Otter comebacks then and now [UPDATED]Published 10:10am Monday, September 17, 2012 Updated 12:12pm Monday, September 17, 2012
Fergus Falls Otter football wins in the final minute of the first two games this year rekindled memories for old timers. One game that comes to mind took place Sept. 6, 1957, at Thief River Falls.
The Otters, 55 years ago, took a 20-game winning streak to the Prowlers’ home field, prior to the start of high school playoff games. FFHS had won the final two games in 1954, went 9-0 in 1955, finished 8-0 in 1956 and won the opening game in 1957.
Fergus Falls trailed 26-25 with just over a minute remaining in the game at Thief River Falls. After a Prowler kick, the Otters took possession of the football on their own 31-yard line.
“Crafty, cool Tom Glorvigen, Otter sophomore quarterback, called for one of the Fergus Falls key plays,” wrote Daily Journal Sports Editor Clarence Lee. “Glorvigen rolled back, spotted wide receiver Roger Sinner and connected with the Otter senior.”
Sinner was hit from behind but before being tackled he tossed a lateral to junior running back Tim Cashman.
“The fleet-footed Cashman opened the throttle and headed for the goal line,” wrote Lee. “The Prowlers’ Dave Rasmussen saw the play from the opposite side of the field, cut loose with his speed, but was unable to catch Cashman.”
Many of the Thief River Falls fans, with one minute to go in the game and confident of a one-point Prowler victory, started to leave the football complex. Instead, it was a 31-26 Otter victory after a 69-yard pass play.
“Thief River fans were stunned with the sensational Otter finish,” said Lee.
Recalling that game is Ed Darby, a sophomore member of the 1957 Otter team who is now retired and lives in Colorado.
“The game was played in front of a very hostile crowd,” said Darby. “The Prowler fans stood behind the Otter bench and showed no mercy as they verbally assaulted Coach Norm Galloway during most of the contest.”
Darby said the lateral pass from Sinner to Cashman was the old hook and ladder play. Cashman was the trailing running back on the play.
“I remember the name of that play just like it was yesterday,” said Tom Greenagel who was a junior for the Otters in 1957. “The play was 128 Counter Crisscross Bootleg Pass. Tom (Glorvigen), Roger and Tim ran it to perfection.”
Greenagel, who later became a dentist, replaced an injured defensive end early in the Thief River Falls game and played exceptionally well. He started every remaining Otter game for the rest of his career. He was recognized his senior year with numerous awards.
The following week, Detroit Lakes snapped the Otter 21-game winning streak with a 20-12 victory over Fergus Falls. Galloway and the Otters got back on the winning trail the following week, downing Moorhead 20-13.
It was Galloway’s seventh win over the Spuds against only three losses. Sheldon Monk scored all three touchdowns against the Spuds.
The Otters tied Alexandria 6-6 in the final game of the 1957 season to finish 5-2-1.
The hook and ladder combination of Sinner and Cashman did well after their graduations from Fergus Falls High School. Sinner played college football in Oklahoma and then pitched in the San Francisco Giants baseball organization.
Cashman became a backup running back at the University of Minnesota and was on the roster of two Gopher teams that played in the Rose Bowl.
Otter comebacks, then and now, are part of the rich FFHS football history.