The game started. In the second team at Annapolis there were some unusually good players—–half a dozen, at least, who were destined to win a good deal of praise as subs. that year.
Tr-r-r-r-ill! sounded the whistle, and the ball was in motion.
Yet, try as he did, the captain of the Rustlers made a side kick, driving the ball not far out of Dave Darrin’s way. It was coming, now, in Dan’s path, but Dalzell muttered in a barely audible undertone:
So Darrin, playing left end on the Navy team, darted in and caught the ball. He did not even glance sideways to learn where Dan was. He knew that Dalzell would be either at his back or right elbow as occasion demanded.
“Take it away from Darry!” called Pierson, captain of the Rustlers. “Block him!”
The scores of spectators lining the sides of the field were watching with keenest interest.
It was rumored that Dave and Dan had some new trick play hidden up their sleeves.
Yet, with two men squarely in the path of Darrin it seemed incredible that he could get by, for the Rustlers had bunched their interference skillfully at this point.
“Darry will have to stop!” yelled a score of voices at once, as Dave bounded at his waiting opponents.
“Yah, yah, yah!”
The spectators had been treated to a sight that they never forgot.
Just as Dave reached those who blocked him he seemed
It was Dan Dalzell who bumped in and received the opposition alone.
Dan went down under it, all glory to him!
But Dave, in drawing back as he had done, had stepped aside like lightning, and now he had gone so far that he had no opposing end to dodge.
Instead, he darted straight ahead, leaving all of the forward line of the Rustlers behind.
But there was the back field to meet!
As Dave shot forward, Jetson, too, smashed over the line, blocking the halfback who got in his way.
Straight over the line charged Dave Darrin, and laid the ball down.
Now the athletic field resounded with excited yells. Annapolis had seen “a new one,” and it caught the popular fancy like lightning.
Back the pigskin was carried, and placed for the kick.
“You take it, Darry,” called Wolgast. “You’ve earned it!”
“Take it yourself, Wolly,” replied Dave Darrin. “This is your strong point.”
So Wolgast kicked and scored. The Rustlers at first looked dismayed over it all, but in another instant a cheer had broken loose from them.
It was the business of the Rustlers to harry the Navy team all they could—–to beat the Navy, if possible, for the Rustlers received their name from the fact that they were expected to make the team members rustle to keep their places.
Just the same the Rustlers were delighted to find themselves beaten by a trick so simple and splendid that it fairly took their breath away. For it was the Navy team, not the Rustlers, who met the enemy from the colleges and from West Point. Rustlers and team men alike prayed for the triumph of the Navy in every game that was fought out.