A series that is short in number of years, but keen in competition, resumes at Lockhart Stadium tonight when Fort Lauderdale’s Flying L’s and Aquinas’ Raiders clash in a Northern Division Gold Coast Conference contest.
More than 5,000 football starved fans are expected to be on hand for the 8:15 PM kickoff, which opens the 1961 season for both schools.
The L’s will depend upon the magic hands of quarterback Bill Blomgren and a stubborn defensive line to give them a second straight victory over the Raiders.
On the other hand, Aquinas fans will be cheering for veteran quarterback Bill Zloch to guide the Raiders to a second upset victory over Fort Lauderdale.
The L’s got off to a fast start and marched to a 34-0 triumph last season. The inaugural game in 1959 was much difference story. Aquinas (then Central Catholic) scored in the first quarter and made it hold up for a stunning 6-0 win over the L’s.
Raider coach Jim Kurth and Flying L’s boss Duke Maltby are still using that 1959 decision to get their respective teams up for the big battle.
“I figure we should rate two or three touchdown underdogs,” said Kurth as the Raiders wound up drills Thursday, “but that doesn’t mean we’re conceding the game. I’m not saying we’ll win or lose, but I’m confident our boys will be doing their best.”
“This game always worries me,” said Maltby. “Especially since they beat us in 1959. I know we’ll have to go all out against the Raiders. Make a mistake against that ball club and they’ll kill you.”
The L’s will depend upon Blomgren to ignite the spark. The 190-pound senior is the lone offensive starter returning from last year’s team.
Blomgren has improved his passing since last season and can be expected to go to the air from the starting whistle. Ends Jack Mahood and Bill Zeiss offer the tricky signal caller a pair of prime targets.
Speedsters Dick Amelung and Glen Ragatz will start at the halfback posts, while Ray Langston will work at fullback. Amelung and Langston lettered last year, while Ragatz is up from the junior varsity.
Center Jerry Warren, a hard-to-move 250-pounder, guard Ron Burgess and tackle Branson Willis will help form the bulwark of the line.
The Raiders can also be expected to go to the air. Zloch is rated both a dangerous runner and thrower. Halfbacks Tommy Tight and Mike McMann are a pair of real speedsters, while fullback Jim Hurley is a power runner.
The first team Raider line looks solid, especially where tackles Ted Dombrowski, 210, and Tom Tressel, 195, are stationed.