The 1945 USC Game:
Hurricane Herman Destroys Trojan Warhorse

There goes Herman! Herman Wedemeyer gallops around his own right end all by himself to score St. Mary's first touchdown against USC at Los Angeles yesterday. With the ball at the one foot line, Wedemeyer took a shovel passed from Quarterback Denis O'Connor and sped like a rabbit for the touchdown. The Trojans were baffled by the maneuver for they were obviously caught flatfooted. The Gaels went on from this start to score a smashing 26-0 triumph and remain among the country's top unbeaten, untied teams.

Thanks to Brian O'Connor, son of late St. Mary's quarterback Denis O'Connor, for continuing to share sharing his amazing collection of St. Mary's photos and clippings. You can download a .zip file of all of the O'Connor USC game clippings here. ( 730 KB).

Wedemeyer, Mates, Race Through USC
By Harry Borba

LOS ANGELES COLISEUM, Nov. 3 -- "Hurricane" Herman Wedemeyer and twenty-seven Gael cohorts hit the old Trojan warhorse hard amidships and scattered him all over this big arena this afternoon.

Demonstrating that a first rate hurricane can whip a lot of elephants, Herman and "Spike" Cordeiro, and Denny O'Connor and Wes Busch , and a line that outcharged and outplayed the big Troy forwards, racked up a conclusive 26 to 0 victory. This amazed and pleased more than half of the record crowd of 38,000 persons and provided the first great northern California holiday in southern California since 1940.

Herman, the hurricane, merely raced and dove for the first two touchdowns, carried the ball sixteen times for an average of 3.18, did all of the punting, some of the kicking-off, and a great deal of the tackling over on the left side of the Gael backfield. His blocking was probably as outstanding as any other part of his game.

Wedemeyer was so terrific that he stood out over his own amazing team that refused to wilt under the hottest day of autumn in old Los Angeles. Herman did everything but count the house, and when he left the turf with about five minutes left to play he was applauded and cheered by everybody in the place except the downcast Trojans. Even one or two of these were seen to clap their hands covertly in appreciation of as great a gridiron performance as has ever been produced in this Coliseum of the gridiron gigantics.

Every one of Jimmy Phelan's smartly trained Gallopers got a hand for outplaying the behemoths from University Avenue after giving away nineteen pounds per man, and three years of age. The St. Mary's adolescents average 18 years and the Trojan titanics 21 1/2 summers.

Most amazing, perhaps, was the fact that the Gaels were better than the Trojans in the second half.

They were supposed to wilt after an expected first half flurry of scoring. Instead, they scored only once in the first thirty minutes while taking their own deliberate time about going into action on each play.

They tallied three when the sun began to drop behind the Trojan walls…


Gaels Coach Lauds Team
By Bob Hunter

LOS ANGELES COLISEUM, Nov. 3 -- "This 1945 Gael Club is carrying more offense than any team I have ever coached," Jim Phelan told reporters in the St. Mary's dressing room after today's game.

"Our offense is hard to stop," Phelan continued. "There's no key to it."

The Moraga Mick said the heat hurt St. Mary's, but Trojan rooters are inclined to believe the heat didn't bother the Gaels enough. …

As Phelan spoke to reporters the St. Mary's dressing room was a bedlam of joy. "On to Victory," St. Mary's victory song, was sung by the undefeated and untied teen-age Gaels as they showered.

"On to the Sugar Bowl," someone cried, and the whole gang took up the chant.

During the first half, the Gaels weren't exactly holding back on anything, according to Captain Denis O'Connor, whose generalship again was flawless.

"The setup on the field during the first half seemingly wasn't right," he said. "We could never get into the proper position, although we were saving some of our best shots."

The Gael captain praised the S.C. team, rating it the toughest the Gaels have met.

Wedemeyer and Cordeiro disagreed on this point. The two Hawaiian backs thought California was their toughest foe. …

[USC Coach Jeff] Cravath was pale and the few words he spoke came in monosyllables. He said:

"St. Mary's wanted to play football. We didn't. I am certainly disappointed. Phelan has done a fine coaching job but we couldn't have won from a high school team today."


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