The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 5, 2012

Krutko recalls WVU’s win over Texas in 1956

MORGANTOWN — Larry Krutko remembers West Virginia’s 7-6 victory over Texas on Oct. 6, 1956, in Austin, Tex.

“I scored our touchdown, and Paul “Whitey” Mikanik kicked the game-winning extra point,” the Carmichaels, Pa., native recalled this week.

Krutko was a 6-foot-1, 210-pound fullback who also played linebacker on defense.

“I remember that it was a night game and I scored on a run of 14 or 15 yards,” he said. “Fullbacks did more rushing in those years than they do today.”

Mickey Trimarki was the WVU quarterback then. But he said from his Burgettstown, Pa., home that he doesn’t remember much about that game.

“But I don’t think Texas was nearly as strong then as it is today.” Krutko tended to agree with him.

Mikanik was a halfback from Followsbee and also was the placekicker.

Krutko, who recently turned 77, is credited with these statistics for his three varsity seasons:

A total of 297 rushing plays, 1,407 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 65 yards and intercepted two passes.

Art “Pappy” Lewis was WVU head football coach from 1950-1960 — the longest coaching tenure up to that time. Krutko said, “Everybody loved Pappy. He was a good coach and a great gentleman. And he had only three assistant coaches.”

There were only about 35 players on the squad in 1956, Krutko noted. And all of the starters played on defense as well as offense.

That triumph in Texas was the only previous meeting between the two schools. They battle again at 7 p.m. (EST) on Saturday in Austin.

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