Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Way Back to the Thirties We Go

We’re delving way back into the realm of the obscure here today in Packerville. Above is an “action” photo of Russ Saunders, who played for the Packers in 1931. Saunders, captain of San Diego High School’s 1925 Southern California champions, started as a blocking back for the University of Southern California in 1927 and played on USC’s first national championship team in 1928. Switching to tailback, he led the 1929 Trojans to a 10-2 record and was Player of the Game in the 1930 Rose Bowl. He passed for a then unheard of 297 yards, completing his first three passes for touchdowns, and ran for another as USC demolished favored Pittsburgh 47-14.

Saunders played one year of pro football, helping Green Bay win the 1931 championship, then became an executive with Warner Brothers. Russ was the model for USC’s “Tommy Trojan” statue.