Written by Kevin Sherrington
Sherrington: Bisons were rarest of Dallas breeds
John Marshall, who'd been their fullback, asked from the lectern if any of his old Sunset teammates had something to say.
Fred Skidmore, the quarterback, raised his hand.
"How many times do you think you ran 22 to the strongside?" he asked.
"I don't remember what 22 to the strongside was."
This is the danger of a 60-year reunion. Chances are you might not remember something. What's worse, someone else might.
Fortunately, the couple of dozen Bisons who met recently at a North Dallas restaurant had enough good memories to go around, starting with the last DISD state title still recognized by the UIL.
Sunset won the last year of the short-lived City Conference, which included schools from Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston. The set-up had critics, meaning Sunset didn't always get its due. But the Bisons were a power in the '40s, winning or sharing eight district titles and making the state finals in '42 and '49.
Prospects for the '50 team didn't look so hot early at 2-2. But the Bisons ran off seven wins in a row, including the clincher over Houston Reagan at old Dal-Hi Stadium.
"At the end of 1950," said Marshall, who played at SMU and was a third-round pick of the Rams, "that team could have beaten any team in Texas."
Besides Marshall, Joe Boring, who played at Texas A&M, was a do-it-all halfback in Byron Rhome's single wing, double wing and spinning T.
By the way: Twenty-two to the strongside called for half the team to pull to the strongside, then get out of Marshall's way.
But the secret to the Bisons' success may have been their no-huddle offense.
Skidmore, who'd been reading books on strategy supplied by one of Sunset's assistants, wanted to add plays. There simply wasn't time. The Bisons' center, the late Ivan Greenhaw, suggested that they blow off the huddle and call plays under center.
And to avoid any further confusion, always snap on two.
So what did Rhome think?
"We didn't tell him."
When the head coach saw it in action, he called a timeout and waved over his quarterback.
"What the hell are you doing?"
Skidmore argued that the other team couldn't stop it. Must have made a good case, too, because the no-huddle remained.
Skidmore paid for it, though. He had to run laps. During the game.
Another year of playoffs is on, and DISD's last official champs will wait to see if a Dallas team can follow up. The '50 Bisons have already waited a long time, and they're not sure if they have another reunion in them. Someone should hurry, just in case. À LA CARTE
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