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FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Homecoming 1957 Ole Miss Edges LSU 14-12 for Homecoming Victory

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games of the past. This week features the Rebels’ 14-12 win over LSU in the 1957 Homecoming game.

Ball control does it – Rebels close late to edge Bengals, 14-12

By Jerry Bryan, Birmingham News

November 10, 1957

Charlie Flowers
Charlie Flowers

There is a football axiom which is accepted as true that you cannot win a game without the ball. John Vaught’s Rebels have learned it well. Saturday they lifted 30,000 home comers from impending gloom to heights of ecstacy by grinding LSU under 14-12 through the simple process of keeping the ball!

Through more than half of the third quarter and 9:45 into the fourth Ole Miss hammered and hammered. They put the ball in play 37 times over that stretch while allowing the Tigers but four downs.

Denied once at the end of an 83-yard drive accomplished in 24 plays, the Rebs came right back to stay in the SEC title picture with a scoring movement of 33 yards in 13 downs.

The Rebs got the TD twice in the second and climactic drive. The first one did not stick. Bobby Franklin shoved through the middle from the one-yard line and while an official was signaling touchdown, another was throwing the flag.

Over-helful Charlie Flowers, reverse fullback, gave his quarterback a bit of a boost to help him get up power for the push. Ole Miss was set back 15 yards.

Vaught had swapped teams twice during those drives and at this stage he sent the No. 1 Rebels back in. They were 17 yards from home with first down.

Raymond Brown faked to Leroy Reed and ran a wide keeper which covered seven yards before Johnny Robinson could get him down. Brown back up to pass but Larry Kahlden and Billy Hendrix got him for a five-yard deficit. Brown switched strategy and tried to catch the Tigers napping with a handoff to Bill Hurst but he gained only meager yardage at right guard.

In a do-or-die effort, Brown faded on fourth down and shot a low pass into the endzone. Don Williams went onto his knees to field the ball two yards inside. Bob Khayat (Robert Khayat) added the point, as he did after the first, and that was the game it proved, although 5:06 of play remained.

Ole Miss rolled up 21 first downs to 386 yards to 175, but found themselves on the verge of losing the game through LSU’s spectacular strikes.

The Tigers jammed a touchdown into the first quarter just before the buzzer. It was a lightning stroke.

Brown, attempting a pitch-back to Bill Lott, tossed the ball badly and the halfback never got control. Lynn Leblanc covered on the LSU 38.

Jimmy Taylor tapped tackle for two and then he broke through a mid-line opening and struck out right down the middle. Jackie Simpson tried him at the 30, then Brown at about the 14; and Hurst simply never did get in reach. As might be suspected the flying Tiger was rambling all the time. He wound up back of the goal, 60 yards away on the one of the several great runs of the game. He missed the attempt at conversion. There was 1:33 left in the period.

The Rebs were back on top with 9:09 spent in the second quarter. That counter was originated from a fumble. The ball was dropped by Warren Rabb, who subbed at quarter for Win Turner after the LSU senior was hurt. He was tripped at the LSU 31. The ball popped out of his hands, and Hurst recovered.

It took seven plays for the counter. The Rebs whacked the Tigers’ interior line ferociously. Billy Lott hit for six and Hurst 10 at the guards. Lott got 12 on two bucks that carried to the three. Hurst hit twice, gaining two yards and Brown scrambled over.

LSU repeated its first period performance by just beating the clock at halftime for its second TD. Billy Cannon got off one of two remarkable punts he produced during the game. This one rolled out on the Ole Miss two.

The Rebs managed a first down and then tried to hold the ball to kill the first half clock without a punt. They could not, and Brown kicked into a stiff wind, Cannon took the ball on his own 47. He swung to the right and crossed with J.W. Broadnax.

The Tigers went in opposite directions but too many stayed in pursuit of Cannon. Blockers set up to the left and formed a human wall for Broadnax to race all the way for the counter. Taylor also missed this try for point.

It was the second punt which probably contributed the surge needed to save the day for the Rebs twice. There were 48 seconds left in the half.

No. 1 crew had run the ball 37 yards on 11 downs on the long march and seemed to be losing steam.

With 2:47 left in the third quarter, Vaught trotted out his No. 2 eleven well spotted with sophomores. The ball was on the LSU 48.

Bobby Franklin, 165-pound Clarksdale sophomore, stepped into the T-slot with convincing authority. On the first play he rolled out on a fake pass and ran four. He repeated for another four which hot a first down.

He handed off to Charlie Flowers who smashed right guard for seven. Then he and Flowers competed the first down at the Tiger 30, on the last play of the third quarter.

The No 1. team came back in at the start of the fourth quarter and appeared to have more pep, Brown ran keepers twice, the last for nine which along with Reed’s five-yard gainer got the ball to the LSU 12.

Lott drove straight ahead for four. On the next play he started wide but was met with a straight-up tackle from Max Fulger and the ball slipped through his arms. Taylor covered it, as it fell behind the runner on the LSU 6.

The Tigers could not keep the ball and punted on fourth down. Cannon’s kick into the wind was short. It died on the 33, and from there the Ole Miss No. 2 until came back in to launch the drive which won the game.

Franklin ran seven times for 37 yards, exactly marching Brown’s yardage on 12 carries. But Lott was the big lugger for the Rebs, getting 85 on 18 runs.

Hurst and Flowers, the two fullbacks, had a neat 77 each and the sophomore, Flowers, ran only six times against 20 for Hurst.

One of Flowers’ carries was a brilliant burst around left end late in the first quarter for 55 yards. He rolled off tackle. Got clear and rushed down to the LSU 10 before Robinson knocked him out of bounds.

This threat died on a 15-yard penalty on a personal foul against Ole Miss.

Taylor was a great player Saturday. He carried 15 times for 117 yards, but his work as linebacker was just outstanding. He and Fulger, who worked with him as linebacker, were tremendous. Fulger recovered a fumble and blocked a kick along with making many tackles. Taylor recovered one fumble.

Cannon for the third week was held to a meager yardage. He got five yards in three carries but two punts and his decoy for Broadnax’s TD punt return were gigantic contributions. One of his punts dropped into the end zone and bounced back out to die on the Ole Miss one.

Between halves, Miss Pat Cousins, Biloxi, was crowned queen by Jerome “Dizzy” Dean, with Lt. Gov. Carol Gartin helping. It was announced Carl McKellar, Columbus, had been elected president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association.

Story and photo courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

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