Archive for Monday, April 19, 2004

Fambrough boots game-winner

Former KU player-turned-coach kicks final extra point in entertaining 14-13 win

April 19, 2004

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Former Kansas University kicker Dan Eichloff showed he still possessed an accurate leg by booting two field goals during Sunday's inaugural alumni touch football game, but former coach and player Don Fambrough delivered the day's biggest surprise.

Fambrough -- who captained and was the place-kicker on the 1948 Orange Bowl squad and coached the Jayhawks during two different stints in the 1970s and '80s -- drilled an extra point after the game's first score, eliciting a loud ovation from the few hundred fans at Memorial Stadium.

After his Blue team came back to forge a tie in the final seconds, Fambrough had a chance to win it. He lined up for what appeared to be an uncontested kick, but out of nowhere the White's Wint Winter Sr. blocked it.

"I had that kick made, no doubt about it," Fambrough said with a hearty laugh. "He was offside by a mile."

Winter, a former state senator from Ottawa, said he couldn't let the game end in anything other than a tie.

"Nope, I couldn't let him get it," said Winter, whose son, Wint Jr., also a former state senator, played on the Blue squad. "I'll tell you what, he was pretty upset."

Fambrough's ire quickly subsided when his teammates carried him off the field. Later, his blocked kick was ruled good.

"The Blue team won, 14-13," said KU assistant coach Clint Bowen, who organized the event. "We had an illegal block. It was in the rules that you couldn't block extra points. He nailed that last one anyway, it was going in."

Fambrough certainly thought so, and said everything went well on a day when 76 former players came back to play while another 36 watched from the sidelines.

Former Kansas football coach Don Fambrough kicks an extra point in
a tie game with no time remaining. The kick was blocked, but later
ruled good because of a rules violation, awarding the Blue team a
14-13 alumni-game victory Sunday at KU's Memorial Stadium.

Former Kansas football coach Don Fambrough kicks an extra point in a tie game with no time remaining. The kick was blocked, but later ruled good because of a rules violation, awarding the Blue team a 14-13 alumni-game victory Sunday at KU's Memorial Stadium.

"Today was very special," Fambrough said. "This is the first time we've had something just for the former football players in years. They're all so excited to be back."

Jim Fender, a wide receiver on the 1975 Sun Bowl squad, echoed Fambrough's sentiments.

"It was just fabulous, getting all the fellows together for the weekend," said Fender, who hauled in both of the Blue's touchdown passes. "I know that there are four times the number of guys that they thought would be here. Next year will be even bigger. The camaraderie was unbelievable."

Former KU All-American quarterback Bobby Douglass said that the program was definitely headed in the right direction.

"The first thing we have to do is keep winning," Douglass said. "We got a taste of that last year. After that we need involvement. We need to be getting all the guys back out here for a weekend every year like this."

Kansas coach Mark Mangino, left, and former Jayhawk Jim Fender
chat. Fender caught both touchdown passes for the Blue team in its
14-13 victory in the alumni game Sunday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas coach Mark Mangino, left, and former Jayhawk Jim Fender chat. Fender caught both touchdown passes for the Blue team in its 14-13 victory in the alumni game Sunday at Memorial Stadium.

Bowen -- a free safety on the '92 and '93 squads who is now KU's special teams and safeties coach -- said that an annual game looks likely.

"Coach Mangino and I will evaluate what we want to do in the future, but I know a lot of guys had fun," Bowen said. "A lot of the ex-players at the end of the game were like 'I can't wait to do this again.'"

The touch-football game lasted an hour and was played with a running clock.

Eichloff, who was both a punter and place kicker from 1990-93, kicked field goals of 29 and 36 yards.

"I had a good snapper," quipped Eichloff, of Winter Sr. "What a character."

Bernard Frye, a cornerback on the 1988 team, caught the White's only touchdown pass -- a 12-yard strike from Asheiki Preston (1993-94).

Another razzle-dazzle highlight came when Chris Jones (DE, 1993-96) picked off a pass at the 10-yard-line. Jones ran up to the 35 and pitched the ball to Kevin Kopp (DT, 1993-96), who once he got past midfield pitched the ball to Jamie Harris (DB, 1995-98) who finally was corralled inside the 30.

Former KU All-America QB Bobby Douglass looks to pass during the
game.

Former KU All-America QB Bobby Douglass looks to pass during the game.

Jeff Colter (DB, 1981-83) thrived at his former position breaking up four passes and picking off another.

David Lawrence (T 1977, '79-81) showed that his son wasn't the only one in the family with soft hands. The Jayhawk Radio Network reporter -- whose son Josh was a standout tight end for Lawrence High this season and will walk on this fall at KU -- made a handful of receptions.

At least three Jayhawks who were on NFL rosters last season were on hand. Justin Hartwig (OT, '99-01) is the starting center for the Tennessee Titans, Don Davis (OLB, '91-94) is a linebacker with the Patriots and Andrew Davison (DB, '98-01) is a defensive back who recently re-signed with Dallas.





Hartwig and Davis watched while Davison "jogged" two receiving routes.

"I just enjoyed myself watching the game, I basically just showed my face out there," Davison said. "It was a good deal to see some of the older Kansas football players. Some of them I didn't even know."

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