Friday, October 14, 2011

Few remember, but Bill Carter will never forget the kick he made for 1967 Linfield football team

By Tim Marsh
Published originally in Fall 2001 Linfield Athletics Newsletter

The 1967 Linfield College football team is best remembered for:

1-- a season opening, 15-13, upset victory in Honolulu over the University of Hawaii and a come-from-behind, 16-7, triumph on Maxwell Field over Willamette.

2-- finishing with an 8-1 win-loss record and, at 5-1, tied for the Northwest Conference title with Willamette and Lewis & Clark. Because of an NWC athletic censure and probation, officially, it was not a co-championship for the Wildcats.

3-- being Paul Durham's 20th and final season before leaving Linfield to become University of Hawaii athletic director, the same job he held at the college.

However, few remember a fan from the stands scoring a point that season during Linfield's, 27-0, NWC win over Pacific University's Badgers in Forest Grove, Ore.
Tim Kubli of Yreka, Calif. , was a 6-foot-3, 210-pound tackle. His Linfield football fame was as a kicker, for kickoffs, fieldgoals and PATs/points after touchdowns.

During the game, the night of Oct. 7 on Pacific's McCready Field, his first PAT kick failed, but he made another. Kubli was clipped on the ensuing kickoff and injured his knee. After Linfied's third touchdown, teammate
Deno Edwards kicked.
Kubli and Robillard hurt during first half

Although Linfield led Pacific, 20-0, at halftime, Kubli remembers Durham was not happy. Kubli and star defensive back
Joe Robillard of Hood River , Ore., were both injured, knocked out of the game in the first half. "Coach Durham was mad as hell," Kubli remembers. "In the locker room, coach said he thought we were taking the game too lighlty and that was the reason people were getting hurt."

Kubli, Durham and Robillard do not recall who kicked the PAT after Linfield's final touchdown for the final 27-0 score.
Bill Carter, then a Linfield freshman JV team tight end and kicker from Bellflower , Calif., does.

Carter was at the Pacific game as a Wildcat fan, sitting in the stands. At halftime he was called him down to the sidelines. Durham told him to go to the locker room, put on Robillard's gear and uniform and prepare to kick in the second half.

The uniform was a good fit, Carter and Robillard were both about 6-1, 200-pounds. More important were shoes. "In those days, most if not all kickers kicked conventional straight-ahead style and used a special flat toed kicking shoe," Carter said. "Of course, I didn't have a kicking shoe I used in JV games with me. Tim's kicking shoe was too big. Joe had really narrow-toed, lightweight shoes that receivers and defensive backs used, not very good for kicking."
Carter wore Robillard's gear and uniform, borrowed shoes

What to do? He borrowed a pair of shoes from a Linfield player, perhaps Johnny Bill "Moon" Self. They were too large. So, Carter put on three pairs of socks to give them a snug fit.

Ed Griffin scored the last Wildcat touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter, it was Carter's turn to attempt the kick. "If I remember right, it was very cold that night and may have even been raining some," said Carter. "It seems to me that the field was muddy. On the extra point, the ball slipped off the tee slightly, but the holder, Mike Barrow, our quarterback, did a good job of holding it upright so that I could get my foot on it." The kick was good.

While Kubli was hurt, Carter remembers kicking off several times in other games. He also played at least one varsity game at tight end. Of 293 points Linfield scored that season, Carter's one point against Pacific was the only he ever scored in his Wildcat football career. Homesick for his girlfriend and warm California weather – "I wasn't used to playing in the rain, cold, and mud." -- he left Linfield and transferred to Long Beach State.

Attending 30,000-student enrollment commuter college Long Beach State was much different than Linfield with most 1,200 students living on campus. "Not different for the better," he said.

Carter remembers Durham "sitting down at the table in the Riley Student Center coffee shop, having a Coke with me and chatting about how things were going in class." In contrast, at Long Beach State , the head football coach "barely acknowledged your existence unless you were one of the heavily recruited players. Quite a difference."
A team of pride and courage

At the 1967 Linfield football awards banquet, Durham told his players they were on a team of "pride and courage, one with great leadership, closeness and spirit."

During the event, Bill Carter received his Linfield varsity football letter. However, his true reward has come over the years since he played for the Wildcats. "I have more memories of the one year I was at Linfield than my other four years of college," he said.

--Carter and Kubli live and work in California. Carter, in Fullerton, is involved in real estate. Kubli, in Rio Vista, is a bank chief financial officer.

--Robillard is general manager of a manufacturing company in Guthrie, Okla.

--Durham, age 87, is retired and lives in Honolulu.

--Barrow, serving in the U.S. Army infantry, died at age 23 in combat, June 23, 1969, in Vietnam. His name is on the "The Wall," the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Fund-raising is underway to name a study room for him in Linfield's new library.

--Game was played starting 8 p.m. Saturday Oct. 7, 1967, on Pacific's McCready Field in Forest Grove, Ore. Here's the game's box score from the Oct. 8, 1967, Sunday Oregonian.