing too much in the way of a potent offensive or well-co-ordinated defence. The Leafs made mistakes both ways but happily from a localities' point of view, the boys from the Point obliged by coming up with more of the same.
Gordie Long registered the NDG lads' sole major score in the final quarter when he intercepted a forward and streaked 50 yards for a touch. Bob Holland made no mistake on the convert.
Intercepting passes and converting them into touchdown's has become somewhat of a habit with Long. He had pulled off the same feat just a week previous. Solly Mastro and his coaching cohorts are hoping that Long will be able to reel off the play at least once this Saturday.
The last three quarters of the contest were scoreless.
Top South Shore
The Leafs showed a good deal more sparkle, hustle and zip in their Monday tilt with the South Shore Combines. The team was blocking much better, running off their plays with something resembling cohesion, and tackling low and hard.
The hero of the afternoon was rugged Harry Freitag, the Montreal High grad, who came up with the individual performance of the season by registering 3 touchdowns. Gordie Long got the other NDG five-pointer in a 40-yard run.
Bob Holland converted on two of four convert attempts and the other two points came on a safety touch by Joe Cameron.
Quarterback Al Merrick and halfback John White will be forced to miss this Saturday's crucial game with Verdun. Merrick who shares signal-calling duties with Ron Hutchison, is out with a broken finger. White is suffering from broken bones in his hand.
Article from NDG Monitor, Oct. 23, 1952
Maple Leafs Meet East End Alouettes Sunday
Locals Blow Title Hopes By Losing To Verdun
By George Cochrane
NDG's Junior grid Maple Leafs may be on the outside of the building looking in when championship banquets are held a month or so from now. The local gridiron gladiators threw away a chance to move into a first place tie in the QRFU Junior standings last Saturday when they were blanked 11-0 by Verdun Sham-Cats. It was the first goose egg hung on the Green and White this season. The game was played on the Tabbies home field.
While the Saturday loss put an end to any title hopes the Leafs might have been nourishing, it does not mean that there is any good reason to hoist the white flag. There are still the post-schedule playoffs to be remembered, winners of which will advance to the Eastern Canada playdowns.
The Leafs are now concentrating on finishing in second place in the Junior circuit. After that come the playoffs and supporters of Solly Mastro's club still believe they have the moxie to top the Verdunites.
This weekend the Leafs meet the light but plucky East End Alouettes on the latter's home field. Last time these two clubs met, the locals won by one touchdown. Mastro has been warning his charges all week that their Sabbath joust with the East Enders will be no sinecure. The Leafs have been drilling nightly all week with some dissatisfaction on the part of the Leaf's quintet of coaches with regard to the number of players turning out for the workouts. Attendance on some nights has dropped to as low as 10 players - and among the missing are several of the club's first string.
Sunday's game is billed for 2:00 o'clock.
Verdun made it eight wins in a row Saturday when they outplayed and outfought NDG to the decisive tune of 11-0. The Leafs just couldn't seem to get rolling and when they did get within striking distance of the home club's payoff stripe they muffed their chances of breaking into the scoring column.
Early in the game the Leafs lugged the leather all the way to the Cats' 35-yard stripe. Kicker Al Morrison was rushed into the lineup for third down but instead of booting for the single point, the Green and White elected to gamble and threw a pass. It was knocked down.
From that point on Gus McFarlane's Verdunites definitely had the edge in the play. They outplayed the NDG front wall by a wide margin and their backfielders moved with a zest and a grace that was largely absent in the efforts of the Mastro Men.
Harry Haukkala, the man the linotypes love to hate, was the big gun in the Verdun offensive. The hard-hitting backfielder hit for one touchdown and converted it to account personally for slightly more than half of the winner's points.
Handsome Harry's major came in the third quarter after a scoreless first half. He plunged over from 3 yards out to climax a Verdun downfield march that covered half the field.
TAKE TO AIR
The Sham-Cats took to the air to set up their second five-pointer. Jim Tsonos faded back and hit Wilf Oliver with a toss that floated 35 yards. That put the ball on the hard-pressed Leafs' five-yard marker. Bill Watt took it over from there to complete the afternoon's scoring. The convert attempt was blocked.
Injuries took their toll on the Leafs. Gordie Long, outstanding backfielder who has been lugging the ball for big gains all season, suffered a leg injury which will keep him on the sidelines for one or two games. End Bob Baird emerged from Saturday's fray with some chipped teeth. Jack Stryde, another outside wing, damaged a knee and lineman Bill Noble suffered a painful groin injury.
Article in NDG Monitor, Oct. 30, 1952
NDG Maple Leafs Meet Lakeshore
Sudden Death Tilt Set For Wednesday Night
Teams Will Clash At Molson Under Lights; Leafs End Regular Schedule This Saturday.
Playoff time is just around the corner for Solly Mastro, the portly capitalist, and his NDG Maple Leafs, defending champions of the Junior section of the Quebec Rugby Football Union.
The Leafs, who have been panting along behind the front-running Verdun Sham-Cats since the beginning of the season, wind up their regular schedule on their home stamping grounds at Trenholme Park this Saturday. Lakeshore, a potentially troublesome club, will visit the NDGer's to complete the regular schedule. Game time: 2:15.
These same two clubs meet in the semi-final round of the Junior section play-offs at Molson Stadium next Wednesday night, Nov 5. This is to be a sudden death affair and followers of the Leafs are beginning to wonder if the club's days of grid supremacy are over. Some have gone so far as to predict that the Leafs won't even reach the finals.
The team has lost only two games but, in the opinion of many of their own executive as well as most stalwart supporters, they have come up with a good game only once, the contest they played on Thanksgiving Day week-end against South Shore Combines. In other tussles, the local gridiron gladiators just haven't been able to get rolling with anything resembling the gait the club had shown in its six years of post-war operation, a span which saw them capture the provincial junior football laurels five times.
If the Leafs manage to get past the Lakeshore representatives next Wednesday night, they will advance to the finals and meet either Verdun Sham-Cats, who have clinched first place, or the team which hooks up with Verdun in the other semi-final set-to. Just who that will be won't be known until after this week-end's games.
Edge East End
Large Jack McKenna, the genial manager of the club, was as glum as that jovial soul ever gets after watching the Mastro Men in action Sunday way down at the corner of Talon and Hochelaga, the home layout of Terry Gilead's Maroon-sweatered East End Alouettes. The Leafs beat out the East Enders by one touchdown when the two aggregations clashed at Trenholme Park earlier in the season. Last Sunday they had an even harder time racking up a win at the expense of the light but plucky Als.
The teams battled on even terms throughout the game and it was only a 35-yard kick to the deadline by the NDGer's Al Merrick in the fourth quarter which prevented the contest from ending as the first scoreless tie of the season.
Jovial Jack was far from gay about the showing of his beloved Leafs.
“I'm afraid that the club just doesn't have it,” said Jack. “All season long we've been saying that the boys haven't been playing up to the standard of which they are capable. But after watching them for game after game I guess the conclusion to be reached is that they've been doing their best. The only trouble is that their best isn't good enough to bring back another championship to NDG.
There were no standouts for either club in the Sunday set-to, the McKenna man reported. It was apparently a drab, dull game with a return to the old two bucks and a kick game, which has cured more insomnia than any other remedy.
The Leafs, missing a couple of performers due to injuries, played ineptly and were lucky to walk off the field with a win.
“They'll have to do better against Lakeshore,” said McKenna, as he made his exit.
Article in NDG Monitor Nov. 6, 1952
NDG Junior Maple Leafs End Season With Win
Defeat Lakeshore 11-6 In Regular Schedule Final
Gordie Long and Bob Holland Register Majors for Leafs; Junior Final Playoff This Saturday
The NDG Junior Maple Leafs wound up their regular schedule in winning fashion last Saturday Afternoon when they came from behind to hand the gritty Lakeshore Juniors an 11-6 setback.
The win solidified the locals' hold on second place in the standings, though even had they lost the Saturday finale they would have ended up in the number two slot in the final standings of the junior section of the QRFU.
Last night the Juniors semi-final playoff rounds were reeled off at Molson Stadium, the first time the QRFU has invaded that staid bowl this season. Verdun Sham-Cats, who went through the schedule undefeated and untied, met Terry Gilead's East End Alouettes in the first game while NDG renewed acquaintances with Lakeshore in the nightcap.
Alouettes, a light but plucky club which gave the NDG Maple Leafs plenty of trouble in two games this season, earned the fourth playoff spot last Sunday when they went all out to rack up an impressive 28-8 victory at the expense of Point-St.-Charles.
On Saturday the Juniors will stage their sudden-death final at Verdun Park, next to the suburbanite's auditorium, with last night's two winner's clashing. That should be Verdun and NDG but anything can happen, and frequently does, in the autumn pastime. Game time is 2:15
Jack McKenna, the Leafs' Equipment Manager, earned the sobriquet Smiling Jack once again after Saturday. The big fellow, who played for D'Arcy McGee in his days, was more than a mite impressed with the second half performance of his beloved NDGers.
“In the first half”, informed the amiable Jackson, “the boys played only mediocre ball but in the second half they positively glittered.”
Come From Behind
Which was probably just as well as the Leafs had to overcome a one-touchdown deficit when they trotted out on to the field for the second half of the contest.
A capable pigskin totter by the name of Andy Delabarre put the larrigans from the Lakeshore five points up when he went over for the first touchdown of the game. Dave MacCauley made no mistake on the convert to give the visitors a six-point halftime lead.
It was a different story after the intermission. Whether coach Solly Mastro injected some type of pigskin solution into the veins of his charges or whether he relied solely upon his considerable oratorical gifts is something that not very many people know.
But at any rate it was a different NDG Maple Leaf club that took the field for the second half. They tackled harder, they blocked better, and they ran of their plays like professional. It was a terrific performance.
And it wasn't long before their efforts were rewarded. Gordie Long, who has been a standout with the locals all season, went over for a major in the third quarter on an end sweep. Bob Holland miscued on the convert to leave the hustling Lakeshore aggregation ahead by a single point, 6-5.
The score stayed that way until the final quarter when Bob Holland went over for the winning major on another sweep around the end. Holland added the extra point to round off the afternoon scoring. The final count: 11-6 in favour of the Mastro Men.
Halfback Harry Freitag turned in a stellar performance at halfback while Ron Hutchison, operating from both a quarterback and halfback slot, came up with one of his best games of the 1952 campaign.
Article from NDG Monitor, November 6, 1952
Maple Leafs Bow Out Of Title Hunt By Losing 14-10
NDG's junior grid Maple Leafs can put their cleats and jerseys away in mothballs today. The five time provincial kingpins bowed out of the championship hunt when they were edged 14-10 by Lakeshore in a semi-final thriller reeled off under the lights at Molson Stadium last night.
In the other half of last night's twin bill, Verdun Sham-Cats kept their undefeated and untied record intact by doing an 11-0 job on the East End Alouettes in one of the roughest junior games of the season. Play was halted with 30 seconds to go when a veritable donnybrook threatened to develop.
The Sham-Cats will meet Lakeshore Saturday in a sudden-death battle for the QRFU Junior crown. The tilt will be played at Auditorium Park, next to the Verdun Auditorium. Game time has been advanced to 1:30
The irony of the Maple Leaf's loss last night is that Solly Mastro's larrigans defeated this same Lakeshore aggregation twice in the course of the regular schedule by scores of 14-11 and 11-6. That 11-6 win was racked up only last Saturday at Trenholme Park in the local's last regular scheduled game of the season.
But it was a different Lakeshore team out on the field last night, a team that has never stopped improving since they plated their first game way back in September.
All of which is not meant to detract from the fighting display staged last night by the Maple Leafs. The Green and White sweatered lads never stopped battling but they just didn't have enough ammunition in their arsenal to cope with the inspired Lakeshore club.
If Lakeshore can maintain the sizzling pace they set last night, there won't be too many surprised people if they upset the favored Verdun Sham-Cats on Saturday.
With three minutes to go, Lakeshore clicked with a 40-yard forward that was good for a touchdown. The convert was good to bring the final count to 14-10.
The deadly kicking of a strong-legged young man named Urquhart booted a single to open the scoring in the first quarter.
Minutes later he booted another long one into the end zone. Ron Hutchison fumbled it and Samuels pounced on the ball for a major. The convert attempt failed. Score: 6-0 for the underdogs.
NDG crashed into the scoring column in the second stanza when, after U had hoofed another one-pointer. Gordie Long went over on an off-tackle smash to reduce the DJ FA lead to 7-5.
Then in the fourth quarter Bob Holland majored for the locals. plunging over from one yard out, to put the Mastro Men ahead 10-7.
Another Fuqua boot reduced the lead to 10-8. Then, with but three minutes remaining in the ball game, came that dramatic 40-yard heave which spelled finish to the Leafs 1952 championship hopes.
Note: In the final Lakeshore beat Verdun Sham-Cats 1-0.