4 days until kickoff: AA’s picture-a-day countdown


Yet another completely natural, not-at-all-staged football photo from the 1950s:

(Associated Press photo)

In 1958, Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik debuted the “Lonely End” formation, in which Bill Carpenter would split out up to 30 yards from his teammates, staying out of the huddle and generally giving opposing defensive coordinators fits (football junkies can get a breakdown here). That bit of offensive trickery helped Army to an undefeated season (8-0-1), wins over Notre Dame and Navy, and a fitting cap to the Blaik era at West Point.

But none of that would’ve happened without Pete Dawkins.

Dawkins, pictured above, a senior and West Point’s first captain (the school’s top leadership position) in 1958, earned the academy’s last of three Heisman Trophies with his play that season. The halfback was a dual threat — in addition to his running prowess, he racked up nearly 500 yards receiving on just 16 catches, averaging a school-record 30.9 yards per reception. His six receiving touchdowns that year ties for third all-time at West Point, and his 330 all-purpose yards against Villanova that year ranks second in school history.

Dawkins’ path to West Point came through Canada. Literally. According to this Army feature, Dawkins and his coach drove through our northern neighbor on the trip from his Michigan home to West Point, where he and his high school coach waited for hours, without an appointment, for a chance to see Blaik.

The football coach didn’t end up getting Dawkins into the academy, but the hockey coach did — Dawkins earned three letters on the ice at West Point, in addition to his leadership position, academic success (Academic All-America Hall of Famer) and Heisman-winning football skills.

Want to know more? Head here.


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