Flashback: Utes win 1928 R.M.C Championship

By Milo S. Madsen, Staff Writer (1928)

Editor’s Note8212;This story was taken from The Daily Utah Chronicle 1928 archives, when leather helmets ruled and extra points were drop-kicked. It is the 70th anniversary of legendary head coach Ike Armstrong’s second Rocky Mountain Conference Championship and Utah’s 28th meeting with its oldest rival, Utah State. All style and punctuation was preserved from the original publication.

Captain Alton “Moose” Carmen and his Ute warriors carried the Crimson aggregation to a smashing 20 to 0 victory over Utah Aggies in the big Turkey Day annual classic in the Ute stadium before 17,000 spectators, Thursday. Their victory netted them the Rocky Mountain Conference championship crown.
A flashing, battling halfback in the person of Preston Summerhays, playing the greatest football game of his life, was responsible for 12 of the 20 points. Stable and fearless Pete Couch scored the other touchdown of the game, and counted the extra points by drop and place kicks.
Five times the Utah Aggies were within the scoring zone, twice within the opponent’s five-yard line, And the Romney machine lacked punch in its offense to score. Utah’s line stood adamant, a line that will be written abut in future years, and at the present time credited as being the most secure and solid crimson forward wall erected in fifteen years.
The Aggies’ aerial attack was superior to any that has been seen in Utah’s game this year. Twenty-five times the Farmers attempted forward passes, and were able to complete three-fifths of them. Some of their passes netted them long gains. The only real evidence of the Aggie offense was shown in the first quarter when the Call-Smart combination twice put the oval up to the Utes’ 20-yard line. The beautiful placement of punts out of bounds, made the Aggie offense colorful. At times it function better, and was more efficient than the line, which was prone to crack whenever Price, Couch, Summerhays, or Davis Bolted light lightning into it.
Captain Theron Smart of the Aggies kicked off over the Utah goal line. Utah gained but little, and Couch kicked. On returning the Aggies gained five yards before kicking on their fourth down. Soon after this, Utah pulled her greatest blunder when either Jonas or one of the backs got their signals mixed and fumbled for a loss of 10 yards.
The Aggie line could not hold the powerful Utes from now on, and Couch, Summerhays and Davis made yards on every play. Summerhays made the first touchdown early in the second period after Utah had bolted up the field, by carrying the ball over left tackle. Couch’s drop-kick for extra point sailed through the center of the goal posts.
In the second period Utah called time on account of an injury sustained by Paul Cecil. This was Utah’s first time out, and Chub Utters replaced Cecil. Aggie men were throw for losses by Dean Olsen, Marvin Jonas, and Jones. Many passes were broken up for the Aggies at this time by both Utah backs and linemen.
In the third period Summerhays scored his second touchdown of the game after the ball had been placed within two yards of the goal line, but Couch. He ran through left tackle and scored. Couch’s attempt at goal kick was wide. The score was Utah 13, Aggies 0 , at the end of the third period.
When the final gun sounded at the end of the fourth quarter, the cheering section from both sides swarmed down upon the sawdust battlefield and cast friendly smiles at one another as they waited to get out; spectators from north and south left the scene thrilled, and in a happy mood. Coaches, trainers, and players congratulated each other. The best team had won, 20 to 0.
Coach Ike Armstrong deserves unlimited credit. In four years at the University he won two R.M.C. championships, which exemplifies his sound coaching ability. Ask any of the boys what Ike Armstrong’s advice and policy is in competitive sports and athletics!