Courtesy Joe Grotto ’56

The football game our team can never forget was the Princeton-Yale game in 1954 at the Yale Bowl in front of a packed stadium (see photo above).

With less than a minute left in the game, with a 14–14 score, Princeton has the ball at midfield. Dick Emery ’55 throws a long pass to Don MacElwee ’57, who is brought down on the Yale 3-yard line. There is less than a minute remaining, with no timeouts. Royce Flippin ’56, our tailback, calls for “Goal 44” running down the field. The ball is hiked to Royce, who carries it over the goal line with blocking from Bill Agnew ’56 and Joe Grotto ’56 with only a few seconds left — as shown in the photo — for a final score of Princeton 21, Yale 14.

The next year, in the preseason scrimmage against Syracuse, Jimmy Brown ruptures the knee of Royce, our captain. Sid Pinch ’56 fills in as our tailback for our successful season; Royce comes back after his knee operation and the team beats Yale 13 to 0 and Dartmouth 6 to 3 in a snowstorm at Palmer Stadium.

The 1955 Princeton team won the Ivy League, which was not officially recognized until the following year.

Editor’s note: Bill Agnew ’56 recalls: “That photo has been on my office wall for 60 years. Joe and I worked our asses off so Royce could rest comfortably on his back in the end zone. Tailbacks get all the glory!”

Joe Grotto ’56
Westport, Conn.