Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Rauch family got a kick out of Michigan game

Former state Sen. Marshall Rauch of Gastonia has an athletic family. He came South after serving in World War II to play basketball at Duke University.
A daughter, Stephanie, was a professional tennis player for a while and is an accomplished golfer.
And his grandson Julian Rauch deflated the hopes of 100,000 or so University of Michigan fans the other day when he kicked the field goal that put his Appalachian State Mountaineers ahead 34-32 in Ann Arbor to knock off the then-No. 5-ranked Wolverines.
The whole family was there except for Stephanie, reports Rauch, and she regrets cancelling plans to go. "To be honest, we were just hoping that Appalachian State would go and give a creditable performance," Rauch says.
At one time in the 1990s, Sen. Rauch was considering running for governor. For years he was a Senate power and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Legislative Ethics Committee. Now he brags about his grandchildren. He says the late Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles once told him, "Them that can brag without lying can keep talking," so Marshall Rauch keeps talking.
Julian Rauch, a senior and communications major, had three field goal attempts and made two. One hit the crossbar, another went over "and the important one was the last one with 26 seconds left" that won the game, Marshall Rauch said. He asked Julian if he was nervous. Julian said, "Everyday I dream of being in that situation."
Former state Sen. Zeb Alley, a longtime legislative lobbyist from Waynesville who served in the Senate with Marshall Rauch, didn't go to the game but watched it and later talked with Rauch. Alley said Marshall Rauch, now 84, was “proud as punch.”
Well, who wouldn’t be? It’s an amazing thing to beat Michigan in Michigan Stadium, which seats about six times as many people as Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone and more than twice as many as Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.
On Oct. 1, 1966, the Tar Heels flew up to Ann Arbor and stunned Michigan 21-7 in an upset predicted by then-UNC Chancellor Carlyle Sitterson on the team bus as it left Chapel Hill for the airport.
I was a Carolina cheerleader that year and no one expected the Tar Heels to play even with the Wolverines, let along knock them about on their own field. I had never seen that many people before in one place (the crowd was only about 88,000 or so that day, the biggest crowd all year) and it was loud most of the game – but it got pretty quiet in the fourth quarter after the Tar Heels sewed it up.
I imagine it was pretty much the same Saturday when Julian Rauch kicked the Wolverines around.

13 comments:

Damon said...

my wife is a Michigan alum and says that there is no place more intimidating than the big house (and no, she is not talking about prison). Sad for big blue? yes. Happy to hear stories like Jimmy Rauch's? You Bet.

David McKnight said...

Then the sports writers went and knocked Michigan all the way out of the polls--plum out, Jack!

This is a journalistic insult to Appalachian State University because it implies that anyone who can't beat ASU shouldn't be listed in any polls. Why, it had been me, I might have even voted to move Michigan up a notch or two just because of how close the Wolverines came to knocking off the No. 1 college football team in America--the Appalachian State Mountaineers!

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