15 Engineers To Relive Storybook Victory

Thanksgiving 1959 Poly 12, City 0

November 24, 2009|By Mike Klingaman | Mike Klingaman,mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

They met on a cold, somber Thanksgiving 50 years ago, two invincible football teams slugging it out for the Baltimore public schools championship before an announced 25,000 at Memorial Stadium.

City and Poly had played many times before, but never in the 58-year history of their rivalry had both entered the final game undefeated. On Nov. 26, 1959, it was the Engineers who prevailed, 12-0, capping a storybook season.

Tonight, 15 of those Poly players are to reunite at Martin's West to relive the victory - and the perfect record - that won them city bragging rights.

How good was Poly? Coach Bob Lumsden's team won nine games by an average score of 36-5. Ron Klages and Ed Stuckrath led a fearsome ground attack, together gaining 1,800 yards and 178 points.

City was no slouch, led by All-State quarterback Cliff Melton and coached by George Young, who would go on to be general manager of the New York Giants.

Klages scored both touchdowns against City, including a 69-yard sprint to start the second half.

"Then I threw the ball high into the end zone and ran over to hug my coach," said Klages, of Fallston. He later became a college referee, officiating nine bowl games and five Army-Navy contests in 35 years.

But nothing trumped that City-Poly game, said Klages, 68.

"That," he said, "was a big day."

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