Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football

Glory Days > Miracle on Morningside, 1947

Film of the Army vs. Columbia game held at Baker Field on October 25, 1947. This film clip shows the dramatic plays of the fourth quarter: The "Swiacki Catch", the touchdown by Lou Kusserow, and the game winning kick by Ventan Yablonski.

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Miracle on Morningside: Columbia vs. Army, 1947

Army was perfect in 1944 and 1945, and continued undefeated, with a tie (0-0) against Notre Dame in 1946, and another tied game against Illinois (0-0) in 1947. The 1947 Cadets had not allowed a point all season, outscoring their four opponents, 93-0. Would anyone ever beat Army?

On October 25, 1947, 35,000 people packed into Baker Field's 32,000 seat wooden stadium and witnessed one of the biggest upsets in college football history – the Lions' 21-20 defeat of Army, snapping the Cadets' four-year, 32-game unbeaten streak.

Lou Kusserow's second-period touchdown was the first allowed by Army all season, but the Cadets still held a comfortable 20-7 lead in the fourth quarter. A spectacular catch by Bill Swiacki of a Gene Rossides pass pulled the Lions within a touchdown. Minutes later, following another Swiacki reception, Kusserow drove through Army's line for his second touchdown of the day. Ventan Yablonski kicked the extra point that gave the Lions a 21-20 lead, and Kusserow cemented the victory by intercepting a pass at midfield during Army's final possession of the game.

Columbia vs. Army Football Game

October 25, 1947 football game against Army.
Photographer: Phil Lacy, Columbia Camera Club

On the back of the photo, the photographer wrote: “To the Student Social Center from the Camera Club of Columbia University. Columbia - Army October 1947. Gene Rossides finds a hole in the Army line. Yeoman (C) at left, Trent (E) right, and another Army player converge on him. Winning 21-20 by the margin of point after touchdown, Columbia was the team to snap Army's long winning streak."

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Football Game Program. Cover

Program from the October 25, 1947 football game vs. Army.

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