As is my tradition, I attended Thursday's Turkey Day AAA championship game at Kezar. The underdog Lincoln Mustangs defeated previously undefeated in league play Mission Bears 22 to 12. Mission lost its star quarterback early in the game but was in contention until the final couple of minutes. Now, the program devoted four pages to "50 Years Ago: A Wild(Cat) Send Off: St. Ignatius Wins on Miracle Play." Following is an excerpt from the article describing the game.
"Lowell and St. Ignatius combined to play what the San Francisco Chronicle called "one of the finest exhibitions of football in the history of the Thanksgiving Day title game." Lowell entered the game led by Jeff Karp, a fine quarterback. But, Lowell's strength was its defense. Lowell's defensive back three consisted of AAA All City first linemen Larry Richardson and Carl Nielson, and Linebacker Larry Jacobson. They would square off in a mighty battle with St. Ignatius offensive line all day.
"The see-saw battle began in the second quarter when St. Ignatius' Glen Dennis picked off Karp, dashing 75 yards to paydirt. But Lowell struck back on a 64 yard drive capped off by Fred Coleman's two yard touchdown. The point after tied the game at seven. St. Ignatius struck again. This time with a long, thirteen play drive leading to a Mike Bassi score and a 14-7 halftime lead.
"After a scoreless third quarter, Lowell embarked upon an eighty-two yard, fifteen play drive. Karp concluded the drive with a quarterback sneak from the two, and the game was tied at 14.
"With thirty-one seconds remaining and a 14-14 tie, this game appeared destined to end in a tie. The AAA had no overtime rule at this time. But, fate trumped destiny and in one of the oddest twists of fate in AAA history, St. Ignatius turned the almost certain tie into a win. St. Ignatius wrote the script for the perfect send-off as backup quarterback Paul Contreras, inserted due to injury, tossed a desperation lob that was deflected into the hands of Tom Hughes in a play that was a precursor to the Immaculate Reception of Pittsburgh Steelers' lore. Hughes ran into the end zone, completing a 45 yard miracle play that gave St. Ignatius the perfect send off, a 21-14 miracle victory."