Kicker Bob Ujobagy
His extra point against North Plainfield preserved a perfect season
So much has been made of the 7-6 victory over North Plainfield. That was North Plainfield’s only loss of the year, thus a victory for them would have not just ruined a perfect season for Somerville, but North Plainfield would have been conference champions. The extra point kicked by Bob Ujobagy made the difference. Ujobagy was a hero back then – and is still a hero with his teammates today. Back in 1953 he received a good deal of attention for a few reasons. First - He was unique. While the kicker who only kicks – never getting involved in the hard hitting is firmly a part of football today - back in 1953 kickers were usually regular players who played other positions too. Ujobagy just kicked extra points. The other players initially thought of him as a team mascot – that was until his extra point made the difference. The second reason he received so much attention was that he was quite a character at school. It seemed novel to the students that this guy was a football player. He was a favorite among some fans who often cheered when he came on the field to kick. And finally the reason he received a lot of attention was his last name was so unique. It was hard to pronounce and difficult to spell – the local newspapers usually miss-spelled his name.
Sam Crosby:
I remember staying after practice every day to hold the center snap on extra points so that Bob Ujobagy could improve his kicking skills. Ujobagy never practiced with the team, heck he never wore football pads. He hung around waiting for the regular practice to end and then he would discard his half chewed cigar, which he secretly hid from the coaches, and kick as I held the ball. Never did I imagine that he would kick the winning extra point to beat our arch rival North Plainfield 7-6 and preserve an undefeated season.