The Giants drove down the field the first time they got the ball, and fans got an early indication that this would be a game of surprises. From the Eagles’ 30-yard line, Tittle went back to pass and scrambled to his right. Spotting Kyle Rote in the end zone, Tittle let go on the move but badly underthrew his target. Cornerback Jimmy Carr batted the ball in the air at the 5, and it bounced off safety Don Burroughs’s hands at the goal line. Alertly, Del Shofner streaked in, grabbed the sinking ball at the 3, and scampered into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, an 80-yard drive led to a Rote touchdown to put the Giants up 14-0. Another Giants drive was extended fortuitously on a botched reverse Shofner fumbled and then tossed the ball back to a surprised Tittle, who completed an 18-yard pass to halfback Bob Gaiters. That drive led to a field goal which answered the first Eagles score, extending New York’s lead to 17-7. The Giants weren’t done, though. With just a minute left in the half, Allie Sherman ordered the Pete Previte Special.
Previte worked the locker room for the Giants and the Yankees. He thought of how teams in baseball often bring in their fastest runners to pinch-run in key situations, and imagined that might apply in football as well. Previte suggested this to Giants assistant coaches Don Heinrich and Harland Svare, and they brought the idea to Sherman, who worked up a play in which the two running backs are replaced by speedy defensive backs Erich Barnes and Jimmy Patton. With Barnes and Shofner going deep on one side
In a play named the Pete Previte Special in honor of the clubhouse attendant who had suggested it, the Giants lined up in a spread, shotgun formation with flanker Kyle Rote (44), tight end Joe Walton (80), and Jimmy Patton (20) all spread to the right and split end Del Shofner (85) and Erich Barnes (49) spread to the left. Tittle (14) took the deep snap as Rote, Walton, and Patton ran underneath routes and Shofner and Barnes headed deep. Shofner drew double coverage while Barnes drew single coverage on a post pattern. Tittle hit the wide-open Barnes in stride, and the speedy defensive back ran untouched to the end zone.
Photo Gallery of The Best Nfl Player
Click to on Photo for Next The Best Nfl Player Images
New York Giants 38 • Philadelphia Eagles 21 Date: November 12, 1961 Location: Yankee Stadium, New York Attendance: 62,800
When Philadelphia elected to double-cover Shofner, that left Barnes going against linebacker Maxie Baughan. Barnes streaked right past the linebacker, caught a strike from Tittle, and sprinted to the end zone in a
62-yard touchdown that sent the Giants to the locker room where Previte was listening to the game on the radio leading 24-7.