Friday, September 3, 1948
Browns 19, Los Angeles Dons 14
Cleveland Stadium (60,193)
The Browns kept things close to the vest in the season opener, gradually building a 19-0 lead before a big Friday-night crowd, then endured a flurry of Los Angeles points in the final seconds. With WR Dante Lavelli out with a broken ankle and QB Otto Graham playing with an injured hand that affected the accuracy of his throws, the Cleveland offense lacked the explosiveness that had defined it over the previous two seasons, only managing 263 total yards in what would be the Browns' lowest tally of the season. RB Marion Motley was also nursing an injured back and left the game twice with different injuries. Still, taking advantage of four Los Angeles turnovers (which wiped out three of their own) the Browns were too much for the Dons, opening the scoring with a 51-yard Lou Groza field goal and then tacking on a Graham touchdown pass to rookie RB (and Akron native) Ara Parseghian, followed by a safety when L.A. QB Glenn Dobbs stepped out of his own end zone on a pass attempt. Browns' RB Bill Boedeker capped the Cleveland scoring with a short touchdown run in the third quarter. The Dons didn't get on the board until 30 seconds remained, then recovered the football on the ensuing kickoff and added another touchdown with five seconds to play.
1 2 3 4
Dons 0 0 0 14 = 14
Browns 3 7 9 0 = 19
CLE-Groza 51-yd. FG
CLE-Parseghian 17-yd. pass from Graham (Groza kick)
CLE-Safety: Dobbs stepped out of end zone
CLE: Boedeker 6-yd. run (Groza kick)
LA-Kimbrough 2-yd. run (Agajanian kick)
LA-Aguirre 9-yd. pass from Dobbs (Agajanian kick)
LA: Dobbs 15-24-134 1 TD 1 INT, Wedemeyer 1-4-11 0 TD 1 INT
CLE: Graham 9-17-122 1 TD 1 INT
LA: Kimbrough 7-28, Dobbs 4-15, Wedemeyer 4-15, Clarke 2-5, Clay 2-5, Kelly 1-1, Mitchell 1-0
CLE: Motley 11-57, Boedeker 6-30, E.Jones 7-22, Cline 3-9, Cowan 1-8, Graham 2-6, Sensanbaugher 2-6, Adamle 3-4, Parseghian 2-(-9)
LA: Baldwin 3-44, Kimbrough 2-37, Wedemeyer 3-17, Gentry 2-17, Clarke 2-15, Mitchell 1-11, Aguirre 1-9, Durkota 2-(-5)
CLE: Cowan 2-37, Motley 1-36, Gillom 2-22, Parseghian 1-17, Speedie 3-10
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