The Army Black Knights of 1944 and 1945 are considered the best college football teams ever to play. This story is about the 1944 edition that Coach Red Blake said was the greatest team he ever coached. 1945 team was the best squad he ever coached.
1944 was a powerhouse going 9-0 and scoring 504 points while giving up 35. The average win was 56-4 per game. Before the game with Villanova, Blake let his assistant run the team as he went out and scouted Notre Dame for an upcoming game. The score was a disappoint to Blake as the team only won 83-0. Other team scores were 46-0 over North Carolina, 59-7 over Brown, 69-7 over Pittsburgh, 76-0 over Coast Guard (a number of Pro players enlisting), 27-7 over Duke (won Sugar Bowl), Villanova, 59-0 over second ranked Notre Dame (I guess Blake’s scouting worked), 62-7 over Pennsylvania and 23-7 over the then 2nd ranked Navy. The schedule they played was a .623 record of all teams.
What made this team so good was the use of two platoons, The starters would play the 1st and 3rd quarters and the second team (shock troops) would play 2nd and 4th quarters. The second team had Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis (wow).
My statistics came from the West Point Library. A number of years ago, I visited West Point and it’s library, but it was a few years later that I called them for the stats. It was around 10 AM when I asked the Captain for the stats. He said “yes sir, I will have the stats for you at 2 PM”, I called back and he gave me the stats for 1944 and 1945. After we were finished, he asked me for my rank, I told him I was just an ordinary citizen. I have in the past done the following: 1984 calling the Houston Gamblers of the USFL for stats and actually talked to Mouse Davis about his run and shoot offense, Going to different Universities libraries for stats. Below is the first team (quarters 1 and 3), and the second team roster (quarters 2 and 4), along with some stats and result numbers.
Doug Kenna 1st-Team-QB(5) FS(5) 5-11-180lb-pass-53.5% for 5 TDs, rush at 5.2 avg. Pass-two-2’s, 2-3’s, one 4, one 6; rush six-15s, two-16s. Kickoff return 25.0 avg., punt return 22.0 avg.
Tom Lombardo 2nd-Tm-QB(4) FS(4)-pass-57.4% for 3 TDs, rush 4.1 avg. Pass-two-2s, one 3, two-6s. rush two 15s and one 16.
Bobby Dobbs 1st-Tm-FB(4) (SS(4) rush 5.4 avg., 2 receptions. six 4s, 5-6s.
Doc Blanchard 2nd Tm-FB(5) SS(5) rush 5.5 avg. one 2, three-4s, six-6s. 3 defense interceptions.
Max Minor 1st Tm-HB(4) CB(4) rush 7.5 avg., 6 receptions for 121 yards. 2 defense int. one K, five 15s, eight 16s.
Glenn Davis 2nd Tm-HB(5) CB(5) rush 11.5 avg., 13 receptions. 4 defense Int. one-1, one-2, nine-3s. Also returned kickoffs and punts.
Dale Hall 1st Tm-HB(4) CB(4) rush 6.9 avg. one K, nine 15s.
Dick Walterhouse 2nd Tm-rush 6.0 avg. eight 15s, three 16s. 1st stringer Kicker and punter.
Ed Rafalko 1st-Tm-WR(4) DE(3) 12 receptions
Dick Pitzer 2nd Tm-WR(4) DE(3) 8 receptions
Barney Poole plays all quarters TE-5 DE(5) 8 receptions 6-2 231 lb
Bob St. Onge-1st Tm-C(4) MLB(4)
Herschel Fuson-2nd Tm-C(4) MLB(4)
Joe Stanowicz-plays all quarters G(5) OLB(5)
John Green-plays all quarters G(5) OLB(5)
Al Nemetz-1st Tm OT(3) DT(4)
William Webb-2nd Tm OT(3) DT(4)
Tex Coulter-plays all quarters OT(4) DT(4) the largest of all Army players at 6-4 250lb.
The offense is 47 for both squads basic and master and the defense is 47 for both squads basic and master.