Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grant Gillis & The 1926 Rose Bowl

Alabama's Grant Gillis was Alabama's secret weapon in the 1926 Rose Bowl. For three quarters, while Washington's workhorse running back George "Wildcat" Wilson was in the game, Gillis' punts kept the Crimson Tide competitive.

By keeping the Washington offense at bay he bought time for the big-play theatrics of Johnny Mack Brown in the second quarter and ensured Alabama's 20-19 victory.

Gillis punted five times during the New Year's Day contest for an average of 40.8 yards per punt - the longest for 54 yards.No less than legendary sportswriter Damon Runyon declared him "one of the greatest kickers that ever dropped a football on his toe" after witnessing the contest.