“I hope Darry is in great form to-day,” murmured the midshipman seated next to Jetson.
“He looks to be in as good shape as ever doesn’t he?” asked Jetson sullenly.
“Oh, I forgot,” exclaimed the other. “You don’t like Darry any too well.”
“I’ve nothing against him that would make me want to see him in bad form,” grumbled Jetson. “I’m a Navy man and I don’t want to see any but Navy victories.”
The toss had just been made, the visitors winning the kick-off. At a sign from a Navy officer in the field the leader silenced his band and a hush fell over the gridiron and the seats of the onlookers.
THE BAND COULDN’T MAKE ITSELF HEARD
Within five minutes the Hanniston players had established the fact that they were not only bulky, but quick and brainy. In fact, though the Navy promptly blocked the ball and got it, the middies were unable to make headway against the college men. Then Hanniston took the ball, fighting slowly but steadily toward the Navy goal line.
“I don’t see Darrin making any wonderful plays,” thought Jetson to himself. He was gloomy over seeing the Navy outplayed, but secretly glad that the spectators had as yet found no occasion to shout themselves hoarse over Midshipman Dave’s work.
Outside of the brigade the other spectators in the Navy seats felt themselves tinder a cloud of increasing gloom.
“From all the talk I had expected more of Mr. Darrin,” remarked an officer’s wife-to her husband.
“Darrin has a fearful Hanniston line against him,” replied the officer. “Captain Hepson realizes that, too, and he isn’t pushing Darrin as hard as you might wish to see.”
“We’re going to be beaten, aren’t we?” asked another Navy onlooker.
It was as yet too early to predict safely, though all the appearances were that the visitors would do whatever scoring was to be done to-day.
Yet, even when they felt themselves outclassed, the middies hung to their opponents with dogged perseverance. It took nearly all of the first half for the Hannistons to place the Navy goal in final, desperate danger.
Then, of a sudden, while the Hannistons worked within a dozen yards of the Navy goal line, the college boys made a new attack, the strongest they had yet shown.
There was a bumping crash as the lines came together, at the Navy’s right. Farley and Page were swept clear off their feet and the assailants swept onward. Another clever attack, backed by a ruse, and one of the college boys started on a dead run with the ball. In vain the Navy’s backs tried to stop him. The Hanniston boys successfully interfered for their runner, and the ball was touched down behind the goal line.
Gone were the cheers that had been ascending from the brigade. All the Navy crowd gasped in dismay. The ball was carried back, kicked, and Hanniston had scored six points.